MICE is a symbol of unity for the global coffee market and in 2023, it will celebrate a decade a business and networking opportunities, and the many exhibitors that make the expo an international success.
Australia has a coffee scene unlike any other. Wandering through Melbourne, the country’s unofficial coffee capital, baristas can be seen serving coffee from an old shopfront, pop-up caravan, or a hole-in-the-wall covered in graffiti with milk crates out the front.
It’s these unique characteristics and high standards for coffee quality no matter the location that will be on display when the coffee world gathers for the Melbourne International Coffee Expo (MICE) from 17 to 19 August 2023 at the Melbourne Convention and Exhibition Centre (MCEC).
“MICE2023 is set to be Australia’s most anticipated coffee event of the year. Returning features include Roasters Alley, Roasters Marketplace, Origin Alley, Cupping Room, and the Product Innovation Awards. There will also be plenty of new additions to continue evolving the expo and ensure we celebrate the 10-year milestone in style,” says MICE Show Director Lauren Winterbottom.
As an annual event, MICE also provides an anchor point for international guests to connect with new and existing Australian customers. At the 2022 event, 15 per cent of attendees were international representatives, a testament to the prestige of the expo and the many eyes on the Australian market to see what’s new and what’s next in terms of industry trends and developments. The 2023 event already has 20 per cent of international representatives expected to attend.
“Exhibiting is the best way to showcase your brand to thousands of qualified attendees and connect with one of the most sophisticated global coffee markets,” Winterbottom says.
Winterbottom says there’s already been a significant uptake in international companies wanting to exhibit at MICE2023 and has extended exhibition space to meet demand.
“Every market is represented at MICE, and what better place to start forming those essential relationships with future partners and customers?” she asks.
One company to already secure its place in the expo is non-profit education organisation Coffee Quality Institute (CQI).
“When CQI evaluated our opportunities to reach the coffee community in 2022, we saw that MICE was an efficient way to reach a large number of people who are important to us,” says CQI Director of Marketing and Communications Kristin Schrader.
“Those include future and present CQI certificate holders and other people who take our classes, but also current and potential partners in origin projects. It was especially valuable after coming out of COVID-19, it was so important to see each other in person again.”
MICE2022 was CQI’s first time exhibiting at the event. Schrader says the organisations was pleasantly surprised at the amount of meaningful face-to-face interactions had in its booth.
“As we build a dependable annual presence at the show, we anticipate an increase in traffic and in our ability to offer relevant information to attendees,” she says.
With constituents around the world, CQI says it didn’t want to miss the opportunity to be more involved in the Australian market, with its “sophisticated coffee culture and significant influence on the global coffee community”.
Schrader adds that the country already includes many CQI certification holders, particularly Q Graders, with potential for more.
“There is so much potential to increase our network in Australia, and that will increase the number of people actively involved in using the global language of coffee quality and those who know coffee better through post-harvest processing education,” she says.
“That contributes to our international community and ultimately supports our mission, to improve the quality of coffee and the lives of those who produce it.”
Another company that believes Australia to be a trend setter in global coffee culture is Japanese manufacturing company Hario.
Hario Australia Sales Representative Gerard Ong says it’s important for the coffee brewing equipment maker to be recognised and trusted by the Australia coffee industry.
“Showcasing our products at MICE is a great way to do that. There are also many world-class baristas in Australia, and we love collaborating with these amazing baristas to develop new and trendy products for everyone to use,” Ong says.
For Hario, Ong says MICE is a major event where the latest coffee trends and new products are promoted, making it a must-attend expo for industry professionals and coffee lovers alike.
“It is a great once-a-year opportunity for people working in the coffee industry to meet up and network,” he says.
Hario will also use MICE2023 as an opportunity to officially launch the dedicated Hario Australia office.
“Through exhibiting at MICE2023 and holding the official launch during the time, we hope to showcase the advantage of having a branch in Australia to enable Hario to work more closely with the Australian coffee industry,” says Ong.
Green coffee importer Ally Coffee has a similar strategy to expand Down Under, with plans to open an office in Melbourne in the near future.
“This is a market we have always wanted to reach, and while COVID-19 kept plans on hold, we’re very excited to have announced our sales and logistics expansion into Australia,” says Marketing Manager Stephanie Calato.
This growth and effort will be led by Oceania and Asia Sales Manager, Tercio Borba, who has established a presence in the market for the last decade.
“Through continuing the foundation he fostered and developed in importing Brazilian coffee, roasters in this market will have access to Ally Coffee’s full range of importing services and green coffee portfolio spanning several origins,” Calato says.
MICE2023 will be Ally Coffee’s second show as an exhibitor, and already, it looks forward to connecting with attendees and new customers.
“As a coffee importer, we see ourselves as a bridge between producer and roaster, and excited to build relationships, showcase our offerings, and share how we can move coffee forward together,” Calato says.
“If you’re interested in immersing yourself in the coffee industry, especially within this market, then MICE is a great opportunity to connect with coffee professionals throughout the supply chain and discover the many products and possibilities available.”
MICE2023 Show Director Winterbottom says with so much of the coffee community brought together yearly, the opportunities to generate businesses, start partnerships, and connect will only increase with involvement in MICE.
From its beginning in 2012, MICE has remained Australia’s largest and only coffee-dedicated trade show, connecting buyers and sellers, and bringing industry members together.
“With thousands of attendees predicted to pass through the MCEC’s doors, it’s the perfect opportunity to develop new business,” says MICE Show Director Lauren Winterbottom.
Winterbottom looks forward to the global coffee industry experiencing this first-hand.
“MICE attracts a quality audience and provides us with the opportunity to connect the Australian and international coffee communities Visitors can engage with coffee roasters, baristas, green bean traders, coffee producers, equipment suppliers, and machine manufacturers,” she says.
“There’s less than a year to go, and we can’t wait.”
For more information, visit internationalcoffeeexpo.com
This article was first published in the January/February 2023 edition of Global Coffee Report. Read more HERE.