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Seoul reaches for the stars at 2018 Seoul MICE Week

On November 22-23, events including MICE forum, briefing session, and Seoul MICE Alliance annual meeting are held
Discussions on Seoul's development toward becoming the best MICE city
Promoting vitalization of local businesses through new B2B meetings

2018-December

The 5th Seoul MICE Week, organized by the Seoul Tourism Organization (STO) and co-hosted by the Seoul Metropolitan Government (SMG) and Korea International Trade Association (KITA), was held at the Grand InterContinental Seoul Parnas hotel and Coex Convention and Exhibition Center (Coex) from November 22 to 23. Over 400 professionals of the MICE industry gathered at Seoul MICE Week to discuss the future development direction of Seoul - the number three MICE city in the world - with global MICE experts and citizens and to raise awareness on the importance of MICE businesses.

The events included △Seoul MICE Forum, △MICE Briefing Session and Conference, △Seoul MICE Alliance Annual Meeting, and △Seoul MICE Future Talent Day to discuss the direction and strategies for the future development of Seoul, which has ranked third among international meeting cities for three consecutive years in the Union of International Associations International Meetings Statistics Report. This year in particular, the Seoul MICE Business Conference - which links MICE business circles with event organizers - was initiated to stimulate local businesses.

Jaesung Rhee, CEO and president of STO, said, “The MICE industry is a higher-value-added new growth engine industry, and it is also a convergent industry. We must continue to make an effort to become number one in the world since it generates more than twice as much added value as general tourism.”

During the MICE Briefing Session and Conference held on the 22nd, the first day of the event, 31 groups who are organizing MICE events in Seoul were paired one-on-one with Seoul MICE Alliance (SMA) members. The Seoul MICE Support Presentation was held later at 3 p.m. A training session for domestic associations and academic societies was held at 4 p.m. to share the successful bidding activities of the Korean Society of Ultrasound in Obstetrics and Gynecology, International Fiscal Association Korea, CardioVascular Research Foundation, and the Korean Society of Radiology along with a lecture by Nancy Carfrae, roundtable coordinator of the Union of International Associations.

The future direction of the MICE industry was discussed at the Seoul MICE Forum. At the Seoul MICE Forum that began at 2 p.m., perspective designer Park Yong-hoo gave a lecture titled "Design the Future MICE Industry by Changing Your Perspective," and Geoff Donaghy, the CEO of ICC Sydney, spoke about "The MICE Industry and City Competitiveness" under the theme of "Innovative Strategies to Secure Global MICE Competitiveness." In session 1-1, which discussed innovative strategies to secure global MICE competitiveness, Director Huh In-kyu of KITA lectured on the "Development of the Jamsil International Exchange Complex," and Gary Cheng, the destination marketing manager of TripAdvisor, lectured on "Insights for Seoul as a World Class MICE Destination." With Professor Kim Chul-won of Kyung Hee University as the moderator, Daisy Park, country manager of the Visit Indonesia Tourism Office in Korea; JB Son, country manager of Reed Exhibitions Korea; Chris Oh, managing director of MCI Korea; and Jo Deok-hyun, executive director of the MICE division at the Korea Tourism Organization, joined a 4 p.m. panel session to exchange opinions on the procurement of MICE infrastructure.

At 6 p.m., the annual meeting was held for the Seoul MICE Alliance (SMA), a partnership between local government agencies and private-sector organizations. The goal of the event was to encourage meetings between professionals in the MICE industry and to discuss and share information about the future direction and development plans for Seoul’s business events. A networking event between members was prepared to expand business opportunities, and the details of enterprises such as joint SMA marketing activities were shared. Seven parties who contributed to the development of the Seoul MICE industry were selected and awarded with a commendation from the Seoul mayor, and an award ceremony was held to present appreciation plaques for excellent members (2 individuals) and plaques for excellent unique venues (2 companies). In addition, SMG and SMA presented key performance reports, new members were introduced, and a banquet and networking event were held. SMA is a public-private partnership operated by SMG and STO with the objectives of industrial promotion and the joint marketing of MICE. The number of SMA members has expanded from 47 in 2010 to 299 this year.

MICE Future Talent Day was held on the second day. Approximately 200 high school students, university students, and other citizens from across the country with an interest in the MICE industry gathered to participate in the event. Programs like a quiz contest and mentoring concert, which made it easy for anyone to participate, helped to raise the public's awareness and interest in the MICE industry. Through JAM MICE - a quiz contest about the business events industry - as well as lectures and a mentoring concert with professionals who are currently working in the MICE industry (Na Seung-yeon, CEO of Oratio, and Kim Eun-joo, Cheil Worldwide Pro), an opportunity was provided to learn about the industry and to provide career counseling for participants.

A Seoul MICE Future Talent graduation ceremony was also held to present the annual performance report and award outstanding performers. The Seoul MICE Future Talent program consists of the Seoul MICE Supporters, Seoul MICE Press Corps, and Seoul MICE Talent Bank. The program operates activities to train the next generation of MICE personnel and prepare the foundation for future growth.


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