ICCA (International Congress & Convention Association) based in Amsterdam, Netherlands has the largest network among the convention-related associations in the world. About 900 agencies from 80 countries are affiliated as members of ICCA, which promotes analysis of practical methods for the tourism industry to cope with the fast-growing international convention market, as well as exchange practical information on relevant markets.
STO attended this event to collect information on competitor cities, promote Seoul as a MICE destination, and reinforce its global MICE network. STO successfully ensured an opportunity to host several international conventions by obtaining information from the annual general meetings for the International Union of Pure and Applied Chemistry (3,791 participants), Wetland International (1,213 participants), and International Society of Paediatric Oncology (1,972 participants). With an understanding of facilities, travel routes, hotel rooms, and supporting details required by various MICE events, STO is expected to engage in a deliberate effort to bring the events to Seoul.
At the same time, STO had an opportunity to reinforce its global network with ICCA, executives of major international organizations, global PCOs, and invited speakers. The organization was also able to benchmark successful examples of congress bidding and hosting through an education session. In addition, STO was able to gather information about how AI and automation technology will change the future meetings industry, and it learned about recent trends regarding overtourism and urban policies.
Key programs of this ICCA Congress included a "Business Exchange," where each city shared information regarding events they have recently hosted, which could lead to potential clients being discovered for different locations. Another key program was "CAT Night," a social program that allows participants to build a network with professionals who are connected to worldwide conventions. On November 11, sector and chapter meetings were held. Every year, Seoul participates in the ICCA subcommittee meetings including the meeting for the Convention Bureau·Tourism Authority Sector and the Asia·Pacific Regional Chapter.
According to the 2017 ICCA ranking announced on May 7, Seoul has come in 10th place among world cities by hosting 142 MICE events. The next destinations for the ICCA Congress include Houston, USA (2019), Kaohsiung, Taiwan (2020), and Cartagena, Colombia (2021).