Social innovation is a new solution that effectively meet the social need in a better way than existing solutions. It can be products, services, processes, models, etc. that have a social purpose. With the advancement in technology, a lot of social innovations take form of platformization which is the interface that help connect users, resources and tools via specific platform. In MICE industry, the use of platformization can help alleviate plenty of social issues such as Thai MICE Connect platform that will create equal opportunity for MICE stakeholders or Trawell PASS that help distribute income to local community. Thus, the use of social innovation like platform not only benefits MICE activities but also generates boons to the society as well.
Key Takeaways for MICE
Identity of Social innovation
Social innovation is a new solution that effectively meet the social need in a better way than existing solutions. It can be new products, new services, new practices, new processes or news regulations that have a social purpose. According to TEPSIE, a research collaboration between six European institutions, social innovation can be defined with 5 criteria. First, it must be new to the context in which it appears. Second, it must meet a social need in a positive or beneficial way. Third, it has to be put into practice. Forth, beneficiaries are involved or engaged in the development of the social innovation. Fifth, it aims to transform social relations by improving the access to power and resources of specific target group. Besides, the impact of social innovation can be classified into 3 scales including Niche which is a specific group of society, Regime which is social structure and rule of law, and Landscape which is the backdrop that sustain society such as politics and economy.
Social Innovation Ideas
With the wide scope of social innovation, a variety of social innovation ideas has been implemented which causes a positive impact to either society or economy.
The vast amount of data has been generated every day. Nearly everything we do leaves the data that can be recorded and stored. And when these data are analyzed, it will turn into an insight that can be used in many facets such as increasing efficiency, creating better understanding of customer demand and predicting future outcome. The use of the insight can create a huge impact on both society and economy. As a result, data-driven social innovations have been created, for example, Global Innovation Exchange (GIE). It is a platform for funders and social entrepreneurs to have access to high-quality and up-to-date information about existing innovations, funding opportunities and funding history. In MICE industry, data that collects from events such as attendee’s background, engagement statistics or attendee’s feedback can be analyzed for better understanding of attendee’s behavior. The organizer can make use of these insight in many ways including targeted marketing, session selection and planning, crowd flow control and personalized experiences that will enhance the overall value of the event resulting in an achievement in event’s objectives. Furthermore, the data that collect during an event are beneficial for development and improvement of future events. For example, C2 Montreal, Canadian event management company, gave RFID badges to attendees that collected their data and tracked their movement. Organizer can see where people gathered in order to provide enough food and assign service workers to facilitate attendees.
Collaborative economy, also known as sharing economy, refer to the marketplace where consumers lend their assets either for free or rent via the middleman platform. The most well-known sharing economy platforms are Airbnb, an online marketplace for arranging or offering accommodation and Uber, a ride-sharing services. People who gain benefits from collaborative economy are divided into 3 groups. The first group is platform providers who act as a middleman and collect fee when there is a matching between users and asset providers. The second group is users who have more variety of services to choose along with other privileges that platform providers offer such as cheaper price. The third group is asset providers who own idle assets and want to utilize them by lending via a platform. In MICE industry, there is a platform provider who use the concept of collaborative economy as well. For example, Showslice is the platform for event organizers who want to reduce their expenses via a sharing of production and event ideas with strictly confidential network of event organizers. The events will use the same set up including stage, chair and table and also use the same equipment since certain types of equipment like holographic projection are expensive, time consuming and hard to set up. Moreover, the use of shared production and equipment can help reduce wastes that generate from events as well.
Platformization in Action
Platformization is the interface that help connect users, resources and tools via specific platform such as mobile application and computer software. Due to the advancement in technology like artificial intelligence or cloud computing, platform is able to perform various tasks such as operations management, data gathering and enhancement of accessibility. In MICE industry, event planners have encountered with several issues from the manual method of event management including time-consuming processes and ineffective marketing campaign. Therefore, many platforms such as Cvent, Aventri and Eventbrite have been built to solve event planner’s problems from pre-event venue sourcing to post-event report analyzing. For example, the Western Retail Lumber Association (WRLA) utilized the Eventbrite’s registration platform in their trade show which is able to reduce the maximum time spent on check-in line from 2 hours to 3 minutes. Another example is the use of Aventri’s network module by Northstar Travel Group, a leading business information and marketing solution provider. The platform automates the process of connecting vendors and attendees of similar interests at events and meetings. As a result, it helps optimize appointments and save time about 5 hours per event.
Airbnb for work, an extension of Airbnb platform, is a space-finding platform for corporate meetings and business travelers. Space lenders are able to gain additional income from idle assets while the renters can rent a meeting space with the cheaper price and also get a new working atmosphere. Moreover, each space is guaranteed by platform provider that it has facilities that are suitable for meeting. In 2018, according to Aventri, an event management platform provider, around 700,000 companies used the “Airbnb for work” to book the meeting space and find local experiences. One of them is Nasdaq, an American stock exchange. It booked a meeting space via “Airbnb for work” for their personnel to do a team-building activity. The squad chose a pottery-making class which encouraged members to interact with each other resulting in an enhancement of team bond.
Trawell PASS is the platform that promote and develop local tourism by utilizing the advantage of Thai tourism industry and the opportunity of urban development. It helps preserve local communities that fade away because of time and transform local area into new tourist attractions with the co-development between platform provider and local society to promote the reach of hidden gem attractions. In present, Trawell PASS is working with 4 villages in Bangkok including Nang Loeng, Mahakan, Wang Krom and Ban Bat which has affected more than 3,800 local people to have a better quality of living standard.
“Thai MICE Connect” platform will be the most comprehensive E-marketplace for Thai MICE industry which is initiated by Thailand Convention and Exhibition Bureau (TCEB). Thai MICE Connect will take a model of government as a platform which is the foundation that help facilitate and connect related-business activities to all MICE stakeholders. The platform can be classified into 2 main parts. The first part is MICE Data Collection which is used for collecting data of MICE-related entrepreneurs. At the first phase, the initial database will be established from approximately 10,000 entrepreneurs in MICE’s value chain across 3 regions of Thailand (Central, Southern and North Eastern region). The one who cooperates with TCEB will be granted with star points which allow entrepreneurs to access to numerous privileges depending on the level of stars such as performance analytic, top priority of search result and free advertising on websites. The second part is MICE Marketplace which is an interface that show the information of MICE related entrepreneurs via website and mobile application in both Thai and English language. The database that collect from MICE Data Collection system will help facilitate both domestic and international users to access to the information of products, services, locations, buyers and sellers in MICE value chain. Thus, Thai MICE Connect will be the innovation platform for Thai MICE industry that help increase accessibility and create equal business opportunities for all MICE’s stakeholders.