The Sharing Economy and the MICE Industry

What can be said about the “new normal” sharing economy in the MICE industry that already hasn’t? Not so long ago, companies like Uber and Airbnb were the new kids on the block, but those days are gone. The sharing economy along with innovation in general has become ubiquitous and longer established rivals like hotels and taxis have had to step aside or up the ante by reducing prices.

Even as recently as three years ago we kept hearing that Airbnb would never penetrate the MICE industry (though some of us were a bit more skeptical) but it is slowly seeping into our life. Last IBTM in Barcelona, we met an extraordinary amount of members and clients who had opted out of Barcelona’s oft-overpriced accommodations and opted in for trendy modernist flats in the heart of the city. And it’s no longer just for the “relief value” due to competitive prices; in our era of mindfulness and healthy lifestyles, some travellers truly do prefer a “home away from home” which affords them more flexibility than even the poshest of hotels. There is even talk over at Airbnb headquarters of starting a meeting planner section in the near future.

Same goes for Uber, once valued mostly for its competitive prices, now is being preferred to traditional cabs for ease of payment (who has time to exchange currency these days?) and choice. Need a helicopter? Uber Chopper has one.

Sounds great, right? But as the newcomers grow, they start to feel less like a sharing economy and more like an access economy, with all the perils attached. Uber, (worth around $50B as of mid-2015) keeps up to 30% commission from its drivers’ gross revenue, leaving many drivers making less than minimum wage. And since 2015, Airbnb has systematically hidden the price for their listings in the hosts’ currency, and in the exchange rate, Airbnb adds an additional 3%. This is called “Dynamic Currency Conversion” or DCC.

What does this mean for the near future? Will the word get out? Will there ever truly be a “sharing economy” that is fair? Or at least a bit closer to the ideal? We’d love to hear your thoughts!

Meet Our New Member for Switzerland

We are thrilled to introduce our newest member to the family, Felix Events in Switzerland. Felix Event Management has 25 years of experience as a Swiss DMC.

Felix Event Management is an exciting new team in the event and incentive market. They are experts in meetings, incentives, events and product launches, golf groups as well as interesting and unusual activities.

Switzerland always has been a neutral and safe country and is located in the very heart of Europe. Our country can be reached through the airports in Zurich, Geneva, Berne, Basel and Lugano (named in the order of importance) or by train. Switzerland has four (4) official languages (German, French, Italian and Romansch) thus offers a great diversity of culture, history and food. It is a tiny country but we have many lovely lakes, a lot of astonishing mountains and quite some picturesque farmland trails.

Switzerland is a unique country offering distinctive architecture, enchanting nature, wonderful castles, palaces and museums, a diverse culture, and a warm and welcoming atmosphere. All of this gives our country a special charm which will make your visit memorable. Switzerland is a popular destination for international MICE events. Its well-developed infrastructure makes it ideal for corporate and business events, as well as for private trips, incentives, congresses, and world-class festivals. In Switzerland you will find state-of-the-art conference halls and venues suitable for any event, as well as great hotels and restaurants to suit your requirements.

Who likes Jazz and Wine?

Cavas Codorniu will be hosting World of DMCs’ stand event at IBTM 2015! Come by for good vibes, delicious wine, and fabulous conversation with other MICE professionals.

CAVAS Codorniu, located just 30 minutes from Barcelona and 40 minutes from Sitges, have welcomed visitors since the beginning of the last century. Designed by the architect Josep Puig i Cadafalch, were declared a national historic-artistic monument in 1976 and represent one of the most prominent examples of modernist architecture in our country. Codorníu is a unique and singular place for your meetings, product presentations, conventions or events. The diversity of indoor and outdoor spaces as well as the versatility of them makes it possible to adapt to the needs of each client. The winery also offers a wide range of activities related to viticulture, gastronomy, nature, culture, art or architecture.