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Daegu Conventions Legacy Report: ISCC 2004 case study

The city of Daegu in southeastern South Korea was famous for apples. Not the iApple ? even though the city is known for its textile and machinery industries and the role it played in South Korea’s economic boom-but juicy, bright red, keeps-the-doctor-away apples.

In addition to its much sought-after apples, Daegu also focuses on future growth industries – water, medicine, future vehicles, energy, robotics, and smart city applications. To further develop these economic industries, the city taps on the legacies or the long-term benefits of hosting conventions in these priority fields. This strategy was revealed by Mr Charlie Bae, CEO of the Daegu Convention & Visitors Bureau (Daegu CVB) during the release of their “Business Events Legacy in Daegu, Korea” report which traces the long-term impacts of five conventions hosted by the city. This research was led by Prof. Jun Soo-hyun, Prof. Oh Ik-geun (Department of Tourism Management, Keimyung University), and Dr. Park Seong-deok (DaeguGyeongbuk Development Institute) for the Daegu Metropolitan City and Daegu CVB.

Daegu has long roots in its conventions industry as the site of South Korea’s first regional convention centre ? EXCO ? which opened for business in 2001. Two years later, the Daegu CVB was set-up and the city has not looked back since. With an impressive list of national and international conventions under its belt, Daegu is one of South Korea’s top convention cities. A search on the International Congress and Convention Association’s (ICCA) database of upcoming international association conventions booked for Daegu include medium and large sized meetings like the 14th World Congresson Neurorehabilitation (2026) and the International Rubber Conference (2028). The 28th World Gas Conference and 13th World Conference of Gerontechnology are among those expected this year.

When asked why the city commissioned such a research, Dr Kwon Young-Jin, Mayor of Daegu Metropolitan City believed that the five case studies, one dating back to 2004, illustrates clearly that hosting international conventions left legacies for Daegu. “This report will increase the appreciation of international business meetings as transformative agents for host cities. We also learnt that we need to leverage on future conventions coming to our city as a strategy for the development of our priority industries”, he added.

Case in point is the International Solar Cities Congress 2004 (ISCC 2004), explained Mr Charlie Bae.

One year after the formation of the Daegu CVB, the city hosted the inaugural edition of the International Solar Cities Congress, which is world-renowned for its expressions of innovation in renewable energies and their uses in large cities. Climate change is an existential challenge and at the core of environmental policies around the world. Cities play a central role in this scenario because they are not only responsible for the consumption of the world’s energy and the production of greenhouse gases emissions, cities can also build different strategies to face this environmental challenge.

The legacy or long-term impact from ISCC 2004 led to the establishment of Korea’s first ‘Solar City Ordinance’ and ‘Solar City Daegu 2050 Project’. In addition, when Daegu cut their teeth on this international convention, the impact on the city’s reputation and brand further catapulted Daegu into the energy segment as a committed and serious player. Prof Kim Jong-dal who served as Chair of ISC Congress Organizing Committee said: “It has been 17 years since ISCC 2004, and now Daegu is a global city in the energy sector. The convention was a very valuable event that cleared a path for more international events in the energy and environmental sectors while providing a foundation for the city’s economic policy.” This was evident when Daegu was tapped to host the 2013 World Energy Congress and the International Solar Energy Society – ISES Solar World Congress in 2015, among others.

Since 2004, Daegu has made significant strides in the field of renewable and green energy technology, and hosts the annual International Green Energy Expo & Conference (IGEEC), one of Asia’s top three renewable energy exhibitions and among the world’s top 10 solar energy trade events.

The immediate outcomes from ISCC 2004 drove long-term implementation and institutional reform strategies. Daegu’s Solar City Master Plan systematically incorporates renewable energy into the city’s development. An Energy Code has also been enacted for improving energy efficiency and citizen involvement in energy policy.

Mr Gary Grimmer, Executive Chair of GainingEdge, who had reviewed the research on the sidelines remarked: “Our research has shown that event legacies operate at different levels. Some are more focused on advancing a professional community or industry sector. Some are world-changing. The legacies of ISCC 2004 are actually world-changing because they are supporting UN energy and climate policies. Solar energy will be a major cornerstone of the global energy system. Daegu is now a role model city for integrating renewable energy and energy efficient technologies and industries into environmental, economic and city planning.”

In closing, Mr Bae said: “Business events have shaped Daegu’s industry and economy, elevated our city’s brand globally, and paved the way for innovation and progress in our region. Our ISCC 2024 case study provides support for the validation and design of our vision and legacy goals. Moving forward, we will expand our research, culminating in a quantitative index for legacy assessment.”

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