Singapore's position in the endemic period has sent a strong signal throughout its MICE industry to be prepared for rebound demand.
With no more limitations to events capacity, large-scale exhibitions and conferences in the pipeline this year are already seeing the timely return of international delegates at high-profile events such as Tax Free World Association Asia Pacific Exhibition & Conference, Global Health Security Conference and World Cities Summit, among others.
Likewise, the Lion City's hospitality industry has been gearing up for increased room occupancies and MICE queries as more international events fill up the calendar.
Regaining the confidence of planners is paramount, and Mandarin Oriental Singapore’s group-wide "Booking with Confidence" programme plays an important role.
Wang Lirong, director of sales and business development, Mandarin Oriental Singapore, said: “We recognise the need for flexibility and timely response within a short lead time and our dedicated team will proactively engage with clients." The programme offers a waiver on cancellation fees and a range of group concessions.
She added that the hotel has seen higher demand for in-person events, and RFPs are mainly from financial companies in the US and the UK, even Hong Kong as well. “We are looking at meetings and conferences with dinner experiences or one-on-one meetings.” Group sizes range from 80 to 150 attendees and spans two to three days.
For Pan Pacific Singapore, active participation in IBTM in Barcelona last year and in this year’s IMEX in Frankfurt has helped keep its clients stay close, shared general manager Margaret Paul. “We are seeing more enquiries for mid-sized meetings of around 30 to 50 pax. There is stronger demand for in-person meetings rather than hybrid now, though we also still receive requests for the latter.”
Paul added that Europe has been a good source market, and they are primarily from the health, pharmaceutical, and IT sectors. She noted that current RFPs reflect more concerns from organisers regarding contingency planning and cancellation notices followed by safety measures.
While current activities are still conservative as organisers are conscious about minimising movements, Paul expects a stronger recovery in the last quarter of the year.