08 Nov Seoul Keeps the Wheels Turning for 25th World Road Congress
Seoul pulled out all the stops for the 25th World Road Congress, the world’s largest gathering of road-based transport professionals, which took place at Coex from November 2-6. The event made use of many of Seoul’s support programs for international meetings, including promotional assistance, operational support, and city tours for attendees.
A total of 35,000 participants from 120 countries attended the congress, including government officials and key figures from public and private organizations. Under the theme of “Roads and Mobility – Creating New Value from Transport”, attendees discussed current issues in the road sector and its main challenges for the future. The week-long event included various discussion sessions on road transport administration, maintenance, and best practices, as well as exhibitions from related organizations.
To promote the congress, Seoul provided support for a series of event banners in and around Coex. At the event itself, 100 Seoul MICE Supporters were on hand to facilitate attendees’ needs. Available to international meetings hosted in the city, the Seoul MICE Supporters are a pool of multilingual staff trained and subsidized by the Seoul Convention Bureau for event assistance. Financial support for the congress was also provided for the holding of a side event at one of Seoul’s unique meeting venues for up to 150 persons.
Assisting attendees with their discoveries of the city itself, Seoul provided an on-site cultural booth with activities and a photo zone. Attendees were also issued Seoul Welcome Kits, containing promotional materials, souvenirs, and guides to the city. A total of 2,300 Seoul MICE Cards were also issued to attendees; the rechargeable, stored-value cards can be used to pay for public transport and select items at participating stores.
With so many transportation experts in town, it was also a golden opportunity for Seoul to demonstrate its cutting-edge Transport Operation & Information Service (TOPIS). Visits to the TOPIS headquarters formed the basis of a special half-day tour operated six times throughout the week for 40 participants at a time with interpretation offered in English, French, and Spanish. The program also included visits to the Seoul Metropolitan Facilities Management Corporation. Organized by the Seoul Convention Bureau, the tour drew 240 participants – the largest city MICE tour ever arranged by Seoul. TOPIS is just one of many such themed tour destinations offered by Seoul for business visitors attending international meetings. [See the full list]
Congress attendee Jeremie Vandorme, Chairman of Emul Bitume, expressed his enthusiasm for Seoul’s convenient meetings infrastructure. “In big cities in France such as Paris and Lyon, it’s really difficult to find a hotel nearby exhibition centers. You need to book your room from six months to a year in advance. Here in Seoul, it is very convenient because there are many hotels around Coex. There are restaurants and everything inside. It’s also very easy to get to exhibitions” he said.
First held in 1908, the World Road Congress is organized by the World Road Association (PIARC), which strives to improve international cooperation and best practices in the field of roads and road transport. PIARC members include 122 governments, individuals, and associations from 144 nations. This year’s congress was organized by the PIARC with the assistance of the Ministry of Land, Infrastructure, and Transport (MOLIT) and the Seoul Metropolitan Government.