MSS and CJ ENM agree to defer event designed to mark 30th anniversary of Korea’s establishment of diplomatic ties with Russia
A finale view of KCON 2019 NY, held in Manhattan, New York, last year. KCON 2020 NY was cancelled due to the spread of COVID-19. (Photo: CJ ENM)
KCON 2020 Russia, a Korean Wave convention to celebrate the 30th anniversary of Korea’s establishment of diplomatic ties with Russia, originally planned for May, will be delayed to July due to the spread of the novel coronavirus in Russia.
The Ministry of SMEs and Startups (MSS) and CJ ENM, the organizers of the event, also worked out an alternative Plan B to hold the event in September if the pandemic continues to prevail in Europe until July.
Entertainment sources said MSS and CJ ENM, the entertainment & lifestyle company of CJ Group, agreed to defer KCON 2020 Russia, originally scheduled to take place May 23.
An MSS official said the worsening of the COVID-19 pandemic in Europe made it hard to push ahead with the event as planned. Data compiled by the Korean Center for Disease Control showed that things in Russia were exacerbating of late as COVID-19 patients surged to 100,131 as of April 10, an increase of 2,634 cases from the previous day.
Earlier, CJ ENM cancelled KCON 2020 NY, scheduled for June, due to the worsening pandemic in New York.
MSS plans to push ahead with KCON 2020 Russia. The ministry plans to defer the event to the end of September if holding the event in July is unsuitable, said ministry officials, adding that the Korean government indicated its stance of holding the event because it takes on significance for both Korea and Russia.
MSS and CJ ENM stress the importance of holding of KCON in the Russian market, citing its growth potential. Russia is the hottest country in Europe in which Hallyu, also known as the Korean Wave, is all the rage.
The 2nd Korea Festival, held in Saint Petersburg, Russia, last December, attracted an audience of about 25,000 people. The municipal government decided to make it a regular event from this year, thanks to the successful hosting of the event.
Figures released by Korea Foundation and the World Association for Hallyu Studies showed that Russia’s Hallyu fans stood at 3 million people as of 2018. The figure jumped four times to 11.6 million last year.
KCON is World’s Largest Korean Wave Convention
KCON is the world’s largest Korean Wave convention. CJ ENM has organized it annually. The festival has been expanded to regions such as North America, Central and Southern America, the Middle East, Southeast Asia and Oceania to spread Korean culture around the world.
KCON USA, accounting for nearly 60 percent of the cumulative spectators, has emerged as a key event. KCON 2019 LA had a four-day run, one day longer than the conventional three-day period.
The latest Korean Wave convention was highlighted with souped-up hands-on experience programs such as K-pop, enjoying popularity, K-beauty and K-food content events.
CJ ENM organized the K-Collection, a sales promotion-cum-exhibition for 40 promising Korean SMEs, who do not find it easy to gain access to global markets, at the LA Convention Center in cooperation with the Ministry of SMEs and Startups (MSS) and Korea Trade-Investment Promotion Agency (KOTRA).
Prior to the expo, exhibitors held one-on-one export negotiation sessions with about 60 U.S. buyers, including the American on-line shopping mall Revolve in Los Angeles to look at their possible entry into the U.S. market. In particular, the KCON 2019 LA focused on spreading K-beauty through the participation of 26 beauty companies.
President On Yoon-sun of Mtmco said his company has achieved remarkable achievements as it saw exports to the United States shoot up more than 30 percent since it first participated in KCON 2016 LA.
He added that it was attractive for the company to introduce its products and have a good reception by meeting consumers in their teens and 20s who are interested in K-beauty through the KCON.
In the past six years, 257 SMEs participated in the KCON events, which are rated to serve as one of opportunities for Korean SMEs to enter the North American markets.