Seoul Convention Bureau’s Endless Support on New Normal MICE Industry


With each passing year, the smart technology is a growth market and the pace of technological advancement continues to drive the MICE industry to new heights. Whether it be improvements in event marketing attribution, more robust event tools, or stronger event data security, the collective advancement of technology plays a significant role in the evolution of the business events industry.

In the pandemic era, MICE industry will definitely have a more difficult time getting attention when all the international foot traffic is virtual and allowing event planners to source safely should be a top priority. But, how can you explore a venue or interesting incentive activities in Seoul from homes or offices around the world? With the strong support from Seoul Convention Bureau (SCB) for technologies and experience, innovation in the Seoul MICE industry is speeding up among its Seoul MICE Alliance members (SMAs).

(i) Virtual Site Inspections

Nowadays, virtual reality (VR) is a fantastic way to start and give planners access to your venue spaces, where the venue providers work on their content marketing with technology. However, not everyone has access to VR headsets, that is why SCB introduced great visual contents through virtual site inspections videos with SMAs, which can increase visibility when planners or readers browsing for business events related informations. The virtual tour videos are available on STO official YouTube channel, and viewers can explore the venue spaces and its facilities in an accurate 360 degree view, as well as team building activities that offered in Seoul.

In the virtual site inspection videos, you can use smartphones or tablets to act like VR devices when watching the videos and experience the venue personally via movements and touch gestures, leaving you a better, safer sourcing experience while saving time and expenses. Let’s explore Seoul’s venues virtually, from convention centres, hotels and resorts to unique venues.

Through this marketing strategy, SCB aims to make SMAs’ sales process more efficient and helps them stand out from their competition while simultaneously giving them a competitive advantage in understanding clients’ behaviour. Across the right digital channels with in-depth visual contents, and create microsite experiences that promote the venue’s top features, which could be the deciding factor to attract event planners to explore more on the respective venue. Hence, the great informative 360 degree virtual experiences will not only help the venue nurture possible guests, event planners and corporate travel managers, and they will come back for more.

In addition, event planners can explore different venues through virtual tours, as well as allows them to experience Korean history and culture while enjoying beautiful scenery in Seoul. This is a great opportunity to promote the business events or leisure experience virtually, indirectly help to increase Seoul’s MICE business in the future.

For event planners that are looking for K-activities, from traditional to modern Korean music and dances, traditional performing arts and martial arts, you can have a glimpse on the team building activities. You will definitely put one of it into your event schedule or to-do list in the future!

(ii) Strengths of Collaboration 

The Seoul MICE Alliance (SMA) welcomes new members through an annual recruiting process, offering a networking platform for all the members to communicate with other MICE industry players and receive most updated information for better business opportunities. In the early of 2021, a total of 18 members from 7 areas, including a newly opened hotel, the Fairmont Ambassador Seoul, were approved to join SMA, and professional conference organisers (PCOs) contribute the highest percentage which takes up about 39 percent. With the new joining PCOs, Seoul Convention Bureau expects PCOs to play essential roles to support the industry in the line of establishing forthcoming plans, as well as adding definite energy moving forward.

On 13th May 2021, 2021 SMA Networking Workshop was strictly conducted at Seoul Tourism Plaza under tight safety measures to prevent the spread of COVID-19. With programmes such as group counselling, team building and luncheon, about 40 SMA members also visited Seoullo 7017 and Fairmont Ambassador for a venue inspection. The participated SMA members spent valuable time together through sharing, and built up team spirit to get through the hard times together.

In March 2021, Seoul Convention Bureau was the first Asian bureau to join the Hybrid City Alliance, which is founded on the principles of inclusiveness, collaboration and competence as the member cities encourage, promote and facilitate the delivery of hybrid and multi-city events. With this new international alliance, Seoul’s MICE industry is even more prepared to advance the feasible digital solutions which will be a part of industry even after the pandemic.

(iii) Digital Platforms

At the beginning of 2020, virtual events were not on anyone’s radar. Fast-forward to the end of the year and it is safe to say virtual events are here to stay. According to report, an overwhelming 93% of organisers plan to invest in virtual events moving forward. Virtual conferences and events have opened up the door for each and showed how resilient the events industry is, which have kept events going during the pandemic and will become a part of hybrid events in the future.

In response to the COVID-19 pandemic, Seoul was the first city that extended its innovative destination marketing to offer event planners a virtual meeting platform named Virtual Seoul Platform, which portrays the actual city of Seoul with meeting-hosting platform (Virtual Seoul) or virtual promotional booth with K-cultural experience (MICE World) or a virtual team building programme (Virtual Seoul Playground).

Moving forward, Seoul Tourism Organization (STO) will focus on upgrading meeting platform Virtual Seoul so that the MICE industry players can actively host virtual exhibitions in the new normal era. STO will also continuously support the MICE industry to overcome their challenges and promote the new normal MICE industry. Let’s be strong and safe to survive through the difficult time, as there is light at the end of the tunnel.

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