STO Connects SMAs with Global MICE Industry


As the international borders between countries opened, MICE industries such as exhibitions, conventions, corporate incentive trips, tourism and events will recover gradually. On the regeneration and recovery path in endemic era, Seoul Tourism Organisation (STO) takes the initiative on face-to-face marketing activities to promote Seoul’s endless possibilities as a dynamic MICE destination through local and international tourism and MICE trade show. 

With the presence of face masks, MICE events such as IMEX Frankfurt, IMEX America, ITB Asia, Korea MICE Expo (KME) and other MICE conventions came back strongly with in-person meetings and bustled with global MICE professionals. Let’s have a glimpse on how the STO’s Seoul stand at the international trade shows caught the attention of global MICE professionals with exciting events featuring world-famous K-content, where visitors experienced Seoul’s vibrant culture by carving Dalgona from Squid Game, having Chimaek (Korean Fried Chicken), trying Korean Calligraphy and taking photos with the beautiful ‘My Soul Seoul’ wall!

Korea MICE Expo (KME) 2022

Korea’s representative MICE fair, Korea MICE Expo (KME) 2022 was held offline at Songdo Convensia in Incheon from 9th to 10th November 2022 for the first time since 2019. The KME 2022 offers an interactive MICE networking hub for face-to-face B2B meetings, conferences and exhibitions to connect passionate professionals from various fields in the Korean MICE industry.

ITB Asia 2022

Themed ‘Go Big & Go Forward: Travel Industry on the Road to Recovery and Growth’, ITB Asia 2022 celebrated its 15th anniversary at Marina Bay Sands, Singapore from 19th to 21st October 2022, with over 27,000 business appointments and meetings recorded. After 2 years, the success of the first face-to-face ITB Asia that co-located with MICE Show Asia and Travel Tech Asia signals the returning confidence of travel industry professionals in the recovery of the tourism sector in the Asia Pacific region. 

IMEX America 2022

The largest MICE trade show in the US, IMEX America was successfully held at Mandalay Bay, Las Vegas from 11th to 13th October 2022. At IMEX America, the Seoul booth concluded with a resounding success together with 8 SMA partners, holding informative PSA meetings, group presentations and a lucky draw event.

IMEX Frankfurt 2022

In the endemic era, STO celebrated the glorious return of face-to-face marketing in Seoul from 29th May to 2nd June 2022 at IMEX Frankfurt 2022, the world’s largest MICE trade show in Europe.

At IMEX Frankfurt 2022, STO showcased Seoul as a complete convention city by offering engaging presentations and joint buyer consultations with eight SMA members and hosting informative PSAs.

Touching Words from SMAs

With the support of STO, Seoul MICE Alliance Members (SMAs) participated in international MICE trade shows to promote Seoul as the home of K-culture and as a popular MICE destination with SMA members’ affiliated business projects and services available in Seoul. As a result, some SMAs have seen sales growth even during the pandemic and realised the power of synergy through collaboration with STO. As the year end approaches, STO reviewed its achievements and the prospects of the MICE industry in 2023 through interviewing few SMA members as below:

“The sales of DOJC Korea increased by more than 50% and expected to grow by more than 200% through SMA activities during the pandemic. In 2022, DOJC Korea also participated in the Vietnam-Kuala Lumpur Seoul Tourism Fair, SITM, IMEX America in Las Vegas and the KME with the STO, expanding its business opportunities to the European and American markets,” by Yoon-Hee Choi, CEO of DOJC Korea. Complete interview


“SMA is a stepping stone for VIAGEM to take a step forward and acts as a medium for face-to-face activities. VIAGEM participated in IMEX Frankfurt and KME this year with the support of STO, leading to great sales and publicity for the company,” byJae-Hyun Lee, CEO of VIAGEM. Complete interview


“US Travel Korea participated in ITB Asia with the booth support of the STO, getting more new business opportunities through promoting the travel products and securing new trades. The SMA programmes created win-win effect through information sharing and actively maintain cooperative relations through networking among SMA members,” by  Doo-Yeon Huang, CEO of US Travel Korea. Complete interview


“E-Cruise participated in SITM, ITB ASIA and KME through SMA support programme, connecting with key person from many overseas travel agencies and incentive companies. During the pandemic, SMA activities have been a great comfort for SMA members to stay strong together and recover with strong vision for the future,” by Dong-Jin Park, CEO of E-Cruise. Complete interview

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