Sentosa makes serious move on business events

Sentosa Development Corporation (SDC), which oversees the development, management and promotion of the Sentosa island as a resort destination, has identified business events as a “new target market” from this year on.

Speaking to TTGmice in an interview, SDC’s CEO Quek Swee Kuan said the business events segment “becomes a very important source of business” for the island’s hotels during the weekdays when rooms are widely available.

Quek: business events segment important during the weekdays, but spaces in Sentosa not well marketed

“If you look at Sentosa’s arrival patterns, weekends are packed, while weekdays see many (available rooms),” he said.

To keep Sentosa busy on the weekdays, SDC is hoping to pull in meetings, corporate incentives and “smaller-scale conferences which our hotels with ballrooms are ready to handle”.

With this new objective in mind, SDC has started “leveraging Singapore Tourism Board’s incentives for (business events)”, and is working with the Singapore Association of Convention & Exhibition Organisers & Suppliers and its island partners that are also hungry for business events. SDC plans to attend relevant trade events and to bid for business events together with like-minded island partners.

Association meetings are also on SDC’s radar, and Quek’s team was at the PCMA Convening Leaders conference in Nashville, US, last month to meet with global association chiefs.

In terms of geographical targets, Quek pointed to the western side of the globe. Destination marketing work in the longhaul market has kicked off with SDC’s participation in IBTM last November, and it will again promote its business events capability at ITB Berlin next month.

“We have so many attractive points for the MICE market, such as open spaces that can work as unique venues – something European groups will like, but not enough about them are being shouted in the marketplace,” he remarked.

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