Covering all the bases

SECB makes the four days in sunny Singapore count for North American buyers, having taken key steps in structuring the programme.

Event brief
Part of the effort to raise the profile of Singapore as a business events destination, North American buyers identified by Singapore Exhibition & Convention Bureau’s (SECB) media partner were invited to Singapore to be introduced to its national carrier, hotels, DMCs, attractions, venue, etc. The programme catered to buyers who had not been to Singapore before or are in need of a refresher on the destination’s products and services.

As C-suite end-users and intermediaries were targeted, SECB and its partners had to create a programme that delivers greater sophistication than the usual fam trip and site inspections.

As well, the organiser had to give value not only to the invited North American buyers, who would have to invest one week of their time, but also to SECB’s partners.

It was also challenging co-ordinating with the three DMCs and other partners given the time difference between the US and Singapore.

The event’s programme was structured to get around some of these challenges.

Important components of the programme were: Opening Education Session, which included a panel discussion and networking opportunities with the local industry; discovery of what Singapore has to offer by day and night; and Marketplace, where buyers had one-on-one meetings with 18 partner suppliers.

Kershing Goh, regional director, Americas, international group, SECB, told TTGmice: “Many incentive (groups) are now looking for a deeper connection to the places they go to. In creating the structure and content of the event, we took our inspiration from the 2015 SG50 story programme, targeted at the leisure market and which was very successful.

“To bring real business value to the buyers, we had to create an opportunity – the Marketplace session – for them to meet the airline representatives, DMCs and other suppliers.”

Key takeaways
There were many comments by the North American buyers on the heat and humidity in Singapore so the programme comprised a bigger proportion of night-time activities.

As well, the 15.00 to 18.00 time slot was set aside for the buyers to rest, Goh noted.

The organisers also had to take note of special North American dietary needs such as gluten-free food, vegan options and shell and fish allergies, etc.

Looking ahead, SECB will tweak the programme content to extend its reach in the North American market such as through working with other companies like HelmsBriscoe.

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