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Most Russian MICE events take place in Turkey

MICE Russia – 2012 Report

Generally Russian markets are quite resilient and the MICE sector in Russia is no exception with most professionals anticipating growth in excess of 17% in the next year.

Despite what is widely read in the press, the financial status of many Russian companies is strong, inflation is under control and consumer spending continues to increase. Whilst a challenging market, double digit-growth is generally attainable.

With robust sales and positive balance sheets many more Russian companies than ever are looking towards MICE products to ensure competitiveness by attending or organising International Meetings and Conventions. Incentive tours have become regular events for most companies ensuring loyalty from staff and leading distributors by organising memorable trips to destinations both near and far.

The market has become extremely competitive with larger players consolidating their positions while smaller companies continue to grow in numbers. Specialised Round Tables(such as the event that took place during the Moscow International MICE Forum in March) are happening more often providing leading personalities with the opportunity of discussing the challenges and problems facing their  profession.

The market is primarily dominated by the larger Tour Operators with specialised MICE departments. A growing number of companies offering targeted MICE services exist in Russia and a great deal of business is also conducted by smaller agencies. In addition many domestic Event Organisers are now also using their contacts and experience to arrange events abroad.

Estimations of who operates the Russian MICE sector are:

  • 37% Large Operators with specialised MICE departments
  • 29% Specialised MICE companies
  • 24% Small (non-specialised) agencies
  • 10% Events organisers

During the Moscow International MICE Forum the poll made from the 1,300+ professional visitors provided some interesting statistics:

  •     37% of those polled organise 10-12 MICE events abroad each year
  •     52% organised events with 40-100 participants
  •     Incentives and Seminars are the most popular MICE events with 66%
  •     63% anticipate that clients will increase MICE spending by more than 35%
  •     55% said MICE turnover this year will be in the €.100,000-500,000 sector

So where do the most Russian MICE Events take place?
Turkey is the undisputed champion thanks to facilities, flights, price and no-visa policy. However more than 70% polled indicated that they are now looking for alternatives. High in the list of interest are Cyprus, Spain, Italy, Croatia, Austria, United Kingdom, Ireland, UAE and Portugal. Favourites for long hall destinations appear to be Hong Kong, Singapore, Mexico, Dominican Republic, Thailand and Fiji.

With a market that is estimated to be worth more than €.500 million annually how can International MICE suppliers tap into this lucrative potential? It’s a challenge as Russia is not an easy market. However with hard work and tenacity to overcome the cultural differences the potential results are excellent. Most Russian MICE groups want the best facilities, memorable events and are prepared to pay for this. The largest hurdle is the Visa situation, be certain to have this under control. Suppliers will often find themselves competing with other destinations rather than local competitors, so ensure that offers are clear and indicate exactly what is and most important, what is not included. They don’t like unpleasant surprises! Personal contact is essential and participation at the specialised MICE events in Russia is required. Once a contact is made, it will generally be a loyal contact that will provide excellent future business.

This report was written by Kim Waddoup, who as organiser of the annual Moscow International MICE Forums is considered as one of the leading expert in the Russian MICE Sector. All statistics quoted are based on results of questionnaires polled amongst professional visitors at the March 2012 event. The Moscow International MICE Forum welcomed 90 participating companies covering 58 countries and attracted 1.350 professional visitors. The date of the next event is 18 March 2013.

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