The MICE sector is one of the tourism sectors most affected by the pandemic, and many destinations are currently developing strategies to revive this sector. This is the case of Geneva, which is initiating the recovery of the MICE sector with 2 actions: its participation in the hybrid event Suisse Learning Expedition and the creation of the Hybrid City Alliance with other destinations, including Cannes, also a founding member.
MICE is one of the most important sectors of activity for the city of Geneva. In fact, in 2019, this segment represented no less than 80% of the overnight stays recorded by the destination and generated a turnover of 25 million euros. The city capitalises on its many assets to attract as many event organisers as possible, such as its world-renowned prestige establishments, ¼ of which are in the luxury segment, its large reception capacity and its refined gastronomy.
The destination has experienced a sharp decline in MICE activity in its territory due to the health crisis that impacted the tourism sector worldwide in 2020. These impacts are still being felt in the first quarter of 2021, when many events are still being digitalised, postponed or cancelled. In order to cope with this and with the aim of reviving the MICE sector, local operators have adapted to the health constraints in order to welcome the public in the near future in the best possible conditions. Geneva Tourism is also launching a revival strategy through two actions: its participation in the Suisse Learning Expedition and the creation of the Hybrid City Alliance.
The Suisse Learning Expedition is a digital event organised by the Suisse Convention Bureau which will take place from 12 to 15 April. This event will bring together the destinations of Bâle, Montreux-Riviera, Lausanne and Geneva and aims to bring together event and seminar organisers. The exchanges will be centred around 4 major themes relating to the future of the events sector, which will be brought to the fore each day by a different city, the themes being :
- The joy of living
60 professionals from the sector are expected to attend in order to exchange, share their experiences, fuel the debate and inspire the organisation of future MICE events. Thematic webinars, round tables, testimonies of sector operators are on the programme of this event. Geneva will be the destination that will close these 4 days of debates and exchanges.
Geneva also became on 16 December 2020 one of the founding members of the Hybrid City Alliance alongside the convention bureaus of Ottawa, The Hague, Prague, Durban and Cannes. This alliance consists of promoting a common multi-hub hybrid strategy, as hybrid events have become essential during this unprecedented period when physical events are largely prohibited.
The alternative solution of hybrids allows regional and international events to be organised in complete safety. Hybridisation also brings many advantages to both organisers and participants, such as increased audience size, time savings and cost savings. The sites of the various destinations belonging to the Alliance hosting congresses and other events will be similar in terms of size, reception, offer and technical expertise.
With these initiatives, Geneva is in line with the recovery of the MICE sector already initiated by other destinations such as Berlin, Paris Ile-de-France, Singapore, Strasbourg and Cannes.