How to attract world-class events

STB deputy chief executive Melissa Ow with ambassadors
STB deputy chief executive Melissa Ow with ambassadors

The success formula: Getting your industry thought leaders to champion business events for the country. These ambassadors have led the charge in winning bids to host international association events in the country, and on Monday night, they came together to celebrate their contributions and the 10th anniversary of the Conference Ambassador Programme (CAP).

Hosted by Singapore Exhibition and Convention Bureau (SECB) at the Capitol Theatre, these ambassadors enjoyed a gala dinner in a nostalgic space that used to be the Capitol Cinema, now a unique events space with versatile seating configurations.  

STB chief executive Lionel Yeo welcoming ambassadors and guests to the gala dinner
STB chief executive Lionel Yeo welcoming ambassadors and guests to the gala dinner

The success of the Conference Ambassador Programme (CAP) has contributed to Singapore's sterling reputation as a business events destination, resulting in secured event bids over the last three years that will attract about 50,000 international delegates and generate tourism receipts of about S$120 million, shared Lionel Yeo, chief executive of Singapore Tourism Board in his welcome speech.

The evening also featured a short panel discussion fronted by ambassadors who
shared their experiences in bidding for international association events. They are: Dr Anamah Tan, founding member and executive committee member of the Singapore Association of Women Lawyers and advisor of the ASEAN Confederation of Women's Organisations; Kenny Eng, president of the Kranji Countryside Association and deputy president of the Royal Agricultural Society of the Commonwealth; Prof Perry Shum, Singapore section chair of The Optical Society; and Assoc Prof Chan Yew Weng, council member and scribe of the Academy of Medicine Singapore and council member (education committee) of the World Federation of Societies of  Anaesthesiologists.

The panelist of ambassadors with moderator Janet Tan-Collis, CEO of East West Planners and president of SACEOS
The panelist of ambassadors with moderator Janet Tan-Collis, CEO of East West Planners and president of SACEOS

Recognising the success of CAP, Yeo acknowledged that other cities have adopted this programme, and that it is up to Singapore to raise its game. "We will continue to provide engagement and education opportunities for our ambassadors so that they too are able to raise their game in the world of business events. We also realise that in the lead up to a bid, our ambassadors are required to attend overseas meetings. So we have introduced grant support that will enable them to attend these meetings in order to network effectively and to know the lay of the land before putting together the bid for Singapore," says Yeo.

Singapore's team of 59 ambassadors come from fields such as healthcare, engineering, innovation, biomedical, urban solutions and lifestyle.



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