SEOUL, SOUTH KOREA, October 21, 2020 – The Seoul Metropolitan Government and the Seoul Tourism Organization announced that they will give their full support to private MICE organizers holding their events online. This measure aims to help the MICE industry quickly recover from the hardship caused by the COVID-19 outbreak and gain competitive edges globally in the new normal era.
The supports will be made with a focus on three points: (i) extending the support from on-site events to online and hybrid (both online and offline at the same time) events, (ii) selecting and supporting 32 exhibits in each development stage, and (iii) increasing support for venues, participants and hosts for “safe” and “virus-free” on-site events.
First, from July, online events, including 50 or more participants from other countries, will be given financial support from the city government, just like in existing on-site MICE events. For an online event, 80 percent of the offline event support (up to 200 million won, 20 million won on average to be supported) will be granted. For both online and offline events, up to 120 percent of the existing subsidy will be given. With these supports, 30 or so international conferences, including Korea Derma 2020 (December) and 2020 International Medical Aesthetic Conference (November), will be held online, or both online and offline, at the same time.
Second, 32 exhibits in each of the four development stages were selected through open competitions. Financial support ranging from 10 million to 100 million won will be provided along with consulting, disinfection, and workforce comprehensively. In the second to fourth stage exhibits, their development plan for the next three years was reviewed before the selection is made.
○ First stage (pilot MICE): Ten exhibit plans were developed for promising industries that Seoul is focusing on, such as bio-medical, cultural content, and smart infrastructure. Support will be given to help them realize their plan.
○ Second stage (potential): Ten small-scale exhibits to be held this year in Seoul were selected given their potential.
○ Third stage (global potential): Ten exhibits which had been held at least four times in Seoul and showed potential to become an international event were selected.
○ Fourth stage (global): One global exhibit (Cafe Show Seoul, November) with 300+ participating vendors including 30+ overseas vendors and 1,000+ buyers from other countries was selected.
Third, to ensure the safety of participants and the venues for upcoming offline events, customized measures are put together for venues, participants, and hosts.
○ Venues (Seoul MICE Safe Zone): To make sure a venue is virus-free, disinfection service, quarantine gates, thermal imaging cameras, face masks, and hand sanitizers will be provided.
○ Organizers: The “Manual for Safe Operation at MICE Events in Seoul” to prevent the spread of infectious diseases and deal with emergency will be produced and provided to event organizers though each district office. The manual contains checklist for each stage of event (from planning to running to closing) and how each party (i.e., event organizers, operators, and participants) should deal with an issue.
○ Participants: Foreign visitors to a MICE event in Korea will be given the “Seoul MICE Security Care” made up of financial support for an insurance and 24-hour concierge service. This is added to the existing welcome kit for foreign visitors (souvenir and Seoul promotion material) for their safe stay.
Joo Yong-tae, Director-General of Tourism & Sports at the Seoul Metropolitan Government, said “Seoul reorganized its supporting measures for the private businesses in the MICE industry to gain global competitiveness and lead the transformation amid the worldwide downturn in the industry.” He added, “since “K-quarantine” is globally recognized as a success story, we would like to enhance the image of Seoul as a safe city of MICE and make sure Seoul become the leader of the global MICE industry which will be recovered after the end of COVID-19 outbreak.”