Compare to concerts, fan meetings in Korea are more on interactions of the Hallyu artists with the fans. So if you are in Korea and your favorite Kpop or Kdrama stars are having a fan meeting, grab this opportunity to experience it. Usually, Kpop idols and Kdrama artists hold fan meeting in Korea during their birthdays or debut anniversary. Just like in some of the fan meetings that I’ve been to – Lee Dong Wook’s 20th Anniversary, Song Joong Ki, 10th Anniversary and B1A4 Sandeul’s Birthday.
Are you also wishing of attending Fan Meetings in Korea? Here are the things that you should expect:
Before the fan meeting starts, make sure that you already have the physical copy of your ticket. For online buyers, you can exchange your online ticket at the ticket booth or desk at the venue. Therefore, you have to come early as there might be a long queue.
There is a culture of giving free merchandise when you attend Hallyu events in Korea such as concerts, fan meetings, music shows, and even musical performances. While waiting for the venue to start allowing attendees inside, be aware once people start lining up to receive freebies from fellow fans. Some fan sites would announce this in advance including the location on where they are going to distribute the freebies.
An exciting part of attending fan meetings in Korea are the photo zones usually located just outside the hall or the venue of the event. In there, you can take tons of photos with posters and life-sized standees of your favorite artist. Do not worry if you are alone as you can ask the other attendees to take photos of you and take their in return. Anyway, there are your fellow fans and you belong in the same fandom so it won’t be that too awkward to ask for a favor.
Moreover, some artists prepare gifts for their fans which they usually place on your seat. The inclusion depends on the artist but the usual ones are greetings photo cards, bottled water, and sometimes snacks. When I attended Lee Dong Wook’s fan meeting in Seoul, his welcome kit also included a jigsaw puzzle.
What to expect during a Fan Meeting in Korea? You can expect that it will be so much fun especially if the artist(s) and the production team prepared a lot of activities and surprises for the fans.
Interactive games involving the artist and the fans are usually part of the program. In my experience, the contents and mechanics are related or about the artist’s background. For example, they will ask the fans to stand up then will give two options that the artist must choose after every question. Then those who got the same answer as the artist will remain standing until there is a sole winner. Of course, the winner will get a special prize like special message from the artist or will receive special personal item, and even hug.
Aside from that, they normally invite guests during fan meetings in Korea. The guests are usually the close celebrity friends of the celebrating Hallyu artists. Isn’t it amazing that it also gives you an opportunity for you to see other Hallyu celebrities? Additionally, those who cannot come in person, just send their video greetings and these are played on the screen. During Song Joong Ki’s fan meeting, everyone was really shouting for Song Hye Kyo’s name. But instead, we got Lee Kwang Soo who is by the way, is handsome in person. They also played the video greetings or Park Bo Gum, Jin Goo and of his celebrity friends. While in Lee Dong Wook’s fan meeting his guest and co-host was the comedian Cho Sae Ho. On the other hand, during Sandeul’s fan meeting, the host was his co-member Gongchan. He also got video greetings from CNU who was in the military at that time.
In addition to fun and interactive games, there are also interviews and sing or dance performance. For Kpop idols, expect a sing and dance number. While for Kdrama actors, expect a singing number. I was actually impressed to hear Song Joong Ki and Lee Dong Wook singing live for the first time. Here is a video clip of Lee Dong Wook singing during his fan meeting.
This part of the fan meetings in Korea is the most exciting and heart-pounding. It is because the artists themselves would usually go around the venue to greet fans and offer handshake or high five. Who wouldn’t be thrilled to know that you would actually have a chance to shake their hands? You will also notice the discipline of the fans during this time because even if the artists are so close to them, they still respect their personal space.
I even got a rose from Lee Dong Wook when he went around. I still keep it with me until now.
Another culture in attending fan meetings in Korea is the fan project where fans are the ones who will surprise the Hallyu artist. It usually includes a banner with a message on the back and the raising of light sticks. The fan project organizer normally coordinates with the organizer for the approval of the said project. With that, the banners can be included in the welcome it or can be freely distributed at the venue before the event starts.
Hallyu Fan Meetings overseas would normally have photo session or hi-touch for selected attendees. For example, when I attended the fan meeting of Park Bo Gum in the Philippines, I was able to give him a high five. While during BTOB Hyunsik’s Fan Meeting, I was able to have a photo session with him.
But in Korea, usually there are no additional special events such as those. Everyone are just asked to leave the venue. However, in some cases, they would surprise the fans just like what Song Jong Ki did. Before leaving the venue, they announced that there would be a hi-touch session at the lobby and everyone is included. It was really such a nice gesture by him and his management.
Indeed, attending fan meetings in Korea is one for the books for every Hallyu fan.
For guides and tips on ticketing and other important reminders that foreign fans should know, read here.
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