Singapore gets back to business with Bloomberg New Economy Forum

The high-level event debated global goals, while piloting newer VDS+Test protocols for "bigger shows" in 2022.

Founder Michael R. Bloomberg at the opening address of the high-profile event, attended by some 300 influential leaders and policymakers in-person and digitally.
Founder Michael R. Bloomberg at the opening address of the high-profile event, attended by some 300 influential leaders and policymakers in-person and digitally.

Singapore has just wrapped up the Bloomberg New Economy Forum, and while more than 320 leaders from government and businesses debated global goals, the event was also a platform to modelling a safe blueprint for in-person convening.

Leaders who flew in for the 16-19 November event included Henry M. Paulson, Chair of Bloomberg New Economy Forum and the Paulson Institute; Michael Mieback, CEO of Mastercard; New Zealand Trade and Export Growth Minister Damien O’Connor; as well as Gina Raimondo, US Secretary of Commerce who highlighted President Joe Biden’s firm intent on re-engaging economically with the Indo-Pacific region.

With an increasing adoption of hybrid practices, the Forum also had a digital component, with sessions streamed live.

Topics spanned economic recovery strategies from the pandemic, boosting digital economy initiatives, and reaching zero carbon economy objectives, among other goals.

ITAP 2021 attendees were free to mingle over the three-day exhibition from 22-24 November.
ITAP 2021 attendees were free to mingle over the three-day exhibition from 22-24 November.

Developing a blueprint for future physical business meets

Since July 2020, the Singapore Tourism Board (STB) has piloted more than 200 business events of various sizes — including gamescom asia in October 2021, Milken Institute Asia Summit in November and now the Bloomberg New Economy Forum — all serving as test-beds for newer Vaccination Differentiated Safe Management Measures (VDS+Test) at business events.

Key updated measures included allowing attendees to move freely between the main conference at Capella’s Grand Ballroom and dedicated meeting suites on level two for various breakout sessions — so long as they remained within the prevailing group size for gatherings.

Remaining status quo are the mandatory wearing of masks, one-metre distancing while seated, daily pre-event antigen rapid test (ART) testing, proof of full vaccination and rigorous management of visitor access and registration remain in Singapore’s calibrated MICE reopening.

Foreign delegates must also test negative for two PCR tests: prior to departure, and on arrival in Singapore. They are also subject to ART testing regime on specific days of their stay in Singapore.

Since the three-day high-level business leaders gathering, other notable MICE events have followed suit with similar VDS+Test protocols implemented, such as at ITAP (Industrial Transformation Asia-Pacific) 2021, and Architecture & Building Services which starts today until 26 November.

"This paves the way for us to conduct bigger shows in 2022 moving forward, such as the Singapore Airshow 2022 in February, and the Tax Free World Association Asia Pacific Exhibition & Conference in May," said Poh Chi Chuan, Executive Director, Exhibitions & Conferences, STB.

"The list is really long so this goes to show the demand for industry events in the MICE sector is high, but what we hope is that [even as] we work with larger shows in pushing safety management measures, independent show organisers will be able to find the space to come and organise their own business events as well."



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