ITAP 2020 marks first hybrid event at Singapore Expo

Manufacturing trade show features physically-distanced ceremony, engagement tours and AI-powered virtual platform with personalised content.

Singapore-based attendees joined the opening address and engagement tours, which were simultaneously broadcast on ITAP Connected.
Singapore-based attendees joined the opening address and engagement tours, which were simultaneously broadcast on ITAP Connected.

This year's edition of advanced manufacturing trade show, Industrial Transformation Asia-Pacific (ITAP), marked two firsts: one in its new hybrid format, and also as the first in-person event held at Singapore Expo after the venue was repurposed as a Covid-19 Community Care Facility.

A physical delegation gathered at Max Atria, the conference venue at Singapore Expo, on Tuesday 20 October as Singapore's Deputy Prime Minister, Coordinating Minister for Economic Policies and Minister for Finance, Heng Swee Keat, delivered opening remarks alongside German Minister of State for digitalisation at the Federal Chancellery, Dorothee Bär, and SingEx Holdings CEO, Aloysius Arlando.

Floor markings, room dividers and additional signage were dotted across the venue to ensure attendees maintained a safe one-metre distance, and did not stray from their allocated 20-pax cohort to mix with other delegates (as per STB's Safe Management Measures for MICE Events).

Pivot and persist

The session was broadcast live via a custom-built, AI-powered platform, known as ITAP Connected, which hosted the remaining conference sessions and facilitated business connections between industry buyers and suppliers across the region.

Organised by SingEx Exhibitions and Deutsche Messe, the three-day event (20 to 22 October) included exhibition segments, with key conferences streamed live, including the Future of Manufacturing Summit, Global Additive Manufacturing Summit, and the Market & Sector Leaders Forum.

In another nod to the hybrid movement, Singapore-based attendees joined physical tours highlighting industrial transformation showcases and places that have deployed Industry 4.0 concepts. Online attendees also joined in the action concurrently on ITAP Connected.

“[ITAP] is all about connecting people, businesses, ideas and the challenges from Covid-19 [which] brought immense opportunities to redefine the future of how we engage with one another, providing rich observations, learnings and insights for industries as they build resilience or pivot to survive and thrive,” said James Boey, executive director SingEx Exhibitions.

In the spirit of connection, all conference content featured subtitles in five languages – Bahasa Indonesia, Chinese, English, German, Japanese and Russian – and will be made available on-demand to accommodate those who might be unable to attend.

“Covid-19 has reinforced the importance of manufacturing and diversified supply chains, and the need for businesses to transform in order to stay globally competitive,” said Lim Kok Kiang, Executive Vice President, Singapore Economic Development Board.

“ITAP will continue to facilitate the exchange of industry insights and ideas, and build partnerships that will allow our businesses and people to overcome challenges, ride the Industry 4.0 wave and capture opportunities in the region and beyond.”