Singapore’s M.I.C.E Matters takes inbound expansion route

Singapore-based outbound events specialist, M.I.C.E Matters, has expanded its business with the launch of Insiders MICE SG business unit, which will focus on delivering international business events bound for the city-state.

Director Melvyn Nonis told TTGmice that the “pivot” was nothing new although M.I.C.E Matters had 90 per cent of its events held outside of Singapore pre-pandemic.

“While we have been pretty much an outbound company all these years, we occasionally supported our regular clients and close business partners whenever they had events in Singapore,” he shared.

He added: “Going into Singapore inbound was never actively pursued, but the topic came up every time we had our team retreats. The thought was always this: since we are home based, can we not develop a specialisation in Singapore too? We know there are many advantages for us to take this route – we know Singapore so well and we are experienced in delivering world-class business events. We are especially known in the market for impressive gala dinners, and we have delivered events in numerous destinations like Las Vegas and Rio de Janeiro.

“Furthermore, over the past decade, Singapore has risen to become a strong destination that can stand on her own, no longer a transit destination. There is a lot of value we can bring to Singapore.”

Nonis regarded the Covid-19 pandemic as a catalyst to this pivot. In promising to carry his team of 14 staff through the pandemic, Nonis knew he had to “purposefully engage” his employees and “keep them meaningfully productive” so that their mind would not wander as they worry about job stability.

With the decision to form Insiders MICE SG, the team is now pouring their time into reconnecting with the supplier network in Singapore, exploring the destination, and producing a new website that will be launched by the end of this year. They will soon undertake the SG SafeEvents certification by the Singapore Association of Convention & Exhibition Organisers & Suppliers.

Nonis intends for Insiders MICE SG to also act as a global sales and marketing representative for providers of experiential tours that have emerged during the pandemic. He said many of these tours are “excellent” and will add value to the Singapore experience for inbound events.

To build Insiders MICE SG’s branding on the global scene, Nonis has partnered with Body and Soul International, a network of DMCs that cover more than 110 destinations. The network has only one DMC in each destination, and Insiders MICE SG will stand as the Singapore representative.

With Body and Soul International’s strong project pipeline out of South and North America as well as Europe, Nonis is confident that Insiders MICE SG will be able to bring more longhaul MICE groups into Singapore once border restrictions relax further.

Nonis said: “We are committed to developing this Singapore inbound expertise. This isn’t something we are doing just for now to tide through the outbound freeze. This is a sensible direction to grow into and we are ready to even expand our team if the need arises.”

While demand for inbound business events will not materialise in large numbers immediately, Nonis is confident that Singapore is in a good recovery position.

He explained: “Singapore has arrived on the global tourism scene, and is one of the first few countries in the region to reopen doors to international travellers. And because there are not many places in Asia that have reopened to fully vaccinated international travellers, options are limited for companies ready to resume their overseas meetings and incentives. Therefore, Singapore will be on that list, and businesses know that Singapore shines for conferences and exhibitions.”

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