Singapore into 2022: It's all about evolution and reinvention

Two years and more than 200 pilot events on, the business events industry is "more agile, resilient and relevant," says STB Deputy Chief Executive, Yap Chin Siang.

A strong pipeline of events await for 2022, and the Rotary International Convention in 2024 — set to be the largest association congress ever hosted in Singapore.
A strong pipeline of events await for 2022, and the Rotary International Convention in 2024 — set to be the largest association congress ever hosted in Singapore. Photo Credit:Singapore Tourism Board

As the region begins to ease travel restrictions, convention bureaus across Asia Pacific are gearing up for a rebound in MICE business in 2022 and beyond.

For Singapore, the Lion City has already begun reopening borders with a series of Vaccinated Travel Lanes, and the return of international MICE events is likely to follow, but the Singapore Tourism Board (STB) remains vigilant about the road to recovery.

“The journey towards Covid resilience will have many more twists and turns, but our sense is that the local MICE industry is cautiously optimistic,” said STB Deputy Chief Executive, Yap Chin Siang.

There are several reasons for this. 

First and foremost, STB developed a Safe Business Events framework back in July 2020 and has been actively trialling new hybrid event models and implementing specifically-developed health and safety protocols.

To date, more than 200 pilot events have been held, each acting as a testbed for new technology and safety measures, including safe itineraries for international delegates, registration powered via facial recognition, pre-event testing and self-testing on site.

Yap believes this has made the industry more agile and resilient.

“We have been through much over the past two years, but we have emerged stronger and smarter with new solutions and protocols that enhance the event experience, without compromising on the wellbeing of attendees and our community,” he said.

Another positive sign is the strong pipeline of events secured for 2022, including the Singapore Airshow (Feb), the Tax Free World Association Asia Pacific Exhibition & Conference (May), the Global Health Security Conference (June) and the 60th International Young Lawyers’ Congress (Aug).

Singapore will also host the Rotary International Convention in 2024 — with more than 25,000 delegates, it’s set to be the largest association congress ever hosted in the city-state — and the 110th Lions Clubs International Convention in 2028 — one of the most coveted events on the congress
circuit, with some 20,0000 foreign delegates expected.

“The pandemic has compelled many industries to reinvent themselves, and pivot to new markets and products to remain relevant. The MICE industry is one of them, and it is therefore critical that we take steps to chart a new direction and capture future demand,” Yap said. 

“We must unlock new value and business opportunities for our MICE players.”

In fact, STB recently launched a tender to encourage proposals from industry stakeholders to curate and propose new experiences for international corporate groups.

“As international meetings gradually resume in Singapore, we want to encourage our visitors to experience new, unique activities for dining and social networking experiences, thematic tours, team building, as well as attraction and retail experiences when they attend meetings here,” Yap said. 

“We need to be nimble and open in evolving our strategy for recovery... The virus will continue to evolve, and so will our approach.”



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