peter cramer PeC kommunikation
Photo credit: PeC Kommunikation

Kongres Magazine talked to several organizers of boutique trade shows on the nature of their business, as well as on the recent Corona virus and its effect on the business, the prospects, and solutions.

PETER CRAMER, owner of PANEM ET CIRCENSES and MICEboard product owner

Peter Cramer’s career in the MICE Industry began in 2000 as an event manager. Before that, he was for many years working as a concert organizer. Then he worked for the international communications agency Publicis as the Event Marketing Director in Germany, and later as a unit manager for events at a PR agency in Hamburg. In 2010 he started his own business, Panem et Circenses. In 2011 Peter Cramer published a very successful first specialist book on the symbiosis of event marketing and social media.

Q: What does differ your trade shows from the competition?

The MICEboard sales events differ in the following points from all other branch sales events:

  1. Only international suppliers of MICE services (tourism boards, convention bureaus, hotels, venues, dmc’s, etc.) participate in our events. Suppliers from Germany are not allowed. The numbers are limited: only 30 suppliers vs. 60 buyers per event. Quality before quantity. The buyers are from Germany, Austria and Switzerland – the most important European markets for outgoing MICE business.
  2. In fact of this supplier selection, we only speak to buyers who regularly do events abroad. In this way, we ensure that all participating buyers have high potential for the participating international suppliers.
  3. No pig in a poke! All suppliers of the MICEboard events are presented in advance online at with text in German language (in fact of the German speaking target markets), pictures, MICE presentations and videos. Transparent and with all contact details – available for all users!
  4. As a result of this online marketing, we only generate participating buyers who have definitely an actual interest in the participating suppliers. This online presentation (content marketing) is the basis for extensive online marketing measures for each of our participating suppliers. No other sales event offers this kind of marketing measures.
  5. Therefore we not only arrange 60 true lead appointments for every supplier at each event (by the way: more as somewhere else), we arrange also many more appointments and new business with the accompanying online activities via
  6. Consequently the participation for a supplier at our events means much more! It also means great online content marketing – before, during and after the event. We don’t delete anything online. All informations are always preserved and therefore always available for the entire industry.

Nobody believes that buyers (as well as suppliers) will visit events with more than 100 participants in the future.

Q: How do you market and promote the host destination?

The host destination is important because our sales events differ in content from all others. The focus is not on forced face-to-face appointments with a countdown on the wall. The conversations at a MICEboard event between suppliers and buyers are based on real business interests. First of all, we make sure that all 30 suppliers present themselves to all 60 participants intensively and interactively. The host destination provides the framework for a professional exchange – up to intimate face-to-face discussions. However, these are not enforced with us, but are based on genuine interest. There are no table-to-table rotations with a silly countdown on the wall at our event. We match high professionals and don’t oversee a kindergarten.

Q: What are the conversion statistics for your shows (conversion rate)?

At each of our MICEboard events the participating suppliers will have 60 appointments with selected buyers from Germany, Austria and Switzerland. By the way: at our events the paying suppliers are involved in the final buyer selection with a voting system. The MICEboard website is visited more than 15,000 times a month. We achieve three times more through online activities in social media networks. The fact that we do not delete any supplier online presentation we generate for our clients (supplier) a very strong after sales business.

Q: Many fraudulent activities online are trying to trick trade show guests into getting money and ID from them by promising them data or other fake services. How do you tackle the problem of safety that arises with this kind of criminal activities online?

Not at all, because the problem does not even arise with our business model. Of course we know that the competition copies the supplier contacts from our website. We laugh about it, it shows how far we have already left them behind.

MICEboard events PeC Kommunikation
Photo credit: PeC Kommunikation

Q: To which event in the meetings industry do you look up to and why?

I have great respect for every MICE event and trade fair. Everyone – regardless of whether they are small or large – help people to cross borders and cultures.

Q: Without a doubt, the current situation with Corona outbreak is one of the biggest challenges this industry has ever encountered  … how are you planning to save your trade show during and after the Corona crisis?

Our MICEboard events have fewer than 100 participants, so we can do everything to protect the health of the participants as much as possible. Our customers’ priority is shifting. Before the covid-19 crisis the focus was first on participating at the events, but now the focus of the suppliers is to placing brands, products and services in the community – the event is nowadays only the cherry on the cake. In fact, that’s good for us because we’re better at content marketing than sales.

Q: Are you planning to stay the same size or to expand or …?

We are currently expanding in online content marketing and with the events too. Nobody believes that buyers (and suppliers, too) will visit events with more than 100 participants in the future. The fear of infection is far too big. And it will stay that way until a vaccine is found.

Online marketing and online sales will become the key sales instrument in the future

Q: By your opinion, how will the industry’s character change or develop after the crisis?

We are currently surveying our customers (international suppliers) and target groups (event planners from Germany, Austria and Switzerland). And it is very clear that online marketing and online sales will become the key sales instrument in future. But online sales activities do nothing without access to the right target groups. But with MICEboard we have this access for the German-speaking buyer markets. We built that up and here we have a big lead over everyone else.

Q: What steps should be taken (on local, regional, state, political, economy level, etc.) in order to preserve the industry and its employment?

I think the countries of Europe – especially Germany – are currently doing a good job. Crises like these shows very well that everyone has to move closer together and certainly the MICE industry will be completely different after the crisis. It will probably be in ruins. Then it is time to remove them and make them better. We can’t stop breathing and need to do what we love.

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