International travel restrictions due to the COVID-19 pandemic has hit the MICE* industry harder than ever. As for Seoul, 90% of MICE events that were scheduled for the first half of this year were completely cancelled or postponed, threatening the industrial ecosystem.
To overcome the era of COVID-19 and proactively prepare to the changes of the MICE industry for the new normal in post-COVID-19, the Seoul Metropolitan Government (SMG) is fully supporting the online digitalization of civil MICE events. Support policies that mostly targeted offline events will be expanded to online and hybrid (online + offline) events.
The SMG will support all procedures of creating systems and content, such as providing consultation services for promoting events in Seoul, overseas promotion for attracting applicants, webinars and virtual exhibition platforms, for the second half of the year. Events that will be conducted both online and offline are subject to government funding, up to 120% of support funds.
Apart from this, exhibitions and plans based on innovation or that have growth potential to become global events are supported with a maximum of KRW 100 million. This is to set a steppingstone for boosting the stagnant exhibition industry and secure Seoul’s diversity and competitiveness of exhibitions at the same time.
For offline MICE events, safety will be the greatest concern. Hence, infrastructure for disinfection, such as quarantine gates, facial recognition body temperature scanners, infrared thermal cameras, and specialized hygiene/quarantine services, will be newly supported. A guide for preventing infectious diseases and responding to crises has also been created. Security insurance registration support and 24-hour foreign language consultation concierge service will be available to overseas participants for the first time in Korea.
The SMG and Seoul Tourism Organization announced the “Seoul-type Innovative MICE Support Measures” that contain the aforementioned. The goal is to quickly recover from the impact of COVID-19 by operating more fundamental support measures that change the constitution of the MICE industry rather than a one-time support, and to increase global competitiveness in the era of the new normal.