On November 22, business events professionals gathered at the Grand InterContinental Seoul Parnas for the biggest day of Seoul MICE Week – a week of online and offline meetings-industry related events.
The 2018 Seoul MICE Week includes professional and public events such as the Seoul MICE Forum, 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.
For three years in a row, Seoul has ranked third as an international meetings city in the Union of International Associations’ (UIA) International Meetings Statistics Report. This year’s Seoul MICE Week, under the slogan of “Designing the future of MICE,” is exploring how Seoul’s MICE industry will 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 organized by the Seoul Tourism Organization, Seoul MICE Week, which is in its fifth edition, was designed to increase local awareness of the MICE industry since 2014.
November 22nd kicked off with one-to-one table appointments between 30 domestic associations and academic societies planning on holding MICE events and over 70 Seoul MICE Alliance members.
The business sessions were followed by the Seoul MICE Forum, where keynote speakers and panellists discussed strategies for securing global MICE competitiveness. Keynote speaker 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 centres connecting with the local community, including businesses, universities, and start-ups.
In a separate 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, where participants networked and reviewed the year’s joint marketing activities. In addition, select companies received awards from Seoul’s mayor Park Won-soon for being “excellent contributors to Seoul’s MICE industry.” The Seoul MICE Alliance has grown from 47 members when it started in 2010 to 299 members today.
On November 23, high school and university students will partake in MICE Future Talent Bank Day, where they will compete in a quiz on the MICE industry hosted by the emcee of JAM Live, a real-time quiz mobile app, as well as listen to talks 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."
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