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November 16, 2007

Day 3:Korea MICE Expo LIVE

Thursday 30th June marked the last day of the three-day Korea MICE Expo (KME). It was Seoul's second year to host the annual event, and with success. The 2011 KME was organized by the Seoul Tourism Organization and the Korea MICE Alliance, and hosted by the Seoul Metropolitan Government and the Korea Tourism Organization. Next year's KME venue has already been confirmed as Seoul, which will mean three consecutive years for South Korea's capital.

This year's event saw 100 international buyers and 205 domestic buyers, who met with 175 exhibitors at Coex for two days on the exhibition floor. Last year's KME saw a total of 225 buyers and 131 exhibitors. Several events were also held, including the Seoul MICE Forum and specialized destination presentations for buyers by the Seoul Tourism Organization (STO). Key speakers at this year's Seoul MICE Forum included Andy Nazarechuk, founding Dean of University of Nevada Las Vegas-Singapore, and former ICCA President Pieter van der Hoeven.

In a bid to expand the Korea MICE Expo as well as increase the city's appeal to buyers, STO signed an MOU with the Thailand Convention and Exhibition Bureau on the first day of the KME.



Seoul has been keeping itself very busy indeed - the South Korean capital is a member of the FCCI, a global strategic research and knowledge exchange partnership of convention bureaus from seven leading cities in the global conventions industry - Abu Dhabi, Durban KwaZulu Natal, London, San Francisco, Seoul, Sydney and Toronto. The FCCI is coordinated by Fast Future Research - authors of the Convention 2020 study on the future of the meetings industry. The FCCI is presided over by Rohit Talwar, who is also the CEO of Fast Future Cities Initiative.

The FCCI cities agreed to share strategies and research in strengthening their cities as convention destinations. On March 20-23, the member cities convened for their first 'Action Forum', where they discussed development strategies as individual cities and ways that they would cooperate in the future. FCCI member city representatives were also able to meet Korean government officials and industry professionals and academics to discuss larger topics regarding the future of the meetings industry.

While some parts of the world may be concerned about South Korea's relations with North Korea since November last year, STO's Ms. Maureen O'Crowley, Vice-President of Seoul Convention Bureau, tells MEETINGS:review that there is no need for MICE

delegates to worry. "In fact, meeting planners never seemed to lose confidence in the safety of Korea as a destination. Political posturing is a fact of life in many regions throughout the world and one often used by North Korea to gain global attention. The total number of meetings are up - in fact, Seoul hosted an additional 50 meetings that met the UIA criteria which landed Seoul in 5th place for 2010 and the pace continues to be strong,” says Maureen.


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