One of KCM Agency’s long time clients is CJ E&M, the leader in Asian media and content spanning from TV shows, films, and music to live shows such as musicals, concerts, and conventions. With the ever growing popularity of Korean pop culture beyond Korea itself, CJ E&M created KCON, an annual Korean culture convention that brings “All Things Hallyu” to the American fan base. Starting in 2012 as a 1-day event in Irvine, CA at the Verizon Wireless Amphitheatre, KCON’s first year drew in 10,000 attendees. It has since grown into a worldwide convention held in multiple cities around the world from Abu Dhabi to Mexico.
Our work with KCON started in 2013 when we were asked to transform a multi-purpose room at the Los Angeles Sports Arena into a chic VIP Lounge space for KCON artists and special guests. The before & after photo below probably best depicts that while this request sounds simple enough, it was actually quite a feat entailing convincing a legacy venue in allowing us to paint their columns and build them a new bar to cover their existing fixed bar!
As KCON grew exponentially over the years, so did our scope of work. In 2015, KCON created much excitement and buzz with the announcement of its first year at the Los Angeles Convention Center and Staples Center as a 3-day event. KCM Agency was entrusted with the production and management of the Convention Stage. The highlight of the Convention Stage was definitely the fashion show presented by O Shopping and CelebShop featuring designs from Korean designer Ko Tae Yong and K-Pop superstars GOT7 as the runway models. It was incredible to see the overwhelming passion and enthusiasm of the fans!
GOT7's JB on the OShopping x CelebShop catwalk (2015)
In 2016, KCON presented us with ideas in hopes of further expanding on KCON’s “All Things Hallyu” mission. We were given the opportunity to take those ideas and bring them to life in the form of Beauty Block and Flower Boy Cafe!
Beauty Block, an area of the convention dedicated to beauty brands such as Tony Moly, The Face Shop, and Olive Young, coupled with integrated beauty programming on the Convention Stage, successfully catered to the high demand of K-Beauty products and tips requested by KCON fans.
Flower Boy Cafe, inspired by the handsome “flower boys” seen on K-Dramas and themed cafes that are popular in Korea (and Asia at large), aimed to provide attendees with an experience to live out a quintessential K-Drama scene: a coffee date! From cafe interior design and production to casting the perfect Flower Boys, there were many “firsts” for us, and this ended up making our team grow closer as we were forced to get more collaborative in order to solve new obstacles together. Tickets for Flower Boy Cafe sold out almost immediately and following the event, both attendees and Flower Boys reported positive experiences. Wins all around!
All this time, Korean culture, entertainment and music continued to grow in popularity around the world. The epidemic of Hallyu surged in Latin America and in response, KCON headed to Mexico City in March 2017 and as KCON’s production, operations, and moral support, we joined them in this new adventure. We often get asked what the reception of KCON MX was like and we can confidently say, at least from our POV, it was quite grand! (Read our blog from our KCON MX experiences here!)
We kicked off the summer season in June with KCON NY at Prudential Center for which we had the same responsibilities as for KCON MX, with the addition of bringing Beauty Block to the east coast. The KCON season culminated with its flagship event, KCON LA, at the Los Angeles Convention Center and Staples Center. With a much larger involvement and scope of work for KCON 17 LA than past years and the other cities, we will definitely remember this particular event as a special milestone in the KCM Agency x KCON history. After seeing KCM Agency recognized and listed as an official KCON partner in the program book, there was a moment of reflection, followed by an overwhelming feeling of pride and surrealism.
Trust, loyalty, and excellence
Behind the glam, glitz, and polish you see at KCON are years of dedication and hard work to bring the best of Hallyu to the fans, and it has been a privilege to witness and be a part of this journey! 2017 marks our 5th year working together with the KCON team which serves as a testament that when there’s a shared genuine interest and investment in each other’s growth and success, there are that many more victories to celebrate together!
Check out the slideshow below for some photos through the years!