Singapore has taken another step towards rebuilding the business events/ MICE industry following an announcement by Singapore's Multi-Ministry Taskforce that from 24 April, event organisers can apply to pilot larger events of up to 750 pax — and five-fold increase from the current 250 limit. Cohort sizes will also be raised to 50 pax, up from the previous 20.
Updated pre-event testing (PET) guidelines were also rolled out for selected venues across different settings. Events of up to 250 guests no longer require PET, however events with more than 250 attendees will have to continue testing.
Singapore locals who have received both doses of the Covid-19 vaccine will be exempt from PET.
"This announcement comes at an opportune time and is a much-needed boost to the local MICE industry which has remained resilient and agile during these uncertain times," said SACEOS president, Aloysius Arlando.
One rule that hasn't changed: events with more than 50 attendees will still have to apply to Singapore Tourism Board (STB) for approval by the Ministry of Trade and Industry. Details of the application process for the new cap of 750 attendees will be released before the start date of 24 April.
"Over the past year, we have been encouraged that MICE events continue to pick Singapore as a host destination," said STB chief executive, Keith Tan. "This shows that our efforts to progressively resume MICE in a safe, trusted and innovative way are paying off."
MICE reopening in Singapore: A brief timeline
Safe business events framework was developed, allowing up to 50 attendees at an event.
August and September:
The first pilot events take place, experimenting with new hybrid formats: the 2020 IEEE International Conference on Computational Electromagnetics, and the APACMed Virtual Forum 2020.
SACEOS, STB and Enterprise Singapore launch the Industry Resilience Roadmap. Also, MICE events attendee cap is raised from 50 to 250 pax. On-site Antigen Rapid Testing was also piloted for the first time at the Singapore International Energy Week Conference.
TravelRevive welcomes close to 1,000 in-person attendees, the first hybrid trade show — and the first international travel trade show in Asia Pacific since the pandemic.
Singapore acts as the Global Broadcast Centre for PCMA's Convening Leaders 2021 event. The hybrid event gathered close to 300 meeting professionals in Singapore, marking the first time the event was held outside of North America in 64 years.
SingapoReimagine MICE Virtual Show becomes the first such collaboration between STB and local MICE players to generate business opportunities. The programme included live-streamed tours and interactive masterclasses.
Another large-scale trade show pilot: Geo Connect Asia 2021 (24-25 March) trialled the Safe Event Platform, which analyses attendees' movements using geospatial technology. The event also piloted exhibition suites (meeting rooms converted to interactive exhibition booths) and larger meeting pods for up to 4 pax.
Event organisers can apply to pilot larger events of up to 750 pax.
Looking ahead, STB, ESG and SACEOS will be putting together a 'Technical Reference' on safe event management for the MICE and events industry.
Together with PCMA and UFI (global association of the exhibition industry), STB is also working on a White Paper that documents global perspectives on recovery, lessons learnt and reimagining the future of business events. This will be released in the second half of 2021.