Growing the country's stature as a leading business events destination while reducing the impact of tradeshows and events are clearly the top priorities for Singapore amid a strong recovery of the MICE industry following the reopening of borders in April this year.
This is evident from the trio of Memoranda of Understanding (MoUs) that the Singapore Tourism Board (STB) has signed with major stakeholders in the MICE industry to drive sustainable tradeshows, as well as Italian Exhibition Group and Comexposium to broaden their footprint in Singapore.
STB, together with leading tradeshow organiser Informa Markets, Constellar Venues, PICO World (Singapore), Cityneon Holdings, Kingsmen Exhibits and the Singapore Association of Convention & Exhibition Organisers & Suppliers (SACEOS), have come together to sign the Global MICE Sustainability Alliance.
The seven-party alliance will explore new solutions for green events and leverage its global expertise in sustainable event planning to ensure that these will adhere to local MICE sustainability standards that are currently being developed. It will also focus on industry education to increase awareness and adoption of green practices.
The signing ceremony, which was held alongside the launch of Asia CEO Summit on 5 October 2022 at The Fullerton Hotel Singapore, underlines the confidence that global event organisers continue to have in Singapore as the preferred destination for MICE events and a launchpad for international expansion.
“The strategic alliance with Informa Markets and tradeshow ecosystem players supports our vision of becoming one of the most sustainable MICE destinations in the Asia-Pacific by 2030 or earlier,” said Keith Tan, chief executive, STB.
“As Singapore’s MICE industry recovers strongly, our partnerships with IEG and Comexposium will boost the vibrancy of Singapore’s business events calendar and create new opportunities for our MICE industry.”
Global MICE Sustainability Alliance
Following the MoU signing of the Global MICE Sustainability Alliance, the alliance will spend the next six months to establish clear sustainability targets for the identified pilot event – Food & Hotel Asia (FHA)-Food & Beverage (F&B) 2024 – where green initiatives will be trialled.
Measuring the impacts of tradeshows and exhibitions will be a key goal for the alliance to set its targets, said Poh, an area that the STB will be working closely with industry partners including SACEOS to understand the challenges faced by the MICE industry and to align on key focus areas in sustainability.
"Tradeshows optimise business travel and bring together different stakeholders within the same ecosystem to the same event and platform, said Poh. "And by attending such shows it helps a business traveller to save making multiple trips in different destinations to visit their stakeholders. We will amalgamate all the travel into a single platform, or event itself, to optimise trip savings.
"Tradeshows optimise business travels and bring together different stakeholders within the same ecosystem to the same event and platform, and that basically allows a lot of savings that comes out of business travel."
Poh Chi Chuan, executive director of exhibitions & conferences, Singapore Tourism Board
Charlie McCurdy, CEO, Informa Markets, said: “Sustainability has been of growing commercial and personal importance for several years now, but to make the most of these opportunities and address the challenges in the events industry, we all need to collectively double down on our commitments.
"Informa’s approach is called FasterForward, reflecting our commitment to become an ever more sustainable business that not only improves our impacts on the environment and communities but also supports our customer markets and host cities do the same.
"This includes our flagship FHA-Food & Beverage and HoReCa events, which have been increasing our sorting of waste, powering our events with renewable electricity and featuring important content on sustainable solutions such as alternative proteins."
Italian Exhibition Group (IEG) X STB MoU
IEG, one of the world’s leading exhibition organisers, and STB have signed a three-year MoU to expand the Italy-based company’s business in Southeast Asia. This includes the establishment of IEG's Southeast Asia regional headquarters in Singapore, its first in Asia, by the end of 2023.
Under the partnership, IEG and STB will also explore ways to develop and anchor events in Singapore and Southeast Asia. As a start, IEG is acquiring two trade shows in the jewellery and food & beverage sectors from Conference & Exhibition Management Services (CEMS) – The Singapore International Jewelry Expo (SIJE); and Café Asia, Sweets & Bakes Asia and Restaurant Asia.
Francesco Santa, International Business Development Director, IEG, remarked, "The valuable exchange of know-how and innovation between IEG and Singapore will contribute to strengthening trade relations in the ASEAN region, of which Singapore is the hub, with economic growth rates amongst the highest in the entire world.”
Comexposium X STB MoU
STB also signed a three-year MoU with Comexposium, which will see global event organiser invest in Singapore by growing existing shows such as Milipol Asia-Pacific, Asia-Pacific’s largest homeland security event, and launching two anchor events – SILMO Singapore, a leading eyewear and lifestyle tradeshow held from 12–14 April 2023; and Vinexpo Asia, a major wine and spirits exhibition held from 23-25 May 2023. Both events are linked to established brands in Paris.
Elaine Chia, Chief Executive, Asia Pacific, Comexposium, said: “We are excited with the possibilities and potential of launching some of Comexposium's most treasured brands in Singapore. We look upon Singapore as an excellent platform to serve the demands of the Southeast Asia market and Australia and New Zealand."