MICE Buyers Prefer LinkedIn, Blackberry, IMEX Social Media Survey Shows

Meetings, incentives, conferences and events (MICE) buyers prefer LinkedIn among social networks and Blackberry among smartphones, according to the results of a survey released today by IMEX, which asked more than 1,000 hosted buyers about their favorite technology immediately after its May 2010 show in Frankfurt.

According to the survey, 64 percent of MICE buyers use LinkedIn, while 60 percent use Facebook. Only 27 percent, meanwhile, use Twitter and only 23 percent YouTube. Overall, 46 percent of buyers report an increase in the use of social media for networking over the past six months, although 44 percent say there are "too many social media and networking sites to keep up to date with."

When it comes to mobile devices, Blackberry is the current smartphone of choice for MICE buyers, according to IMEX. Approximately 57 percent of its hosted buyers use a smartphone, it found, and — of those — 47 percent use Blackberries, compared to 31 percent that use Apple iPhones and 24 percent that use Nokia devices.

IMEX also asked its hosted buyers about blogs and found that — despite their popularity in the larger business world — 83 percent still do not regularly follow an industry blog.

"Current trends suggest that mobile payment systems, environmental monitoring and even intelligent sensors embedded into mobiles are all just around the corner and these will have huge implications for the meetings and events industry," IMEX Group CEO Carina Bauer said in a statement. "The growth of social media in different world markets creates both enormous pressures and provides international businesses such as ours with fantastic opportunities. The discipline for all of us is to pay careful attention to where the value truly lies for each of our different audiences and never to assume that a one size solution fits all."