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Singapore: Forging a New Standard for Business Events

SCNE2122_ED02_Pix-01In these extraordinary times, Singapore continues to stand as a premier business events destination connecting the world to Asia. While COVID-19 has altered the events landscape, the fundamentals that have made Singapore successful – its vibrant business environment, outstanding infrastructure and future-ready workforce – remain unchanged.

Raising the bar for health and safety

As international business travel resumes, Singapore is committed to safeguarding the well-being of visiting delegates and staff. It remains committed to upholding the highest standards of health and safety and to giving all its visitors peace of mind when they come to the Lion City. Hotels, restaurants, exhibition halls and other establishments have adopted new Safe Management Measures, such as social distancing and heightened cleaning of premises, to ensure reduced public health risk.

Beyond these, the Singapore Government also launched SG Clean, a national mark of excellence for cleanliness, hygiene, and infection control. SG Clean was launched in February 2020 by the National Environment Agency to encourage the nation, from individuals to local businesses, to elevate cleanliness and public hygiene in Singapore and safeguard public health. Many tourism establishments such as hotels, retail outlets, restaurants, tourist attractions and major business event venues have undergone rigorous audits to certify that they have adhered to sector-specific sanitation and hygiene checklists. Since March 2020, more than 5000 establishments, including Suntec City Convention & Exhibition Centre, Resorts World Sentosa Convention Centre, Sands Expo and Convention Centre at Marina Bay Sands and Singapore Expo and MAX Atria have obtained the SG Clean Quality Mark.

Innovating for the future of business events

As Singapore moves towards safe resumption of business events, it is also turning to innovative digital solutions to support virtual and hybrid business events. The return of bigger exhibitions and conferences in the city state looks highly promising after a successful pilot hybrid business event just last month. The event, the 2020 IEEE International Conference on Computational Electromagnetics, was held at Resorts World Sentosa from August 24th to 26th, with 50 onsite attendees and approximately 1000 more participating virtually. The country is now trialing pilot events with an expanded attendee capacity of up to 250. Among the pilot events taking place with this expanded attendee capacity is the Singapore International Energy Week Conference, another hybrid event which is scheduled to be held at Marina Bay Sands from October 26th to 30th.

Singapore’s events industry is also implementing unique solutions to meet the emerging demands of a new era of business travel. Local companies are reinventing themselves – from enhancing digital offerings to developing forward-looking concepts for hybrid and virtual events.

For example, in June, homegrown event organiser Web in Travel (WiT) engaged more than 750 tourism business leaders to discuss the future of the industry in a global virtual summit. During the dinner break, WiT sent curated care packages to Singapore-based attendees and later even held a virtual dance party. With this mindset of continuous innovation, it is no wonder that Singapore was recently named the world’s most competitive economy for the second consecutive year (IMD World Competitiveness Ranking, 2020).

Undoubtedly, this transition from the traditional live ‘in-person’ event format to new digital and hybrid formats will also see a need for more talent in the industry. In the coming months, this sector will need more people who possess the relevant technical skills, extensive event management experience and who are also attuned to shifting trends in the industry, in order to engage audiences through physical and digital platforms.

Singapore’s MICE industry remains innovative and resilient in a post-pandemic world

Singapore has always been a leading destination for international business events. For 18 consecutive years, the country has been ranked as Asia Pacific’s top meeting city (ICCA Global Rankings, 2019), thus affirming its position as a leading MICE hub in the region. The COVID-19 pandemic may have shaken up the industry rather badly, but it is already shaking off the dust and looking to embrace new technologies to adapt to the ‘new normal’.

While the COVID-19 pandemic has fiercely disrupted the industry, it has also created an opportunity for all stakeholders to innovate, upskill and build more resilient businesses. Singapore will, as always, lead the way in establishing safe operating standards and setting the benchmark for the future of innovative business events in a post-pandemic world.

Singapore is where great minds converge, connect and create the future of business.

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