The 2018 Seoul MICE Week was held at the Grand InterContinental Seoul Parnas hotel and Coex Convention & Exhibition Center (Coex) on November 22nd and 23rd. The event was co-hosted by the Seoul Metropolitan Government (SMG) and the Korea International Trade Association (KITA), and it was organized by the Seoul Tourism Organization (STO). The Seoul MICE Forum, Seoul MICE Briefing Session and Conference, and the Seoul MICE Alliance Annual Meeting took place on the 22nd, and the Seoul MICE Future Talent Day was held on the 23rd. Seoul MICE Week, which is currently in its fifth year, is an event that brings together global experts and related industries in one place for the revitalization of the exhibition and convention industry.
This year’s Seoul MICE Forum featured discussions on a variety of topics under the theme of “Designing the Future of MICE.” The first keynote speaker for the forum, PYH CEO Park Yong-hoo, gave a presentation that was titled “Design the Future MICE Industry by Changing Your Perspective.” Park Yong-hoo, who introduces himself as a “perspective designer,” spoke on the need to view the MICE industry from different perspectives while discussing the changes in the MICE industry. The second keynote speaker, International Convention Centre Sydney (ICC Sydney) CEO Geoff Donaghy, gave a speech titled “The MICE Industry and City Competitiveness.” During his speech, he introduced ICC Sydney and explained the importance of events that are connected to different local universities, companies, and indigenous people.
Following the second keynote speech, speakers lectured on “Innovative Strategies to Secure Global MICE Competitiveness.” Director of KITA, Huh In-kyu, gave a presentation on the development of infrastructure for the MICE industry. Director Huh compared the infrastructure in Seoul with Shanghai and Singapore and spoke about the need to expand Seoul’s infrastructure. He spoke about the convergence of the MICE, culture, and sports industries through the construction of the Seoul International District, which is linked to Coex and is being built to boost the city competitiveness of Seoul. The second speaker, marketing manager of TripAdvisor Gary Cheng, discussed how the competitiveness of many MICE destinations depend on locations that embrace culture, and he emphasized the importance of understanding the motives of travelers based on their age and occupation.
The panel discussion featured Professor Kim Chul-won of Kyung Hee University as the moderator; panelists included Daisy Park, representative of Tourism Indonesia Seoul Korea; Gary Cheng, destination marketing manager of TripAdvisor; J.B. Son, country manager of Reed Exhibitions Korea; Chis Oh, managing director of MCI Korea; and Jo Deokhyun, chief of the MICE division at the Korea Tourism Organization. The panelists had a heated discussion about the need to develop a multipurpose integrated facility complex.
The forum helped me to realize that it is important to secure infrastructure for the future of Seoul MICE. For this to come to fruition, forums such as this that give an opportunity for discussion should be held regularly. I look forward to seeing Seoul MICE Week develop into an international forum.
Seoul MICE Future Talent Day, which was targeted at people who have an interest in the MICE industry, was held at Coex Convention & Exhibition Center (Coex) on November 23rd. The purpose of the event was to raise public awareness of the MICE sector and to increase the understanding of the industry among students and job seekers in related fields. The main programs consisted of a quiz contest called “JAM MICE,” “Time to Meet MICE,” a talk concert called “Turn On My MICE LIGHT,” and a disbanding ceremony for the future talent of Seoul MICE.
For the first event, which was the “JAM MICE” quiz contest, students who are currently majoring in MICE-related fields of study and citizens who hope to get into the MICE industry came together to participate. The participants answered quiz questions that tested their MICE knowledge, and those with high scores were awarded different prizes.
Up next was “Time to Meet MICE,” which was hosted by Na Seung-yeon, the CEO of Oratio, and Kim Eun-joo, senior BTL planner of Cheil Worldwide. Na Seung-yeon, who was tasked with heading the bidding presentation for the 2018 Pyeongchang Winter Olympics, spoke about the process and events behind the bidding of the Pyeongchang Olympics. She also explained the important elements of presentations in a way that was easy to understand. Kim Eun-joo, who was responsible for the planning and management of the opening and closing ceremonies for the Pyeongchang Olympics, spoke about the process behind planning events and answered questions about the MICE industry following her lecture.
“Turn On My MICE LIGHT” was the third event of the day. Kim Ki-yeon, BM of FM Communications; Oh Yun-jeong, director of Exporum, Jung Rang, director of Redcap MICE; and Heo Cho-rok, section chief at IOCONVEX were in attendance to offer their advice to job seekers are were hoping to work in the MICE industry and to others who have concerns about their career. The four guests of the event listened to the concerns of the audience members who shared their stories and offered up sincere responses, which gave strength to the students and job seekers who are hoping to get into the MICE industry.
The Seoul MICE Future Talent Disbanding Ceremony concluded the event. The ceremony consisted of a greeting from CEO and president of STO Jae-sung Rhee, the presentation of a performance report on the MICE professional workforce cultivation enterprise, the presentation of commendations for outstanding performance regarding MICE Future Talent activities, and a group photo session. Certificates of excellence from the mayor of Seoul and Jaesung Rhee were also awarded to a total of 10 individuals from the Seoul MICE Supporters, Seoul MICE Supporters’ management, MICE Press Corps, and the MICE Talent Bank program.