Home » Destinations & Venues » An In-depth Comparative Analysis of Seoul and Singapore, World’s Greatest Convention City 3. A Comparative Analysis of the Operation of Dedicated Agencies

An In-depth Comparative Analysis of Seoul and Singapore, World’s Greatest Convention City 3. A Comparative Analysis of the Operation of Dedicated Agencies

3. A Comparative Analysis of the Operation of Dedicated Agencies

1) Singapore Exhibition & Convention Bureau (SECB)

① Major Functions and Roles ? establishing its status as a premier business event venue with its big three strategies of “grow, attract, and create”
The Singaporean agency dedicated to MICE industry is Singapore Exhibition & Convention Bureau (SECB), which is one single head office affiliated with Singapore Tourism Board (STB). STB is a statutory board in affiliation with Ministry of Trade and Industry (MTI) and was created and is operated in accordance with Singapore Tourism Board Act. Launched in 1964 as Singapore Tourist Promotion Board, STB has worked in tourism industry development and marketing, and starting in 1970 began to market the city as a convention venue and perform a supportive role in attracting event participants. In 1997, tourism industry, which rose as a key engine for the national economy, went beyond “tourism promotion” to perform functions of tourism development and investment. The main function of SEBC consists in ensuring Singapore’s rebirth as a dynamic business event venue, and for the purpose, is making the following efforts.
■ Finding its core value in growing, attracting, and creating business events through partnership with related agencies and industry stakeholders.
■ Supplying information to Singaporean MICE facilities and industrial partners for business event planners, corporate hosts, and associations.
■ Securing quality competitiveness for Singapore as a MICE venue by understanding consumer needs and the industry’s accommodating capacity in order to meet demand from the rapidly changing global market.
■ Plotting continuous innovation in order to provide experience that satisfies the diversifying visitor needs.
■ Developing and providing foremost and specialized services that go beyond organizational, cultural, and national boundaries through strategic cooperation with international organizations and affiliation with international associations.

② Structure and Status of the Organization ? Consisting of “Business Development Group”, one of 6 groups affiliated with STB, and composed of 3 divisions of convention & meeting (recruiting), exhibition & meeting (trade), and business tourism development (tourism)
In 2004, STB revamped its internal organization while expanding its projects in BTMICE, and currently has 35 divisions affiliated with the six groups of marketing, business development, policy & planning, chief executive’s office, experience development, and international. Business development group is in charge of MICE-related business operations, and the group also implements SECB’s operations. SECB runs three major divisions of Conventions & Meetings, Exhibition & Conferences, and Business Tourism Development, as distinguished by operation.

③ Structure and Status of Budget ? 2013 budget of S$20 bil. (176 bil. won) including a government fund of S$17.8 bil. (156 bil. won) and S$230 bil. won in other operating revenues (20 bil. won)
As a government-funded organization, STB had a 2013 budget of S$20 billion (176 billion won), which included a government fund of S$17.8 billion (156 billion won) and S$230 billion won (20 billion won) in other operating revenues. Other operating revenues include income related to events, rental fee, and others, and budget expenditures related to operating activities excluding labor costs and items related to assets amounted to S$840 billion (73.6 billion won), which included marketing and advertising expenses, business development expenses, rental and property maintenance expenses, professional and consultancy fees, and general and administrative expenses.

2) Seoul Convention Bureau

① Key Functions and Roles ? Strengthening the competitiveness of Seoul as a MICE venue through overseas marketing and promotional campaign
The agency dedicated to Seoul’s MICE industry is Seoul Convention Bureau, which is a single head office affiliated with Seoul Tourism Organization (STO). As a third-sector tourism marketing agency which takes Seoul Metropolitan Government as its majority shareholder and has received investment from 16 companies such as City Dream, Korean Air, Lotte Tour, and Hana Tour, STO aims to reinvigorate Seoul economy by taking full advantage of the dynamism and efficiency of a private organization and thereby securing Seoul’s international competitiveness. STO launched in February 2008 in accordance with Local Public Enterprises Act and Ordinance on Creating and Operating Seoul Tourism Marketing Company (enacted in 2007), realizes efficient marketing campaign by integrating previously scattered tourism marketing projects of Seoul and conducts public benefit projects and for-profit projects related to the urban marketing of Seoul such as convention business, investment recruiting, and development of tourism resources and amenities. Especially, implementing overseas marketing and promotional campaign with Seoul Convention Bureau designed to host high value-added MICE industry, the city seeks to upgrade the competitiveness of Seoul as a MICE venue and revitalize the MICE industry. Major projects of STO and Seoul Convention Bureau are organized as follows.

Meantime, Seoul Convnention Bureau created Seoul MICE Alliance (SMA) in June 2011 with a view to fostering Seoul’s MICE industry. For this purpose, Seoul Convention Bureau conducts joint cooperations for hosting overseas MICE fairs such as joint participation in overseas MICE fairs, supporting Seoul tour by international organizations, and joint implementation of FAM tour for invited media, based on the collaborative system that comprises its 144 member companies operating in 9 categories such as convention centers, hotels, international meeting planners, and travel agents, and carries out international marketing campaign through strategic partnership with international organizations and affiliation with international associations.

③ Structure and Status of Organization ? MICE Division affiliated with STO (2 divisions and 1 department) is composed of MICE Planning Team and MICE Marketing Team
STO has eight teams under the three groups of MICE Division, Marketing Division, and Strategy & Management Department, and MICE affairs are handled by MICE Division, which also conducts the tasks of Seoul Convention Bureau. MICE Division was created to realize the paradigm shift for Seoul Convention Bureau to “a dedicated MICE agency” that aggressively implements projects for fostering and supporting “MICE industry”, and has 16-person staff including 7 members of MICE Planning Team (with 1 leader), 8 members of MICE Marketing Team (with 1 leader), and Division Manager. On the whole, STO has 87 employees, with 16 persons in MICE Division, 52 persons on Marketing Division, 18 persons in Strategy & Management Department, and 1 CEO.

④ Structure and Status of Budget ? 11.5 billion won in Seoul’s 2013 support for STO and 4.5 billion won in Seoul’s MICE budget (as against 6.1 billion won for 2014)
As an incorporated public enterprise that conducts public benefit projects and for-profit projects related to the urban marketing of Seoul, STO creates major portions of its revenue-based budget through projects won in contract ad libitum from Seoul Metropolitan Government, a special relation. The size of the budget (transaction) is 11.5 billion won in 2013 and 10.9 billion won in 2012. Seoul Convention Bureau, which is an implementer of Seoul’s MICE projects, executes most of the related budget, and the MICE project budget that Seoul Metropolitan Government executed in 2013 in an effort to revitalize high value-added tourism projects amounted to 4.5 billion won. In 2014, it increased by 37.4% to 6.1 billion won.

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