Eager to stimulate MICE business in the buzzing city of Seoul, Seoul Convention Bureau (SCB) has rolled out the new PLUS SEOUL programme, with further extra support programmes in response to COVID-19.
While the Seoul Metropolitan Government has coordinated operative response plans which the enterprises and citizens of Seoul can take advantage of, the PLUS SEOUL programme of Seoul Convention Bureau focuses on assisting the MICE industry in the city. As well as ‘boosting the business event experience with lasting memories and bonds’, the 2020 version has response and recovery plans in place to combat the global outbreak of COVID-19.
The 2020 PLUS SEOUL programme additionally highlights what Seoul Convention Bureau values the most in implementing services for the MICE industry in Seoul, the sustainable development for the people and the community involved. For more MICE events to be supported, it has lowered the minimum number of international participants required to apply for the programme. The minimum number was brought down from 500 to 200 for all international conferences. Meanwhile, the conferences that have been postponed but will take place within the year are to be offered 10 per cent more of the pre-approved financial support. The minimum number was lowered from 50 to 20 for corporate meetings and incentive tours, and one extra benefit is to be added to the benefits selected by the company.
One of the biggest strengths of the PLUS SEOUL programme are the customised programmes, which aim to boost employees’ belongingness to their companies. These are still a core part of the PLUS SEOUL programme for corporate meetings and incentive tours, with the addition of newly introduced options, such as Seoul Customized Welcome Drinks, On-Spot Photo-booth, Food Trucks, AI Robot Rental and Event App Development services.
To promote paperless conferences, PLUS SEOUL proposes the use of customised apps during the event. Meanwhile, further extending sustainability, a donation is made to the local organisation under the name of the event or host organisation as a token of expressing appreciation for choosing to be eco-friendly.
Welcoming the companions of MICE participants with one-day tour programmes or meal cards are also new initiatives that reflect the needs and trends, as well as AI Robot Rental, an Airport Concierge Desk and an Open Session for the public.
SCB set up the Seoul MICE Support Center as an immediate response centre in early February and started gathering examples of situations, matters and concerns relating to the COVID-19 outbreak from both private sector SMEs and stakeholder associations.
Practical consultations from professionals in various fields, such as in labour, accounting, taxation, administration and management and law, are offered to aid the MICE industry of Seoul to better face the challenges in hand.
Preparing the supplementary documents to apply for different government support programmes is one of the common consultation topics upon the introduction and explanation of such programmes. The centre also acts as the essential resource centre for hand sanitisers, facial masks and COVID-19 Guidance posters for SMEs in the MICE industry.
When Seoul Convention Bureau values and reinforces the partnership, it takes the whole country into account. Through a co-marketing programme, Seoul is building partnerships with other cities in Korea, even though the official MoU signing is on pause due to the outbreak. If an organisation has more than 20 international MICE participants, whether they attending a conference, a meeting, an incentive tour or an exhibition, they are eligible to apply for this programme upon having a one-night stay in Seoul and travelling to different regions in Korea.