The South-east Asia Special: Singapore

The city-state’s MICE sector is thriving thanks to several recent high-profile events. We share how it stays ahead of the competition


Singapore continues to defend its title as Asia-Pacific’s leading business events city, having been crowned Top Asia-Pacific Meeting City for 17 consecutive years by ICCA.

The UIA Global Rankings 2018 also placed Singapore at the top of its international meeting country chart while the Cvent 2019 List of Top Meeting Destinations in Asia saw the city-state in pole position for four years in a row.

The glittering Singapore skyline at night

A strong testament to the destination’s appeal was the monumental 2018 North Korea–United States Singapore Summit between country heads Kim Jong-un and Donald Trump. Held on June 12, 2018, the summit propelled the country into the global spotlight. The event clearly demonstrated the country’s ability to deliver high-profile, sensitive gatherings, as well as her high levels of safety and security.

Since the landmark meeting, corporate meetings from the US at Capella Singapore – where the Summit was held – have risen.

Diana Lee, director of sales & conference services, told TTGmice: “The meeting got us a lot of media coverage and many Americans, in particular, have since then showed keen interest in Singapore and our hotel.”

The accompanying stronger overall interest in the hotel’s event facilities has encouraged the luxury property to enhance its offerings. For instance, the property recently unveiled an 81m2 curved LED wall in its Grand Ballroom – offering four different screen configurations and high-resolution displays – as well as a new sustainable event F&B menu.

“We realised many clients needed an LED screen, and would bring their own supplier to our venue. By offering this built-in LED wall here at our Grand Ballroom, we will help our clients save on events costs and time,” said Lee.

Continuing this upward trend, Singapore went on to host the Bloomberg Economy Forum last year.

In 2018, Singapore welcomed more than 2.9 million MICE visitors, a growth of 12.1 per cent from 2017.

Singapore’s MICE landscape continues to flourish this year, with a host of notable events and meetings such as the inaugural Skift Forum Asia, VidCon Asia, Deloitte All Hands Meeting and Bentley Systems Year in Infrastructure Conference. VidCon is the largest event for the global community of online content creators, and its inaugural Asia edition will be held here in December.

The country’s pipeline continues to be promising with events secured well into the years ahead. In 2020, it will welcome, for the first time, an expected 8,000 attendees for the International Trademark Association’s 142nd Annual Meeting. The Lions Clubs International Convention will also bring to town some 20,000 foreign attendees, making it the largest association congress ever to be held in the city-state.

Next up in 2022, Singapore will be the first South-east Asian host for the International Conference on Medical Image Computing and Computer-Assisted Intervention, with an expected visitorship of 2,000 delegates. Singapore has also been selected to host the 25th World Congress of Dermatology in 2023; this will be the largest medical convention to take place in the city, with an estimated 15,000 participants.

Invigorated by its robust events line-up, the Singapore Tourism Board (STB) this year launched the In Singapore Incentives & Rewards (INSPIRE), a global incentive programme in collaboration with 29 local businesses. INSPIRE offers qualified MICE groups a selection of more than 60 complimentary experiences during their time in Singapore, including attractions, thematic tours and teambuilding activities.

Melissa Ow, deputy chief executive, STB said, “These incentives have been designed to complement groups’ itineraries and provide exclusive experiences that showcase the best of what Singapore has to offer.

“Building on the positive reception received for the previous INSPIRE programme that was offered to corporate groups in South-east Asia and specific regions, the new global INSPIRE includes markets such as the Americas, North Asia, Oceania and more.”

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