Entertainment & Lifestyle Company CJ ENM (CEO Heo Min-heoi) announced that it held the world's largest K-culture convention 'KCON' successfully at the 'Madison Square Garden' and 'Jacob K. Javits Convention Center' located in Manhattan, New York for two days from the 6th to the 7th.
KCON has been held annually since 2012 with the goal of globalizing Hallyu in North America, the Middle East, Europe, Latin America, and Asia. In the U.S., it has established itself as a representative global pop culture platform that presents the latest trends in Hallyu such as K-pop, K-food, K-beauty, and K-fashion.
This year, the fifth year since it first entered the eastern U.S. by attracting 17,000 visitors near New York in 2015, the venue was moved to Manhattan for the first time where a total of 55,000 visitors participated and enjoyed K-Lifestyle.
<KCON 2019 NY> selected the 'Javits Convention Center' as the venue for the K-Lifestyle convention, which is the largest exhibition hall in New York and the venue for the largest festivals in North America such as the New York International Auto Show and New York Comic Con, and the concert held in the evening was held at ‘Madison Square Garden’, the world’s best concert hall, which is considered the dream stage of all artists.
In particular, a KCON video promoting the Hallyu festival was screened on the New York Times Square billboard, Nasdaq Building screen, and Manhattan street, where the daily floating population reaches 1.5 million, and local broadcasters such as NBC, ABC, CBS, FOX5, PIX11, and NEW YORK 1 aired special reports in a row, confirming the high interest and expectation for KCON.
The Javits Convention Center was crowded with young Hallyu fans even before the event. This time, 72 global and domestic companies participated to target the millennial generation. Companies have organized various events to attract loyal young customers, such as operating new product exhibitions, tasting and experiential corners at the convention venue, and strengthening communication with the audience by using influencers.
In addition, the open studio ‘KCON STUDIO’, which was held under the theme of K lifestyle including K-food, K-beauty, and K-fashion, and various K-beauty products representing Korea, such as color cosmetics, mask packs, and skin care, attracted the attention of the audience.
According to the <Economic Effect of Exports of Hallyu Cultural Contents> issue report released by the Export-Import Bank of Korea, a $100 increase in Hallyu cultural content exports will lead to a $250 increase in exports of consumer goods such as cosmetics, food, and clothing, and it was found that the export of Hallyu contents, especially music, had the greatest drag effect in the consumer goods sector where culture and taste are important, and exports of cultural contents surpassed those of home appliances for the first time last year, proving the power of the Hallyu as Korea's main export item.
At <KCON 2019 NY>, convention programs and workshops have been greatly expanded with a focus on K-pop, which is a big driving force for the spread of Hallyu. In particular, from showcases of new artists to various unique photo zones, the heat of ‘K-POP WORLD’ was felt in the convention hall.
On the evening of both days, 11 teams of K-pop artists including Nu'est, The Boyz, VERIVERY, Seventeen, IZ*ONE, (G)I-DLE, SF9, AB6IX, ATEEZ, Tomorrow X Together, fromis_9, etc., performed a splendid stage at ‘Madison Square Garden’.
Jeff Benjamin, a Billboard columnist and K-pop expert who has watched the Hallyu in North America from the beginning, said, “When looking at the influence of Hallyu, KCON is an indicator that we carefully check along with K-Pop album sales and overseas performances. Through the rapid growth of KCON's audience and ticket sales, it can be seen that not only the size of Hallyu fans, but also their participation, consumption desires, and interest in K-Lifestyle are increasing. A big part of this spread of Hallyu is thanks to KCON, which has been working hard with various convention programs and great artists and guests for the past 7 years since the time when K-pop was not established.”
Shin Hyung-gwan, head of CJ ENM's Music Contents Division, who oversees KCON, said, "The secret to KCON's establishment as a representative Hallyu event in various regions of the world is that it has continuously knocked on the door of mainstream markets such as the U.S. and planned and developed the event in line with the changing characteristics of the Hallyu consumer group. We will continue to invest for the spread of the Hallyu and present new K-culture trends with talented Korean artists and companies that are not easy to enter the global market.”
Meanwhile, from August 15th to 18th, KCON will be held at the 'STAPLES Center' and 'LA Convention Center' located in LA, to continue the Korean wave in the U.S.