Seoul Grows into a Global Hybrid Destination with ICCA

Seoul Convention Bureau fulfilled its role as the ICCA Congress's digital hub once again, successfully hosting both local and global programmes
10th Nov, 2021
Seoul has successfully carried out the hybrid programmes of the 2021 ICCA Congress being its hybrid epicentre for two consecutive years. The groundbreaking profile as a global hybrid meeting place will continue with the World Congress of Neurology (WCN) 2025 and the World Congress of Audiology (WCA) 2026, in which 70 to 80 percent of the participants will come from abroad. In addition, the updated version of the 3D Virtual Seoul event hosting platform will be released within a month to sustain steady steps towards a hybrid destination.

On October 26-27, Seoul served as the digital hub of the ICCA 2021 Congress hybrid programmes successfully connecting Asia-Pacific members to the global society hosted in Cartagena, Colombia, with four other centres - Abu Dhabi, Johannesburg, Nagasaki and Paris. Seoul also made available a local programme in line with the international programme broadcast on the main screen for members from Korea gathered at COEX. A hologram presentation on the Congress's key message, 'Forward to Future', kicked off Seoul's flagship program and followed with a keynote address of '2022 Korean Trends and New Normal Convention Strategy'.

The different roles of Kim Jihyun, Director of the Seoul Tourism Organization, during the Congress permeated the advantages and representativeness of a hybrid event, as she participated in an Asia-Pacific panel discussion in the morning and became one of the three moderators in the afternoon. Lectures were broadcast to all centers before each panel to broaden the focus of the discussion, as in-depth exchanges of thoughts and opinions on the same topic were followed. Seoul did not miss the chance to publicise important global industry movements and promoted speakers from different sectors of the industry to enrich local content while ensuring smooth online traffic.

Going forward, the winning bid of WCN 2025 will attract nearly 5,000 attendees to Seoul in 2025, with another 1,000 registered for the WCA 2026 the following year. Seoul is taking firm steps to advance and accumulate the hosting experiences of different types of international hybrid events. When these events take place, Seoul will be properly prepared to provide an environment that meets the highest quality in terms of hybrid events. It was demonstrated that the global MICE industry recognises the importance of destinations being hybrid when the Hybrid City Alliance won the award for best marketing at the 2021 ICCA Congress. As Seoul contributed to its success as Asia's first member, the city's effort to seek the best balance will provide an example of optimal harmonization, coordinating online and on-site events in an integrated manner.

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