Meet in Reykjavík: Bakground, roule and operation
Background and operation of Meet in Reykjavík
A major part of the economic growth in Iceland since 2010 can be attributed to the significant growth of the tourism industry. Tourist services linked to conferences, meetings, incentive trips and international events (MICE) are an important source of opportunity over the next few years, as the city of Reykjavík and its outlying areas boast of facilities that are fully comparable to that of other neighbouring cities engaged in marketing themselves as conference, meeting and event cities. Reykjavík, for example, ranks fifth out of the 20 Nordic cities in which the sustainability index is calculated as regards meeting and conference venues. Our natural environs, culture and society are our resources, and the Reykjavík area has a unique blend of infrastructure that fulfils international standards as well as appearing charmingly rural. Iceland’s uniqueness lies, in the opinion of many, in its abundance of open spaces, beauty, hospitality and peacefulness as well as its access to environmentally friendly energy. There are considerable interests involved for destinations that are developing their reputation and popularity within the MICE sector, as the market is considered to be one of the key elements of economic upswings due to its profitability. In addition, studies show that this market specifically encourages technological development and strengthens business opportunities and the development of targeted service standards and infrastructure (UNWTO 2014).
Meet in Reykjavík was established in January 2012 for the purpose of creating a core organisation for the long-term advancement into the MICE market. The goal is that Reykjavík and its surroundings will be among the most popular conference and event cities in Europe by 2020 and a leading force in policy making processes for MICE tourism in Iceland. The operation consists of the partnership of several public bodies and private entities, or “Public-Private Partnership”, where the core members are the City of Reykjavík, Icelandair Group and the Harpa Concert and Conference Centre together with numerous other operators that consider themselves to benefit from the increased number of conference, meeting and event guests to Iceland. Meet in Reykjavík is a non-profit enterprise. Its value is based on its shared market advancement into overseas MICE markets and in the strengthening of interest-based networks.
Meet in Reykjavík operates within the international competitive market at marketing Reykjavík and its surroundings as a venue for conferences, meetings, incentives and events. Diverse marketing actions are used in an effort to create a positive and unique image in the minds of customers. Meet in Reykjavík is a member of international associations within the MICE market, such as ICCA, and was among the founding members of the European National Convention Bureaux Strategic Alliance.
The main objects of advancing into the MICE market is to maximise foreign currency income from the tourism sector and to increase MICE-derived income for the City of Reykjavík as well as to increase the number of jobs provided by the industry. Another goal is to create a knowledge-based society as a leading entity in MICE market policy formulation in Iceland. An increase in the number of MICE travellers will lead to decreased seasonal fluctuations, better use of infrastructure and travel within Iceland for the most part organised by professionals.
To increase the proportion of conference, meeting, incentives and event guests to Iceland so that this proportion will be 11% of the tourism market by the year 2020.
- To market and present the destination and member associations to the international competitive market and to participate in international collaboration.
- To be a source of information about the Icelandic conference and event market and to handle the reception of foreign MICE organisers and reporters.
- To connect foreign MICE purchasers with Icelandic Meet in Reykjavík members.
- To build a community of Icelandic companies in the conference, incentive and event market and thereby create a venue for specialist knowledge in Iceland.
- To promote professional work practices within the sector, obtain statistical information on MICE travellers and be a leading force in policy formulation for MICE travel services.
- To assist Icelanders who wish to attend overseas conferences by helping to create marketing material and providing other support. These are called the Meet in Reykjavík ambassadors who collectively form an Ambassador Club.