6 min read

The MICE — meetings, incentives, conferences, and exhibitions — industry experienced a period of unprecedented change over the last two years due to the pandemic. Facing the challenge of in-person restrictions, event organisers had to get creative to continue operations online. This led to more rapid adoption and experimentation with new technologies.

While we’re happy to see the return of in-person events, this period of experimentation has left its mark on the industry with entrepreneurs and professionals alike discovering new ways to engage with people in-person and online. Those that take advantage of these emerging tech trends will discover new opportunities to increase attendance, engagement and revenue. 

Here are the top tech trends opening up new possibilities for MICE professionals in 2023 and beyond. 

Using data analytics to tap into new markets 

At first, the switch to virtual events was simply a necessity due to social distancing, but what many MICE professionals have found is that continuing to include a virtual element allows them to tap into a larger, global audience.

However, simply making an event virtual (and thereby accessible) doesn’t mean organisers will automatically attract global audiences. In the past, lead generation for events was done manually — event organisers and sales teams would create marketing campaigns, reach out to individuals one by one and hope for the best. In order to carry out a broader, more accelerated, and targeted search, they’ll need help. That’s where NLP comes in. 

NLP (Natural Language Processing) is a machine learning-based technique that analyses and extracts meaning from human language. This technique can quickly analyse large amounts of text online for specific keywords and generate audience lists based on this information. NLP also allows a business to modify and customise search parameters based on specific needs. This enables them to reduce time spent on targeting new leads, and better allocate resources towards conversion.

For example, an event organiser could pull data such as company names and details, the names of decision-makers, and financial information from current news articles. This kind of data gives them a more complete picture of what’s going on in a sector than an organic search would.

Besides targeting the right audiences and creating new sales opportunities, data analytics allows MICE businesses to create more impactful events. For example, it can give you insights into who is coming to your event, why they’re attending, and what they do once they get there.

For one, audience analytics can give you insights into the topics, themes and speakers that will attract your target audience most. This means organisers can extract learnings from their attendees’ behaviour, and create future events personalised to their needs.

Finally, audience analytics can help event organisers improve crowd management. You can extend or cut short experiences like signing tables or Q&As based on crowd density and participation or send out notifications that can nudge attendees from one spot to another.

Enriching content with extended reality 

Speaking of breaking down barriers, Extended Reality (XR) is another field that’s helping to break down physical barriers in the event space.

At TNW 2022, Europe’s leading tech festival, one of the highlights this year included a surprise keynote by President Zelensky, who beamed in via hologram.

Zach Butler, Events Director at TNW says, “Hologram technology really has the potential to transform events and conferences by enabling global voices to be heard, whether they’re joining from across the world or from the battlefield.”

Within the XR family, Augmented Reality (AR) is being used to enhance content by bringing products and experiences closer to audiences. This can be done via smart glasses or mobile app, adding a whole new level of interactivity. 

One recent example was at Snap Inc.’s first fashion and beauty event in Dubai. Event attendees were able to virtually “try on” clothes in a mirror using Snapcodes.

And the possibilities are endless. Think: new ways to virtually test out products and experiences, AR scavenger hunts around event spaces to increase attendee engagement, and new ways for audiences to interact with keynotes.

Making events more playful with gamification

With so many events globally vying for audiences’ attention, how can MICE businesses make theirs stand out? 

One way is to implement games and competitions into the experience. This could include adding quizzes and trivia questions to keynotes and round tables to make them more interactive, adding a ‘points’ system which users can collect by visiting talks and booths, or creating playful entertainment like scavenger hunts, lotteries or social media competitions.

By relying on technology, like customizable event management platforms and software, these kinds of games can be seamlessly added for both in-person and virtual attendees, driving engagement for all.

What’s in store for the future?

So far, we’ve discussed how technology can be used to augment hybrid and in-person events, but what happens when technology takes centre stage?

Gardens by the Bay, a national garden and iconic horticultural destination, has been a frontrunner in experimenting with new digital experiences that are set to completely transform the industry. 

“Gardens by the Bay first experimented with digital twins in 2021, building a digital twin of the iconic SuperTree Grove to host a National Day Virtual Performance,” says Bryant Kok, senior director of digital transformation at Gardens by the Bay. But that was just the start.

“As technology continues to improve, in particular the proliferation of 5G which provides high bandwidth and low-latency network connectivity, we are now focusing on developing real business cases for MICE events,” says Kok. “More recently, Gardens by the Bay signed an MOU with M1/ESPL to provide 5G connectivity and immersive metaverse experiences in our indoor spaces, and we have received a fair amount of interest in virtual weddings/concerts."

Kok also cites the metaverse as one of the most exciting tech trends for MICE businesses: 

“The further development of the metaverse presents an infinite number of ways to engage our audience beyond the confines of our physical space and offer interactive phy-gital experiences for our visitors. While the metaverse will not be able to replace the physical interactions that are important to us as humans, it provides additional options for MICE travellers to reduce time and expenses spent on travelling to attend meetings or seminars and promote more inclusiveness.”

Metaverse-based events are still relatively new — and there are plenty of failed ventures in the space to point to — but it’s undeniable that this new experimental, and experiential, platform hosts new opportunities to surprise, delight, and fascinate audiences.

Want to embrace some of the new tech trends but don’t know how to get started? At Tcube, we have a suite of programmes to support your development, trial and implementation of innovative new technology solutions. Contact us at to find out what we can do to support you in your digital transformation journey.