Backed by its renowned technology leadership and top-class e-government system, Seoul already has potential in the lucrative MICE industry, but has yet to improve its big data management capacity, according to a top global consulting firm chief in Seoul.
MICE, which refers to meeting, incentives, convention events and exhibitions, is an integrated concept connecting exhibitions and conventions with tourism and cultural content.
“There are a number of factors which make a city attractive to the global audience, especially to convention participants who have a specific purpose of visit,” David Thomlinson, Accenture’s chief geographic strategy & operations officer, told The Korea Herald in an interview.
|David Thomlinson, Accenture’s chief geographic strategy & operations officer. (Lee Sang-sub/The Korea Herald)|
The list includes transportation, culture, cuisine, facilities and many others, but for Seoul, the point of differentiation could be its technology leadership, he claimed.
“Of course, being home to some of the world’s top electronics companies and having actual leadership in the technology sector are two completely different things,” he added.
“But Seoul also turns out to have an unparalleled e-government system and broadband connectivity, which are the key prerequisites for big data management and smart industry.”
Despite its extensive infrastructure and advanced technology level, Seoul has not yet displayed the full synergy effect of such fortes, Thomlinson pointed out.
A member of the Seoul International Business Advisory Council, Thomlinson participated earlier this week in the yearly SIBAC conference, which was themed “Establishing Seoul as the Model of Tourism and Entertainment.”
One of the key issues in this year’s session was the MICE industry.
“Business conferences are fundamentally different from tourist visits, and thus require totally different services and infrastructure, as well as insights,” Thomlinson said.
Not only do international conferences and exhibitions have bigger impacts on the economy, but they are also directly connected to the government’s operating systems and policies, he explained.
“As the participants are clearly business-oriented, it is crucial to thoroughly analyze their needs and predict their actions in advance in order to establish and nurture the MICE industry,” the chief officer said.
“This is why the government system needs to take the lead in the MICE business, adding momentum to the innovation coming from the private sector.”
He thus gave a positive appraisal of the various ongoing projects such as the new MICE Cluster project led by Coex and the Korea International Trade Association.
“I was also impressed that Mayor Park Won-soon kicked off the SIBAC 2013 by listing the actions took since last year’s conference and the changes made since then,” he added.
“I sensed that the Seoul Metropolitan Government and its leader are taking expert advice seriously, realizing that this a watershed point where no change is equivalent to regression.”
By Bae Hyun-jung (firstname.lastname@example.org)