m&i are evolving the format of MICE trade shows with their exciting new event m&i Fest. Held in Marrakesh from 17-21 March 2024, this brand new event format offers a unique experience for buyers and suppliers, with enhanced destination time and opportunities for meaningful connections and facetime. For the first time, m&i will combine the best elements of a large trade show with the intimacy, high quality meetings, and value of their successful long-running m&i Forums. The introduction of dedicated exhibitor space will allow brands to powerfully tell their story.
With around 240 buyers and 230 suppliers, m&i Fest is expected to be the must attend event of 2024 and a landmark event for the MICE industry.
Richard Barnes, CEO of Worldwide Events who run m&i Fest commented;
“After the devastating earthquake, we want to show our support for Morocco, and one of the most vital ways that all of us in the travel and events industries can do this is by continuing to promote tourism and MICE business to the country. Now more than ever it’s important to support Morocco, their people, and their local businesses, and all our partners are very keen to welcome delegates to m&i Fest next year.
m&i Fest will bring together the best buyers in the sector with the most relevant suppliers. Suppliers will be able to showcase their brands, and buyers will be able to meet suppliers in an intimate and focused way without walking around a large exhibition centre. This event is designed for the needs of both and will be our highest value MICE industry event. We wanted to give brands the opportunity to have more visibility and provide them with a platform to tell their story. That platform is m&i Fest.
m&i Fest joins the stable of events that we currently organise. We’ve been running events for 20 years, constantly fine tuning what we do to offer greater value to both suppliers and buyers.
At every m&i event we always include a CSR activity. We don’t just intend to leave a footprint behind, we want to support and make a lasting impact on the community. We are working with our partners in Morocco to identify CSR activities at m&i Fest that will be most helpful to the relief effort and will support charities on the ground.”
m&i Fest is designed to attract the best buyers in the industry, by including a greater focus on authentic destination discovery and more opportunities to connect.
The programme is built around 3 core pillars: Develop, Discover & Celebrate. In the mornings there are 1-2-1 meetings where buyers and suppliers will have opportunities to create and develop great relationships. For the first time there will be dedicated branded areas giving businesses and destinations enhanced visibility and a unique platform to showcase their services. In the afternoons attendees choose their own pathway, creating shared experiences between buyers and suppliers with the time to explore the destination and discover exclusive venues. Evenings are all about networking in style, with exquisite local cuisine, and high-octane events giving more opportunity for buyers and suppliers to connect in a more relaxed setting, whilst celebrating our wonderful industry. The festival nature of the event will encourage authentic relationship building, fostering an appetite to learn and reducing appointment fatigue.
Barnes added; “Feedback from both buyers and suppliers is that they want a break from the trade show format of appointment followed by appointment, normally with a long walk in between. m&i Fest will have sessions that are business focused where RFP’s can be exchanged by legitimate buyers, and then sessions that allow more connection and content to be shared. In our research with both buyers and suppliers the feedback told us that creating connections and having engaging content whilst still allowing the serendipity that networking creates, are of key importance.“
Arjen Van der Linden from Van der Valk Hotel Schiphol A4 said; “m&i Fest combines the advantages of a big exhibition and the quality 1-2-1 meetings delivered by m&i. That combination is what attracted me most.”
Johannes Aign from Hilton Munich Airport added; “m&i Fest will be attracting the best buyers, which for us as a supplier gives us a great opportunity to get a lot of new business there.”