FX Excursions

FX Excursions offers the chance for once-in-a-lifetime experiences in destinations around the world.

Seoul Innovation

by Mark Chesnut

Jan 9, 2020

National Museum of Korea
PHOTO: © KOREA TOURISM ORGANIZATION

January 2020

WITH ITS ENTICING BLEND OF centuries-old traditions and decidedly 21st-century sophistication, Seoul crafted a reputation as one of the world’s top sites for meetings, incentives and other global events. According to the International Congress and Convention Association, for example, Seoul scored among the top 20 cities in the world in terms of number of international meetings hosted in 2018, ahead of Copenhagen and just behind Tokyo.

The South Korean capital lures meeting and incentive groups with various selling points. Seoul is both a governmental and an economic hub, of course. And it’s easily accessed via the sleek Incheon International Airport, which continues to upgrade its facilities. In addition, Seoul Tourism Organization is dedicated to increasing the destination’s profile with meeting and event planners through its Seoul Convention Bureau, which operates the MICE Seoul website.

Among the convention bureau’s initiatives is PLUS SEOUL, a program revamped in 2019 to make it easier for meeting planners to organize events in Seoul. The program provides financial support for bidding, promotion event hosting and even conference-specific apps, and it also helps planners create customized experiences and features for meeting and incentive programs. Options include teambuilding activities, branded transportation and amenities, and even on-site Korean cosmetic booths. Groups can also receive customized welcome messages at the airport baggage claim as well as gifts imbued with Korean culture and traditions.

Seoul boasts a variety of noteworthy meeting and convention facilities, including the nearly 356,000-square-foot AW Convention Center and the aT Center, offering two exhibition halls, eight meeting rooms and a 400- person conference hall.

Gangnam Style sculpture at COEX
PHOTO: © MARK CHESNUT

Even larger in scale is the COEX Convention & Exhibition Center, located in the popular Gangnam district. The facility hosted the G20 Seoul Summit in 2010 and encompasses more than 387,000 square feet of exhibition space with four exhibition halls; 54 meeting rooms; and a 7,000-person convention hall.

COEX is especially popular because of its location near a variety of upscale hotels such as the InterContinental Seoul COEX and Oakwood Premier COEX Center. The facility also connects to Starfield COEX Mall, billed as the largest underground shopping mall in Asia and home to COEX Aquarium, one of South Korea’s largest aquariums.

At nearby SMTOWN, a museum and performance space operated by a music production company, MICE groups can immerse themselves in the uniquely Korean musical phenomenon called K-pop. Indeed, South Korea’s contemporary cultural trends provide plenty of opportunities for unique group experiences including private musical and dance performances and even makeup classes that can transform any meeting attendee into a pop star.

Also in the pop-music vein, the appropriately named Just KPOP Entertainment Restaurant is a dining venue available for buyouts of up to 240 people, with an international menu designed to appeal to a wide audience and a stage for presentations and seminars as well as live music, DJs and dance performances.

MICE groups looking to experience traditional culture will find even more to do in Seoul. Korea House, for example, offers an array of cultural experiences that can include cuisine, music and dance. The venue’s historic architectural style, lovely garden and multifaceted programming take visitors on a trip back in time. Entertainment includes live performances of Simcheong, an age-old Korean healing story told with music and dance, performed in a 128-seat theater. Or treat guests to Korean royal culinary delights during lavish banquets, and sign up for cooking classes and taekwondo lessons. Hanbok wearing — which allows guests to don traditional Korean garb — makes another popular activity at Korea House as well as at K-Style Hub, a cultural venue also offering Korean culinary classes.

Groups interested in traditional Korean stage performances might also consider hosting a private event at the Jeongdong Theater, a 282-seat venue that stages a variety of plays and other performances.

Discover another worthwhile site for events infused with tradition and history at the National Museum of Korea, where the eye-catchingly modern building stands in contrast to an extensive collection of exhibits documenting thousands of years of Korean history. Groups can make use of an open plaza large enough to host up to 3,000 people, as well as two lecture halls that seat 416 and 200 attendees, respectively.

For a sky-high view of the city, groups head to places like N-Seoul Tower, a 774-foot communications and observation tower, and Lotte World Tower, which at 123 stories is the tallest building in South Korea. The skyscraper houses business offices as well as Lotte Hotel World, a 469-room property with nine banquet halls. Also in the tower is Signiel Seoul, a 235-room luxury hotel with five banquet halls. Events at either hotel are guaranteed to impress with stunning views.

Among the newest names in the local hotel scene, Park Hotel Yeongdeungpo marked the South Korea debut of Singapore-based Park Hotel Group when it opened in 2019. The 140-room property offers reasonable rates, meeting space and a central location in the city’s popular Yeongdeungpo district. No matter where groups stay in Seoul, they’re never far from impressive venues as well as unique experiences they won’t likely forget.

UNIQUE VENUES
It’s hard to miss the modern landmark of Dongdaemun Design Plaza — a strikingly futuristic cultural complex designed by Zaha Hadid, the first female recipient of the Pritzker Prize for architecture. The massive facility houses various venues available for corporate events ranging from fashion shows to product launches and conferences. Facilities include the 1,500-person Art Hall; 150-person Conference Hall; and a 13,088-square-foot 2Design Exhibition Hall perfect for displaying products.
ddp.or.kr

Set on the grounds of Gyeongbokgung Palace, the National Folk Museum of Korea houses more than 100,000 artifacts that recount the history of the Korean people, with an array of impressive exhibits depicting important eras from prehistoric times through various dynasties. Facilities at the noteworthy venue include three permanent exhibition areas, two special exhibition sites and a library.
mcst.go.kr/english

Namsangol Hanok Village, a collection of five restored traditional hanok buildings, allows meeting and event attendees to immerse themselves in the culture and traditions of the Joseon Dynasty, which ran from 1392 until 1910. The venue features a lovely garden as well as a theater, and groups can also arrange presentations on Korean culture, craft demonstrations and opportunities to wear the hanbok, traditional Korean formal attire.
hanokmaeul.or.kr

Introducing

FX Excursions

FX Excursions offers the chance for once-in-a-lifetime experiences in destinations around the world.

#globility

Insta Feed
United Arab Emirates
Jul 29, 2021

World’s Deepest Pool Opens in Dubai

Deep Dive Dubai, home of the deepest swimming pool for diving in the world, opened in Dubai, in the Nad Al Sheba neighborhood. Guinness World Records verified the pool as the world’s deepest swimming pool for diving at a depth of 60.02 meters, or almost 197 feet, holding 14 million liters of water, equivalent to six Olympic-sized swimming pools.

SPIA 2021 Winners Crowned at Gala Ceremony at W Hotel, Palm Jumeirah

The Sports Industry Awards returned with a bang last night as 200 guests packed the W Hotel Great Ball Room for the gala ceremony.

eFlyer Reviews
Jul 28, 2021

JW Marriott New Orleans Review

Family gatherings are extra special this year and we chose to celebrate a milestone birthday in New Orleans. The JW Marriott New Orleans, across the street from the historic French Quarter, is ideally situated for exploring the city. Streetcars roll in front of the property and are especially fun for first-time visitors. Within a ¾-mile radius, we could walk to the National WWII Museum, Ogden Museum of Southern Art, Sazerac House, Harrah’s Casino, the Shops of Canal Place and numerous restaurants.

eFlyer News
Jul 28, 2021

Regent Seven Seas Cruises’ 2024 World Cruise Breaks Booking Record for Third Year

For the third year in a row, Regent Seven Seas Cruises broke the company’s world cruise opening day booking record. The 2024 World Cruise sold out around 11 a.m. on July 14, after going on sale that morning at 8:30 a.m. Fares started at $73,499 per guest for a deluxe veranda suite, up to $199,999 per guest for a master suite.

Sports Industry Awards returns to Dubai’s Palm Jumeirah for 8th Edition

The biggest names in the Middle East sporting community will gather for the Sports Industry Awards as the event returns for its eighth edition. SPIA recognizes the achievements of individuals, organizations, facilities and campaigns that contributed to the development of sport in the region.

eFlyer News
Jul 28, 2021

Aqua-Aston Hospitality Introduces Contactless Guest Communications Across Portfolio

Aqua-Aston Hospitality, with hotels in Hawai’i, Florida and Costa Rica, introduced an intelligent text messaging platform at its hotels and resorts, streamlining real-time communication with guests. Since the mobile technology has been implemented, the platform has been successfully used to answer guest questions, manage check-in, deliver amenities, quickly communicate updates on services, send alerts and enable contact-less check-out.

Daily
Jul 27, 2021

6 Reasons to Put Okinawa, Japan, on Your Travel List

As the vaccine rolls out and travel picks up, it’s time to start dreaming of your next trip. Here’s some destination inspiration for you. Take a visual journey through Okinawa with us.

Finest Punta Cana is Where You Should Stay Next

You probably didn’t know you needed to visit the Dominican Republic until you learned about the new, beautiful, modern, all-inclusive resort in Punta Cana.

Lifestyle / Events
Jul 27, 2021

Americans Ready to Return to Live Entertainment

After more than a year of staying home and social distancing, Americans are ready to experience live entertainment again. According to Allianz Partners USA’s Vacation Confidence Index survey, 55 percent of Americans plan on attending at least one ticketed event before the end of 2021, with 16 percent planning to attend three or more events.