An elegant Hanok built in 1957, Korea House is a cultural multiplex to promote the beauty of Korean culture. PHOTO CREDIT: Seoul Convention Bureau
Successful MICE planners know that, these days, business events are no longer confined within the four walls of a venue. Away from the expert panels and breakout sessions, it is just as important to curate and offer activities that transform, have a lasting impact and form a vital part of a organisational culture that people aspire to belong to.
This is especially relevant for event planners who are looking for unique activities and unconventional venues that will stoke the fire of participants' passion, help them find greater meaning in their work and their role in the organisation, and stay long in their memories.
Here are some suggestions planners can tap on:
INSPIRE THE SUPERSTAR IN US
At RKD Entertainment, attendees get to exercise and release all the corporate stress through dancing a la K-Pop stars 2NE1 and BTS. PHOTO CREDIT: Seoul Convention Bureau
What better way to break the ice than to get participants to shed their shyness and show a different and unseen side of you. The K-Pop experience provides just that.
Held in an indoor dance studio, attendees learn from actual K-Pop back-up dancers to move like a pro to popular K-Pop chart-toppers. On top of instilling teamwork while the group dance in sync like renowned K-Pop bands 2NE1 and BTS, attendees will get to exercise and release all the corporate stress in them as well. Vendors RKD Entertainment and Cosmojin Tour have packages for planners to choose from.
One can also pop in at the King Studio, where participants can record their very own K-Pop song and create a self-made music-video like their favourite K-Pop stars.
WOW WITH HISTORY, SIGHTS AND SOUNDS
Planners can hold events at manmade landmarks such as Floating Island at the Han River. PHOTO CREDIT: Seoul Convention Bureau
Immerse your participants in the rich traditional culture of Korea. Hold your events at historic sites such as Arumjigi House and Namsangol Hanok Village, or at manmade landmarks such as Floating Island at the Han River. Also take your delegates on the Eland Cruise, where guests can enjoy an exquisite evening of networking while taking in the breath-taking Seoul skyline along the Han River.
Or head to Korea House, an elegant Hanok built in 1957 as an official reception hall for foreign dignitaries visiting Korea. Now a cultural multiplex to promote the beauty of Korean culture, groups can enjoy Korean royal court cuisine, traditional performances, banquets and cultural programs there.
For the more spiritual, a temple stay at Jinkwansa Temple can be a liberating experience. Participants can sign up for a one-day program to meditate, seek counsel from venerable monks, cleanse your soul with a formal monastic meal, and experience total relaxation from various corporate stress.
INSTILL A HEALTHY SENSE OF COMPETITION
Urban Quest's games are challenging, engaging, and create direct interaction with locals. PHOTO CREDIT: Seoul Convention Bureau
Get participants to collaborate in teams to complete mini-missions across the city. Programs such as Running Man, K-Wave Racing, Seoul Free Fun Pass and Hangeul Hunt are perfect for participants to solve puzzles as a team and, at the same time, immerse themselves in local culture and get to experience everything that the city has to offer.
The Ancient & Modern Seoul City Race, for example, takes the attendees to various areas in Seoul, where they are being grouped into teams to participate in missions such as finding the Great King Sejong at Gwanghwamun Square and finding the Dongdaemun Design Plaza. During the game, the participants will have to take the public transportation, try Korean street food, find the best souvenirs, mingle with the locals and more.
Or take part in Urban Quest for the ultimate cultural teambuilding experience. Teams will compete in an immersive, themed quest, and participants get to solve puzzles by exploring back alleys, entering stores, opening subway lockers, talking with locals or actors, finding items, and more. Games are challenging, engaging, and create direct interaction with locals. Themes and storylines are fully customisable for your groups, and are designed and directed by escape room developers.
WITNESS ENGINEERING MARVELS OF SUSTAINABLE SEOUL
Lined with 24,000 plants, Seoullo 7017 is a 1km-long elevated linear park built atop a former highway overpass. PHOTO CREDIT: Seoul Convention Bureau
Impress your delegates by hosting events at unique venues that are products of Seoul's comprehensive urban regeneration plan. Check out Seoullo 7017, also known as the Seoul Skygarden or Skypark. Lined with 24,000 plants, the elevated linear park is 1km long and built atop a former highway overpass.
Be inspired with sustainability practices at Seoul Upcycling Plaza, the world's largest cultural complex dedicated to upcycling, delegates can learn how used resources are transformed into completely new products.
Other notable venues include Seoul's Oil Tank Culture Park, a former emergency oil reserve built in the late 1970s turned into a cultural event complex; S factory, a hip venue for creatives housed in a former textile factory; and Baesan, a former warehouse repurposed into an industrial-style, flexible spaces for product launches and small exhibitions.
GET UP AND MOVE
Groups can fire up the competitive spirit through Taekwondo by challenging to smash the pine boards and hold team matches. PHOTO CREDIT: Seoul Convention Bureau
Don't just sit in event halls or meeting rooms all the time. Get a healthy dose of the outdoors for some physical activity to sharpen your business minds. Archery is one of Korea's most successful sports with 39 Olympic medals and it's a popular activity for corporate events, workshops and team building.
Get coached too in the basic moves of popular martial art Taekwondo and watch a demonstration by black belt holders. Groups can fire up the competitive spirit by challenging to smash the pine boards and hold team matches.
Groups can also discover Seoul on pedicabs. Pedalling leisurely on these environmentally-friendly vehicles by ARTEE Pedicabs will not only loosen up the limbs, but participants get to tour through popular areas of the city such as Bukchon, Seochon, Insa-dong, Gwanghwamun and Cheonggyecheon Stream, while carrying out different missions in groups - perfect for teambuilding!
GET THE BEST VALUE FROM SEOUL MICE ALLIANCE
SMA members receive multi-layered support to provide the best services and most memorable experiences to MICE participants throughout their stay in Seoul. PHOTO CREDIT: Seoul Convention Bureau
The Seoul MICE Alliance (SMA) is established in 2011 as a public-private partnership between the Seoul Metropolitan Government, Seoul Tourism Organization, and service providers across the MICE industry with the joint aim of better promoting Seoul's meeting infrastructure and advantages to buyers around the world.
Spanning 10 categories, the 305 SMA members include stakeholders from unique venues, hotels, PCOs, transportation, travel agencies, and entertainment companies. As valuable partners of Seoul Convention Bureau, SMA members receive multi-layered support to provide the best services and most memorable experiences to MICE participants throughout their stay in Seoul.
This article is brought to you by Seoul Tourism Organization