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Major Overseas Cities’ Strategy for Using Unique Venues and Actual Cases 1. Usability of and Need for Unique Venues

As unique experience at a venue serves as a factor that decides participation in an event, we lately see an increasing trend for holding accessory events such as receptions and dinners not at convention centers but at unique venues. Since holding an event in a place that matches the image of a specific country (or city) would create an exotic environment for participants, bring wide publicity to a hosting country, and enhance distinctive attraction of a specific event, preference for unique venues is gradually increasing. So, the magazine will check on the usability of and need for unique venues and try to get strategic suggestions from the cases in which major overseas cities use unique venues.

Contents
1. Usability of and need for unique venues
2. London, Brussels, and Sydney’s Strategy for Using Unique Venues and Actual Cases
3. Use of the UK Prime Minister’s Office for Summit Talks
4. Use of National Building Museum in the US
5. Use of Shurijo Castle in Japan

1. Usability of and Need for Unique Venues

Seeking Differentiation of Events through Using Unique Venues and Upgrading Participant Satisfaction
Lately, we see increasing usability of unique venues for banquets such as dinners and receptions for domestic and international MICE events and accessory events such as performances and networking. Being other than the traditional meetings facilities equipped with special facilities for holding MICE events such as convention centers, hotels, and colleges, unique venues can provide opportunities to experience exotic cultures and distinctive atmospheres and thereby enhance the differential quality of an event by creating for participants an atmosphere peculiar to locality. Most frequently used places are castles, old palaces, museums, and restaurants with good views, and local governments and related organizations strategically committed to nurturing MICE industry conduct projects for supporting their revitalization. If the accessory sessions of MICE events such as receptions and dinners are held at unique venues, it could make a factor that exerts positive influence on attracting participants and upgrading their satisfaction. This factor is understood as leading to participants’ longer stay and revisit and ultimately exercising positive influence on the creation of added value in the region.

Satisfying Demand for Meetings Facilities by Using Unique Venues without Spending Money on Building and Expanding Facilities
A survey shows that according to Korea Tourism Organization, as of 2008, 86 of all 634 international meetings held in Korea were held at facilities other than convention centers and hotels (unique venues), thus taking up 13.6%. As Korea’s status as an MICE venue upgrades, related demand seems to be increasing. To reinvigorate unique venues requires it to create a basis for their reinvigoration by discovering existing unique venues, in addition to the banquet halls at convention centers, that can be used for small and medium meetings such as board of directors meetings. With this, selecting a venue that matches the concept of an event can increase participants’ satisfaction and come up with a support system to save budget, thus securing new facilities for event-organizing purposes. This should sound good because existing non-specialized meetings facilities can satisfy the demand for meetings facilities while convention centers do not have to be constructed or expanded. With a view to discovering unique venues and increase the efficiency of database creation, support may be provided to the survey and discovery of unique venues by type through cooperation with local governments such as cities and counties.

Developing and Distributing User Guide and Guidelines on Unique Venues to Related People
While one works to discover unique venues that have distinctive attraction on top of the facilities that have so far been used as unique venues and create a related database, one also needs to conduct promotion of specific unique venues targeting MICE organizing individuals (or organizers). One may consider creating and distributing user’s guide on unique venues as part of promotion of the facilities. In case one uses as unique venues cultural facilities such as old palaces, MICE organizers should ensure efficient and systematic management of the facilities by jointly developing and distributing guidelines that specify requirement for permission to use the facilities, permission procedure, and permission cancellation. Also, by explicitly specifying precautions for MICE organizers’ use of such facilities, one should prevent possible problems with the use of the facilities.

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