NXTMICE kicks off the rebuilding of the event industry

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CEO Erik-Jan Ginjaar: “The MICE industry has the guts!”

After so many weeks of being on hold, the international MICE industry is ready to relaunch. And Postillion Hotels Netherlands is ready to kick it off with the first one-and-a-half-metre meeting to be held in the Netherlands: NXTMICE. CEO Erik-Jan Ginjaar says, “The events industry is a market that runs on momentum. Once that first domino falls, we’re on our way to a profitable future. But we have to dare to make that first move.”  

It’s been a rough year for everyone, but perhaps no industry has fared worse than the MICE industry. “Every type of meeting became impossible, borders closed, everything cut us right to the bone.” Only by everyone putting their backs into it, Ginjaar says, is there any hope of getting the ball rolling again and making live events profitable once more. “The only way to survive in The New Now is to establish an industry-wide approach. We can only regain the confidence of organisers and participants by working together. Only working together can we bring the investments back.” 

“Only working together can we bring the investments back.”

Restoring confidence

To get that momentum going as quickly as possible, Postillions Hotels didn’t wait around: the minute that it was allowed (June 2), they hosted a meeting of 20 of the Netherlands’ most prominent MICE experts for a roundtable discussion. It was a desperately needed initiative to get people back to the table, figuratively and literally. Together they brainstormed about ways to regain the confidence of event organisers, and convince potential attendees to come back to live events. Meanwhile, via livestream, hundreds of events industry professionals watched the proceedings remotely. “Together, we went looking for answers to the question: how can we make The New Now profitable?” Ginjaar says.

“Together, we went looking for answers to the question: how can we make The New Now profitable?”

Public health the priority, but within reason

Ginjaar does understand that The New Now means keeping a certain distance and observing certain rules. “So of course with NXTMICE we’re taking all the necessary steps to make the meeting as safe and responsible for everyone as we need to. That means following the government guidelines to the letter.” The CEO says that public health will always be the top priority, but strikes a different tone when he starts talking about the number of people allowed access to locations. “What I want to see is that for everyone, we can let go of the attendee maximums and protocols as quickly as possible. Public health is the main thing, but we have to get the people in!” Here again, he emphasizes that it has to be all about the cooperation. “To really get beyond the protocols on numbers of people, we need an international lobby. We need to share the data about what works and what doesn’t. That’s how you convince the authorities that you can take the next step. That you have to take the next step!”

“What I want to see is that for everyone, we can let go of the attendee maximums and protocols as quickly as possible”

That’s why he stresses that this lobby has to get off the ground sooner rather than later. “Because this market has the guts! We have to show that there’s one country, or maybe the European Union as a whole, that’s ready to be the first to relax the protocols and the numbers. So we can get back to meeting, at fairs, at conferences, at events, as quickly as possible.  And so that we can lead the way to the future of the international MICE industry.”

“As soon as that first domino falls, we’ll know it’s going to come out right in the end. But until that happens, until no one knows, until no one dares, this market’s going to stay closed.”

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