COEX CEO determined to be bigger in MICE biz

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COEX CEO determined to be bigger in MICE biz

COEX, the nation’s largest convention center operator, celebrated its 30th anniversary on Monday, and its CEO vowed to expand and become a MICE (meetings, incentives, conferences and events) industry leader.

“We will transform into a company specializing in the MICE industry while strengthening our global competitiveness, with the ultimate goal of contributing to the nation’s economic improvement,” COEX CEO Byun Bo-kyung said on Monday at a press briefing held at the convention center in southern Seoul. “Starting from this year, the company will turn into a totally new one, and we will try our best to make the MICE industry a new growth engine for Korea.”

In March, Byun was given an extension of his job as head of COEX for three years. He has been in the position since 2013.

COEX is known for renting out space to exhibitors and for hosting events. In the future, the company hopes to use not only its own convention center but also other centers in the world to host world-class exhibitions and conferences.

“Our yearly sales target through the MICE industry is 150 billion won [$126 million] by 2020, and we plan to host at least five big exhibitions at COEX and seven of them in foreign countries,” Byun said.

COEX has hosted a number of exhibitions in Vietnam and China, and wants to branch out into countries such as Indonesia, India and Iran.

Another official at COEX said Korea is somewhat behind in the MICE industry due to a lack of convention spaces in the country. “There are some 800,000-square-meter [8.6 million-square-feet] convention centers in Shanghai,” the official said, “and Tokyo and Singapore have some 200,000-square-meter ones, while the size of COEX is only 51,000 square meters.”


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