How Singapore gives event planners the meeting edge – and peace of mind

As we step into a new era for MICE events, SG SafeEvent Certification’s set of best practices will help event organisers confidently plan and direct in-person events with safety at the forefront.

Technical Reference (TR) 84 "Safe event management for the MICE and events industry"  serves as a comprehensive guide in helping event organisers and suppliers establish assurance of safety among attendees during in-person and hybrid events.
Technical Reference (TR) 84 "Safe event management for the MICE and events industry" serves as a comprehensive guide in helping event organisers and suppliers establish assurance of safety among attendees during in-person and hybrid events. Photo Credit: Grand Hyatt Singapore

TR 84: Safe event management for the MICE and event industry
TR 84 is a set of best practices specifying the requirements and provides guidelines for individuals and organisations involved in the planning and execution of an event, covering three broad principles including hygiene and sanitation; safe distancing; and emergency management and contact tracing.

 

When it comes to meetings and events, it’s no longer just about rates, dates and spaces. As we transition from the Covid pandemic to the endemic new norm, business events also require plenty of safety, engagement and creativity.  

Having a safety and health protocol is now a crucial element for any event professional looking to plan in-person or hybrid events. Organisers have to ensure events design, programming and engagement are maximised for attendee participation, with a heightened focus on enabling business opportunities and deal making.

To facilitate these goals in an ever-changing landscape, the Singapore Association of Convention & Exhibition Organisers & Suppliers (SACEOS) launched the SG SafeEvent Certification in April 2021 to ensure hygiene benchmarks and safe distancing best practices are retained with the progressive return of events.

This SG SafeEvent Certification, the first of its kind in the world, is based on the Technical Reference (TR) 84, a safe event management framework developed for the MICE and events industry by the Singapore Standards Council and overseen by Enterprise Singapore.

For international planners and exhibitors looking to organise an event in Singapore, the SG SafeEvent Certification will provide clear guidelines on safety and hygiene and bring assurance and peace of mind to all event industry professionals.

Ensuring delegates’ health and well-being

Event venues in Singapore goes high-tech, low-touch with a range of touchless technology including facial recognition software and QR codes to reduce risks of cross-contact.
Event venues in Singapore goes high-tech, low-touch with a range of touchless technology including facial recognition software and QR codes to reduce risks of cross-contact.

As event organisers and planners explore new ways to create engaging formats in the new norm, attendee well-being remains a priority for in-person events.

Adopting an agile approach with health and safety at the core has enabled SG SafeEvent certified venues, event organiers and suppliers to organise major events safely and responsibly. These events include Huawei’s first-ever Spark Founders Summit hosted at Resorts World Sentosa in August 2021 as well as the Singapore College of TCM Symposium held at Fairmont Singapore in December 2021, while homegrown events firms such as Constellar Holdings, Kingsmen Exhibits, Clarion Events and First Wave have adopted SG SafeEvent protocols in their events organisation.

At Grand Hyatt Singapore, a stringent cleaning checklist and roster is maintained for all public areas and high-touch points, said June Choong, director of events. Touchless technology, meanwhile, minimises physical contact points with digital menus on QR codes as well.

Beyond visible components, optimal indoor air quality is also an important criteria to ensure the wellness of delegates, and venues adhere to high standards. For instance, a combination of HEPA air filters, ultraviolet C treatments and air ionisers installed at Resorts World Sentosa (RWS) keep the air of venue spaces free from viruses and bacteria.

Like many key aspects of events, food & beverage also required adaption in the new norm.  “Our events specialists work closely with clients on space planning in compliance with prevailing safe management measures, and all food is served individually to seated delegates in individual platings,” said RWS senior vice president of sales and marketing Edward Chew.

Get into the zone for safe engagement

Singapore Airshow, organised by SG SafeEvent-certified Experia Events, provided the platform for meaningful business discussions.
Singapore Airshow, organised by SG SafeEvent-certified Experia Events, provided the platform for meaningful business discussions. Photo Credit: Experia Events

As Singapore relaxes its events safety protocols and moves ahead to normalcy in living with Covid-19, planners too are re-prioritising event goals to maximise the engagement of attendees and facilitate business opportunities.

Effective space planning that optimises attendee engagement and ensures a smooth flow from conference sessions to exhibits is created at Raffles City Convention Centre, managed by Fairmont Singapore. Its expansive integrated hotel and convention space provides planners with flexibility, said Fairmont Singapore’s Jessie Lim, director of conference services.

“We work with planners to include exhibition components into their conferences to facilitate flow in event design and to enable freedom of movement for delegates. In that way, they are able to catch up amongst one another for discussions and to visit the exhibitors,” added Lim.

For event organisers, balancing engagement with safety protocols also requires creative brainstorming with clients to work out a seamless attendee journey, stressed Richard Ireland, managing director for Asia at Clarion Events.

“To ensure safe event protocols, we have had to create a personalised and curated customer journey. We have also been required to match the right personas for optimised networking, and help clients and attendees maximise business opportunities (buyers meeting sellers) within a specific time frame,” added Ireland, who acknowledged the opportunity for organisers to up their game in improving attendee engagement.

Risk-ready and responsive to emergencies

With Singapore’s safe event management guidelines, planners can stay on top of delivering a seamless, enjoyable and safe event experience for participants.
With Singapore’s safe event management guidelines, planners can stay on top of delivering a seamless, enjoyable and safe event experience for participants. Photo Credit: Resorts World Sentosa

Staying prepared for the unexpected is a key aspect of reducing and managing event risks. For Fairmont Singapore, this means a close coordination with Capitaland Mall’s security department in upholding SG SafeEvent standards, said Vivian Tung, the hotel’s director of marketing communications.

“Even before Covid, we have in place access privileges for VIPs, which takes them through a private route not accessible to the public. In current times, this works as a contingency if we encounter medical emergencies with the need for isolated evacuation,” she noted.

Clear communication is crucial to create an end-to-end safe and secure event journey for event organisers and participants alike, said Clarion Event’s Ireland. “Given the situation, transparent messaging is the key to forming a realistic and successful event.”

To date, there hasn’t been any Covid-19 clusters linked to MICE events organised in Singapore, a sign that the safe management measurements taken for MICE events in the country are effective, concluded Ireland.

As demand for in-person meetings pick up, event professionals look forward to creating new content ideas and programming formats that will deliver the impactful experience that delegates expect.

Read more about the SG SafeEvent Certification programme in Singapore.

 

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This article is sponsored by Singapore Tourism Board



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