28 Nov 《2016 Seoul MICE Week》②MICE Industry Veterans Narrate Lively Experiences at ‘Real Time of Meeting MICE’
What if you had the opportunity to meet and discuss with MICE industry veterans who had overseen numerous major MICE events?
During the Seoul MICE Week, a talk session was held featuring a group of panelists with varying years of experience in the MICE industry. The ‘Real Time of Meeting MICE’ aimed to offer clear solutions to questions from individuals aspiring to start a career in MICE answered by experienced seniors in the industry with 1 year, 4 years, 5 years, and 10 years of experience.
Hyun-dae Shin, Chairman of Exporum and an organizer of the Seoul Cafe Show, took the microphone first. Under the theme of ‘To Those who Dream of MICE Person,’ he talked about the MICE industry through his experience with the Seoul Cafe Show (see the related article). He shared how the Seoul Cafe Show began with only 100 booths from 50 companies in 2002 but, through its success, now occupied the entire Coex hall every year. The show even established itself as Professional Exhibition Organization (PEO) and was able to export the Café Show to four cities abroad. “MICE is a high-potential industry that can be expanded into other sectors,” said Shin.
Ji-ho Kim, Chief Manager at SK planet, gave a lecture on ‘MICE the Old Future’. He highlighted the excellent MICE planning and related activities of Korea’s past citing examples like the Royal Protocols of the Joseon Dynasty as an example. He added that MICE-related activities already existed in Korea since long ago, though the name and concept of MICE had only recently developed. Citing his appreciation for the behind-the-scenes work of the MICE industry, Kim shared, “I love the tension behind the stage rather than on the stage, and I’m attracted to the role of the back-stager who can create an unforgettable moment for an individual or industry.”
In the panel talk, the group of panelists, which included speakers Hyun-dae Shin and Ji-ho Kim, along with seniors working in the MICE industry for one year and four years, held a Q&A discussion with the audience. The following are excerpts from the question and answer session.
Q. What started your career in the MICE industry?
Chairman Hyun-dae Shin: When I worked as a part-time job at Daejeon Expo, I became interested in MICE and after graduation, I joined the Expo full time.
Chief Manager Ji-ho Kim: While I did part-time work as an actor for the Royal Guard-Changing Ceremony, I entered the workforce.
Assistant Manager Ji-eun Jeong, (worked 4 years in <INSIGHT MOTION>): I did my internship in various sectors such as publicity, advertisement, advertising agency, and event promotion, so I was fascinated by the multi-faceted MICE industry.
Senior Staff Na-hyeon Yun (worked one year at <IOCONVEX>): When I did a double major in tourism management, I got to know MICE and became interested.
Q. What’s your area of expertise?
Yun: I think I have a good impression with bright smiles and have good manners.
Jeong: I am still in the process of developing my particular area of expertise.
Shin: I’m not sure I would say I have one particular thing I only excel at.
Kim: I have an ability to quickly learn various sectors and the content of an industry, which provides limited but extensive knowledge.
Q. Do you have an unforgettable episode during your work?
Shin: I met the Chairman of the International Coffee Organization under the UN to go to Brazil, which ended up taking over 40 hours to reach there. Since then, my appreciation for longer business trips have depreciated.
Kim: As a new employee, I was responsible for stage management and once, at an event, the power went out resulting in an outage that lasted for about four minutes. After that, I quickly learned the value of making extensive preparations.
Jeong: I had an episode where an event suddenly became so crowded that we weren’t able to bring the main members on stage for an hour. An emcee had to solely host the event for an hour, so I remember being in total panic.
Yun: I once invited a foreign speaker for an event and was immediately flooded with questions from the speaker’s organization for an entire night. I ended up staying up the entire night to receive and answer questions.
Q. What’s the prospect of the MICE industry in 10 years?
Shin: The term of “MICE” may change but the characteristics of this business will continue
Kim: The MICE industry is one which cannot be substituted by machinery. Because this industry is rooted in the creative sector, it requires human emotions to complete the story
Jeong: This industry is the medium that connects companies and consumers, so I believe it will become more diverse and sophisticated in a professional manner.
Q. How should people prepare for a career in MICE?
Yun: The MICE industry does not necessarily require people to have a relevant degree. Because people can learn skills while working in the field, I recommend you to develop experiences in a variety of fields.
Kim: It’s great to continually seek advice from trusted seniors in the field and develop hands-on experience.
Meanwhile, the Seoul Metropolitan Government and the Seoul Tourism Organization (STO) also held the 2016 Future MICE Talent Award to recognize individuals actively contributing to the development of the MICE sector’s future talents. This year’s award recipients came from individuals who had served as ‘MICE Mentors’ and ‘Excellent MICE Supporters’ for the city’s MICE Talent Bank Project program.