UIA Associations Round Table Asia-Pacific Goes Virtual in Seoul
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UIA Associations Round Table Asia-Pacific Goes Virtual in Seoul
SMG and STO develop “Virtual Meeting Seoul,” world’s 1st 3D virtual meeting platform

24(Thu), Sep, 2020

The main page of the “3D virtual Meeting Seoul” platform for the UIA’s 8th Associations Round Table Asia-Pacific.

A lobby screen, below the main page, features a 2020 publicity video of BTS, a seven-member Korean boy band sensation.

The Seoul Metropolitan Government (SMG) and Seoul Tourism Organization (STO) hosted the UIA’s 8th Associations Round Table Asia-Pacific in a virtual meeting space set in Seoul from Sept. 17 & 18.

The UIA was founded in 1907 in Brussels with the aim of researching international associations, regardless of location or field of activities.

Today the UIA is the world’s oldest, largest, and most comprehensive source of information on global civil society.

The UIA collects, hosts, and provides up-to-date, reliable information on global civil society and maintains the most comprehensive source of information on international associations, their activities and concerns, and their meetings activities.

Seoul ranked third among international cities five years in a row in the International Meetings Statics Report, published by the UIA between 2015 and 2019.

UIA’s Associations Round Table Asia-Pacific, marking the 8th rendition this year, is an international event in which about 150 UIA-related officials from 23 countries around the world participate.

Last February, the SMG and STO were awarded the right to host UIA’s 8th Associations Round Table Asia-Pacific.

But the event went virtual due to the COVID-19 pandemic. The SMG and STO developed “Virtual Meeting Seoul,” a 3D virtual meeting platform, in cooperation with IT companies in Seoul.

It was the first in the world such a 3D virtual meeting format has been employed.

A conference hall of Changdeok Palace is a space for delivering keynote speeches and panel discussions.

Theme-based discussion sessions take place at Floating Island Convention (Some Sebit).

Seoul tourist spots are shown on the rooftop garden of Dongdaemun Design Plaza.

The “3D virtual Meeting Seoul” format transformed Seoul’s five representative tourism spots -Changdeok Palace, Floating Island Convention (Some Sebit), Seoul Botanic Park, rooftop garden of Dongdaemun Design Plaza and Namsan Seoul Tower - into 3D international conventions.

Participants and speakers virtually participated in programs such as seminars and networking sessions as if they would visit Seoul.

Entering a conference hall at Changdeok Palace, which is a Unesco World Heritage site, participants attended main programs such as keynote speeches and panel discussions.

Starting with a keynote speech by UIA Chairman Cyril Ritchie, the palace was the venue of e-conferences. Theme-based discussion sessions took place at Some Sebit with the Han River at the background.

At a networking lounge installed at Seoul Botanic Park, participants around the world communicated with each other in video, audio, or text via one-on-one or teams.

At Dongdaemun Design Plaza, participants enjoy VR videos while touring Seoul.

Namsan Seoul Tower is a publicity booth to publicize Seoul’s tourist spots.

Seoul BotanicPark is a space for participants’ group chatting. (Photos: STO)

Seoul presented virtual tour videos introducing what made the city a top-class MICE destination. Attendees could choose and watch these 360 degree VR videos that are arranged in arrays of different themes and available at a virtual theater.

Namsan Seoul Tower was a space in which the delegate who likes to find out more about Seoul can visit the virtual Seoul booth for a live chat with SCB staff or download the information brochure on PLUS SEOUL support program.

The SMG plans to open the 3D virtual meeting format to the Korean MICE industry. The step is designed to not only help the private sector save costs for developing 3D virtual space but also publicize Seoul as one of representative MICE destinations.

The 3D virtual meeting aimed to suggest new opportunities of the MICE industry in the post-COVID-19 pandemic era by employing a “urban marketing strategy” additionally, going beyond the conventional contactless webinar or one-on-one on-line meetings.

Joo Yong-tae, director-general of the Tourism and Sports Bureau at the SMG said, “The 3D Virtual Space Seoul, developed in an innovative way, will be made another opportunity to make competitiveness of Seoul’s MICE industry and its tourism content known.”

Seoul will devote itself to continued changing and developing to lead the global MICE market so that the capital could be considered as a first off-line MICE destination by capitalizing on Korea’s excellent IT technology prowess and Hallyu culture, being globally loved, he added. 

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