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Spring Singapore and STB

Singapore to lead in the development of the first international standard on Exhibition Terminology

The International Organisation for Standardisation (ISO) recently accepted Singapore`s proposal to develop a new international standard on Exhibition Terminology…

The International Organisation for Standardisation (ISO) recently accepted Singapore`s proposal to develop a new international standard on Exhibition Terminology. This means Singapore will lead in the establishment of a new international standard for the exhibition industry, a first ISO standard for the exhibition industry.

This standard will help enhance and raise service and operational standards in the Exhibition Management Services (EMS) industry, and allow for greater transparent decision-making by exhibitors.

Having Singapore lead in the effort to draw up a new international standard for exhibitions also enhances Singapore`s position as a leading Exhibitions Hub. In 2003, Singapore hosted 63 exhibitions generating about S$171 million in tourism receipts.

Singapore`s leadership in this project is due to the local exhibition industry`s efforts to develop its own first national standard in the world – the Singapore Standard on Exhibition Terminology and Audit Procedures (SS 505: 2003). The Singapore Standard was accepted by the ISO as the basis for the development of the international standard. This is a significant milestone for Singapore, as this marks the first time that a national Singapore Standard is accepted by the ISO as the basis of an international standard for the global exhibition industry. This also marks the first time that a Singapore small and medium-sized enterprise (SME) is leading an ISO international standards working group.

The ISO working group is led by Mr Stephen Tan, Chief Executive of Singapore Exhibition Services Pte Ltd, a SME from the local exhibition industry. Ms Dilys Yong, President of SACEOS (Singapore Association of Convention and Exhibition Organisers and Suppliers) and Group President for HQ Link Pte Ltd, another SME, will also represent Singapore in the working group.It is an honour to be appointed as the project manager leading the worldwide standardisation of terminology for the exhibition industry, said Mr Tan. I am proud that Singapore`s standard for exhibition terminology is being used as the working document for this ISO project. With an international standard in place, it would be easier for exhibitors and visitors to understand and evaluate exhibitions across the world.

Other members of the working group include representatives from 14 countries in the forefront of the EMS industry such as Germany, USA, France and Italy. Two prominent international exhibition associations, UFI (The Global Association of the Exhibition Industry) and IAEM (International Association for Exhibition Management) are also in the working group.

The first working group meeting is being held in Singapore from 25-27 July 2005. The intent of this meeting is to start work on the development of an international draft standard with the participation and contributions of the key international players in the exhibition industry. Nine out of 14 country representatives from Europe, the United States and Asia will take part in this first meeting.

The EMS industry in Singapore has shown strong support in the development and implementation of standards. Exhibition organisers who are interested in applying for grants from the Singapore Tourism Board under the International Exhibition City (IEC) programme have to meet the guidelines laid out in SS 505: 2003.

SPRING Singapore, as the national standards body, has been working closely with the EMS industry, which comprises mainly SMEs, in the development of the national standard as well as in securing the acceptance of this standard by ISO as the basis for developing a new ISO standard.

The initiation of a new area of international standardisation at ISO by a Singapore industry comprising mainly SMEs helps to show other local enterprises that they too can make a difference to their industry internationally,said SPRING Singapore Chief Executive Mr Loh Khum Yean. We`re delighted that our SMEs are reaching out globally to influence international standards which are predominantly the domain of the larger companies. We look forward to enabling our industries to develop world-class standards to enhance their competitiveness.

Mr Lim Neo Chian, Deputy Chairman and Chief Executive of the Singapore Tourism Board said, It is a privilege and honour for Singapore to be given the responsibility to take the lead in formulating a new international ISO standard for the global exhibition industry. As Asia accelerates its pace of economic development, trade fairs will become an increasingly important business platform for MNCs and SMEs, to seek new opportunities and to grow existing business. The new international standard will help the EMS industry meet the high demands of the market place, and will help to bring the industry to a new level of excellence. At STB, we are happy that the EMS industry in Singapore is able to play a useful role here.

Ms Dilys Yong Mee Hiong, President, Singapore Association of Convention and Exhibition Organisers & Suppliers (SACEOS) added, I am delighted to represent Singapore in the ISO Working Group on Exhibition Terminology and glad to be part of this first ISO initiative to set standards for the global exhibition industry. This will help improve our industry standard and business communication given that our industry regularly conducts business across borders.

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