Korea recognised the importance of trade shows in developing its exports as far back as the 1990s. A public policy was established in 2008, with a five-year plan to make the country one of the top ten global players in this sector. Consequently, since 2008, national trade shows and Korean businesses exhibiting at overseas trade shows have received financial aid from different state bodies.
Almost 570 shows are held in South Korea each year. Most of them are trade-only and many are international, however, the majority of visitors or exhibitors come from Asia. The best-known trade shows include SIMTOS (technological goods, 850 exhibitors and 100,350 visitors), KIMES (healthcare, 1,145 exhibitors/ 72,036 visitors) and MARINE WEEK (shipping, 1,395 exhibitors/ 9,600 visitors).
As in France, most take place in the country’s capital, but some shows take place in other cities specialising in particular industry sectors. For example, MARINE WEEK is held in Busan, the centre of the shipping industry, and the optical and textile trade shows are held in the Daegu region, where these two Korean industries are concentrated.
Source: AKEI (Association of Korean Exhibition Industries)