22 Jun ‘Open Forum’ Discuss the future of MICE industry
Meeting of Opinion Leaders and MICE Future Leaders
On 7th of June, an open forum was held with a theme ‘Let’s talk about the future of MICE for Seoul’ at Haechi hall, Seoul Global Cultural Center.
Four groups such as ‘YNEAN (Yonsei North East Asian Network)’, ‘S.O.M (Students of MICE)’, ‘Kyung-hee MICE Creative Academy’ and ‘Seoul MICE Supporters’participated in the forum for active discussion about MICE industry and manpower training.
The open forum was precededin the following order: proposals by representatives of MICE student groups, responses by related personnelfrom the academia and industry, free discussions, a general review by the Seoul mayor, Park Won-soon.
Not only Park Won-soon, the mayor of Seoul, but also, Kim Byung-tae, the CEO of Seoul Tourism Organization, Kang Do-yong, the director of Redcap Tour, Kim Seong-bok, a director of Premium Pass, Yoon Yoo-sik, a professor of Kyung-hee Univ. participated at the forum. They led the forum by explaining the stance of the academia and industry and answering to the proposals by students sincerely.
The forum got started with proposals by the representatives of MICE student groups. In common, the representatives emphasized the necessity and importance of publicity for MICE industry as it is of low recognition among students, and requested that various channels be established to train personnel for the MICE industry.
Lee Se-rim of YNEAN expressed the need of publicity of the MICE industry among college students and requested support of public agencies. Jeong Da-yeon of S.O.M emphasized the necessity of recognition improvement for the MICE industry for the MICE student groups and mentioned about improvement of internship conditions in the MICE industry. Choi, Ji-hyun, Kyung-hee MICE Creative Academy, suggested methods to train MICE personnel along with suggestions for vision of the MICE industry. At last, Jeong Ji-ye of Seoul MICE Supporters emphasized the necessity of networking among around 1,000 active supporters in Seoul and requested continuous support for supporters’ own programs such as Walk Together and MICE friendship.
The proposals and requests by the students were followed by practical answers from workers from the MICE industry. Kim Byung-tae, CEO of Seoul Tourism Organization, explained about efforts to promote MICE industry jointly by the city of Seoul and Seoul Tourism Organization. Also, he emphasized the importance of close cooperation in the industry among hotels, tour agencies, international meeting planning agencies, performance planning agencies. He said Seoul Tourism Organization not only maintains SMA(Seoul MICE Alliance) with 195 MICE related agencies, but also provides opportunities to students by employing Seoul MICE supporters so that they can learn theories and field business. Kim said “1,953 supporters got involved in 65 events last year alone” and “We will look for ways to connect with international agencies in Korea for overseas internship support, which is the most interested subject among students.”
Yoon Yoo-sik, a professor of Kyunghee University, on the other hand, demanded efforts to overcome problems such as low salaries and lack of long-term visions with improvement measures of the MICE industry. He also emphasized continuous re-education for managers. At last, he advised students that they need more various experiences, out of spec-focused thinking.
Kim Seong-bok, a director of Premium Pass, indicated the fact that there is a certain gap between the reality of the industry and what students expect, regarding long-term vision of MICE industry. Also, Kim emphasized the necessity for change of recognition as “there are various fields of industries other than MICE, such as company meetings and incentives.
Kang Do-yong, a director from Redcap Tour, explained “students should prepare for employment through select and focus within the vast MICE industry”, and said that they need to go over various businesses among 250 member companies of MICE association before making a decision.
A case of Lee Ha-na, who has been able to get her job through internship program after completing MICE personnel training course by the city of Seoul, was introduced at the forum. Lee Ha-na had participated at MICE Academy proceeded by Seoul Tourism Organization for two weeks where she received essential training for work from experts from each field and got recruited by Redcap Tour as an intern. And after 4 months of internship, she now works as a regular employee since last December.
Lastly, Park Won-soon, the mayor of Seoul, said in his general review, “detailed and in-depth information should be provided, not at the formal level between students and companies, to avoid mis-matching problems of manpower” and requested students “to utilize various programs of MICE future talents support by the city of Seoul” He mentioned about expanded employment opportunities for interns and regular employees and MICE specialized personnel course development support. Also, the mayor emphasized the city of Seoul would do its best in developing MICE industry and training manpower effectively with policies and supports in light of possibility of long-term development of the MICE industry. Finally, he asked students to lead MICE industry as talented people of Seoul and the Republic of Korea.