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Seoul Know-How Enhances
22nd World Congress of Dermatology



Major Medical Conference Gets Technological Facelift & Top Staff In Korean Capital


Technical flair, expert manpower, and centuries of culture were on display this past May when 12,000 medical experts and their families gathered in Seoul for the 22nd World Congress of Dermatology. The largest international medical conference of its kind in Korea to date, the 6-day event was a major undertaking – its success underscoring Seoul’s strong ability to host international meetings of major size and scale.

Held from May 24th-26th at the Coex convention center, WCD 2011 brought together the 12,000 attendees – physicians, exhibitors and members of the press - from more than 110 countries worldwide. The high-profile event is held every 4 years under the auspices of the International League of Dermatological Societies (www.ilds.org).

Three of COEX’s main halls were reserved for exhibitions and receptions, while 23 additional meeting rooms were utilized for scientific sessions. The exhibition was supported by 16 major sponsors and 200 companies using a total of 6,177m² of exhibition space.

For Seoul, a recognized worldwide as a major innovator of technology, the congress was a major opportunity to demonstrate the city’s technological capability. Electronic posters – displayed on some 200 computer screens provided for WCD 2011 –dramatically reduced the need for paper advertising. Other technological innovations included a special smartphone application and Optical Mark Recognition (OMR) system able to update everyone assembled with real-time news and feedback. The uploaded commentary provided by these systems was then published in the Congress Daily.

Significant manpower was also required – approximately 500 meeting industry professionals and experienced volunteers – to ensure a smooth operation. These were acquired through a headhunting company at the behest of WCD 2011 professional convention organizer KOCONEX. “We conducted one on one interviews with hundreds of qualified candidates to pick out the final 500. A systematic, thorough series of education sessions were conducted, divided into categories depending on the type of support.”

Beyond dermatology, WCD 2011 was also a major opportunity to highlight Korea’s many centuries of culture. A special Korean Village was erected at the Coex display hall, giving overseas participants the opportunity to see the local culture and traditions of yesteryear. Divided into three sections, the village showcased traditional Korean instruments, hanbok (traditional Korean clothing), and ancient Korean artifacts. Over 1,000 WCD attendees also enjoyed a special banquet at Seoul Olympic Park, accompanied by traditional Korean performance theater enacted on a waterside stage by the Han River.

Feedback for the 22nd World Congress Of Dermatology was overwhelmingly positive, with many delegates praising the venue and overall experience provided by the city of Seoul. WCD 2011 is the latest major success for the capital, which last year hosted the 5th G20 Summit and will soon be hosting the 2011 International Dragon Award. The success of WCD 2011 underscores Seoul’s ability to handle major conferences and events of various forms and its commitment to ensuring they not only run smoothly, but also surpass their predecessors.