Seoul has successfully secured 40 international conferences so far in 2018, which will bring more than 35,000 international delegates to the city over the coming years.
Of the 40 international conferences booked by October, 12 are considered large-scale conferences (i.e. conferences with more than 1,000 delegates), which account for approximately 25,000 international delegates.
According to the Union of International Associations (UIA) International Meetings Statistics Report published this past June, Seoul was the third most popular international meetings city from 2015 to 2017.
The city has made a steady climb from 28 wins in 2015 attracting 24,300 delegates, and could yet overtake the 2017 record of 42 international conference wins.
The Seoul Metropolitan Government credits joint marketing and bidding with members of the Seoul MICE Alliance (SMA), a public-private partnership between the city of Seoul and 299 companies in the MICE industry, for recent conference wins.
The Seoul Metropolitan Government’s director-general of the Tourism & Sports Bureau, Joo Yong-Tae, said: “Global attention thanks to the inter-Korean summits and the growing power of Hallyu (the Korean pop culture wave) appear to be having a positive impact on preference for Seoul as a meetings destination.”
KTO Convention Marketing Team Director In Sook Lee added that successful bids had also benefited “from the excellent hosting of the 2018 PyeongChang Winter Olympics and the relaxation of tensions on the Korean peninsula, along with Korea's excellent meeting infrastructure and tourism activities”.
In 2018, the Seoul Metropolitan Government and the Seoul Convention Bureau, a division of the Seoul Tourism Organization, has secured:
- The 2019 Annual General Meeting of the International Air Transportation Association (IATA) (1,000 participants)
- The American Society of Clinical Oncology (ASCO) Innovation in Oncology Symposium 2020 (3,000 delegates)
- The International Society for Pharmacoeconomics and Outcomes Research (ISPOR) Asia Pacific Conference 2020 (2,000 participants)
- The World Congress on Ultrasound in Obstetrics and Gynecology in 2021 (2,000 delegates)
- The Federation of Horses in Education and Therapy International (HETI) Congress 2021 (1,000 participants)
- The IVV Olympiad 2021 (5,000 participants), and
- The Institute of Electronic Engineers Inc’s International Conference on Communications 2022 (2,000 participants)