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MICE2018 - the people’s show

From the February 2018 issue.

MICE has cemented its place on the global scene, and will return in 2018 as a key industry influencer and the hottest expo ticket in the Southern Hemisphere.

If you could pack a suitcase and commit to a year of travel – purely for work purposes – you could easily fill your calendar attending coffee tradeshows, conferences, certification events, origin, and competitions.

Australians are open to travelling across the oceans and expanding their coffee experiences, but last year’s Melbourne International Coffee Expo (MICE) proved the global coffee scene is looking to Oz to enhance their knowledge of the Asia Pacific coffee culture.

MICE2017 attracted 9646 visitors, an increase of 4.7 per cent on 2016, and welcomed visitors from 41 countries, an increase of 14 per cent on 2016’s event. The show attracted guests from as far as Nepal, Namibia, Guam, France, Myanmar, and Mexico. Event organisers are confident the seventh installation of MICE will continue the tradeshow’s success as one of the most-loved on the coffee industry calendar.

“MICE is as a must-attend event on the global expo circuit and undoubtedly the first big event on the coffee calendar for the year,” says MICE Show Director Simon Coburn. “We might be a small industry in comparison to others, but our impact is huge. International travellers see the event as one of the most important in the Australasia market, a place to do business, network, and become educated on our unique Australian coffee culture – it’s also a good excuse for international guests to tack on a holiday to a country most have on their bucket list but deem too far away.”

MICE will return to the Melbourne Showgrounds in 2018 from 22 to 24 March 2018. Last year’s show saw the highest number of visitor attendance from roasters, representing more than 30 per cent of attendees, and up three per cent on the 2016 event. This was followed by café owners, senior managers, baristas, supply chain representatives, equipment manufactures, green bean traders, government associations, hospitality staff, and growers.

A survey of visitors found that the most common reason for attending MICE was to see existing suppliers, representing more than 16 per cent of visitors, closely followed by those looking for new products, seeking new equipment, to taste different coffees, compare products or suppliers, and to watch the Australian Coffee Championships.

More than 25 per cent of visitors came with the intention to obtain product information, more than 23 per cent came solely to appoint suppliers, and 23 per cent came to purchase equipment.

“MICE really does cater to everyone’s needs. From day one back in 2012 when MICE was first launched, it was established with the core purpose to be a place industry members did business,” Coburn says. “Year on year, it’s growing considerably with many beneficial add-ons that increase value to our visitors, such as hosting the Australian Coffee Championship, Australian International Coffee Awards, and Melbourne Coffee Week, but it’s always stayed true to its core objective. No matter how big it becomes, that will always be the case.”

The 2017 edition of MICE had its largest presence of international media with 77 registered media attendees, mostly from Singapore, Malaysia, Japan, and China.

“It was incredible to host such a wide range of international media covering print, digital and social channels,” says Sarah Baker, BeanScene Editor and MICE Communications Manager. “Some journalists wanted an overview of the event, others followed specific baristas on the competition circuit, and some came to expose Australia’s coffee industry to countries that never knew we had such an intense coffee passion,”

More than 43 per cent of trade visitors heard about MICE via word of mouth, followed by social media and other exhibitors. Public visitors shared a similar focus, with more than 38 per cent of public attendees learning about the event via social media.

“These stats go to show that for an event such as MICE, which is incredibly visual, social media is crucial to reaching the public and encouraging them to experience our coffee world,” Baker says.

As for the trade industry, they didn’t need much encouragement. All floor space sold by the start of January 2018, with 133 exhibitors representing roasters, café owners, coffee traders, machine manufacturers, barista equipment, packaging companies, dairy and dairy alternative brands, ancillary suppliers and more.

“No longer is being part of MICE a way to tell the country you exist and that you’re committed to growing Australia’s industry,” Coburn says.

“It’s an opportunity to share your product or brand with the world. MICE is on the move, and the world is taking notice.” 

For more information visit www.internationalcoffeeexpo.com

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