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Shopping for lifestyle at Olive Con

It is hard to keep up with fast-changing lifestyle trends just by reading books, magazines and posts on social media.

Therefore, local entertainment media company CJ E&M hopes to serve as a lifestyle curator for locals by hosting the 2018 Olive Con, a lifestyle shopping convention. 

Visitors look around a convention hall filled with lifestyle booths. (CJ E&M)
Visitors look around a convention hall filled with lifestyle booths. (CJ E&M)

The convention started Wednesday and will end Sunday at the Coex Convention &Exhibition Center in southern Seoul. It features cooking classes, lectures and food shows instructed by celebrities.

This year’s Olive Con is being held under the theme of “Local Romance,” inspired by people’s desire for local experiences in eating, shopping and traveling.

Unlike the previous festivals, which focused more on the subject of food, the 2018 Olive Con aims to expand its boundaries by showcasing brands related to culinary experiences, such as tableware and kitchenware. 

Poster for Olive Con (CJ E&M)
Poster for Olive Con (CJ E&M)

The convention consists of three zones. At the Shop Zone, visitors can purchase food, kitchen and lifestyle items. If they get hungry or thirsty, they can visit the Eat Zone, filled with booths operated by trendy eateries. Influencers and chefs lecture on the latest lifestyle trends at the Play Zone.

Most of the booths are operated by bakeries, cafes, restaurants, snack makers and tableware brands that are popular on social media. On Friday morning, visitors lined up in front of a booth for environmentally friendly cutting boards.

“I like to collect tableware, usually plates and bowls,” said a visitor named Kim Hye-sook, who is in her mid-50s. She came to know about the convention through an advertisement on social media.

“Here, I am able to see all the nice brands, which are too small to enter department stores or local retailers,” she said. “I usually had to see the items through websites, but I can see them with my own eyes here.”

Tickets for the event can be purchased at the scene at the price of 12,000 won per person. For more information, visit Olive Con’s website at

By Im Eun-byel (