PLUS SEOUL - customized support for associations from Seoul Convention Bureau

By Hanna Lee, International PR Manager - MICE Planning Team, Seoul Tourism Organization.

Hanna Lee, International PR Manager - MICE Planning Team, Seoul Tourism Organization

Hanna loves to communicate with the international colleagues in global MICE industry and welcomes all opportunities to introduce the Seoul Convention Bureau and its great support program, PLUS SEOUL.

Seoul Tourism Organization (STO) is an official agency fully funded by the Seoul Metropolitan Government with a given role of bringing the global-level tourism to the visitors coming to the city. The Seoul Convention Bureau (SCB) is a division of STO that is in charge of supporting and representing the city in the global MICE industry. SCB takes the same pathway of how STO built its foundation role in the general tourism, serving as an effective communication platform for the parties involved in the industry. It is the best way to boost the advantages and further lead the city to a sustainable MICE destination.

Supporting associations is one of the major roles that SCB is dedicated to fulfill with the supporting program titled PLUS SEOUL. Organizing an international conference is not an easy task as every step requires considerable effort and preparation. In profound understanding of this, SCB tries to be a practical help to the associations. It’s usually the lack of information that builds the anxiety and restricts the associations in participating in the bidding process. As the core value of the support is to be customized according to the needs and wants, SCB is available to aid any part of the process, for instance, preparing the proposals and presentation.

No one can deny the effect of promotion for the successful business events. This is the background that the customization continues into promotional activities to best suit the needs of each association. Depending on the objectives, posting advertisements on the streets or in the media may be the best way to promote whereas another association prefers an official luncheon or dinner. Yet another association may proceed with all possible options to promote the event it is hosting. Most associations apply for the support from the promotional stage as not many of them imagine that the CVB offers detailed support for the bidding stage. Also, SCB provides an official dinner support even in countries outside Korea.

The best way to learn about the MICE destination is to explore in person. Considering the current global situation, SCB might bring the customized short FAM tour to digital however, the option of visiting the requested venues and attractions in person will stay on the PLUS SEOUL program. Just as meeting and interacting with people is the basic foundation of MICE, the tour will aid creating synergies by meeting passionate staff and developing ideas how to organize the best event to bring the attention of the world to the association and the topics of the conference. It's also very important for the representatives to feel the energy of the city since it will be transformed through the event and transferred to the participants.

The Sustainable Development Goals (SDG) are not just an international trend, but a part of people who are engaged in holding international events and should always reflect responsibly. SCB constantly considers support options that can implement the value, knowing that the direction that Bureau moves in has a great impact on the local and international community. As of 2020, SCB provides support for App Development for paperless eco-friendly events and Opening Open Sessions for Local Residents to advocate the value of MICE industry to the public. Giving Back to the Local Community is a new way to leave a mark in the hosting destination by good will as the donation will be made to local institutes in need by matching amount to the counts of event app usage.

Seoul, a city with a rich culture and long history, is home to many professional talents. Its diverse culture will serve as a background for in-depth discussions on various topics. Isn’t it the ultimate goal of all conferences to contribute the best to the society we live in? Associations and convention bureaus resemble each other in ways to achieve this goal. Meetings, interactions, exchanges of knowledge and information and exciting networking happen on the platforms that we create. Collaboration is what we are both specialize in. SCB works hard to input the excellent energy to make aspects connected in this collective action.

In September, Seoul will host UIA's 8 th Associations Round Table Asia-Pacific. Because of the global pandemic situation and the related travel restrictions in many countries, this will be the first virtual UIA Associations Round Table. STO is proud to deliver the best of technology and all its support to UIA and to the associations' delegates participating for making this new experience a success.