The events fog is clearing up for Singaporeâ€™s events industry, as a promising roster of large-scale conferences is in the works.
Panellists at the SingapoReimagine MICE Virtual Show on March 3 revealed plans to organise physical events in Singapore this year, with attendance possibly running up to 2,000.
These include the Invisalign Asia Pacific Summit, which is projected to welcome more than 1,000 healthcare professionals from Asia Pacific, Europe and the US; as well as a gathering of the Council on Tall Buildings and Urban Habitat, comprising 2,000 attendees and an international membership of 75-80 per cent.
These potential events join the anticipated World Economic Forumâ€™s Special Annual Meeting 2021, slated for Aug 17-20, which aims to host some 1,000 delegates.
Shonn Mills, board of trustees member for the Council on Tall Buildings and Urban Habitat, shared: â€śWe picked Singapore for our conference location because it is a beacon for sustainable urbanism, and this has become even more important after Covid-19. Our plan is to have 2,000 members come to Singapore in November. Iâ€™m sure it will be hybrid too, but Iâ€™m hoping the measures that Singapore Tourism Board (STB) and Ministry of Health put in place, as well as (developments) surrounding vaccination, will allow us to move ahead with a large-scale conference.â€ť
Confidence in Singaporeâ€™s safe facilities and events were bolstered by the portfolio of hybrid events that have been piloted under the governmentâ€™s Safe Business Events framework. Since STB opened up applications for MICE events on October 1, 2020, some 50 events have already been organised.
These include TravelRevive in November 2020, which saw some 1,000 attendees and exhibitors on-site, and the Professional Convention Management Associationâ€™s (PCMA) Convening Leaders in January 2021, which welcomed 300 delegates. Measures put in place to ensure safe meetings included daily antigen rapid testing, meeting pods with Plexi-glass and zonal systems to limit intermingling.
â€śThe fact that 300 delegates agreed to join us and take the antigen rapid tests was a strong indication that the industry is ready to meet again in a safe manner,â€ť expressed Patricia Cheong, associate director, development, PCMA.
She continued: â€śWe are still a very long way from figuring out how to network virtually. The serendipitous moments that happen are only possible in physical meetings. I think we will continue to see smaller, regional events coming together first. We can learn, experiment and start building a box of experiences, which can then be used for bigger events.â€ť
As Singapore leads the path towards the resumption of safe business events, various different measures are being trialled. This includes the â€śstepped-up testing regimeâ€ť employed at TravelRevive and PCMA Convening Leaders, whereby delegates underwent pre-departure, on-arrival and pre-event testing in place of quarantine.
STB is also working towards international vaccination certification, in hand with ICAO and IATA, in order to â€śexpedite travelling across bordersâ€ť, described Jeannie Lim, assistant chief executive, STB.