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[SMA Insider] Exporum, the pioneer of MICE industry, expands its global presence



How Asia’s biggest cafe expo materialized

EXPORUM is a professional MICE organizer led by Danny Hyundae Shin. Based on his work experiences with the COEX exhibition team, Shin set up his company in 2003. Every year, EXPORUM organizes more than 30 exhibitions, events, and conventions, including fancy food festivals, education expos, and digital and media fairs. The company’s signature exhibition, however, is the Cafe Show Seoul, now in its 18th iteration.

The Cafe Show Seoul is almost synonymous with EXPORUM. Shin said, “I got inspiration at a Food Fair in Italy while on a business trip there.” He added, “I saw coffee exhibits and thought to myself, ‘I shall try this.’ After returning from the business trip, I did market research to adjust the exhibition to the Korean environment. The first exhibition was not big. Significant investments, both human and material resources, went into the event, as it was my focus. I continued communications with contacts at coffee-related events, associations, and organizations, as well as coffee producers. As a result, the Cafe Show Seoul has taken a strong position as a representative exhibition for professional coffee and beverage fairs.”

Asked about the differentiating points from other exhibitions, Shin explained, “the Cafe Show Seoul involves lots of planning. Every year, a different topic is chosen to set up the ‘Conceptual Exhibition.’ In order to promote the growth of the fair, the main event and special events in the form of show-in-the show are held in parallel.”

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Expand beyond the Asian market

Having ventured into the Asian market with the success of the Cafe Show China and the Cafe Show Vietnam, EXPORUM recently set up a subsidiary in the U.S. and is gearing up for the global expansion. Shin has overcome the challenge of funding and working with non-Koreans who speak different languages in different cultures and is about to enter a bigger global market. When asked about his goal, Shin responded, “I don’t have such a lofty goal. I want to tap our know-how and networks accumulated so far and make EXPORUM a company remembered as a small but dynamic and stable business operating at home and abroad.”

MICE, inseparable from my life

Asked what the MICE industry means to Shin, who has been engaged in the industry since his first job with the COEX exhibition team right after his university graduation, he said, “I should say MICE is my life.” He added, hinting at his passion for fostering the MICE professionals to develop capabilities exceeding his own. “I personally grew myself through the MICE industry. Someday, I shall pass on the business to the younger generation.”

We can see the direction the MICE industry should follow,
with this attitude of growing new talents and his commitments
to continue efforts as if every day were his first day.