Seoul was the proud host of the UIA’s first virtual roundtable last week. On this occasion, Seoul Tourism Organization (STO) made participants feel like they were actually visiting South Korea’s capital city.
Seoul represents a good example of what can be done in terms of destination marketing in these unprecedented circumstances. Instead of holding back their promotion efforts, Seoul Convention Bureau created a Virtual Seoul Platform as an essential source to be used by meetings planners. They launched it on the occasion of the UIA Associations Round Table Asia-Pacific 2020 and feedback was very positive.
The platform has been designed to accommodate various types of business events, portraying Seoul as a simple 3D graphics showcasing different venues and green areas of the city. The web-based format makes it highly accessible, you don’t need to download and install anything to use it, and it works on mobile devices with most internet web browsers.
Once on the plaform, five venues represent the different assets of Seoul as a businee events destination. UIA’s Opening Keynote, Closing Remarks and Main Presentations took place in the virtual conference hall of Changdeokgung Palace, a UNESCO-listed Heritage Site. Within Namsan Seoul Tower, a promotional booth was set up to introduce some general Seoul MICE information to the participants, while providing a chat service with staff from STO. Dongdaemun Design Plaza (DDP) was turned into a VR theater for virtual tours of the city. Seoul Botanic Park was used for group and private chats. Last but not least, three artificial islands in the Hangang River were selected to be the Workshop Rooms, with live real-time discussions
The attractiveness of Seoul was carefully extracted into well-made VR videos. There were 360˚ VR videos on Seoul’s landmarks, Unique Venues, Teambuilding at the VR theater and they were filmed in the first-person point of view to present them as if one is taking a virtual tour. Riding a rickshaw to hanok village, taking a glimpse of a temple stay program and taking a site inspection of a cruise venue were some of the programs on the list… and it worked really well!
All in all, the biggest achievement, to me, was that it made me feel like going back to Seoul the second travel restrictions are lifted. It was really a job well done, and Seoul can be proud of a tool that, not so long ago, I would have bet a penny on…