Global Economic Strength in Korea’s ICT Field
Striving to maintain its competitive edge, Korea is home to not only one of Asia’s most thriving economies, but also the world’s eleventh-largest. At its heart, Seoul, the nation’s capital, is Korea’s showcase for the wide-ranging exports that have internationalized its significant output, especially in the realm of ICT. In the most recently-published World Economic Forum Global Competitiveness Report, was described as “the world’s champion in terms of broad-based ICT adoption, with a near-perfect score of 91.3.” Today influencing almost every aspect of daily living, Korea’s ICT industry has made Seoul one of the most connected places on the planet.
Visual evidence of Seoul’s technological interconnectedness is everywhere to be found across the city, perhaps no more so than through mobile usage. Modern devices are used for a whole host of previously-analog solutions, including banking, hailing taxis, mobile payments for everything from groceries to movie tickets, figuring out fashion trends, blogging, gaming, and of course voice communication.
Meanwhile, public transportation is managed by real-time computer monitoring systems, restaurants increasingly use touchscreen ordering systems, and residents flying in and out of Incheon International Airport are processed by biometric scanners rather than human immigration officers, while helpful service robots flit about the concourse dispensing real-time information.
All of which has made Seoul, which in 2019 retained its third-place UIA ranking for the fourth year in a row, a cutting-edge and convenient destination for meetings and business travel. ICT plays a strong role in Seoul-based business events, starting with digital welcome signage at Incheon Airport and multilingual displays on public transportation to the city’s business and tourism districts. Seoul’s comprehensive portfolio of world-class business hotels take as read the provision of high-speed wired or wireless internet to their guests in age where staying connected is no longer a luxury but a necessity.
It is a mindset shared in turn by the local convention centers, with digital signage displaying in-progress events a familiar sight at Coex, the Dongdaemun Design Plaza, and other venues. International event planners can even take a virtual tour of Coex’s facilities from anywhere in the world via their official website, proving that if a picture can speak a thousand words, a virtual gallery can speak volumes.
Seoul’s meeting facilities are in turn regularly put to good use to promote Korea’s strong ICT industry through a busy annual calendar of related events. Prominent, large-scale global conferences in 2019 include the 17th ACM International Conference on Mobile Systems, Applications, and Services (Mobisys) and ICCV 2019 (International Conference on Computer Vision 2019), while the forthcoming International Conference on Machine Learning (ICML) 2021 is expected to draw some 12,000 participants.
Seoul is also a regular host to many IEEE (Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers) events, including next year’s IEEE Wireless Communications and Networking Conference 2020 and IEEE MTT-S Wireless Power Transfer Conference (WPTC) 2020, expecting a combined total attendance of 1,200. Established in 1963, the IEEE counts more than 422,000 members in over 160 countries, with the IEEE Seoul Section established in 1978. Regular hosting of IEEE events both in Seoul and beyond has proved invaluable knowledge-sharing between local and international members committed to “advancing technology for the benefit of humanity” as per the IEEE’s mission.