Guide to Meeting & Event Planning in

South Korea

Learn why you should host your next meeting, event, conference or incentive in South Korea.

Why South Korea for Your Next Meeting or Event?

South Korea offers an enticing blend of rich history and modern amenities and technology. It’s no wonder that the nation and its capital city, Seoul, have continued to rank among the top world’s top MICE destinations, according to the International Congress and Convention Association. Meeting planners will find countless ways to make the most of Korea’s myriad offerings, while taking advantage of its outstanding MICE infrastructure and impressive dedication to top‐notch service.

Only in South Korea

Seoul Sky, a spectacular, sky-high venue at Lotte World Tower, the world’s fifth‐tallest building and the tallest in South Korea, offers groups an observation deck, sky bridge, gift shops, multiple cafes, exhibits and more.

Travel Essentials


Taxes:
sales tax, 10 percent; total VAT tax on hotel rooms, 10 percent

Convention Centers

Coex Convention & Exhibition Center; exhibit space, 387,576 square feet; number of meeting rooms, 55

Korea International Exhibition Center; exhibit space, 1,162,620 square feet; number of meeting rooms, 74

International Convention Center Jeju; exhibit space, 25,780 square feet, number of meeting rooms, 30

Contact: Korea Tourism Organization

Local Currency: South Korean won

Power: 220 volt

Time Zone: Korean Standard Time (13 hours ahead of EDT)

Transportation: Incheon International Airport, about 30 miles from Seoul. Transfer cost by taxi, about $58‐$81, by express train, about $9, by bus, about $8.

Meeting and Event Venues

New & Coming Soon to South Korea

• As of July 1, 2021, the country is granting quarantine exemptions for some fully vaccinated travelers. Visitors arriving for specific purposes — including business, academic and extradition — can avoid the mandatory two-week quarantine that others must complete. Quarantine exemption is valid for visitors who’ve fully vaccinated — with brands including Pfizer; Janssen; Moderna; AstraZeneca; Covishield; Sinopharm, and Sinovac —at least two weeks before arriving in South Korea. Planners and attendees should be sure to verify the latest details before travel, and should note that the exemption doesn’t apply to people from some countries with large numbers of COVID-19 cases, including South Africa and Brazil. The Korea Tourism Organization can provide planners with the latest updates.  

• South Korea is home to countless unique event venues.  The Korea MICE Bureau has just made it easier for planners to find them with a new marketing campaign that highlights the updated Korea Unique Venue program. Since its launch, the program has provided planners with a list of recommended venues, each showcasing the nation’s culture, history and traditions in unique, group-friendly settings. A video and microsite are among the new features of the program, which has now covers 39 venues.

Seoul

• A new, high-speed train line is making it even easier for groups to explore more of this fascinating nation. The KTX-Eum line links the capital city of Seoul with Andong, a historic destination with deep roots in ancient Confucian culture. KTX is the highest-class service operated by Korail, South Korea’s national railway operator, making it perfect for comfortable group rides to Andong. Among the most popular attractions in the area are the Woryeonggyo Bridge, South Korea’s longest wooden bridge, the lush Nakgang Mulgil Park and Andong Hahoe Village, a UNESCO World Heritage Site.

• Known for its sophisticated high-tech offerings, Seoul has just upped the ante by upgrading its public WiFi. In May, major tourist attractions and parks launched Kkachi On, a public WiFi service that the government boasts is quadruple the speed of the previous service. Visitors can connect to the “SEOUL_Secure” network anywhere in the city to be automatically connected whenever they visit a location with the free WiFi service. The Smart Seoul Map, available in English, Chinese and Japanese, provides a complete list of Kkachi On service locations. 

Josun Palace, a Luxury Collection Hotel, Seoul Gangnam, marks the debut of The Luxury Collection brand in South Korea. The 254‐ room property, set in a building that dates to 1914, is located in Seoul’s popular Gangnam neighborhood. It offers 10,451 square feet of event space, including three event rooms, and five food and beverage venues.

• A new mixed‐use complex has debuted in Seoul’s Yeouido District, a popular neighborhood for the finance and banking industries. Parc1 includes two high‐rise office buildings, as well as the new, 326‐room Fairmont Ambassador Seoul, the first Fairmont hotel to open in South Korea. The property has 6 meeting rooms, business center, restaurant, fitness center and spa. Also in the complex is the Hyundai Seoul, a major new retail shopping center that incorporates indoor green space and the largest department store in Seoul.

• The 550‐room Grand InterContinental Seoul Parnas has completed an 11‐month renovation project. The property now sports a renovated Club InterContinental Lounge and refurbished guest rooms from the seventh to 33rd floor, as well as a revamped exterior with reinforced glass. Renovated guest rooms have new smart televisions measuring at least 55 inches, and 20 guest rooms are now furnished with two queen beds, in response to demand for more family‐friendly accommodations. 

More South Korea Meeting & Event Venues

• The 212‐room JW Marriott Jeju Resort & Spa is set to open on Jeju island in late 2021. Featuring eye‐catching modern architecture that incorporates volcanic stone and slate, the hotel will have more than 9,600 square feet of meeting and event space, as well as eight dining outlets and multiple recreational facilities. The new property will complement the existing, 572‐room Jeju Shinwa World Marriott Resort, which has more than 22,000 square feet of meeting and event space.

• Korea’s newest convention center, Ulsan Exhibition and Convention Center, has opened in the metropolitan city of Ulsan, home to Korea’s largest automotive-assembly plant and shipyard. The 462,848‐square‐foot facility has an 86,111‐square‐foot exhibition hall and 12meeting rooms and is just a 10‐minute walk from Ulsan’s train station, which links the destination with Seoul and other cities via the high‐speed Korea Train Express, known as KTX.

• Attendees can view a wide array of marine life in Korea’s newest aquarium, Aqua Planet Gwanggyo. Located in the Suwon MICE complex in Gyeonggi Province just outside Seoul, the aquarium opened in January 2021. The new venue — which is the fifth aquarium in the Aqua Planet brand portfolio — is home to 30,000 marine and land creatures representing 210 species, including sharks, penguins and jellyfish. The venue is steps away from the Suwon Convention Center, the 288‐room Courtyard by Marriott Suwon, the Galleria Gwanggyo shopping mall and various offices.

Things to Do in South Korea

• Shopaholics will find lots to love at the Hyundai Seoul, which opened in February 2021 in the Yeouido district as part of the Parc1 complex. The 15‐floor retail mecca, spread across more than 959,000 square feet in both above‐ground and subterranean levels, incorporates a number of noteworthy features such as a garden created around a 39‐foot waterfall and the Sounds Forest indoor park with flowers, grass and some 30 trees. Shoppers can also peek into the first H&M-branded shop in Asia and browse the creations of some 30 international designer brands.

• Groups can immerse themselves in Korea’s rich history at Seoul’s royal palaces that date back to the Joseon Dynasty that presided over the region for about five centuries. Among the experiences available are guided moonlight tours at Changdeokgung Palace, a UNESCO World Heritage Site and the royal changing of the guard ceremony at Gyeongbokgung Palace and Deoksugung Palace. Visitors can also try on traditional Korean hanboks, pose for photos and learn more about the nation’s centuries‐old traditions.

• Another way to connect groups with Korea’s fascinating history is the Templestay program, which allows participants to experience and learn about Korean Buddhism and its traditions while visiting temples throughout the country. The organization, which offers programs at multiple locations around Korea, stages temple tours, meditation, art classes, tea ceremonies, monastic meals and other traditional cultural experiences.

• For a glimpse of Korea’s more recent history, a visit to the Demilitarized Zone (DMZ) is a must. This border region, which runs 160 miles long and 2.5 miles wide, provides an arms‐free buffer zone between North and South Korea. In addition to its political and historic importance, the DMZ has also become a lovely place to observe flora and fauna, since much of the region has been undisturbed by humans for several decades. The best way for groups to visit is with a guided tour; the 150‐passenger DMZ Peace Train, operated by Korail, Korea’s national railway company, offers three different one‐day packages that depart from Seoul. Note that visitors should bring passports when visiting the DMZ, and photography is restricted in some parts of the zone.

• The scenic island of Jeju, off Korea’s southwest coast, is a perfect place for groups to enjoy nature and memorable open‐air experiences. The Jeju Olle Trail, a series of 26 well‐maintained footpaths, stretches along the entire coast of the island, providing stunning views of beaches and forests, as well as picturesque villages and farms. Each of the trails is rated by length and difficulty. Technology plays a role in making the trail experience safer and more comfortable: Visitors can use a smart watch— the Jeju Travel Protector — which has an emergency button that alerts police with the user’s GPS location in the event of an emergency. The device is available at Jeju International Airport and the Jeju port terminal; use is free but requires a deposit of 50,000 won (about $45).