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STO creates a virtual city to host UIA Asia Pacific round table

Live city tours and an interactive 3D platform offer delegates a sense of place in the virtual world.

STO created a virtual city, complete with historical buildings and landmarks, for the UIA Asia Pacific 2020 Round Table
STO created a virtual city, complete with historical buildings and landmarks, for the UIA Asia Pacific 2020 Round Table

The Union of International Associations (UIA) Associations Round Table – Asia-Pacific 2020 recently took place in Seoul — that is, a virtual city, complete with historical buildings and landmarks, which mirrored the South Korean capital.

Working closely with the Seoul Tourism Organization (STO), UIA hosted two days of workshops, conference sessions and virtual tours in a number of the city's iconic venues.

The main conference, for instance, was the UNESCO World-Heritage-listed Changdeokgung Palace; the famous Namsan Seoul Tower was the information centre (where attendees could chat and download extensive information on MICE in Seoul); the floating island venues of Some Sevit hosted workshops; Dongdaemun Design Plaza (DPP), for virtual 360-degree tours; and Seoul Botanic Park was the site for group and one-on-one discussions.

Participants at the 17-18 September event could take virtual city tours of all these locations via a theatre at DPP. Some were event exclusives – like a live, 360-degree guided tour of Namsangol Hanok Village and the Some Sevit floating island.

Tours of event venues featured real-life visuals and augmented reality features that displayed total capacity for each venue. Information about the venue also periodically appeared as attendees 'toured' the venue, with the ability to ask live questions.

Additional (pre-recorded) video tours showcased activities like Korean cooking classes, a five-senses virtual experience, a rikshaw tour and a temple-stay.

To keep participants engaged and encourage them to explore Seoul 2.0, organisers 'gamified' the city tour and, much like stamp-collection tours at live events, participants were encouraged to snap and share images on social media in order to win a prize.

While the meeting sessions experienced a few technical difficulties, STO's immersive approach to virtual destination marketing proved a marvel of technology and organisation.