Business events professionals gathered in Korea at the Grand InterContinental Seoul Parnas this week for the Seoul MICE Forum.
The main feature of Seoul MICE Week, the forum, 22 November, offered briefing sessions on available support for domestic associations and academic societies, the annual meeting for members of the Seoul MICE Alliance, a public-private partnership between the city of Seoul and companies in the MICE industry, as well as a mentoring day for students interested in the MICE industry.
The forum kicked off with one-to-one table appointments between 30 domestic associations and academic societies planning on holding MICE events and 70 Seoul MICE Alliance members.
For three years, Seoul has ranked third as an international meetings city in the Union of International Associations’ (UIA) International Meetings Statistics Report and speakers at the forum explored how Seoul’s MICE industry can transform to become an even stronger MICE destination, especially with the expected expansion of its MICE cluster into the Jamsil district by 2025.
Hosted by the Seoul Metropolitan Government and Korea International Trade Association and organised by the Seoul Tourism Organisation, Seoul MICE Week is now in its fifth edition.
Keynote speaker at the forum, Geoff Donaghy, CEO of ICC Sydney, which opened in December 2016, said: “While a physical design that assists people to connect in many ways is important, ensuring business events leave a lasting legacy is equally important.” He mentioned the significance of convention centers connecting with the local community, including businesses, universities, and start-ups.
In a session for domestic associations and academic societies, Nancy Carfrae, coordinator at the Union of International Associations, presented examples of successful international conference bids and hosting.
In the evening, Seoul MICE Alliance members convened for their annual meeting and awards and Seoul’s Mayor Park Won-soon handed out awards for industry excellence.
The Seoul MICE Alliance has grown from 47 members when it started in 2010 to 299 members today.
On 23 November, students will partake in MICE Future Talent Bank Day, including a real-time quiz mobile app, as well hearing from Na Seung-yeon and Kim Eun-joo, who played instrumental roles in the bidding and hosting of the PyeongChang 2018 Winter Olympic Games.
Director-general of the Seoul Metropolitan Government’s Tourism and Sports Bureau, Joo Yong-tae said: “Seoul MICE Week is a great opportunity for experts from related industries to gather together, share information, and strengthen the local MICE network.” He added, “We will continue to support Seoul in its efforts to become the world’s best MICE city.”