Seoul MICE Forum to Chart the Meetings Industry’s Future
Friday 19, November 2010
Seoul’s meetings industry will come into the spotlight next week when a group of experts gathers to discuss the outlook for the field and the challenges ahead.
The discussion will take place at this year’s Seoul MICE Forum, part of the Korea MICE Expo, which will place from November 23-25 at the COEX Convention Center. Over 100 international buyers will have the opportunity to network with their Korean counterparts and discover what Seoul and the nation’s meetings, incentives, conferences and events (MICE) industry have to offer.
The special two-day forum, scheduled for November 24-25, is the first of its kind to be held in Seoul and will bring together experts from government, business and academia. With “MICE in the New Decade: The Challenge” as its theme, the forum will focus on expected long- and short-term changes in the meetings industry and the opportunities such changes could present. Discussion topics include ways of making meetings more convenient for participants, catering, seating and customized services. Leadership roles and environmental concerns are also expected to be key subjects of talks, with sustainability in particular drawing increased attention as the industry continues its rapid growth.
The November 24 opening ceremony will feature keynote speakers Martin Sirk, CEO of the International Congress & Convention Association (ICCA), and Rohit Talwar, CEO of Fast Future Research, a London-based consultancy that researches future trends. This will be followed by seven sessions over the next two days focusing separately on “Smart MICE," "Integrated MICE" and "MICE 'Greenomics'.” The Smart MICE sessions will see participants predict how the development of technology will impact the industry in the coming years. The Integrated MICE talks will focus on strategies designed to maintain the global competitiveness and consistent development of Korean meetings industry infrastructure, such as business hotels, transport and convention facilities, while providing case studies from overseas such as Singapore and Sydney. Finally, the MICE Greenomics (green economics) discussions are set to focus on the ways in which industry players in the above fields can embrace environmentally-friendly business strategies while maintaining profit growth.
Other scheduled speakers include John Hutchinson, CEO of Business Events Sydney; Didier Scaillet, chief development officer of Meeting Professionals International (MPI); Robin Lokerman, president of MCI Asia-Pacific, a global communication and events management firm; and George Tanasijevich, vice president of Singapore resort giant Marina Bay Sands. The Korea Convention Society will hold its biennial conference during the forum.
Other events at the expo include the IMEX-MPI-KME Future Leaders Forum and the Seoul MICE Youth Challenge, both of which are designed to attract university students to the field of business tourism while also giving them opportunities to have their say in the future development of the meetings industry. ICCA will also host a special Data Workshop, where participants will learn how to use the organization’s database for MICE marketing strategies and methods.
This year’s expo will place an even stronger emphasis on networking – buyer-seller business negotiations, in particular – than past events. One outcome of this is a 120 percent increase in the number of participants compared to last year. Over 100 foreign buyers, approximately 190 local buyers and 180 MICE-related businesses have confirmed their attendance. The expo is expected to lead to additional information sessions targeting both foreign and domestic buyers in Seoul and outside Korea.
Future trends in the meetings industry and knowledge-sharing are key concerns of industry players here. The Seoul Tourism Organization (STO) is a founding member of the Future Convention Cities Initiative, a global partnership set up to share knowledge and experience among members in order to foster the growth and development of the global meetings industry. Earlier this year, the STO became a platinum sponsor of the Convention 2020 Phase 1 Report, which forecasts the ways in which the meetings industry is likely to change over the next decade. Phase 1 of the study was recently released.
Now in its 11th year, the annual Korea MICE Expo will be held in Seoul for the next three years, the goal being to boost the event's brand power and further promote Seoul’s meetings industry.
The STO is a joint venture launched by the city and private enterprise in February 2008 with a core mission to promote Seoul as a convention and tourism destination. The Seoul Convention Bureau, a division of the STO, represents Seoul’s meetings industry and business tourism interests.
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