Feature

Emerging as Asia’s Meeting Powerhouse

Korea, a country known for its unique charms, positioned itself early on in the Asia-Pacific meetings industry with its centuries-old tradition, cutting-edge technologies, and city infrastructure. And with Korean culture taking the world by storm at the moment, the Korean meetings industry only continues to grow by the minute – ready to welcome international associations as never before.

Words Remi Deve

Korea is solidifying its reputation as a safe meetings destination by applying cutting-edge ICT technology to COVID-19 preventive measures. Even with many events postponed due to the pandemic, Korea successfully managed to host large international conferences in a secure environment, including the IDA-Korea Workshop on Innovation and Digital Technology in the Post-Pandemic World, jointly hosted by the World Bank (WB) and the International Development Association (IDA); the Fifth International Conference on Learning Cities (ICLC), the largest lifelong learning conference in the world, hosted biannually by the UNESCO Institute for Lifelong Learning (UIL); and the General Assembly of the Alliance for Asia-Pacific Learning Cities (APLC).

In the midst of the prolonged pandemic, Seoul has captured the world’s attention with its various MICE campaigns, all while implementing pandemic prevention measures, sanitation, and safety and supporting the “Seoul MICE Safe Zone.” These efforts were recognized globally by the International Congress and Convention Association (ICCA) through its annual ICCA Best Marketing Award two years in a row. Seoul was also named Best International Meeting Destination by Business Traveller in 2020 and Best MICE City seven years in a row as selected by Global Traveler Magazine.

Gaining momentum 

As Korea continues to grow as a MICE powerhouse, large international conferences will be held in 2022. Around 800 researchers and policymakers from 30 countries will visit Daegu for the 2022 World Conference of Gerontechnology, a field that has recently captured the world’s attention with its advanced technologies for the elderly. Next, the international robotics conference, RSS 2023, will be held in Asia for the first time when it opens in Daegu, with an expected attendance of more than 500 scholars and representatives from global companies such as Amazon, KUKA, Samsung, Google, and NVIDIA.

Meanwhile, the Busan International Motor Show will open, for the first time in four years, under the theme “Next Mobility, A Celebration,” presenting the future of motor trends. The event will include specialized academic events and seminars in diverse fields including eco-friendly vehicles, special vehicles, motorcycles, e-mobility and vehicle IT, parts and accessories, and autonomous driving technology.

Several other large events are planned for the year, including the XVI UNESCO Creative Cities Network Annual Conference in 2022 in Gyeonggi-do and Interspeech 2022 in Incheon. International conferences with 105 participating countries are set to open consecutively, including the World Forestry Congress in Seoul with around 10,000 participants, and the World Leaders’ Conservation Forum to be held on Jeju Island.

Seamless experience 

In Korea, organizers can count on a seamless experience for delegates. Combining tradition and modernity as no other destination does, Korea has designated specific districts, which were clearly designed with the participant’s experience in mind. In this regard, “International Conference Complex” MICE Zones in Goyang, Incheon, Gwangju, Busan, and Daegu have been developed, where participants have convenient access to conference venues, hotels, shopping, recreation, and leisure facilities.

As an example, Busan’s Haeundae International Conference Complex Zone can host exhibitions and conventions, including large-scale ones at BEXCO, Busan’s top conference facility, which also houses the Busan MICE video consultation centre and studio for online conferences and small-scale hybrid events. In addition, participants can watch movies and experience cultural activities at Busan Cinema Center. Meanwhile, the Busan MICE Information Center provides a comprehensive one-stop information centre for delegates from all over the world.

Striving to be Asia’s Leading International Conference Complex Zone, the Daegu Business Events District provides facilities for hosting hybrid conferences. In Daegu MICE Virtual Town, you can get familiar with the Metaverse while you visit EXCO, Dongdaegu Station, Donghwasa, and Suseong Pond virtually. Furthermore, Kyungpook National University in Daegu is part of the Business Events District, complete with a conference centre, concert stage, sports facility, museum, and more, creating an open door to Korea’s unique campus culture.

Last but not least is Korea’s first international conference complex created by a local government: Global Convention Complex Goyang (GCC Goyang) offers lodging, shopping, and theaters clustered around Korea’s largest international conference centre, KINTEX. The MICE Information Desk within KINTEX provides a one-stop comprehensive information service, and the Goyang Destination Week allows global experts to share meetings-related information both online and in person. In addition, with the planned opening of Ilsan Techno Valley, CJ Live City, Goyang is anticipated to be reborn as a dynamic meeting destination, opening doors to a wealth of new, unique experiences.

Worry-free in Korea

Preventive measures are essential during crises. In Korea, visitors can let go and fully enjoy the beautiful sceneries and one-of-a-kind adventures the country has to offer, without having to worry about safety issues when hosting conferences. If you are looking to host a safe conference in cities filled with unique sights to see and enjoy, consider the diverse, captivating charms of Korea

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