• Suntec aims to redefine meetings when it reopens May 1

    Suntec aims to redefine meetings when it reopens May 1

    Raini Hamdi, Singapore, November 2, 2012

    SUNTEC Singapore International Convention & Exhibition Centre aims to redefine the way the meetings business is done when it reopens on May 1 next year after a S$180 million (US$147 million) modernisation programme.

    In an interview on how the convention centre is being redesigned for the future, new CEO Arun Madhok said a key aspect was to give clients more control over their event and budget.

    For instance, clients will be able to rent just the space they need, rather than the space the convention centre has, thanks to possibly the highest number of meeting spaces in a centre that can be reconfigured to suit clients' specific needs. 

    Said Madhok: “In the past, you have a 400m2 exhibition hall. The client’s event is growing and so a centre says, take another hall, when the client probably needs just 150m2 more. 

    “We are now in position to allow the space to grow with the client. We can give them the shape and the size he needs for his event as it keeps growing.”

    Level 3 will have 36 meeting rooms which can be turned into various meeting configurations or which can be opened for a big reception or a small exhibition. Level 4 has four exhibition halls, but these halls too can be reconfigured for a hybrid exhibition/conference, or for a dinner and dance, with the lighting and ambience changing at the flick of a switch. 

    A computerised system will allow clients to visualise, create or modify the floor plan of their event, which the current 2D floor plan is limited in.

    The venue will also offer free wireless LAN connectivity to all delegates, installing a system that will enable 6,000 gadgets to be connected simultaneously. “Once you connect, you can go from floor to floor without losing connectivity or having to sign in again,” said Madhok.

    Madhok has restructured his executive team, adding the changed centre means a retraining of staff's skills and mindsets at all levels.

    He said space convertibility, human capability and technology were the key considerations of the modernisation programme and hoped this “may even actually change the way the convention business is done and influence it considerably”. 

    He said: “Venue managers have been sort of content in just giving space and not realising we are an integral part of the entire experience. 

    “Space can no longer be just a shell. That’s going to be our difference in comparison to competitors.”

    – Read more in Over Coffee with Arun Madhok, TTGmice, December 2012 issue