In the past few years, the MICE industry has gained popularity worldwide, owing to the increase in the frequency of the various events and meetings being organized globally, and Kenya has not been left behind.
At first, the majority of the people involved in this industry were mostly older people, however, at the moment we continue to see young people slowly getting in the event zone. Young people are now being involved as speakers, suppliers, moderators, exhibitors and among others. Over the past few years, Kenya has successfully hosted International meetings, conferences and exhibitions. According to Statistics by the Events Industry Council, the Tourism Industry is the largest employer of persons between 18 and 35 across the world. It is estimated that out of 10 persons within these age bracket, one of them works or has worked at a Tourism affiliated organization.
Having had the privilege to be amongst the young women working in the M.I.C.E industry in Kenya, it has been an honour. It has enabled me to network with stakeholders from different industries, which has in turn grown me as an individual, and career-wise. I have been able to identify some services that would heavily benefit the industry in my area of expertise. We probably have all attended at one point a meeting, event or conference that had a pretty low turn out due to the fact that the organizer simply did not market enough or to the right audience using the right platforms. Being a digital marketer, I really feel disappointed when I attend such forums because I always wish that I could have helped them market their events better. As time goes by, event organizers will have no option but to incorporate digital in their marketing efforts so why not bring them on board now?
You probably are thinking wow! Sounds like she’s been having a good time!! It’s not all bed of roses though as I may have made it sound here, as a young woman in M.I.C.E. I have experienced some challenges, that if not taken care of as soon as possible, very many other young people will experience the same challenges. Not only women but men as well. Many times I have tried to approach event organizers in order to show them how important digital marketing can be for their events, but most of them suggest that they have it under control just because they are posting about it. However, it’s not just about posting on social media about your event, it’s more than that. The copy, the hashtags you use on your posts, the visuals, the look & feel of your website all matter when it comes to marketing your event on digital platforms.
Another challenge I have experienced is being looked down upon by people much older than me. I have gotten comments like, “You are millennial, why should we involve you in conferences that are discussing issues that are above your level?”
The opportunities in this industry are never ending and the more events, meetings and conferences; we have, the more we will be able to identify these opportunities through networking. Which means, that there is still hope for young people to be involved in these events.
One of the growing concerns for me in this industry is the fact that we need to involve more young people in these events. Not just in order to provide job opportunities for them, but to also create a platform for them to speak out on behalf of the rest of the youth, as delegates.
Other than my views, I am grateful for the chances offered to me by the different organizers I have interacted with and had the opportunity to work with.