Seoul’s public and private sectors have strengthened ties over the past month through a series of initiatives designed to make the city more accessible to international business events and their participants. This includes a dramatic boost in membership in October for the Seoul MICE Alliance (SMA) ahead of the SMA Annual Meeting set to review local industry progress, along with joint activities by SMA members aimed at boosting Seoul’s global convention profile.
Formed in 2011 and operated by the Seoul Metropolitan Government and Seoul Tourism Organization (STO), the SMA is a public-private partnership of government agencies and business events service providers including meeting venues, accommodation, DMCs, and others. Meeting planners who use SMA member organizations for their business events are eligible for various benefits. (Learn more about the SMA by clicking on the image below.)
In October 2016, the SMA gained 36 members, bringing the total to 230. Described by an STO official as “a driving force behind the growth of Seoul’s MICE industry”, the alliance strives to build strong cooperation between government and private enterprise so as to boost Seoul’s MICE competitiveness. Major upcoming events in 2016 held at SMA venues include World Engineering Education Forum 2016 (Coex, 2000 participants), Meeting of the Internet Engineering Taskforce (Conrad Seoul, 1,200 participants), and the 5th Biennial Scientific Meeting Asia Cornea Society (Grand Hilton Seoul, 700 participants).
In addition to offering competitive rates and services to event planners, SMA members also regularly work with Seoul City to promote the capital’s meetings offerings. Joint activities include attendance at international trade shows such as the upcoming ibtm world 2017 in Barcelona and support for media familiarization tours, among others.
This year’s SMA Annual Meeting will take place at member venue the Four Seasons Hotel Seoul on November 24th. Scheduled events include workshops, presentations and discussions on the past and future of the SMA, official induction of new members, and entertainment.