by Padraic Gilligan, Managing Partner, SoolNua
From time to time I have been asked where I go for good, on-line MICE content. Within the MICE industry there’s a plethora of good content so here’s my current list of sources. It’s a highly personal selection based on a combination of recommendations and random finds. As a MICE industry hot list it’s far for definitive so please feel free to share your own favourites in the comment box below and thanks to those who have already contributed suggestions for this amended version of the post!
1. On-line MICE Media
I have long been a fan of Martin Lewis’s suite of publications that fall under the CAT Publications banner. MeetPie.com is its on-line platform and can be relied upon to provide up-to-the minute news and thoughtful, often combative, industry analysis. I’m constantly impressed by the quality of the writing and always look forward to reading the commentary of James Lancaster, a fearless newbie to MICE whose editorials and blogs have already earned him more than a few arrows in the back.
Also on my Feedly are CITMagazine.com for their nicely laid out, easily digestible newsfeeds along with the US based MeetingNet (Barbara Scofidio, Sue Pelletier and Alison Hall) and Lisa Grimaldi’s excellent Meetings&Convention.com. International Meetings Review is the great on-line MICE industry consolidator of news where you can find the most up to date daily content from over 14 international publishers on an easy to search site. It also provides insightful video reporting from industry events by its founder and creator, James Latham. I also keep an eye on Meetingtheworld for its excellent destination reports.
I’m a big fan, too, of Meetings International, Roger Kellerman’s publication with top quality reporting from Atti Soenarso but tend to wait for print version with its gorgeous photography.
2. MICE Blogs
There are many blogs in the wider “events” space – Julius Solaris’s superb EventManagerBlog being the most well know. Jeff Hurt’s Velvet Chainsaw and Adrian Segar’s Conferences that work are also excellent. Toronto based Anne Thornley-Brown runs a suite a blogs accessible via her site at Executive Oasis including her daily blog for Cvent. Indeed the Cvent site itself is a source of excellent blog content by great writers whom I do not know personally like Toby Saltzman, Jennifer Steinke and many others.
The industry blogs that I read regularly are mainly by people I know personally so it becomes another way of keeping in touch. I read QuickMobile’s Tahira Endean’s cheery postings at Events, Life and Impact Points and Joan Eisenstodt’s regular musings on her website Eisenstodt.com . More recently I discovered Bruce McMillan’s Hacking the System, a provocative, well written blog that focuses on the challenges for destination marketers today. As a 20 year MICE veteran I’m seeking content that will inform me, challenge me, excite and delight me, even piss me off. I don’t want narcissistic, self congratulatory sales pitches dressed up as blogs.
3. Industry Associations
I belong to ICCA, FICP and Site and benefit greatly from the content that these associations disseminate, particularly the paper.li digest and the Meetings PR blog written by Mathijs Vleeming of ICCA. However, I unashamedly plunder content from ADMEI, MPI, PCMA, ASAE, IACC, IAPCO and any other 3 or 4 letter acronym you might care to mention. Each association acts as a filter so what’s posted on their website is entirely relevant and usually engaging. Often you can logon to free streaming from their live events or watch content from these events at a later date.
And speaking of live streaming, Event Alley produces a weekly show which is broadcast live, usually on Wednesdays featuring news, interviews and discussions from the intriguing world of meetings and events. Presented by the uber-cheerful Lindsay Rosenthal of Events for Good along with Brandt Krueger (metroConnections) and Tahira Endean (QuickMobile), this is a great, easy source of content. And if you miss the live show you can watch it on playback!
4. Social Media – Facebook, Linkedin and Twitter
I find great MICE content on Facebook, Linkedin and Twitter too and post frequently to these platforms myself. Our industry pivots around people so, unsurprisingly, Facebook – normally reserved for personal postings – is a great place to keep up to date with industry colleagues who are happy to share some of their personal stories via text and pictures. Linkedin Groups, especially, can be a rich source of content as the group category usually (but not always) defines the areas of interest. SiteGlobal, ADMEI and IMEX are particularly active groups where often vibrant exchanges take place.
Speaking of IMEX, Senior Community Manager Miguel Neves, that doyen of digital, curates a truly comprehensive collection of MICE content at IMEX’s On-line-Inspiration Hub on ScoopIt. Check it out here. He tells me this will shortly be integrated with the IMEX website for seamless access to great content.
5. Non industry sources
But what about non MICE specific content? Personally I keep updated on technology for travel as I believe this is the big game changer within MICE both now and into the future. Thankfully there are two great sites in this space – Tnooz and Skift. Both presents daily news updates on travel and technology in an attractive, easily accessible format. Both report with fairness and accuracy but aren’t afraid to raise important questions. The breath of content is wide too, covering new technology start-ups as well as issues around how destinations market themselves.
Outside of that I love the Lifehack site and always find something really compelling there every day. Sometimes its a bit cheesy so I post it on my children’s Facebook pages to embarrass them. I look at Monocle and Wallpaper every day too because I love cultural analysis and design and I look at AdWeek to keep up with the latest ads – definitely a way to understand the present zeitgeist. There are amazing resources on the HubSpot site about digital marketing and recently I’ve been taking a feed from the Content Marketing Institute’s excellent site. For destinations and brands, creating demand will increasingly be about how fresh, new and engaging your content is. I’ve also been a long time consumer of the excellent daily digest from PRDaily.
Pádraic Gilligan is Managing Partner of SoolNua, a boutique consultancy offering digital and traditional marketing services to destinations and global MICE enterprises