The New Default

Author: Lane Nieset

Will the hybrid model become the new go-to in the business events industry post-pandemic? Successful events in Seoul are proving the potential of digitalization.

When the pandemic started, many destinations scrambled to integrate technology so that during travel’s temporary halt, delegates could still meet virtually. “Hybrid” became a buzz word as on-site and digital merged to offer a two-fold experience, and now the meetings industry is experiencing its own type of Industrial Revolution. The acceleration toward technical innovation is well underway, and destinations like Seoul, who have spent the last year preparing for the digitalization of events, are paving the way in this new market.

A step forward

“Initially, most event organizers postponed or cancelled their scheduled events, believing they could bounce back quickly. However, with the pandemic lasting longer than expected, Seoul began to prepare for the ‘new normal’ by developing support policies to fund online digitalization of MICE events, and set strict guidelines for preventing infectious diseases and responding to crises,” explains Steven Kim, Director of Convention Sales Team, at Coex, the largest exhibition and convention promoter in Korea.

Seoul is considering MICE to be a key factor in boosting the industry post-pandemic, and looking to alliances as a way to provide safety measures at future onsite events. The first Asian bureau to join the Hybrid City Alliance, which offers organizers of international events a solution when planning multiple city hub events, Seoul is building connections across the globe and sharing knowledge garnered from the alliance’s collective expertise to offer online and hybrid meeting options, as well as continue advancing the digital solutions it’s currently putting in place.

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