Seoul Convention Bureau (SCB) has found a new way to up engagement in the virtual team-building world: the Virtual Seoul Playground.
“As virtual MICE events increase, the importance of gamification and the use avatars to interact in the 'metaverse' is on the rise," said Jihyun Kim, director of SCB.
The Virtual Seoul Playground will be peppered with games of varying degrees of difficulty to challenge groups logging in from around the world, where some of south Korea's most iconic landmarks are used as the setting for gameplay — something Kim says will provide "an experience similar to the actual experience".
After logging into the programme, participants will have to first pick their avatars — wearing hanbok no less — then choose between three games revolving around traditional Korean culture activities.
This includes making gimbap at the UNESCO World Heritage Site of Changdeokgung Palace, or moving to the square in front of Seoul City Hall and pitting skills over yut-nori: a local game in which players throw four sticks and move markers on a mat accordingly. Just as scenic are the islands of Some Sevit on the Hangang River, where participants can learn more about Seoul via a quiz before decorating lanterns to float it down the river with wishes written on them.
The cooperative play will stimulate team spirit, and a tournament among participants can even be arranged.
With Covid-19 cases still on the rise — South Korea has reported 93,733 cases since 10 March — SCB hopes the Virtual Seoul Playground will be a gateway to drawing corporates globally to Seoul for now. And when on-site MICE events resume, SCB believes such "non-face-to-face team-building programmes" will continue in conjunction with in-person ones.
The Virtual Seoul Playground comes as a third component to SCB's existing virtual services for planners. The first is the Virtual Seoul meeting-hosting platform — which transited five iconic venues including the N Seoul Tower online — allowing e-conferences, live discussions, meet-and-greets and etcetera. There's also MICE World, a virtual promotional booth where participants can receive information on Seoul and try cultural activities online.