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Seoul redefines MICE: Meet Innovatively with Cooperative Energy

City bureau uses word play to reflect business pivot during Covid-19.

The city's convention bureau has worked closely with a number of industry stakeholders and Seoul MICE Alliance (SMA) members (pictured) to ensure a comprehensive response to Covid-19.
The city's convention bureau has worked closely with a number of industry stakeholders and Seoul MICE Alliance (SMA) members (pictured) to ensure a comprehensive response to Covid-19. Photo Credit:Seoul Convention Bureau

Seoul Convention Bureau (SCB) has spun a new definition for MICE: Meet Innovatively with Cooperative Energy — to reflect the destination's relative success in restarting events during Covid-times.

Everything boils down to one keyword for the year: Collaboration.

SCB consulted with the private sector and members of the Seoul MICE Alliance (SMA) members to understand how to best fortify the MICE supply chain; distributed personal protective equipment, including face masks and sanitisers; and created digital marketing activities to keep the destination top-of-mind.

These collaborative efforts were duly recognised by the International Congress and Convention Association (ICCA), as the bureau scored the ICCA Best Marketing Award - Special Edition 2020 at last month's 59th ICCA Congress, where Seoul was one six regional hubs powering the hybrid event.

“The focus was to build stronger connections with the key players of the industry as well as the outside. As we all know, the year 2020 has been a special one, bringing consistent challenges and changes to the MICE industry. Of these, the biggest influence... was no doubt the implementation and advancement of meeting technology,” said Don Byun, executive director, SCB.

To connect with a world that has all but gone online, the Virtual Seoul platform became a destination marketing tool offering e-conferences, virtual tours, live discussions, gamification options, cultural activities, and promotional booth. One example: The Union of International Associations (UIA) Associations Round Table – Asia-Pacific 2020 which recently took place in Seoul, featuring a virtual city, complete with historical buildings and landmarks, which mirrored the South Korean capital.

SCB has also made it easier for event planners to access its PLUS SEOUL support programme by lowering the minimum number of participants required to access funding and bidding support.

There is also an Infection-free Zone and Reassuring Package available; events can be held in a designated Infection-free Zone that will be sanitised for the duration of the event in Seoul. The Reassuring Package provides comfort and care services for delegates, from arrival through to departure.

Korea Tourism Organisation, meanwhile, also upgraded its MICE Support Scheme.

Events with more than 1,000 persons can now receive up to US$180,000 in financial support. Events with 500-1000 can access US$43,600; those with 50-500 persons are eligible for up to US$13,000, while events with less than 50 guests can access US$870.

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