The Singapore MICE Forum (SMF) has come a long way since 2011, when it started out as a conference on face-to-face marketing. These days, the Forum has evolved to become an interdisciplinary business community, with thinkers, visionaries and leaders from all around the world.
This year's edition was no different. Attended by 500 senior-level attendees from over 20 countries and representing more than 200 organisations, SMF 2018 felt like a different event right from the get-go. Oscar Cerezales, organising chair of SMF 2018, opened the event by comparing the objectives of this year's SMF with that of the last. While SMF 2017 was all about what the MICE community needed to do in terms of content, insights and interactions, SMF 2018 was going to focus on building the community - that is, how to design an event to allow members the community to share best ideas and practices - and having creative inputs from outside our comfort zones. You can tell from the list of speakers too, from marketing leaders to crowdsourcing and artificial intelligence experts.
To give attendees a taste of topics to come, Mathias Posch, president and chairman of the International Conference Services and International Association of Professional Congress Organisers, was on hand to do just that.
His presentation was on compulsive incompetency, or how employees sometimes get so fixated on climbing the corporate ladder that they eventually plateau and become incapable of fulfilling a role higher up in the hierarchy. This creates incompetencies that, according to Posch, is not the ideal situation. "People are rising to the level where they are not competent anymore," he said, citing this as the top problem organisations face. Instead, Posch recommended that organisations should create different career tracks, identify unique skill sets and, most importantly, nurture and train employees so that they can be the best at what they do.
This bold new direction by SMF is particularly relevant in Asia, considering how conventional or rigid the MICE scene here can be at times. By placing the focus on questions rather than answers, SMF 2018 proved to be filled with opportunities right from the start.