Today, the Meetings, Incentive Travel, Conventions and Exhibitions (MICE) industry of Singapore continues to thrive, propelled by Asia’s steady economic growth.
In the MICE industry, networking is equivalent to our net worth. In the course of work, communicating and interacting with different stakeholders such as colleagues in the company, service providers, clients and government agencies is inevitable. Generally, first impressions are easily formed through various business interactions, which may be positive or negative. Setting positive first impressions aside, negative impressions often linger the longest. What appeals to one person may not apply to another, hence it is mandatory to comprehend the different negative impressions that may be intentionally or unintentionally cultivated across various circumstances, and avoid them as best as possible.
Therefore, to continuing successfully building positive work relationships without being a subject of negative impression, business professionals should be equipped with the fundamental social etiquette when communicating with the various MICE stakeholders.
Working In the MICE industry requires meeting different stakeholders in the industry. Stakeholders include clients, venue providers, meeting planners, attendees, and even colleagues within the company. However, we often forget the importance of manners and etiquette in the way we present and express ourselves.
Often, social etiquette could be slighted in situations where MICE professionals become overtly familiar with their clients or other stakeholders, stepping beyond implicit boundaries or even in situations where the individual is not being trained on how to professionally portray themselves. Additionally, the lack of social etiquette could be attributed to personal nonchalance or personal focus on other goals such as reaching sales targets. As a MICE professional, such neglect may lead to the development of an unfavourable reputation and may even lead to lost business opportunities.
OBJECTIVE OF STUDY
Etiquette is what sets human beings aparts. The aim of this study is to explore the different types of etiquette – specifically in the MICE industry. Types of etiquette to be covered are: social etiquette, corporate etiquette, meeting etiquette, email etiquette, eating etiquette and business etiquette.
Social etiquette is the most basic and of utmost importance as it teaches everyone how to behave in the society. At work, one should observe corporate etiquette in order to maintain the decorum of the organization. When attending meetings, one should observe meeting etiquette and listen to what the other person has to say by paying attention. Email etiquette is the key to effective communication, and a reflection of one’s reputation. At networking lunches, cultured individuals must follow eating etiquette and observe table manners while dining in public. Lastly, every company should observe business etiquette by having ethics when it comes to ways to doing business.
Through this study, the team hopes to instil the importance of etiquette and educate future MICE professionals on the proper mannerisms to observe when working in the industry in future.
To address this problem, the team will be producing a five-minute video of six scenarios featuring the different types of etiquette. Each scene will highlight the do’s and don’ts, highlighting to the audience the aspects to avoid and the correct way to present themselves instead.
Social Etiquette – Observing the way one act in public is important so as to not offend or annoy people. Showing respect by not stereotyping is the way to go – and you may even charm them.
Meeting Etiquette – At meetings, it is important to be respectful towards the speaker. Always pay full attention to what the other person has to say and switch off your phone to avoid distractions or disruptions.
Email Etiquette – Upon having conflicts, one should never get “email angry” by expressing anger or disparaging others through emails. An email correspondence lasts forever and once an email is sent, it could never be retracted. Instead, one should calm down and talk it out face-to-face to resolve the conflict.
Business Etiquette – In the MICE industry, ethics is important to create a reputation. It may be tough at times and one may think of different ways in order to secure the business. However, always be ethical so as to maintain long term relationships with stakeholders.
Eating Etiquette – During networking lunches, no matter how hungry you are or how appetising the food may be, observing table manners is important. Never talk with your mouth full or take from others’ plate. Food is not the priority, establishing relationships at the table is the key to seal the deal.
Corporate Etiquette – An event could not succeed without teamwork, therefore, in the MICE industry, knocking off from work on the dot is a big taboo. Instead, one should help others out so everyone can end work earlier.
The video could also serve as an educational video for future Career & Professional Development modules – educating students about personal branding and interpersonal communication. The benefits of utilising the video keeps students engaged with relatable scenarios, accompanied with light humour.
PROPOSED DATA COLLECTION
Both primary and secondary sources were utilised to collect the relevant data. Primary sources were utilised predominantly, citing direct observation methods and personal interview with the career services faculty for inputs.Other additional secondary sources to supplement and support the data were from relevant trade publications or online articles.
The different acceptable approaches to various prevalent MICE work scenarios will help and enable a MICE professional to portray oneself in a responsible manner acceptable in the industry.
Being in a people-oriented industry, learning how to behave like a hospitality MICE professional will earn respect, appreciation and individual network value. The way each individual behave and interact with industry stakeholders speaks a lot about one’s upbringing and background. Therefore, displaying positive etiquettes in diverse aspects such as meeting, social and business will also help an individual to frame a lasting and favourable first impression, which is beneficial to any MICE professional when dealing with different stakeholders in this industry. Etiquette inculcates a feeling of trust and loyalty in individuals as one will seem more responsible and mature, therefore, assisting in establishing long term relationships.
The MICE industry is a dynamic and people-oriented business where various stakeholders gather and establish professional relationships every day. Knowing how to carry out oneself as a MICE professional when dealing with the different stakeholders will help one to go a long way in building professional networks and career development. To conclude, etiquette transforms a man into a gentleman.