Seoul provided a compelling backdrop on July 5th to help encourage nationwide youths to join the meetings industry at Seoul MICE Future Day 2019, held at Floating Island Convention within the city’s Hangang River. The event is the latest of Seoul’s efforts to upscale its support for home-grown meetings industry providers, in particular small-to-medium business events companies as well as college students and young jobseekers trained in related fields.
Hosted by the Seoul Tourism Organization (STO) and sponsored by the Korea MICE Association, the inaugural MICE Future Day attracted 200 MICE supporters from convention bureaus nationwide. MICE supporters are trained by regional convention bureaus to provide operational assistance at events hosted by their host destination. The Seoul MICE Supporters program in particular assist around 100 business events a year, with an average of 20 supporters assisting at each event – all part of the city’s PLUS Seoul support program.
Seoul MICE Future Day included a keynote speech on the topic of ‘Trends in the Digital Age and Effective Marketing’ by Kim Taewon, Managing Director of Global IT Group. Also featured was a quiz show, talks by other industry experts and a competition challenging teams of supporters representing each convention bureau to come up with creative ways of promoting inter-regional cooperation.
Describing the motivation behind Seoul MICE Future Day, STO head of MICE Marketing Lee Gyeongjae said the event “established a place for talented people who are interested in, and passionate about, the MICE industry,” adding also that it “will expand upon our interactions with academia and related businesses to grow tomorrow’s professional labor force.”
The initiative follows the June 25th opening of the new Seoul MICE Small Business Support Center, designed to provide expert consultation for small-to-medium-sized business events enterprises on a range of matters, including judicial, tax, labor affairs, and key management issues. SMEs account for 85% of Seoul’s meetings industry providers, some of which are members of the Seoul MICE Alliance.
“We aim to make the Seoul MICE Small Business Support Center a gateway for SME companies to become empowered contributors to business events in our city” said Ju Yongtae, director of the Seoul Metropolitan Government’s Tourism and Sports department. “In so doing, we will actively help MICE companies to create a business-friendly environment for our meetings industry.”
Seoul currently ranks in third place worldwide for the number of meetings hosted the previous year, according to the latest UIA International Meetings Statistics Report – a position it has now held four years’ running. The same report places Korea second worldwide in the country rankings category.