▲ Employees of Goyang CVB and Members of Alliance companies participate in the 2023 Korea MICE Expo (KME 2023)
Korea MICE EXPO 2023 (KME 2023), the largest B2B MICE event in Korea, was held on November 16-18 at Songdo Convensia. On the 17th, the day of the opening ceremony, the KME venue was packed with more than 3,000 domestic and international MICE officials and buyers, despite the harsh winter rain.
They went from booth to booth, meeting with municipalities, bureaus, hotels, convention centers, and meeting technology companies from across the country, and enjoyed the excitement of the event. The vibe at the venue heated up faster than ever.
KME 2023 was the first MICE event in the history of KME to be organized and operated by a private organization (Korea MICE Association) and supported by the public entity (Ministry of Culture, Sports and Tourism). As such, we were pleased to see more diverse participation than ever before, including domestic and international experts and practitioners, organizations and companies, and buyers.
Participants attended lectures, discussions, and workshops on the MICE industry in 14 categories, including △global issues △trends △marketing △content and planning △policies △jobs and △organizational culture. The Korea Trade and Exhibition Association, the Korea MICE Tourism Association, and the Korea Business Event and Convention Association, representative organizations of the MICE industry in Korea, held an integrated conference on the 17th.
In keeping with the event’s theme, “Toward a Future Embracing Diversity and Expansion!”, participants were busy sharing MICE trends that have changed since the pandemic and constantly looked for ways to collaborate. With the COVID-19 pandemic virtually over, the MICE industry is once again in the midst of a period of change and innovation.
▲ Goyang Special City's Eco-friendly(zero-waste) booth in the 2023 Korea MICE Expo (KME 2023)
As a leader in sustainable MICE, Goyang Special City’s Eco-friendly (zero-waste) booth was not just about design, but also about pre-empting the burgeoning MICE agenda of “sustainability”. In fact, Goyang, which was listed the GSDI’s “No. 1 city in Asia-Pacific for two consecutive years (2022-2023),” was praised for integrating its brand as a “sustainable global MICE destination” into its booth design and events.
There were 10 consultation tables in a standalone booth totaling 108㎡. Instead of using industrial glue which are polluting and which create non-recyclable woodworking booths, we rented reusable shelving, used eco-friendly cracker counseling tables, and installed LED screens.
▲Goyang Special City's booth made of Eco-friendly materials such as LED screen and plant interior using 'Succulent Cactus'
The booth was decorated with a “succulent cactus” plant interior wall, reflecting the Goyang city’s reputation for cacti. When the booths were taken down at the end of the event, we practiced sustainability by giving the cactus away to booth visitors instead of disposing of it in the trash. We also took the initiative to go “zero-waste” by renting all the supplies that are needed to build the booth. Thanks to that, Goyang Public Relation Office won >>the Gold Award for Best ESG<< this year. That’s three years in a row since 2019, it’s quite true!
▲ Participants are tasting desserts at the Goyang Special City's booth
Also, on one side of the booth, an event zone was organized in collaboration with local companies “Coffee Farmer”, “Ahop Rice”, and “HMG Food”. Attendees couldn’t take their eyes off the Goyang booth as they sampled the vegan desserts and K-deserts including yakgwa, Yugwa, and hand-drip coffee.
▲ Bella Oh, Manager of the Marketing team, is consulting with buyer who visited the booth
KME 2023 was attended by 120 international buyers from 32 countries, including Singapore, Indonesia, the Philippines, and the United States. They took photos with Goyang’s eco-friendly booth as a backdrop, walked into the booth, and held impromptu business meetings. In particular, the Goyang Convention and Visitors Bureau has selected nine companies (members of the Goyang MICE Alliance and tenants of the Goyang MICE Training Center) to participate in the booth for joint promotions for KME 2023. Through a pre-matching system with domestic and overseas MICE industry stakeholders, we were able to conduct about 50 consultations with 1:1 business matching opportunities.
As such, KME 2023 was enough for Goyang to show it’s unique MICE strengths and differentiation clear to relevant organizations and stakeholders domestically and internationally. Sang-yeol Lee, secretary general of the Goyang Convention and Visitors Bureau emphasized, “KME 2023 was an opportunity for Goyang to brand itself as a ‘sustainable MICE city’ as well as an ‘international conference city as a MICE destination’ to major domestic and international buyers and MICE stakeholders.”