In October, the SMA gained 36 members, bringing the alliance up to 230 just ahead of the SMA Annual Meeting. The new members comes from a range of industries including the recently opened Courtyard Marriot Seoul Namdaemun, food tour operator O’ngo Food Communications, and numerous new duty-free shopping malls.
Also among the new members are 11 new Unique Venues including the National Folk Museum located within the Gyeongbokgung Palace grounds, Seoul Grand Park, Han River cruise ship operator Eland Cruise, and various hotel rooftop bars within the city center. Seoul’s designated Unique Venues offer not only distinct and memorable spaces for business events but also additional financial support.
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 unique meeting venues, accommodation, DMCs, and others organizations in the MICE industry. Meeting planners who use SMA member organizations for their business events are eligible for various benefits.
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 to boost Seoul’s MICE competitiveness. Major upcoming events in 2016 held at SMA venues include the 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 in Barcelona and support for media familiarization tours, among others.
The full alliance will gather for the SMA Annual Meeting which will take place at the Four Seasons Hotel Seoul, also a member of the SMA, 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. The SMA Annual Meeting will also coincide with the annual Seoul MICE Week which will take place in the same week. The Seoul MICE Week will feature lectures from distinguished individuals of the global MICE industry, educational programs, and other events to promote the importance of MICE.