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CJ ENM KCON 2019 NY Captivates 55,000 Visitors in Manhattan

2019.07.09

Entertainment & lifestyle company CJ ENM (CEO Min-heoi Heo) announced that they successfully hosted the world's biggest K-culture convention KCON on July 6 and 7 at Madison Square Garden and the Jacob K. Javits Convention Center (hereinafter, Javits Center) located in Manhattan, New York.

KCON appeared on the billboards of Times Square, the most celebrated landmark of New York
▲ KCON appeared on the billboards of Times Square, the most celebrated landmark of New York

KCON is held every year since 2012 for the globalization of Hallyu in North America, the Middle East, Europe, Latin America, and Asia. It has positioned itself as a leading global pop culture platform that shows the latest trends of Hallyu such as K-pop, K-food, K-beauty, and K-fashion in the US.

Being the first to enter the Eastern states of the US by attracting over 17,000 people around New York in 2015, KCON is now in its fifth year. And this year, for the first time, the venue has been relocated to world-renowned landmark Manhattan, where 55,000 visitors came to enjoy K-lifestyle.

As the venue for the K-lifestyle convention, KCON 2019 NY chose the Javits Center which is the largest convention center in New York where North America's biggest festivals like New York International Auto Show and New York Comic Con take place. The concert in the evening was held at the famed performance arena Madison Square Garden that is considered the stage of all artists' dreams.

KCON videos announcing the Hallyu festival were aired on the billboards of Times Square, Nasdaq building screens, and streets of Manhattan where there is a daily floating population of 1.5 million people. Local media including NBC, ABC, CBS, FOX5, PIX11, and NEW YORK 1 featured the festival one after another, underscoring their great interest and anticipation for KCON.

The Javits Center, where KCON was held, had been crowded with young Hallyu fans in the US even before the event began. A total of 72 Korean and global companies participated in capturing the attention of millennials. They set up booths exhibiting new products and offering food samples or experiences at the convention center and hosted all kinds of events to attract young, loyal customers by promoting communication with the audience using social influencers.

The audience having fun at the convention center to experience K-lifestyle
▲ The audience having fun at the convention center to experience K-lifestyle

Moreover, open studio KCON STUDIO in K-lifestyle themes like K-food, K-beauty, and K-fashion as well as various K-beauty products representing Korea such as cosmetics, sheet masks, and skincare products captured the audience's attention.

According to the report, The Economic Effect of Exporting Hallyu Cultural Contents, by the Export-Import Bank of Korea, a 100 USD increase in the export of Hallyu cultural contents will lead to about a 250 USD increase in the export of consumer goods like cosmetics, food, and apparel. This indicated that exporting Hallyu contents, especially music, serves as the most considerable driving force in consumer goods in which culture and taste are important. The potential of Hallyu was proved as the main item of export for Korea when the exports of cultural content surpassed that of home appliances for the first time last year.

Hallyu secures its place as a culture of the world after five years of entering the Eastern states of the US

K-pop artists that visited the convention to experience K-lifestyle
▲ K-pop artists that visited the convention to experience K-lifestyle

KCON 2019 NY significantly increased convention programs and workshops with a focus on K-pop that drives the expansion of Hallyu. The K-POP WORLD located in the convention center received a particularly enthusiastic response, from the showcase of new rising artists to various unique photo zones for fans to commemorate the event. There were also other programs to share and exchange experiences and values of K-pop, such as discussions about the K-pop music industry with the audience, comparative analysis with American pop, the relationship between YouTube and Hallyu, and the evolution of K-pop online communities.

There was a concert on both evenings at Madison Square Garden, featuring incredible performances by 11 teams of K-pop artists such as NU'EST, The Boyz, VERIVERY, Seventeen, IZ*ONE, (G)I-DLE, SF9, AB6IX, ATEEZ, TOMORROW X TOGETHER, and fromis_9.

Hallyu secures its place as a culture of the world after five years of entering the Eastern states of the US

A panorama of the K-pop concert stage at Madison Square Garden
▲ A panorama of the K-pop concert stage at Madison Square Garden

"When looking into the influence of Hallyu, KCON is one of the indicators we closely examine along with K-pop album sales and figures of global performances," said Jeff Benjamin, a billboard journalist and K-pop expert who has watched the Hallyu craze in North America from the start. "The rapid growth in the number of the audience and ticket sales of KCON proves that not only the scale of Hallyu fans but also their participation, consumer desire, and interest in K-lifestyle are also increasing. A huge factor of such growth of Hallyu is KCON, which has offered all kinds of convention programs with incredible artists and guests for the last seven years, even when K-pop still didn't have its place in the global market."

"KCON was able to position itself as a leading Hallyu event in various parts of the world because we persistently sought to enter the mainstream market including the US, while also planning and developing events according to the characteristics of the Hallyu consumers that keep on changing," said Hyung-gwan Shin, head of CJ E&M's Music Contents Division in charge of KCON. "We're aiming to keep investing in the expansion of Hallyu and set new K-culture trends in cooperation with competent artists and companies in Korea facing difficulty in expanding into global markets."

Meanwhile, the Hallyu fever in the US will spread further by holding KCON 2019 LA at STAPLES Center and the Los Angeles Convention Center from August 15 to 18.