It was a celebratory mood that brought together individuals and organisations who have made Singapore shine as an exceptional tourism destination. Convening at Fairmont Singapore on May 8 for Singapore Tourism Awards 2018, 29 of these industry innovators were recognised as winners in their respective award categories.
Chief Executive Lionel Yeo lauded the achievements of the award finalists in creating extraordinary experiences that "augment Singapore's vibrancy and raise the livability quotient for all residents" while helping to "win visitors' hearts and minds and to lure repeat visitors".
Meetings & Conventions Asia spoke to several key winners for their perspectives on why the wins were meaningful for the MICE industry:
Best Association Conference Organiser: IEE Photonics Society Singapore Chapter for CLEO-PR/OECC/PGC and PGSC 2017
Perry Sum, chairman, IEEE Photonics Society - Singapore Chapter:
"We managed to win this bid after five years and on our third try. We satisfied their key criteria for venue, language, flight connectivity and safety. Initially they were concerned about the size of our photonics industry, which is not big. But we did a few things that were big events in Singapore; we brought back the CLEO-PR conference and the OptoElectronics and Communications Conference after over 20 years. And we also have our own domestic Photonics Global conference that started in 2008. Most of the society members have never been to Singapore and they like the city very much. MBS was a hit, and so was the Flower Dome at Gardens by the Bay, which we used for the VIP reception. We did quite a few things that were unique and special, and the delegates liked it."
Best Business Event Service Provider: Jublia Pte Ltd for Singapore FinTech Festival 2017
Errol Lim, co-founder and COO, Jublia:
"The events industry is all about face to face interactions, and that's the reason we focus specifically on business-matching technology. We are looking very closely at the buying intention, the meeting intention, and with that, the intention of the audience - who they want to meet and who they want to buy products from - we gather a lot of insights that contribute to the analytics game. The next step for us is to use these insights intelligently, apply them and develop the desired revenue strategy."
Best Business Event Venue: Singapore EXPO and MAX Atria for Singapore FinTech Festival 2017
Aloysius Arlando, CEO of SingEx and president of AIPC:
"The secret to success is to bring different teams together and to share a common cause and to make the greatest impact that they can for the events they service, and to make a difference to the defining experiences that make them great. To provide not just professionalism in their service but also to provide that extra touch for memorable experiences. That is what enabled us to punch above our weight and to put together a global event of such scale in a global venue."
Best Business Event Champion: Chew Ghim Bok, Singapore's Bid Chair for Rotary International Convention 2024
Chew Ghim Bok, district governor 2013-2014, Rotary Club of Bugis Junction:
"We know that Singapore has all the attributes - the infrastructure, safety, an international air hub - which are attractive to people. Already in 1999, this convention attracted 19,000 delegates and this time, they required a 25,000 delegate attendance. I was confident in the strength of the geographical location and the membership in Asia Pacific, so I was aggressive in pushing for 35,000 in my bid. In the run-up to the bid, I even consulted the winning destinations for other editions; for example, Taipei and Thailand, to learn from them the key issues and considerations that are important to Rotary International, so I was very aware of the criteria that they were looking out for. That gave us the edge."
Other winners for MICE excellence awards were:
• Best Exhibition Organiser: Asian Geographic Magazines Pte Ltd for Asia Dive Expo 2017
• Best Meetings/Incentives Organiser: Destination Asia Singapore for Philips Asia Pacific Customer Event 2017
• Best Trade Conference Organiser: Monetary Authority of Singapore, The Association of Banks in Singapore and SingEx Exhibitions Pte Ltd for Singapore FinTech Festival 2017
• Exceptional Achievement - Best Business Event Venue: Marina Bay Sands Expo & Convention Centre