Seoul MICE Industry Evolves Bravely In New Normal


Since the beginning of the COVID-19 pandemic, Seoul Tourism Organization (STO) has been making efforts to overcome the crisis and proactively respond to the changes of the MICE industry that are in line with new normal. In cooperation with Seoul MICE Alliance members, STO held international conferences on a 3D Virtual Seoul platform, and took the lead in promoting the Seoul MICE Safety Care (insurance and concierge services), thermal camera rental services and disinfection services for event venues, as well as prepared a manual and guideline poster on prevention of infectious disease and how to respond to the crisis.

Based on the revised PLUS Seoul support programme, STO provides an infection-free zone and reassuring package with Safety & Security Measure Support as below:

Starting with exhibitions in June, MICE events have cautiously resumed in Seoul’s convention centers such as COEX, Setec and aT Center, and all in-person events are being held in strict compliance with virus control measures. All participants are encouraged and expected to continuously follow guidelines of personal hygiene routines such as washing hands, wearing facial masks and keeping a minimum of o 1 to 2 metres apart from others.

Event Registration

  • Disinfecting gate rentals for convention centres
  • A thermal imaging camera will be use to screen attendees and sanitisation products were arranged
  • All delegates have to register and fill up questionnaires with a QR code before entering
  • Face detect tablets with body temperature check
  • Personal protective equipment such as mask, sanitiser and glove will be provided for staff and participants
  • Extra staff will be supported the safety procedure in case unexpected situation happen

During Event

  • Safety Measures Manual will be displayed at different locations of the venue
  • Established route around the hall for safe distancing
  • Pre-meeting with transparent barrier
  • Disinfecting event halls frequently
  • Enjoy what is prepared with own care 

To lead the world in the new normal, the Seoul MICE industry is evolving with the development of meeting technology and expanding into the digital world with its first international conference in May, BIO KOREA 2020. The online world combines endless advanced technology and imagination from the event organisers and planners, becoming a steppingstone for the Seoul MICE Alliance moving towards digital era.

Seoul has yet again proven ready to welcome the World back weather being offline, virtual or hybrid events under the new normal by winning the prestigious ICCA Best Marketing Award 2020 and further stimulating Seoul’s MICE industry through various workshops and roundtable discussions among the SMA members and leaders.

Let’s have a glimpse on how Seoul MICE Industry evolves in the new normal that rely on strict health precautions in Seoul through numerous case studies and videos.

Offline Event

(i) Seoul International Wines & Spirits Expo
The Seoul International Wines & Spirits Expo was held at COEX from 12 to 14 June 2020, in compliance with the strict quarantine rules in Seoul. Let’s watch the video and explore how the safety measure was imposed during the expo!

(ii) 2020 RemoteWork Fair
The 2020 RemoteWork Fair was held at COEX from 29 to 30 June 2020 with a focus on zero-contact or untact technology. During the conference, companies demonstrated their zero-contact technologies and attendees able to experience the untact technology of the future at the booths.

(iii) Hotel Show 2020
In July, the unique hotel industry exhibition was held in Seoul and showcased new version of quarantine equipment that can be used for hotels and restaurants especially during the pandemic of COVID-19. Participants were able to experience various interior products for hotels that displayed at special quarantine equipment booths.

Online Event

(i) BIO KOREA 2020
BIO KOREA 2020, the first international conference that went fully virtual in Korea from 18 to 23 May amid COVID-19 outbreak around the world. The online conference offered five programmes including an e-conference, a virtual exhibition, a business forum, invest fair and job fair simultaneously with 360° VR for the venue, 3D scanning of the products at the virtual exhibitions as well as 3D animated videos.

It excited the local and global MICE industry, creating curiosity on how the coming series would boost the business industry further with more advanced technologies combined with the event organisers capabilities.

(ii) Korean Society of Medical Oncology (KSMO) 2020
The 13th Annual Meeting & 2020 International Conference by the Korean Society of Medical Oncology was successfully held online from 3 to 4 September at Seoul Dragon City Hotel , with 1,700 people from 48 countries participating online.

The speakers took real-time shots in the studio, following quarantine guidelines, wearing masks, and using thermal imaging cameras and body temperature checks.

(iii) 21th International Vascular Biology Meeting (IVBM) 2020
IVBM 2020 was held through a real-time broadcast at the Conrad Seoul from 9 to 12 September 2020, in compliance with strict safety measures. Check out the video of the successful IVBM 2020 event!

(iv) Union of International Associations (UIA) Round Table Asia-Pacific 2020
Due to the COVID-19 pandemic and international travel bans, Seoul Convention Bureau (SCB) hosted UIA Round Table completely on a digital platform from 17 to 18 September 2020, in close partnership with companies in Seoul MICE industry. This virtual platform able to encourage better engagement of the delegates through Q & A sessions and live real-time discussions while experiencing the virtual travels through Seoul beside the contents of the conferences.

Hybrid Event

Due to the COVID-19 raging on from late last year, events across the world are either cancelled, or postponed one after another and some of them are to be replaced by “hybrid events”, which combine online elements with on-site in-person events.  These hybrid events are increasingly held in Seoul these days, widely used as an ultimate way to organise international conferences.

(i) International Congress on Noise Control Engineering 2020
In order to reduce the risk of COVID-19, Seoul City and Seoul Tourism Organisation successfully hosted the International Conference on Noise Control Engineering 2020 in a hybrid event format from 23 to 26 August 2020 in association with the Korea Society of Noise and Vibration Engineering. The International Congress on Noise Control Engineering is a famous conference in the field of noise control engineering, also known as Olympics of the field, which managed to draw more than 1,000 experts from 43 countries joined the online and offline events. At hosting stage, STO implemented the customised strategy on the first ever hybrid format with detailed arrangement on online events from the important base in InterContinental Seoul Coex and imposed strict safety measures for the offline events.

With a focus on the safety of attendees, the organiser carried out disinfection procedures and provided sanitary items such as face masks and hand sanitisers, as well as moved all academic and exhibition elements online apart from in-person events in compliance with Level 2 Social Distancing Rules.

For online events, STO provided additional financial support to cover expenses such as online conference system set up, content creation and more. With the themed “Advances in Noise and Vibration Control Technology”, numerous informative online lectures were conducted and various products of the field were showcased at online exhibitions, providing a new business opportunity and a variety of things to explore for online participants and businesses. In addition, STO also presented the  3D Seoul Virtual Promotional Booth with different PR materials ranging from Seoul’s attractions, MICE facilities and interesting K-cultural experience.

(ii) 2020 ICCA Congress Hub Seoul
In conjunction to the 59th ICCA Congress 2020, Seoul Convention Bureau (SCB) organised the ICCA HUB Seoul from 2 to 3 November at COEX, which was a great chance to gather delegates face to face in Seoul from all over Korea and connected them to the global MICE society.

From VR performances, dinner gathering, Korea business exchange, Asia Pacific Chapter meeting to unique venue site inspections, participants able to experience the programmes that organised in new normal situation and filled with memorable memories. Let’s enjoy the video of 2020 ICCA Congress Hub Seoul, the first hybrid event in the history of the International Congress and Convention Association (ICCA).

Seoul MICE Alliance (SMA) Networking Workshop 2020

The SMA Networking Workshop was a great opportunity to gather SMA members together to overcome the COVID-19 pandemic, and constantly working towards to provide the best programmes and services to local and international MICE participants. The workshop aimed to provide SMA members the actual opportunities to experience the programmes that organised under quarantine measures themselves.

On 7 to 8 July 2020, Seoul Tourism Organization hosted “SMA Networking Workshop 2020” under thorough quarantine measures. As one of the safety measures, participants were divided into groups of 3 or 4, instead of making one big group when travelling between the destinations. 

On 15 October 2020, SMA Networking Workshop for the second half of the year was held at Lotte World Tower in hybrid model, where participants able to attend the event physically or virtually. From the SKY31 Convention located on the 31st floor of Lotte World Tower to the Seoul Sky Bridge, participants can explore numerous excellent MICE facilities with the marvellous view of Seoul city. Check out the amazing scenes through the video.

 ICCA Best Marketing Award 2020

Based on the strong record of the number of successfully hosted offline, virtual and hybrid event during the pandemic of COVID-19, Seoul will surely earn its name in the digital MICE industry while securing safety measures on the ground. The ongoing efforts and supports by STO to local MICE industry with innovative initiatives titled “Sustainable Energy of Seoul” has gained international recognition and won the International Congress and Convention Association (ICCA) Best Marketing Award at the ICCA Congress 2020, further strengthening the position of K-MICE at the international level.

More information available at
Videos Source: Seoul Tourism Organization (STO)


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