My first year at Word of MICE

Nov 23, 2021 by Jaro in  B2B influencer marketing
eventprofs MICE digital influencer marketing

October marked one year of working for Word of MICE, a company created by Mariska Kesteloo. I was pleasantly surprised because it was Mariska who reminded me of this anniversary by preparing a surprise for me and my wife Alicia.

It is an amazing time in my life. I would like to share a personal story with you about this extraordinary year and working together with Mariska. Especially since we haven’t met once in the whole year of our collaboration. All the meetings with Mariska took place online on Zoom and using other online tools but we got along very well and I learned what the Dutch sense of humour means.

The first step

A few years ago, when my wife Alicia and I were living in the UK, I noticed that Mariska was actively sharing her knowledge about B2B influencer marketing in the MICE industry.

I was eager to know more about this topic as she was the only person covering B2B influencer marketing in the MICE industry. I was also very interested in using social media to promote tourism and destinations. We met through LinkedIn and corresponded from time to time.

The first time (and interestingly the only time) we met in the real world was in London. It was in February 2019 at the International Confex trade show. I remember that I came to the fair in London from Cambridge and, apart from the fair, my main goal was to meet Mariska personally.

For many months Alicia and I lived in London right next to the Kensington Olympia exhibition centre, so it was also a sort of sentimental journey to where we used to live.

International Confex at Kensington Olympia exhibition centre
International Confex, Olympia Exhibition Centre

It was great to meet Mariska in person before the Confex started. We met for a coffee at the Hilton London Olympia Hotel. Later I found out that she is more of a tea person than a coffee person like me. During the meeting, I learned that she has knowledge and experience in B2B marketing, influencer collaborations and destination marketing. And next, she has the mindset and determination of an entrepreneur.

I also watched Mariska’s presentation on B2B influencer marketing in the MICE industry at Confex that day. Afterwards we had lunch together at Alborz on Kensington High Street. So many common topics of conversation! We could not stop talking!

What I didn’t know at the time was that this meeting was the start of our collaboration. That’s why I believe it’s always a good idea to connect with interesting people online and to meet them in person afterwards.

The start of our collaboration

Mariska invited me to join IBTM World 2019 in Barcelona, she created a collaboration with Reed Exhibitions and wanted me to be on stage to talk about influencer marketing and digital marketing.


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Post udostępniony przez Word of MICE (@wordofmice)

Unfortunately I couldn’t join her in Barcelona at that time. It was not an easy time for me and just a few months later the pandemic started. The MICE industry was gripped by an unprecedented crisis. It was also a time of learning new skills and creating new collaborations.

After we returned to Poland and settled in Warsaw, I noticed that Mariska started her own podcast series in early 2020 called the B2B Influencer Marketing Chat Series. I remember that I didn’t miss any of the 10 podcasts and was a very engaging and active participant. This was of course noticed by Mariska and Alessia di Raimondo, her co-host during the first series of the podcasts.

I had the opportunity to reconnect with people that I already knew personally (Henrik von Arnold, Amanda Thurlow). Next, it was a fantastic opportunity to meet new people, such as Giovanna Lucherini, Ivo Franschitz, Keith Jenkins, Dries de Geyter, Dennis Lippens, Sabrina Meyers, Julius Solaris and Rupa Shah. Listen to the interviews here Season 1 B2B Influencer Marketing Chat Series.

After this series Mariska asked if I was interested to work together on a small project with her, then another project followed. And in October 2020 she asked me if I would like to join Word of MICE as a team member to support her with the ongoing projects and business development. There could be only one answer, of course YES!

Picking up the fruits of our collaboration

Our year together at Word of MICE, I had an amazing time.

Let me be honest, it was a very difficult and tough period, because many of our friends in the tourism industry and the MICE industry lost their jobs, projects were put on hold, and companies went bankrupt. On the other hand it was the perfect time to create new opportunities and collaborations, using our creativity. And let’s not forget the increasing role of digital marketing and online events.

One of my first tasks was to participate and support the second season of the B2B Influencer Marketing Chat Series. I was delighted to be able to invite, among others, Phil Gonzalez from the Igers Community (Instagram fans and mobile photographers) to this series and to add a little Polish element in the form of interviews with Anna Górska from ICCA and Robert Szulc – live conversation from Ecuador about incentives.

We had engaging and amazing conversations with representatives of the MICE industry and how they and their companies survived during the pandemic. Through this project I met more people and we spoke to Carina Bauer, Tim Williams, Nyomi Rose, Horacio Caamano, Helen Moon, Maris Kuklis and Antti Lumiainen and Nadia Rubtsova. Listen to the interviews here Season 2 B2B Influencer Marketing Chat Series.

Working at Word of MICE is the perfect opportunity for me to establish new ways of collaborations and executing new B2B influencer marketing campaigns, with companies like, Singapore Tourism Board, Helsinki Marketing, InspireME from Monaco, Catalunya Convention Bureau or France Convention Bureau.

I had the opportunity to work on campaigns and projects with influencers and content creators such as Sabrina Meyers, Nadia Rubtsowa, Nyomi Rose, Meg Strahle, Sina Bunte and Jorge Bravo-Pratscher. Miek Egberts will always remain in my thoughts.

During the year I learned a lot about resilience, flexibility and overcoming personal challenges, because Mariska and myself, we have been through a very difficult and emotional rollercoaster.

Thank you Mariska

I’m glad we have a similar vision, we often discuss topics related with the MICE industry and destination marketing. We keep an eye on the development and new trends in digital marketing. Every month of work is a blessing during these times. For me even more because I can do what I love and I can work from home.

Thank you Mariska for involving me in every step of the company, sharing new ideas and projects and how to improve Word of MICE. Last year we ran, among many projects, LIVE on IBTM’s Instagram. And during another campaign we used the new Twitter Spaces broadcasting capabilities (#Associations Space) and the Hubilo platform for the online events (Singapore Spotlight Series #BizeventsSG).

IBTM world Barcelona instagram #ibtmworld
IBTM World Virtual – Instagram Live Q&A B2B Influencer Marketing in the MICE industry

As always Mariska repeats during conversations with clients “I am Dutch so I will say it straight”. This makes working with her always very transparent and focused on achieving goals. By the way, her Dutch sense of humour has a lot in common with the Polish one, which is probably also why we get along so well. Because it’s important to have fun in the work you do.

I really enjoy my work and the style that Mariska has introduced. Everything is always clear. Sometimes I have to sit many hours in front of the computer, and not everyone understands that the proverbial eight hours cannot be calculated. On the other hand, I also know that when something suddenly happens in my life, I can always count on her understanding and flexibility. I wish everyone such a business partner as Mariska.

If there’s one thing that I have to mention that was a challenge for me, is the fact that she pushes me to get out my comfort zone and encourages me to do the things I have rarely done this in my professional career. I know she’s right but I was not used to this.

I don’t know what the year 2022 will be like, but who knows? In times of a pandemic when our jobs and our loved ones’ health is so fragile, when it is difficult to predict what will happen in the MICE industry and in the entire world. Despite many unfavourable developments, I remain optimistic. There are many new opportunities and perspectives, and I am sure that together we will develop and strengthen the position of the Word of MICE.

I also know that Mariska is not only a good business partner, but I have gained a friendly soul. This is very valuable to me and I would never have thought that one meeting in London would bring so much good in my life. Again, you see now the value of 1 connection on LinkedIn.

Thank you for reading my story. I hope coming months will we very succesful for you.

Please, follow us on Twitter, Instagram, LinkedIn and Youtube to see the latest updates from us.


TikTok Challenge to get eventprofs ready for the B2B Influencer Marketing Chat Series

Dec 05, 2020

Let`s talk about TikTok

Why are event professionals not engaged with TikTok? Is it fear, lack of awareness, makes you feel old or even just want to ignore a social media platform which has over 850M active users worldwide? Wait, what?

60% of TikTok users are Gen Zers, the trendsetters, trend breakers and influence changes globally whether we like to admit it or not. I can imagine many event professionals would rather ignore this social media and just wait for the trend to be over so they can just go back to posting their same old content.

Yes TikTok could be replaced with another social media platform later on but it’s the fact that you have missed a key demographic who are all eager to have their voices heard and prosper in their dream career whilst most of the world is against the #NextGen succeeding.

Now, why is this a problem? It’s a problem because if you have forgot to include a demographic which in the next couple of years will be your customers, employers and competition you have been erased from their minds. The next generation consume content everywhere they go, advertisements trying to get them to buy their products and follow them on social media. They can decide in less than six seconds whether to keep on scrolling or to give you the benefit of the doubt.

TikTok is the platform to be on but it’s important you understand:

  • what it is
  • who uses the platform
  • why you should be on TikTok,
  • how to best use the functions and insider tips and tricks

Will you be joining us for the 4 Day TikTok Challenge #wordofmicetiktokers?

TikTok Challenge for eventprofs

Will you be joining Nyomi Rose, Mariska Kestloo, Jaroslaw Marciuk for the 4 Day TikTok Challenge to get you ready for the B2B Influencer Marketing Chat Series?  So, come and join us and leverage yourself on TikTok to make sure your event business or even personal brand is future proof.

Day 1’s TikTok Challenge is for everyone to, Get to know you!

Introduce who you are, share what you do and a fun fact perhaps. This is a great TikTok to film even if you already use TikTok or to introduce yourself to 850 million active users. There are different ways you can film this type of TikTok such as; Pointing to different places on the screen and then adding text over the top or by going into the templates section on the record tab and begin uploading images that represent your brand, company or events you plan.

  1. Introduce yourself to TikTok, this can be educational!
  2. A song that empowers you, use a sound in TikTok Viral, you can find these in the sounds tab when you go to record your video.
  3. Use TikTok hashtags: #introduceyourselfchallenge #intro #viral #introducemyself
@mariskakestelooMy first video on TikTok 🤩##eventprofs ##wordofmicetiktokers @whatnyomidoes

♬ Hello – Adele

Make sure you check out the TikTok from Nyomi Rose over on her profile at @whatnyomidoes and get inspired by her take on the Day 1 TikTok Challenge. Don’t forget to use #wordofmicetiktokers so I can easily find your TikTok!

Day 2’s TikTok Challenge is to share your misunderstandings of TikTok!

This is a great TikTok to film as you can put a funny twist on the video but it’s important to show your preconceptions or judgements about TikTok but then share positives you are learning from the platform! There are many different ways you can film this type of TikTok but you need to make sure this is entertaining as comedy is loved on this platform.

  1. Share what you thought about TikTok, this can be entertaining!
  2.  A song that makes you laugh or is just silly, use sounds from the TikTok Dance and LOL Sound sections, you can find these in the sounds tab when you go to record your video.
  3. This time use hashtags from the Discover tab that are trending, use hashtags that resonate the most with your TikTok.

Make sure you check out the TikTok from Nyomi Rose over on her profile at @whatnyomidoes and get inspired by her take on the Day 2 TikTok Challenge. Don’t forget to use #wordofmicetiktokers so Nyomi can easily find your TikTok!


Day 3’s Challenge is to share what you are currently doing to inspire or empower the #NextGen as they are your future employees and business partners

60% of TikTokers are Gen Zers, so it’s important you share that you aren’t just doing TikTok for the fun of it, you want to be visible to the #NextGen and inspire them to be part of the events industry. This type of TikTok can be filmed in a variety of ways; Pointing to different places on the screen and then adding text over the top, using a filter that allows you to share videos or images or even a filter that celebrates your commitments to the #NextGen. Have a browse!

  1. Share what you are doing to leverage young people in your workplace or how you empower others around you, this is inspiring.
  2. A song that is motivating, fun and empowering, use sounds from the Hot 40, Sport Energy or Hip-Hop Fire tab, you can find these in the sounds tab when you go to record your video.
  3. Use hashtags: #futureleader #empower #Learnontiktok #goals

Day 4’s TikTok Challenge is to share what you are going to use TikTok for in the era of Coronavirus

This is time to let people know more about your journey which is important because everyone loves a story and how you got to where you are. Just remember this is to a Gen Z audience so this needs to be something they care about such as if you vacancies to recruit young talent, you have webinars or events that can help them level up in their career, why your company is the best to work at or even if you have advice you would tell your younger self.


What’s your pivot this year ##eventprofs? ##2020Wrapped ##edutok ##wordofmicetiktokers @whatnyomidoes

♬ Hold On – Moguai,Cheat Codes

This type of TikTok can be filmed in many ways; Pointing to your top 3 solutions on the screen and add text, show your story by recording your voice so you can directly tell the audience or even do a workplace tour!

  1. Share top tips on how you got into the events industry and built your brand
  2. A song that is trending, use sounds from the Pop hits or Retro Fun tab, you can find these in the sounds tab when you go to record your video.
  3. Use Tik Tok hashtags: #NextGen #trending #millennials #GenZ

Make sure you check out the TikTok from Nyomi over on her profile at @whatnyomidoes and get inspired by her take on the Day 4 TikTok Challenge. Don’t forget to use #wordofmicetiktokers.


Have fun and let`s talk about TikTok Influencer Marketing

How many videos have you shared on TikTok? Join our special host Nyomi Rose and let`s talk about TikTok and Influencer Marketing. During this episode we will cover the following topics:

  • TikTok from a personal account to professional influencer
  • Numbers, influencers, demographics, terminology, …
  • Misunderstanding of TikTok
  • The voice of the young generation – your future employees and business partners
  • Is the MICE industry ready for TikTokers collaborations and campaigns?
  • TikTok B2B influencer campaigns
  • How to use Tik Tok in the era of Coronavirus –  time to learn new digital skills

Free registration on Eventbrite. B2B Influencers Marketing Chat Series with Nyomi Rose about TikTok.

About our Influencer Marketing Chat Series

Welcome to the B2B Influencer Marketing Chat Series where we talk about influencer marketing in the world of MICE (Meetings, Incentives, Conferences and Events). We speak with people from all around the globe about the role, the meaning, impact and possibilities of B2B influencer marketing. Season 01 regular hosts: Mariska Kesteloo & Alessia di Raimondo interviewed MICE industry leaders and influencers.

You can listen to us and our guests on Spotify, Apple Podcasts, Google Podcasts.

The second season of B2B Chat Series

We launched the second season of  B2B Influencer Marketing chat series in November 2020. Follow us on Eventbrite and signup for coming chats with influencers, CVB`s representatives and many other interesting guests from the MICE industry and Social Media world. We started the second season with Instagram Influencer – Phil Gonzalez and our new regular host Jaroslaw Marciuk.

World of MICE  – events on Eventbrite registration.

The TikTok campaign for eventprofs and content (text and videos) have been created by Nyomi Rose. She is a final year Events Management Student who has flourished during this COVID-19 era through leveraging her social media to spread positivity, passion and love for the events industry. In six months Nyomi has transformed her skillset and has developed a status as young professional woman within the world of events, becoming a prominent figure in the pursuit of diversity, sustainability, social media optimisation and youth empowerment through her Instagram and LinkedIn pages. Nyomi empowers and provides impactful insight to individuals and SME’s to optimise their social media and improve their marketing strategy. Nyomi is a Tech, AI and Data enthusiast and aims to bridge the events digital gap through sharing her knowledge and insight into the new digitised world.


word of mice social media influencers smi team mariska kesteloo
Mariska Kesteloo
Founder & Public Speaker

The first season of the B2B Influencer Marketing Chat Series

Apr 04, 2020

Now more than ever suppliers in the meetings & events industry are struggling; we are all going through a difficult time due to COVID-19 pandemic. But how do you stay in touch with your target audience nowadays? And what kind of content do you post which is relevant today and for the near future? Have you thought of influencers? Perhaps not!

Therefore we want to give you insight, easy to implement tips on a shoestring budget. Because we have a wrong perception of influencers and we want to change your perception. We want to help you to go through these challenging times together.

Now more than ever influencers play a crucial role, they have an audience of followers. These followers trust the influencer and rely on them for tips and suggestions on how to go through these rough times. And it’s not about sales, it’s about trust and relevance.

What are the B2B Influencer Marketing chat series?

Welcome to our LIVE interviews where we talk about B2B influencer marketing in the world of MICE (Meetings, Incentives, Conferences and Events). We speak with people from all around the globe about the role, the meaning, the impact and the possibilities of B2B Influencer Marketing on social media and networking platforms. We share case studies, discuss influencer marketing campaigns for destinations and other suppliers from our industry and beyond.

Our hosts for the first series of 10 episodes are Mariska Kesteloo and Alessia di Raimondo.

Who should join our LIVE sessions on Zoom

People from the meetings & events industry and beyond! Planners & suppliers are welcome. If you are working in a hotel, or for a destination, airline, DMC or at the other side as an event planner, join the session.

A practical interview where you get concrete tips on how to continue your communication together with influencers these challenging times, on a shoestring budget. It’s our aim to support planners & suppliers from the MICE industry with our passion and knowledge about B2B influencer marketing, to spread your story in an appropriate way during this pandemic.

How to join the B2B Influencer Marketing chat series?

Join us every Thursday at 1 pm CEST /12 pm GMT LIVE on Zoom. You can participate and ask questions to our special guests. This is the most engaging way to be part of our series of interviews.

Follow us on Eventbrite and sign up for the next live interviews with influencers, entrepreneurs, and many other interesting guests from the MICE industry and beyond. You can register and participate for free.

World of MICE  – events on Eventbrite – free registration

What if you missed a live episode?

In case you missed our live session, listen to our conversation on your favorite podcast channel. We upload the whole interview to the following podcast channels: Spotify, Apple Podcasts, Google Podcasts and Radio Public.

Listen on Apple Podcasts  Linsten on Google Podcasts Listen podcasts on Spotify

Blog posts

Do you prefer reading over listening? You can read the entire conversation from each interview on our website.


1. Alessia di Raimondo and Mariska Kesteloo

During this episode with Alessia and Mariska we will cover the following topics:

  • How to set up a successful B2B influencer marketing campaign in 6 steps?
  • How to find the right influencers for your company
  • Budget friendly tips in these turbulent times of global pandemic

Listen to our conversation on Spotify podcast or read a blog post How to set up a successful B2B influencer marketing campaign.

2. Patrick de Pauw – Employer Branding


For our upcoming edition we have invited Patrick de Pauw, co-founder from Social Seeder, to talk about employer branding and of course influencer marketing.

What will you learn from Patrick:

  • What is employer branding?
  • Why is employer branding now more important than ever?
  • What is the link between influencer marketing and employer branding?
  • And how companies can benefit from the use of influencer marketing and employer branding?
  • Receive suggestions and ideas what you can do to keep your target audience and employees engaged

Listen to our conversation on Spotify podcast.

3. Giovanna Lucherini – Destination Marketing


For our upcoming edition we have invited Giovanna Lucherini, director of the Napoli Convention Bureau in Italy to talk about destination marketing and of course influencer marketing. What will you learn?

  • Why has Napoli chosen to work influencers dedicated to the meetings & events industry?
  • The role of influencers during the campaign and after?
  • The outcome of the Napoli Convention Bureau campaign
  • The role and responsibilities of influencers during the Covid-19
  • The future of destination marketing and the role of influencers

Listen to our conversation with Giovanna Lucherini on Spotify.


4. Ivo Franschitz & Henrik von Arnold – Ambassadors & Influencer Marketing


For our upcoming edition we have invited Ivo Franschitz and Henrik von Arnold, the co-founders of Enited, to talk about the role of ambassadors of tomorrow, and B2B influencer marketing. What will you learn?

  • The current definition and role of ambassadors & influencers for destinations
  • Why do play ambassadors now and in the near future a bigger role, especially during Covid-19 and after?
  • What are the benefits of an ambassadors program on a short and long term?
  • How can you adapt your current ambassadors program?
  • How do you select the right ambassadors and keep them involved on a long term?

You can listen to our conversation on Spotify.


5. Keith Jenkins – Ambassadors & Influencers 


For our upcoming edition, we will host Keith Jenkins, the founder of iambassador – the leading travel influencer network. In this edition we will talk about the challenges of the travel influencers, and the role of influencers now and in the near future in the travel & MICE industry. What will you learn?

  • The role and impact of travel influencers before Covid-19
  • How travel influencers have pivot their businesses
  • How destinations and other suppliers can benefit from influencers and what are the reasons to work with travel or MICE influencers
  • What the MICE industry can learn from the travel industry
  • The future of influencers for the travel & MICE industry

Listen to our conversation with Keith Jenkins on Spotify.


6. Dries de Geyter & Dennis Lippens – How to measure the success of your B2B influencer marketing campaign?


For our upcoming edition we have invited Dries de Geyter and Dennis Lippens, founders of Deer Lord Games, and passionate digital marketers. In this edition we will talk about the challenges of how to measure the success of a B2B influencer marketing campaign.

A crucial question to ask yourself and your team: how will we know our B2B influencer campaign is a success? This question is often posed as “What is the ROI (Return On Investment)? The exact return is incredibly tricky to calculate, but there are different measures of success and you should be very mindful about how you will quantify success if you want to keep winning. And if you don’t measure your mistakes, you’re doomed to repeat them. What will you learn?

  • How to structure your B2B influencer marketing campaign?
  • How to define the outcome of your campaigns?
  • What are the tools and platforms you can use to measure the outcome?
  • The metrics clients and influencers can use themselves to track the data?
  • Insights how and when to measure the outcome after the campaign

Listen to our conversation with Dries and Dennis about How to measure the impact B2B influencer marketing campaign.


7. Amanda Thurlow & Sabrina Meyers – How to work with influencers in the MICE industry?

MICE-influencers campaign Amanda Thurlow Sabrina Meyers events planner eventprofs

For our upcoming edition we have invited Amanda Thurlow, Sabrina Meyers and not to forget Alessia di Raimondo, all passionate MICE influencers.

A question we receive a lot, how can an influencer contribute to my company? There are many options and possibilities and therefore we will talk with 3 passionate influencer from the industry to gain more insights about their work. Also to which projects they have contributed in the past, the tasks they have done, and of course how the pandemic has impacted their business. 

In this edition we will talk about the work of the influencers, and what they can do for your company and the projects they have done in the past. What will you learn?

  • Understanding the process; how to work with influencers?
  • How to select the right influencer for a campaign?
  • How influencers have changed their business during Covid-19?

Listen to our conversation with MICE influencers on Spotify.


8. Rupa Shah – Influencers & brands: what are we allowed to do and what not?

ads-regulations-influencer-marketing-campaign-Rupa Shah-podcast-B2B

For our upcoming edition, we have invited Rupa Shah, owner of Hashtag Ad Consulting. She’s an authority in the industry and with her years of knowledge, we will dive into this important and often ‘overseen’ topic.

If you are a brand, what are the rules and regulations that you need to apply if you start working with influencers? Yes, there are rules that you need to apply. But some of the criticisms still levelled at it are that it is unregulated; it is the Wild West of the marketing world; that influencer fraud, fake followers and non-disclosure of paid-for relationships is rife. But is that really the case? And is it a global problem or are there just a few rogue states where this kind of marketing anarchy is tolerated?

What will you learn?

  • Insights about the rules and regulations for companies if they start working with influencers
  • What are the obligations for the influencers who are involved in the campaign?
  • Important items about cross border campaigns
  • Examples from professional examples who applied the rules & regulations

Listen to our conversation on Spotify with Rupa about ads and regulations for influencers.


9. Julius Solaris – Influencers in the MICE industry


We are excited to announce that we will interview Julius Solaris, one of the biggest influencers from the MICE industry. Julius Solaris is the founder of Event Manager Blog. During this interview we will gain insights about his journey, how he got started with blogging and where’s standing today being acquired by Skift.

What will you learn from Julius Solaris?

  • Gain insights from the biggest influencer in the MICE industry; how Julius started with his blog and where’s he’s standing today
  • The growing importance of digital marketing
  • How to get started as a MICE blogger
  • His vision on the world of B2B influencer marketing and influencer marketing in general

Listen to conversation with Julius Solaris on Spotify.


10. Tom Augenthaler and David Wing- B2B Influencer Marketing in different industries


We are excited to announce that in the final episode we will interview Tom Augenthaler and David Wing, both known in the world of B2B influencer marketing. During this interview, we will gain insights into how other industries have implemented B2B influencer marketing, what have they learned from their failures and successes. And besides they will share relevant case studies.

Tom Augenthaler is the founder of the The Influencer Marketer, speaker, consultant and trainer. David Wing founded Wing Digital Marketing. Two passionate founders and fans of B2B influencer marketing.

What will you learn from B2B?

  • Gain insights how other industries have implemented B2B influencer marketing
  • The failures and successes stories
  • B2B influencer marketing case studies
  • The role of influencers and thought leaders in a B2B environment
  • Their vision on the future of B2B influencer marketing

Listen to our conversation with Tom Augenthaler and David Wing on Spotify.


Jois us

If you have an inspiring story and/or experience which could be relevant for our audience, please contact us:


Meet Word of MICE

Word of MICE is the first and only global influencer community for the MICE industry. We inspire hotels, venues, destinations and other suppliers to employ Social Media Influencers as an integral part of their brand strategy and explore the true potential of influencer marketing. We create unique creative, tailor-made campaigns for all suppliers in the MICE industry over the globe.

Our B2B clients appreciate our years of experience in the MICE industry combined with an innovative product to bring their brand awareness to the next level.

word of mice social media influencers smi team mariska kesteloo
Mariska Kesteloo
Founder & Public Speaker
Nyomi Rose GenZ B2B influencer marketing MICE industry

Generation Z is ready to change the MICE industry

Jan 07, 2021

Generation Z and MICE industry

Mariska: Sometimes I have a feeling that the MICE industry is running behind and we miss opportunities. And I think also now with TikTok so it would be great to see in the future that also destinations, technology partners, suppliers, trade shows, anyone who’s active within the industry, also the event planners, they will also focus more on the next Generation Z.

I think that we’re still missing that, for example if you go to a regular trade show. If IBTM was there now, on a normal way, then the average age I think it would be around 35 or older that you would see in Barcelona. You don’t see many young people normallyon events like these. So I think, one to embrace the next generation and want to feel them welcome. GenZ people approach is different, the way how they work is different. I think it’s very important to be on and at least watch TikTok and other social media platforms where young people are active.

Our guest, Nyomi Rose, talks about the next generation Z and MICE industry. She is very passionate about it. I think there’s also, and not only within our industry, a huge gap between the difference in generations. Nyomi, how do you see that evolving? Because you’ve mentioned a very funny example. You went for a job interview, and you got some standard questions, which I found really embarrassing from the person who did the interviews in the past. I think there’s again, same like TikTok, a lot of misconception and misperceptions about Generation Z.

Nyomi: I’m a young event professional, a lot of people don’t know how young I am. I’m 20 years old, turned 20 in August. I’ve done enough to really build a lot of my learning and development and skills through social media, which has really helped me. And especially when, like you were saying, I went to a job interview, and people usually don’t realise how young I am, and feel, then that I’m not very capable, because of my age, but then they bring me into the interviews, thinking how experienced I am.

You know, there’s still lots of different misconceptions about young people and the MICE industry. And I really just feel like, people need to embrace, meet embracing people. And I feel like it really starts with representation. If you really want to be forward thinking destination or event really bringing a wide audience andputting people on the panel speakers, you need to be open minded.

We are talking a lot about the future of the events industry. There’s no young people on the panel discussions on many events. I will say even more, there’s not a lot of young people who are signing up for the MICE  industry trade shows tickets. People have got to realise why is that happening. Because we’re not being included? How do you communicate with Generation Z on social media? I hate to say it, but maybe you are doing boring content?

Mariska: It’s true. I’m a Dutch, so I am allowed to say it.  I’m talking now in general. And like I said, it’s not adapted towards your generation, also that we still sense that and also the way how we reach out to you. And like you said, you don’t call and you prefer to speak with a chatbot or perhaps via Instagram chat function or messenger. And but it’s often not used in the regular communication from events and meeting planners.

Trade shows and events fitted to Generation Z

Jaro: Is your generation actually interested in trade shows and events in the MICE industry?

Nyomi: I feel like we can make people interested in anything, if we understand that generation. Sso for example, we have trade shows, if you go for example on TikTok, you can see that there’s a trending hashtag at the moment where people are showing the cars, trips, places, their makeup and so many different other topics. It’s such a variety and there’s trade show that are out discussing different things like that. And so I feel like it’s important that people really understand that we are interested if you make us interested, so instead of using content that is usually used for old, don’t want to say older, but you know from my experience, my experience generation.

Sorry, guys, but my experience generation I feel like they have their different type of content. They’re targeted differently, because that’s what interests them, that’s what brings them and you can’t then use that same type of content and then expecting people to then be interested. You’ve got to think creatively, you know, TikTok is all about inspiration, entertainment and education. It’s all in an authentic wat, where I feel like we can really see a lot of people who are trying to sell stuff.

You know, a lot of companies, for example in the UK, we’ve had a lot of discussion about the supermarkets who all came together for Christmas to share the hashtag, which was stand against racism. But the thing that they did with that is that they didn’t put any actual actionable things behind that campaign, they didn’t really actually engage with anybody, they just expected to put it out there. And for a lot of love to go, their way, and it didn’t necessarily go their way, because it was performative. You can’t expect to put things on them, people just go across and a lot of the younger generation are more analytical, we can really pick things apart.

We’re very good at looking back at the history of these companies finding out who was working in these companies, and really, dig deep into understanding who these people are. And I feel like, when we are creating content, we really got to make sure that it’s not just bare content, if we’re really wanting to bring young people in, really talk to them, offer them opportunities, embrace them into the actual event design, embrace them into the schedule, and go to work where they usually hang out, which is places like TikTok and Instagram, and which is doing a lot of video content.

And I feel like that is how we can make people interested. But like I said, you’ve got to make interesting content the way you actually understand. And like I mentioned at the beginning, if you’re saying, send me an email, and let’s book a session, I can tell you categorically that  young people will not email you to be interested. Like we’re saying chat boxes, simple forums, where you don’t really necessarily have to talk to anybody. And that sounds like we’re a generation who don’t want to have human contact where we’re all about that. But we’re all about automation and things being simple, and not having to take the long way so I feel like that has really got to be understood as well.

Less is more

Jaroslaw: You mentioned that you’re overwhelmed by Facebook, right? There are so many features and options on Facebook. Do you look for more simple solutions in consuming content?

Nyomi: Yes, I was just gonna say that I completely agree. In fact, Facebook and a lot of other social media platforms are trying to be everyone and everything at the moment. But things like Facebook, the reason that then I feel that they’re not able to grow, it’s because they’re trying to do two things at once. And also the whole user design is just not appealing. Personally, I find it very confusing, there’s things at the bottom, things at the top and things splash in the middle of the screen, things pop up from the left to the right. And on Facebook nothing is very simple.

Whereas if you look on the TikTok platform interface, it’s got none of this sort of banners at the bottom, the video is actually the background for the whole time. There’s not much advertisement on TikTok (for now). You just got to follow ,like, comment, and share.  And you can just swipe. How simple is that. And that’s why a lot of people love TikTok, because its simplicity.

MICE industry and social media in the era of COVID-19

Mariska: There’s a huge potential out there for TikTok and influencer marketing in the MICE industry. How do you see that evolving specifically for our industry, because the meetings and events industry is not so active. And we talked most about diversity inclusion, which is also of course, a hot topic in our industry. And how do you see that? Well, in your ideal world, what are your predictions? Or how do you see TikTok and events industry evolving? Would love to hear your opinion about that.

Nyomi: I feel like before COVID happened there was a lot of interest and MICE event professionals were actually really using social media and actually understanding it. And this was before TikTok the platform that we see it is now. And but the content that you can create on the Tik Tok platform, it’s so crucial just to actually, and that younger generation, because as much as we can say, you know, if we’ve got an event, and it’s for something that might not necessarily target the audience.

The younger audience can still learn from that. And then from those event professionals see behind the scenes we have, that they put together an incredible show, you know, meet industry speakers, that I feel like that the MICE industry is going to have to, it’s just, I feel like it, there’s not two ways about it, I feel like it’s going to have to use TikTok. And the way that the MICE industry is going to be able to do that is by opening the doors to younger people. People who know TikTok to come in and say, ‘Look, let me show you how to use this platform, and let me show you how this can work’.

I feel like that’s how the MICE industry can really start leveraging themselves. But I think it’s really important that when the mass industry just come on conferences, that they’re not creating content or creating advertisements, because like I was saying, TikTok is for Generation Z and the young people have so much content, and so much advertisement shown to everybody and think every action. Everybody can agree that every time you go on to all these other social media apps, or even when you just look at Google Search, you’ve got Facebook ads popping up, you’ve got Google Ads popping up, people trying to sell you stuff. You want to watch a YouTube video, and you’ve got an advertisement.

The importance of data

Mariska: I also like to TikTok because I’m Dutch, very straight to the point and we like very practical, easy to use tools. I want to mention  something that you highlight is about data. And I think we need to have another conversation about data because we think we need 30 or 45 minutes to cover that topic. It’s really interesting that you do a research upfront with who you’re going to see and that you can see what kind of content the company even a person that you would speak within the company that you will say okay, over three years ago, he worked for another company which did not perform well or that company had a scandal or a claim or whatever. So it’s very interesting that you searched those data. And I think that’s still a very underestimated value within he MICE industry.

And like the younger generation, you grown up with social media, with the importance of those data and analytics. And I think that our generation is now with the digital world and being forced to be online, we’re now getting used to work with the data and analytics, but it’s still not at the forefront, and especially from meetings and event industry. I think that’s also perhaps one of the reasons why I’m not sure why they’re perhaps scared to use online platforms, or social media platforms like  TikTok.

Nyomi: Yeah, and I feel like it’s very interesting, especially with the use of data, I feel like people are saying in the comments as well that a lot of the MICE industry are using traditional methods methods, like print media, emails and banners and things like that. And that sort of data, it can’t necessarily be as predictive, I can’t be as analytical as social media and digital media is, but in terms of TikTok`s algorithm, so there are data analytics, you know, if you create your TikTok account for a professional reasons, you can then see all your analytics and see, really, who’s watching when, when’s the best time to post etc.

But in terms of the general events industry, trying to use data more. I feel like, we’ve really got to make sure that we’re actually empowering our employees first, to really get them to understand the importance of data. So instead of just, putting out surveys, or things like that, we’ve got to be more creative with how we’re going to try and feed that data. And instead of asking  simple questions, getting to know those people a lot more and connecting with them, is how you can really create, better data for you to then analyse, but then also using data, after your event to really help you with improvements.

And really just growing, as growning as a company or as an event, it’s really important that you actually look and  analyse that data, you really manipulate it to understand why are people acting like this, or why people are interested in this, or that it’s really important that you can then look at that data to recognise there’s not a lot of young people here.

Now, why is this, is it because of these reasons xxx, and it’s important that you then create that data and then share it with people, too many people are keeping data to themselves. And people don’t realise that data is meant to be shared, obviously, with them legally. And but that data is meant to be shared to your community. And if you are sharing data that’s saying, ‘look where we recognise the gap here, like you know, come on community, let’s bring this, like, let’s go this new direction’. That’s what it’s supposed to be used first to help you improve and continually develop, but a lot of people don’t necessarily know how to do that. So that’s where it’s important that we are empowering people to use data, and not for it to be such a thing where it’s oh my gosh, like numbers and numbers, etc. It can be a lot, it can be a lot simpler than a lot of people usually make out to be.

New opportunities

Mariska: I think in general, it has a lot of opportunities. So hopefully now with the push of the younger generation, we’re able to share experiences and to see also how important our industry is. Because that’s actually also what it’s about, and why are so many impact on local economy, because so many suppliers and supply chain is involved in the entire industry. And it’s indeed by bringing people together.

We need to be an example. We need to be that inspiration for others also to follow us. I think sometimes we need to be not saying that leader but sometimes you need to take the lead.

Nyomi: Yeah, the importance that we’re all here to help the MICE  industry grow. You know, we really need to make sure that the 2021 plan is to grow the industry and to make sure that we come back even stronger. And the only way we can do that is by bringing more people together. And not excluding different generations, but embracing each other, all of our different thoughts, ideas and experiences. I feel like that’s just so important for 2021. But also, I was gonna say, check out the Word of MICE TikTok Challenge, because we put out some really great advice and on how you can create that content on TiTok, and I believe you have to see change because we will have something coming out in the new year. So if you do want to understand how to Tik Tok, go look through that blog, and you can really sense that your tiktok journey, but I’m always here to help out.

Gen Z eventprofs meeting professionals Nyomi Rose influential people