KTO Singapore launches event planning course for corporates

The Korea Tourism Organization Singapore office is introducing an event planning course designed for in-house corporate event planners, aimed at arming participants with in-depth knowledge on the destination and event trends, as well as basic need-to-knows such as tour prices and meal plans.

The first Korea MICE Workshop Basic 101, to be held on September 11 at the Korea Plaza, is offered free to qualified corporate planners.

Korea Tourism Organization Singapore office is adding to its training courses for MICE agents with a corporate planners’ edition

Caitrin Moh, senior MICE manager of the Korea Tourism Organization Singapore office, said the course was created in response to ongoing feedback from corporate clients that “South Korea is a boring and expensive country for business events”.

Moh explained: “Such perceptions are due to a lack of resources in the market for their reference (which forces them to) depend greatly on their appointed intermediaries to come up with (programme) recommendations.

“Unfortunately, there are too many products (in South Korea) for the intermediaries to digest, and (event) trends are always changing. As a result, intermediaries may not have a deep understanding of South Korea and end up recommending a programme that does not answer the needs of the client. They may also choose to stick to safe, tried-and-tested products that are no longer as exciting.”

The course will cover three key areas: general information on South Korea (such as accessibility and weather); common blind spots (such as reasons for differences in tour prices); and trending and unique experiences for corporate events.

The Singapore office has also been trying to improve the quality of destination programming on the intermediary side through similar courses since late 2011. Held twice a year, once in March/April, and the other in August/September, these courses are offered free to outbound travel agents.

Moh expects the first corporate-facing course to attract at least 20 participants.

“We plan on keeping the session small and intimate so that we can focus on guiding each and every participant, and to identify areas of the course which we can improve on for future editions,” she said.

As to when the next corporate course would be offered, Moh said it would depend on demand and how the first edition fares.

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