International Expos. Come April 2015, all eyes will be on Daegu Gyeongbuk as it hosts the largest international expo in the global water industry.
The World Water Forum is organized every three years by the World Water Council and attracts some 20,000 participants. The Republic of Korea expects to welcome some 35,000 visitors from 200 countries to this Expo, according to Mr. Lee Jung-Moo, chairman of the National Committee. It is estimated that the event will bring USD 242.8 million in economic benefits while creating 2,500 jobs.
Reflecting the host country’s seriousness, the preparation for the event started tweo years ago with a Kick-Off programme to launch the countdown process which included drafting the roadmap for preparations of the Forum.
To help ensure the complete success of the Forum, the Daegu Convention & Visitors Bureau (Daegu CVB) developed an enhanced Event Support Package which combines the best of Korean hospitality, efficiency and team work.
Delegates to this Forum can take advantage of the new online accommodation booking system, presented in English, which will allow them to browse photos and read details of each accommodation venue.
An onsite Welcome Desk complete with all sightseeing brochures and staffed by personnel who are trained to service international visitors (a mobile on-wheels version is also available for organizers where the traditional desk model is not possible) is complemented by an online tour programme booking system so that delegates can select the right tour package to suit their needs. As Daegu is the hub of four UNESCO designated World Heritage sites, this pre/post touring facility will surely be well patronized.
In addition, delegates can enjoy rebates at selected locations – restaurants, tourist attractions, shopping and lodging – when they use their Daegu Card which can offer discounts up to 30 percent.
As part of their attendance promotion support to organizers, Daegu CVB offers complimentary website assistance. This feature is a cost-effective option for organizers who want to build their own event website. A free template makes it possible to post event details including photos, schedules and contact information. Organizers also have the option of purchasing their own domain.
Myung-Hee Kwon, Director of Destination Branding Department at the Daegu CVB, said: “For every convention or event, attendance numbers is very important as it affects the bottom line. We are confident that this new tool will help MICE organizers generate awareness and excitement about their events.”
Last and certainly not least, Daegu CVB has a pool of MICE support professionals including international meeting staff, event staff and tour guides. This support team has successfully completed training programmes and has on-the-job experience in international hospitality having being ‘mobilized’ at the recent 2013 World Energy Congress.
John Hartley, Director of the Governing Body of World Firefighters Games, agreed: “The organization for our event (World Firefighters Game) met our expectations on every front. The professionalism of the events coordinators was by far the best seen to date,” he said. “The many people I have contact with that attended the Games still talk about the great time they had in Daegu and how they were treated with the utmost respect by anyone involved with the running of the Games.”
“Daegu CVB is one-stop shop for organizers. Our support package that attends to the essentials of planning - accommodation, touring, promotional support and event staffing - means that planners can spend less time on basic logistics and troubleshooting and more time organizing an unforgettable event,” concluded Ms. Kwon.
The 2015 World Water Forum will be the second one held in Asia, following the 3rd Forum held in Japan 11 years ago. Daegu Gyeongbuk competed with Glasgow in the final bid-off to come up triumphant as the Host City.
Daegu is aiming to turn itself into a linchpin of the water industry by capitalizing on the event to become the center of the water industry of Korea. The Korean government has prioritized sustainable water management and sound water environment building in its national agenda with the goal to become a role model country in all areas of water management. Daegu has developed its own traditional culture and industries around the Nakdong River and has accumulated abundant knowledge and experience in water quality management.