The objective of this report is to show how well the Korean Festival has used the marketing mix and the economic roles it plays and the value that this festival brings.
The method of research was to have a field trip personally to the Korean Flavour Fiesta to get an experience of all the on-site activities and a survey was carried out on 20 people who visited the Fiesta. Additionally, the Internet was also used to get more information about the Korean Festival.
The Korean Festival was one of the largest Korean festivals that took place in the world. It was held from 1st November 2008 to 18th November 2008. It comprised of events of different aspects like music, film, concert, dance, taekwondo, art and also a fiesta. The wide variety of festivals attracted different people of different age group and interest. The festival aims to improve cultural ties between Singapore and Korea and it will be shown on television in each of the two countries in order to facilitate learning of the values and cultures of the other country.
As the Korean festival comprises of many different events, this report will be focusing more on the Korean Flavour Fiesta.
2. Marketing Mix
At the Korean Flavour Fiesta, there are many different exhibits, performances and also activities lined up to create a good experience for the visitors to learn about the different aspects of the Korean culture. They seek to share their Korean culture through three ways.
Firstly, visitors can experience the energy of Korea through activities such as the fusion drum performance, Taekwondo demonstration, traditional Sa-Mool-No-Ri, Break Dance Performance, K-pop contest and also a break dance performance by the winner of the 2007 World UK B-Boy Championship, Korean B-Boys “Last For One”. These performances are helpful in helping one to get a clearer idea of the different activities that the Koreans do back in their country.
Secondly, there is the Korean Food Products Fair, Free Kim-Chi class and also, visitors can get to taste seasonal and traditional Korean food for free. At the Kim-Chi class, one can have a firsthand experience of making Kim-Chi, and can also bring the Kim-Chi that they made home. This had greatly exposed the visitors to the eating culture of Koreans.
Lastly, it will be experiencing Korea in Singapore. One can visit the Samsung zone where they display the latest gadgets of Korea and also take a look at the tour packages to Korea at the booth available there. Visitors can even get to wear the traditional Korean dress and the staff will take a picture for them for free.
The event has used the product mix well as it brings out the Korean culture in a lively and vibrant way which impacted the visitors. Besides that, it is also complete as it shows various elements of the Korean culture, which supported the aim of this festival. According to a survey done by my friends and me, an interviewee who attended the festival commented that he had developed a keen interest in Korea’s culture and the Fiesta had helped him greatly in knowing more about Korean culture.
The festival was held at the VivoCity Skypark. It is an open and spacious place where there is more than enough space to contain all the activities.
However, the amphitheatre which hosted the various performances was not big enough to hold all the audiences. As a result, there were people standing at the side and also the front, which was quite disturbing to the people who are already seated down as they are blocking their view. Staffs were also stationed there to control the crowd that was standing at the side and front. They also prevented people from walking by the front, as this may disrupt the performances.
As a recommendation, the organiser could have maximised the seating capacity by having some portable chairs put at places that will not block anybody’s view, so that more people will be able to enjoy the performances in comfort.
As the place is an open-concept area, during the rain, the visitors will not be sheltered which may lead to a low visitor turn-up. Besides that, the people we interviewed commented that it was too hot to be outside in the open area, especially during the afternoon. Thus, allowing for more fans around could be cooling for the visitors so as to provide a better experience for them.
The place for distributing the tickets to the K-pop concert was at Novena Square 2. People who spend a minimum of $60 in two receipts will be able to queue for the ticket. However, there were a significant number of fans complaining that the people who were earlier and at the front, received the ticket of a poorer seating. It is believed that the staff who gave out the tickets distributed in the wrong sequence leading to earlier people getting lousier seats. After realising the mistake, the organiser refused to take any actions to rectify the problem.
Fairness is essential in the distribution of the tickets. When a distribution has been altered to tilt the equality towards other group of people, offering to change the ticket or at least allowing the people with the poorer seating to have the privilege of sitting at the front as they had spent a long time queuing, or changing the seats allocation to free seating will help to rectify the problem.
Although the place is big enough, the condition of the place was not as good as it is an outdoor place with no protection from any weather elements, be it a hot or rainy day. Thus, the event may not have fit very well in this area.
The event was organised by the Embassy of the Republic of Korea while the sponsors are Samsung, Far East Organisation, KIA Motors, Asiana Airlines, Korea Agro-Fisheries Trade Corporation, Korea Tourism Organisation and INNOFORM Media.
The objective of one of the sponsors, Korea Tourism Organisation, is to attract more people to travel to Korea. They aim to have more tourists’ receipts into Korea and thus boosting the country’s economy.
At the festival, the Korea Tourism Organisation set up a booth near the entrance. Brochures containing information on all the packages they have are available at the booth and friendly staffs are also stationed at the booth to assist in any questions that the visitors may have about the packages. They also have a mascot, the snowman, who goes around, taking photos with visitors. This attracted the attention of many which would have created a greater awareness of the people about Korea Tourism Organisation.
In this sense, they are successful in their objective as a crowd can be seen at the booth, enquiring and expressing interest in the tour packages.
Another example will be the Embassy of the Republic of Korea. Their main objective of this event will be to promote cultural ties between Singapore and Korea.
Besides the Korean Flavour Fiesta, they also have other events at other places, involving different aspects like dance, music, film, concert, taekwondo and art. By having different events of different aspects, they had done a good job in introducing the Korean culture to different group of people as the different types of events targeted different people from different age groups and also interests.
For example, the Korean Flavour Fiesta made a very good introduction on the various aspects of Korean culture. For example, the free food sample giveaway stalls selling Korean food product and also the free Kim-Chi making class exposed the visitors to the eating culture of Korea. Besides that, there is also the Korea’s traditional drum performance, and visitors can get to wear the traditional dress of Korea. All these contributed positively to the experience of those people who are learning more about the Korean culture.
Furthermore, the people interviewed at the Fiesta feedback that they had learnt a great deal about the Korean culture after attending the Fiesta and they are interested in knowing more.
The festival was being advertised in banners that were put at some areas of Singapore, news channels on the television and also on the Internet.
However, most people who visited the festival get to know about the festival through word-of-mouth.
After interviewing a number of visitors, we realised that the promotion mix was not done well. This is because most of the people we interviewed came to the Fiesta without knowing about the festival beforehand. Most of them commented that they were shopping at VivoCity Shopping Centre and saw the advertisements around the mall then they came to know about the Fiesta.
They could have advertised on the festival more in places with higher exposure rate. One very good example will be advertising on the television during prime time where there are a higher number of people watching television. This will create a higher awareness of the festival, rather than advertising on news channel or Internet as not all people will be able to notice the advertisement.
There are also promotions going on for the distribution of tickets to events that needed tickets for admission. One example will be the K-pop concert. One would have to buy an expensive LG mobile phone before they get a chance to get the tickets or spend a minimum of $60 in two receipts before they can get a chance to queue for the tickets.
At the fiesta, we had to queue up for various activities like trying on the traditional dress of Korea, and for the free food sample giveaway. The length of queuing up was reasonable as the staffs are efficient. Besides that, the queue was also efficient as nobody jumped queue and there are also staffs managing the queue. The smile on their face and friendliness make the queue seems shorter. The Fiesta had done well in this aspect as the queue can also be an indicator of how well they managed the event.
There are a variety of programmes of different elements in the Korean Flavour Fiesta. The various elements are food, music, dance, traditional costumes and many more.
Under the theme of music and dance, there are fusion Drum performances by DoDo, Taekwondo demonstration by the Singapore Taekwondo Federation, Sa-Mool-No-Ri by Kim Ik Sang, B-Boy Showdown by Last For One and also a K-pop contest where people can showcase their singing talent.
As for the theme of food and traditional costume, there are seasonal and traditional food displays, free food sample giveaway, free Kim-Chi making class and a Korean Food Products Fair. Besides that, visitors can also get to wear the traditional dress of Korea and take pictures in it. What adds value to this experience is that the staffs will print the photos for each individual visitor for free.
There are also other booths set up selling the latest electronic gadgets from Korea, Korean drama and movies DVD, and also a booth set up by the Korea Tourism Organisation selling and promoting tour packages to Korea.
The combination of programmes in the Korean Flavour Fiesta is very diverse and they had done well in this area as the visitors who visited the Fiesta are able to have an all rounded understanding about the Korean culture.
The staffs at the Korean Flavour Fiesta are all from Korea. Thus, they are able to answer any questions that were asked, as they are very knowledgeable about their country. Besides that, they are all very friendly and passionate about their country’s culture. This can be seen from the way they answer the questions that the people who visited their booths asked. They do not just answer for the sake of answering, instead they explained the details with patience and a smile can always be seen on their faces, despite the many questions and the hot weather.
For example, we went to the booth where we can get to wear the Korean traditional dress and take photos. The staffs there were very patient in helping us wear the traditional dress. Even though there was a queue, they insisted on good quality service and gave us their best by helping us wear the traditional dress properly and not rushing us. They then took photo for us and printed them for free for all of us. Although it is a free service, they still gave their best level of service and did not treat us shabbily or give a negative attitude. This is very commendable, as most of the people will only give a better service when they receive advantage, like payment for the photos. Instead, they treated us like precious visitors and this greatly show how passionate they are in sharing their culture with people from other countries. When we requested to take more photos on our own mobile phones, they agreed readily and displayed a very positive attitude even when they have to wait for us return the costume before they can serve other customers.
Another example will be the staffs at the booth where they give free food sample. Though the weather was very hot and they were all wearing the traditional dress while cooking and distributing the food sample, they did not give an unhappy face. Yet, they continued to have a genuine smile on their face and even thanked every visitor who gets the food sample and wished that they enjoy the food. This shows that they are all very professional and that their service are genuinely good as they did not give in to the hot weather and long queue and start giving bad service.
However, as they are all Koreans, they are not able to speak or understand English that well. So we had to repeat our words a few times before they could understand. Despite this point, they remained positive and very friendly towards the people who spoke them in a language that they do not understand that well and this is a very good point as they make the extra effort to be patient and they try their best to understand so as to give us the service that we needed.
The people mix was very well done as all the staffs involved are all very professional and the attitude that they displayed were all very consistent and good. Besides that, they also have enough staffs around at the fiesta, which eliminated the problem of labour shortage. With a good people mix, the Fiesta will be able to leave a deeper impression on the visitors as the staffs are the ones making the close and personal contact with the visitors.
2.7 Packaging & Distribution
The Korea Festival is a package that consists of many different types of events namely the fiesta, music, film, concert, dance, taekwondo, art, and also a contest for people to showcase their talents.
The package is very diverse that they serve all the different age and interest group. Ranging from music lovers to arts lovers or even food lovers, they will be able to benefit from this festival.
Other than the Korean Flavour Fiesta, there is also the Korean Contemporary Art Exhibition, K-pop concert, Korean Film Festival, Korean Traditional Dance performance and also Taekwondo Demonstration.
Through the different events that they have, they were able to show not only one aspect of the Korean Culture. Thus, they had done well in packaging as all different elements of Korean culture are being brought out by the different events incorporated in the festival. If one wants to know about the culture of Korea, they should attend all the events that they had packaged into the Korean Festival
Although it is free in terms of monetary value to visit any events that they have under the Korean Festival, there are still costs incurred by the visitors like the time that they spent at the place and also the transport fees that they spent to get to the destination.
One example is the tickets to the K-Pop concert. Although the tickets are all free of charge, the only way to get them is to compete with the huge number of fans who are also interested in the ticket and queue for hours for the ticket. Besides that, as the organiser who are in charge of distributing the tickets is Novena Square 2, one is required to spend a minimum of $60 dollars in 2 receipts in Novena Square 2 before they get the chance to queue for the limited tickets. The cost incurred here is the time they spent to get the ticket and also the amount of money they have to spend in the shopping mall.
Other than those events that needed tickets for admission, there are activities that do not need tickets and anyone can go in. One example will be the Korean Flavour Fiesta. Although it is a free admission with no conditions, there are still costs incurred. Not only the time and the transportation fee, they also do pay the price for the things that they buy at the fiesta, like the food products that they sell at the fiesta.
The price mix that was used was good and effective. This was because as all the admissions are free of charge, there are a higher number of people who are willing to attend the different events that they have. As the aim of this festival was to share the Korean culture to the people in Singapore, it would be wise to have free admissions. If there is a charge on the admissions, then most of the people who turned up will be the ones who are already interested in Korean culture.
Thus, by having free admissions, more people will want to attend the different events and this will be able to help in achieving the objective of bringing more people to Korean culture, be it people who are already interested in Korean culture or people who do not know anything about the culture.
3. Tourism roles and economic value of the festival / event
3.1 Tourist Attraction
The Korean Flavour Fiesta is an attraction itself. Even though most of the visitors who went to the fiesta are locals, there are also a significant number of foreigners who came to the fiesta as they were shopping nearby at VivoCity Shopping Centre. By attending the fiesta, they will be aware of the other events that are also under the Korean Festival, and there will be a chance of them attending the other events after being fascinated by the Korean Flavour Fiesta. Thus, the length of their stay may be increased leading to higher tourists receipts and their stay will be more enriched as well.
As the Korean Flavour Fiesta had been very successful, the people whom were interviewed commented that they are very willing to come again if there is going to be another Korean festival. The Fiesta had captured the hearts of many and they had achieved their aim of bringing more people to Korean culture. As the response to the festival is good, this will increase the demand for it and this may lead to more festivals in the future. Besides that, this will definitely improve the cultural ties between Korea and Singapore. With the good cultural tie, Singapore will be able to enjoy more economic benefits when doing trade with Korea.
The Korean Flavour Fiesta had allowed many people to have a better understanding about Korean culture. Many commented, according to my survey, that they got more interested in Korean culture. This shows that the festival is successful in making people wanting to go to Korea for a holiday to experience Korea themselves. This brought economic value to Singapore as the outbound tourism will increase, and this will boost those businesses involved like the airlines and the travel agencies. Besides that, when people travel to Korea, they will also be able to bring along the culture of Singapore along and the Koreans may feel interested and may want to travel to Singapore. This will in turn boost the tourism arrival in Singapore. On top of that, the Korean Festival will be broadcasted on Korea’s television and the Korean may feel interested to visit Singapore after watching the broadcast.
The Korean Flavour Fiesta had been very successful in sharing the different aspects of Korean culture with the visitors through the different displays they have. They also managed to draw more people to be attracted to the Korean culture. This is evident from the survey that most of the respondents commented that they had managed to learn a great deal about Korean culture from the fiesta and that they are feeling positive towards the Korean culture.
The success of the fiesta is also attributed to their good use of the marketing mix. It is owed to the friendliness and passion of the staffs, a diverse and complete packaging and programming and also its supportive partnership. Besides that, the price factor also played a role in making this festival a success. As the admissions are all free, more people are then drawn to this event.
However, they will have to improve on the choosing of a place for their fiesta. If it is held at an indoor space, it may be better as the visitors will be spared from the humid and hot weather in the afternoon, which caused discomfort when walking around the fiesta. Besides that, it will also be better if they have a bigger space to host the various performances as it was obvious that the space was not adequate as quite a number of people can be seen standing at the sides and front, watching the performance.
On the other hand, the festival also managed to bring economic values to Singapore. With the festival held in Singapore, it attracted not only the Singaporeans, but also the tourists who are visiting Singapore. They will attend the festival which will enhance their experience in Singapore. This will lengthen their stay and thus increase tourist spending. This, in turn, helped the Singapore’s economy as it generates more tourist income.
Through this festival, Singapore has also improved the cultural ties with Korea, and this will allow Singapore to enjoy greater benefits and freedom on its trade with Korea. Furthermore, as the festival will be broadcasted in Korea, viewers may develop an interest in Singapore and come to experience the country for themselves.
Overall, the fiesta is a success and it is largely due to the efficient use of the marketing mix. If there are any future Korean festivals, there will still be a crowd attracted to it as Korean Festival 2008 has earned itself a good name and people will be willing to spend time to visit the event as more and more people are developing a keen interest in the Korean culture.
CHANNEL NEWSASIA (2008). Korean festival to be held in Singapore from Nov 1-18. Retrieved from: http://www.channelnewsasia.com/stories/singaporelocalnews/view/385151/1/.html. Last accessed: 20/11/2008
Korea Festival 2008 (2008). Explore Korean Festival in Singapore. Retrieved from: http://www.koreafestival2008.com/. Last accessed: 19/11/2008