Basic Event Information
Date: 26 November 2020
Location: Budapest, Hungary & ONLINE
Organizer: Turizmus.com, Visual Europe Group
Client: Business Traveller Hungary
Event Type: Virtual Trade Show
EVENT CATEGORY: DIGITAL EVENTS | Virtual Event – Virtual Trade Show
Event description and key objectives
MICE Business Day is a boutique show with a personal and friendly atmosphere. Suppliers come mainly from Hungary and the Central European region. MICE Business Day Budapest was organized 6th time but this year virtually. Virtual MICE Business Day Budapest was a unique event, a virtual MICE conference combined with an online B2B 1-2-1 workshop. An event that came directly to your screen /home/office!
These were the parts of the event:
- Virtual welcome party
- Virtual conference + exhibition
- Virtual 1-2-1 workshop
A virtual event which helped to restore and developing business connections, growing network, and showing the way for the restart of the travel industry. During the online workshop hotels with meeting facilities, venues and program providers could present their offers to the representatives of event organizers, associations and corporate travel agencies.
The pandemic situation crossed over every plan we made about the event. This new situation was brand new for everyone in the tourism and event sector but we plenty of useful information on this project and positive energy from the professionals.
During the summer there were ups and downs. There were mitigations and tightening. We wanted to organize it in a hybrid way but in the end, we decided to organize it on a virtual platform.
• to turn the originally live event into a virtual conference and workshop
• finding the best platforms for such a complex event (welcome party , conference, 1-2-1 workshop)
• convincing the exhibitors that a virtual event can also be successful for them
• as a for-profit company the budgeting of the virtual event was a huge challenge
• Instead of the originally planned fam trip we had to find other ways to attract hosted buyers – the number of registered “hosted buyers” reached the last year’s participant number.
• convincing the decision-makers that the MICE Business Day as a virtual event can also be successful and effective
• learning new methods of virtual events organizing that is totally different from live events
The audience, without exception, consisted of MICE market professionals. All important Hungarian players of the sector were represented among the audience. DMCs, PCOs, agencies, hotels, event venues, service providers. Since the event had a strong industrial focus, it was an important goal to showcase as many technologies and approaches as possible on how our industry can operate in these difficult times. In the technical implementation, we used resorted to the use of virtual reality, a web-based online solution and a physical broadcast studio. We considered it important that the event also serves a strong educational purpose. The topics of the conference, the presentations and the communication were fixed in all respects ro the positive, motivating message according to which the crisis is over, that we have settled our ranks, here are plenty of solutions and impact studies on how we can hold events in the times ahead.
Adapting to the situation, that’s what we’ve always been the best at. We have proven that it is not necessary to look for a single perfect platform for an event, because by breaking down the event into its constitutive elements, it can be held perfectly well by coordinating several platforms. Moreover, in our case, we can proudly say that we achieved not only similar but better results, as if we had imposed a single platform onto the users.
Virtual reality: we hosted a welcome party for hosted buyers and partners in the event venue. We have demonstrated that if a platform that requires extreme digitization is used for the right purposes, it may be easily used by a much less digitized audience. During the welcome party, there was no pressure, dates or tasks on the participants. They have apparently perceived this as a game so they learned comfortably on the platform and we had a resounding success.
Broadcast studio: Professional studio with the same technical equipment as television programs (including a 30 m2 LED screen, professional cameras, media servers, etc.)
Online platform for one-to-one meetings: with a transparent and easy-to-use web interface that stylizes the floor plans and stands of traditional exhibitions, video communication with one click.
Virtual reality: We created our own private event space. Users have created custom avatars to suit their tastes, making their virtual characters diverse. Following a brief greeting, we allowed users to freely explore the platform at their own pace. 13 of the guests were 65 years old and all of them gave extremely positive feedback on this.
Broadcast studio: 30 m2 LED screen, professional sound, light and video technology, 20 technical staff worked on the performance. Between each performance, we disinfected the stage and equipment. The toilet was disinfected after each use. Only people with face masks were allowed in the entire studio area. Body temperature was measured at the entrance. Food and drink have only been consumed in a prepackaged form on the designated place.
Online platform: tor one-to-one meetings, we considered it important to provide an easily transparent platform, so we developed a unique user interface that resembled the map and stands of a real exhibition. The essence of the “digital primitive” approach is to put functionality above all else. On the map of the exhibition, they click on a booth that looks like in reality. In addition, exhibitors and buyers could had opportunity to contact each other directly at any time to collect leads in addition to existing appointments
The event consisted of 3 parts:
• Virtual Welcome Party
• Virtual Conference
• Virtual 1-2-1 workshop.
• 100 registered Hungarian and international buyers
• 31 exhibitors
• 250 registered professionals (buyers and visitors)
Conference: 14 presentations – round table discussions, online interviews. Altogether 20 Hungarian and international speakers. Around 250 professionals followed the online conference.
Workshop: 31 Hungarian and international exhibitors. 372 online appointments.
MICE Business Day Virtual got an extremely big media coverage on the Hungarian market, bigger than ever before, regarding the fact that this was the very first virtual event in MICE tourism sector in Hungary.
Although there were less international participants than earlier, we received many positive feedback from the surrounding countries. The news of MICE Business Day appeared at all kind of platforms available: print magazine, online magazine, Facebook, Instagram, LinkedIn etc. The number of publications appeared about the event was beyond 100 articles mainly on the Hungarian market.
The use of sustainable practices
- Only naturally degradable and non-polluting substances were used for cleaning and disinfection.
- We only served fair-trade coffee to customers in 100% recyclable packaging
- Raw materials for catering meals were sourced from local producers, thereby reducing the ecological footprint and supporting local small businesses
- We minimized personal contact throughout the organization and implementation process, thus minimising the ecological footprint of the Event by traveling as little as possible
- When selecting the lecturers, we tried to keep an even gender ratio, so that both women and men were represented 50-50% amongst the lecturers and presenters.
- Only low-consumption LED lamps were used in the lighting equipment
- We completely eliminated disposable plastic tools and packaging from the event.
- Selective waste collection
- To minimize hazardous waste (eg used rechargeable batteries instead of simple batteries in microphones)