Coex show growth stagnates with space limitation

One of the newly-renovated spaces on level two of Coex

Coex, the largest convention and exhibition centre in South Korea’s capital city is close to hitting full occupancy, with only one or two free days in between exhibitions.

In an interview with TTGmice, MJ Cho, manager of COEX’s venue sales team, said the venue is “fully booked and cannot grow beyond the 2,500 shows we do here annually”.

One of the newly-renovated spaces on level two of Coex

Coex’s long term solution is its Jamsil expansion which will occupy approximately 720,000m2 of land between Coex and the Jamsil Sports Complex. According to earlier local news reports, the expansion will take over land vacated by the Korea Electric Power Corp and other public organisations.

Cho shared that the future Coex Center Jamsil will house a new convention centre, hotels, and shopping and entertainment facilities. The renovated Jamsil Sports Complex will also be able to support large-scale business events.

However, with Coex Center Jamsil expected to only be ready in 2030, Coex’s current solution for the space crunch is to “work with customers to find alternative event dates or to offer a mix of spaces that can fit their needs”.

She shared that occasional events that cannot be accommodated at Coex are directed to aT Center, which is also owned by Coex.

“While it is much smaller than Coex, aT Center can provide some relief for shows that need more space than what is available at Coex,” she explained.

Cho also revealed that her team has devised a ranking system to determine which bookings to accept and reject.

A newly-renovated room sports a square instead of a round format

“We look at the number of times the show has been held in Coex, its size, its history, etc, to make that decision. Simply put, shows loyal to Coex get priority. However, international exhitions and conventions overtake them all, especially if the events are beneficial to the national economy,” she added.

Another immediate solution to the space crunch is the renovation of all its meeting rooms on level two, turning them into a more popular square space from its previous round shape.

“Round rooms are good to look at but difficult to use. Ever since we’ve relaunched the square meeting rooms, demand and bookings have risen,” she said.

Also new to the meeting rooms are fingerprint door locks which let registered organisers in, and in-room cameras that allow people outside to see what’s happening behind closed doors, thereby minimising disruptions.

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