(from Venues Today, November 28, 2012) The International Association of Fairs and Expositions Annual Convention and Trade Show was held this year at the Paris Hotel in Las Vegas, Nevada. During the convention several fair executives from both the United States and South Korea built on their already existing friendship. Both countries are doing their best to work together and share ideas in the fair industry. Over the past few years executives from the United State have made several trips to South Korea to view and give presentations at Pai Chai University.
The visits are helping U.S. executives learn new ideas and the hands-on activities that can be included in fairs. At Gimje Festival (South Korea) attendees are able to participate by cutting stalks of rice. While some ideas may be beneficial to U.S. fairs, some may not work because of the differences in public liability standards. Ideas like cutting stalks of rice may not work in the United States, but U.S. executives still want to use the concept of more hands-on activities at their festivals.
Another trend U.S. executives have picked up from South Korea is the idea of incorporating the beauty of the location and the local products. Fairs in South Korea try to strategically place their location in an area that capitalizes on the natural beauty. South Korean fairs also focus on promoting the local economy and local products, something American fairs have moved away from.
The overall goal of the relationship is to create an American-South Korean hybrid fair model. The U.S. wants to emphasize a hands-on focus of educating attendees and not just selling entertainment. The United States hopes to continue to build on their relationship with South Korea, and have already set up an internship program between the two countries. The purpose of the internship program is to help generations learn about the industry with a global perspective.