Korea, a country known for its unique charms, positioned itself early on in the Asia-Pacific MICE 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 MICE industry only continues to grow by the minute.
Korea is solidifying its reputation as a safe MICE 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 safe and 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 measures and supporting the “Seoul MICE Safe Zone.” These efforts were recognised 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.
Korea is gaining momentum as a MICE powerhouse in 2022
As Korea continues to grow as a MICE powerhouse, large international conferences will be held in 2022 despite the ongoing pandemic. Around 800 researchers and policymakers from 30 countries will visit Daegu for the “2022 World Conference on Gerontechnology.” The field of gerontechnology 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. More than 500 scholars and representatives from global companies related to robotics, such as Amazon, KUKA, Samsung, Google, and NVIDIA, are expected to attend.
Meanwhile, the Busan International Motor Show will open for the first time in four years since the COVID-19 breakout, under the theme “Next Mobility, A Celebration,” presenting the future of motor trends by exhibiting eco-friendly vehicles and autonomous driving technologies. The event will also include specialized academic events and seminars in diverse fields, including eco-friendly vehicles, special vehicles, motorcycles, e-mobility, 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.
Korea’s MICE Zones offer unrivalled entertainment
Korea doesn’t just stop at “pandemic prevention.” It pushes further ahead to enable large, yet safe international conferences regardless of the circumstances. Numerous tourist spots harmonising tradition with modernity add to Korea’s charm as a host country for international conferences. The country has developed “International Conference Complex” MICE Zones in Goyang, Incheon, Gwangju, Busan, and Daegu, where participants have convenient access to specialized conference facilities, hotels, shopping, recreation, and leisure facilities.
Busan’s “Haeundae International Conference Complex Zone” hosts various exhibitions and conventions, including large-scale international exhibitions and conferences at BEXCO, Busan’s top conference facility. Participants can watch movies and experience cultural activities at the Busan Cinema Center. BEXCO also offers the Busan MICE video consultation center and studio for online conferences and small-scale hybrid events, and the Busan MICE Information Center provides a comprehensive one-stop information center for pandemic prevention and successful hosting of MICE events.
Striving to be “Asia’s Leading International Conference Complex Zone,” the Daegu Business Events District provides facilities for hosting hybrid conferences. Experience the Metaverse with “Daegu MICE Virtual Town,” where you can visit digital EXCO, Dongdaegu Station, Donghwasa, and Suseong Pond. These services reflect the quickly changing conference and industry trends, connecting both online and offline components. In addition, Kyungpook National University in Daegu is part of the Business Events District, complete with a quasi-conference center, concert stage, sports facility, museum, and more. These cultural facilities allow visitors to readily experience Korea’s unique campus culture.
Korea’s first international conference complex created by a local government, Global Convention Complex Goyang (GCC Goyang) offers lodging, shopping, and theatres clustered around Korea’s largest international conference centre, KINTEX. The MICE Information Desk within KINTEX provides a one-stop comprehensive information service, and “Goyang Destination Week” allows global MICE experts to share MICE-related information both online and in person. GCC Goyang’s competitiveness as a MICE event destination has been recognised globally through these activities. In addition, with the planned opening of Ilsan Techno Valley, CJ Live City, and other facilities, the city of Goyang is anticipated to be reborn as a dynamic destination where participants can experience culture, tourism, and experience programs.