Singapore pushes Covid-safe hybrid events with new guidelines, training network

As Singapore allows for the gradual resumption of small-scale physical events, the MICE industry has received an Event Industry Resilience Roadmap (IRR) that will pave the way for Covid-safe and cost-effective hybrid events.

Launched by the Singapore Association of Convention and Exhibition Organisers and Suppliers (SACEOS), Singapore Tourism Board (STB) and Enterprise Singapore (ESG), the IRR will provide advice to organisers, venues and suppliers on implementing best practices and safe-management measures under STB’s Safe Business Events Framework, create agile business models with a focus on hybridisation, and chart long-term plans to develop the MICE workforce.

IRR will guide organisers, venues and suppliers towards a safe resumption of events in Singapore

Hybrid and physical events will be accredited by an industry-led national programme, SG SafeEvent Standard, which will be launched later this year. It will serve as a mark of assurance for participants of safe, trusted and innovative business events.

The IRR document will be continuously updated according to the evolving situation and prevailing health standards.

The first release – IRR 1.0 – will focus on the implementation of SG SafeEvent Standard and hybridisation, and is being adopted in Singapore’s pilot events.

IRR 2.0, which is currently in development, will expand on the innovation of business models and core capabilities necessary for companies and professionals to successfully pivot.

“As the Covid-19 situation evolves, the resumption of business events and, later live events, in Singapore is dependent on the industry’s ability and readiness to implement newly mandated safe management measures and new competencies for our workers and enterprises to be hybrid-ready. The Event Industry Resilience Roadmap serves as a valuable ‘operational guide’ to strengthen our industry, enhance the skillsets of our workers and curate impactful hybrid events,” said Aloysius Arlando, president, SACEOS.

To further support the ailing MICE industry, SACEOS has signed an MOU with the National Trades Union Congress, STB, Enterprise Singapore, Workforce Singapore and SkillsFuture Singapore to establish the MICE & Events Capability Building Network.

Under this network, public and private sector organisations will facilitate the training and development of event industry professionals, including freelancers and self-employed individuals. It will also bring local educational institutions on board to create blueprints of new career paths and to curate training programmes.

As activity picks up, businesses should be prepared for higher cost at the outset, before things move into full swing.

Veemal Gungadin, vice president, digital & innovation, SACEOS, explained: “The cost will probably vary over time. Right now, there’s probably more investment needed on the physical side of things – to have full studios, new equipment, new infrastructures (that support) safe management measures during the event – so probably at the beginning, it will cost more.

“But what’s happening is, within the industry, there are initiatives ongoing to have more centralised systems that can be leveraged on for economies of scale, so the cost for adoption per event goes down.”

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