Skip to main content
Daily travel & tourism news portal for the Asia-Pacific market since 2012

MICE Industry

Safe and progressive resumption of larger MICE events

Author: Theodore Koumelis / Date: Wed, 03/31/2021 - 10:57
1399

Up to 750 attendees allowed for approved events, with pre-event testing and safety protocols in place.

Larger business-to-business (B2B) events1 in the Meetings, Incentives, Conventions and Exhibitions (MICE) industry are set to return to Singapore with up to 750 attendees with effect from 24 Apr 2021. This is an increase from the current limit of 250 attendees and is in line with the safe and progressive resumption of economic activities in Singapore. 

Following the Multi-Ministry Taskforce’s (MTF) announcement today on the launch of the pre-event testing (PET) framework at selected events across different settings, businesses can apply to the Singapore Tourism Board (STB) to organise the following pilot events:

(i)    Larger B2B events of up to 750 attendees, with PET for all attendees 
(ii)    B2B events of up to 250 attendees, without PET

The cohort size of 50 pax per zone applies to (i) and (ii). With effect from 24 April 2021, Event Organisers (EOs) of approved B2B events can also increase the cohort size to 50 pax per zone, up from 20. 

B2B events of up to 750 pax

B2B events of up to 250 pax

Cohort size of 50 pax per zone

Safe distancing of at least 1metre between individuals at all times

PET required for all attendees*

 

*Local residents who have completed the full COVID-19 vaccination regimen (with a further two weeks from the second dose to develop sufficient protection) are exempted from pre-event testing. MOH will be releasing further information and tools to support the implementation of pre-event testing, which will be made available at https://go.gov.sg/pet when ready.

PET not required for local residents

More details on the Safe Management Measures and application process will be released at a later date.

Event Organisers (EO) can continue sending in their application form and proposal to STB at [email protected].

 

More details can be found here:

https://www.stb.gov.sg/content/stb/en/home-pages/advisory-for-MICE.html

All B2B event applications with more than 50 participants must be submitted to STB for approval by the Ministry of Trade and Industry (MTI).  EOs must demonstrate their ability to implement the rigorous SMMs under STB’s Safe Business Events (SBE) framework2. Details of the application process for larger B2B events for up to 750 pax will be released before 24 April 2021. 

These events will allow STB and the industry to adjust safety protocols and testbed innovative formats and processes, as we progressively scale up capacities for larger B2B events. 

Progressive resumption of MICE events

Since the launch of STB’s Safe Business Events framework in July 2020, close to 60 events hosting over 7,000 attendees have been held in Singapore, with no reported cases of COVID-19 infection.

The pilots started with a cap of 50 attendees per event and was scaled up to 250 attendees per event in October 2020. Successful pilot events include the Asia Pacific MedTech Virtual Forum 2020 in Sep 2020, the Council of Tall Buildings and Urban Habitat (CTBUH) Conference in Nov 2020, Singapore International Energy Week (SIEW) Conference in Oct 2020, and the Milken Institute Summit Asia in Dec 2020.

To test different models and workflows across different settings, STB had trialled a larger event format, with PET for all attendees, at the Professional Convention Management Association – Convening Leaders (PCMA CL) 20213 in Jan 2021. 

At the same time, a prototype for safe tradeshows and exhibitions was developed by the Alliance for Action on Enabling Safe and Innovative Visitor Experiences convened by the Emerging Stronger Taskforce4 (EST). This prototype deployed digital enablers to facilitate a seamless and safe end-to-end visitor experience, and comprises safe itineraries, offering delegates a selection of leisure activities that comply with safe management guidelines.

TravelRevive5 in November 2020, the first major international tradeshow to take place physically in the Asia Pacific during COVID-19, was the first to trial this hybrid format, attracting close to 1,000 local and international physical attendees. Geo Connect Asia (GCA) 2021, to be held on 24 and 25 Mar 2021, is the second event to do so. GCA 2021 will feature new formats, processes and digital enablers to enhance safety, such as Geo Suites – where typical tradeshow floors will be replaced by ballrooms converted into exhibition booths. Each booth caters to a single exhibitor, to minimise intermingling between different cohorts. The Safe Event platform, a technology solution6 created by local companies Viatick and Trakomatic during the SafeEvent Challenge at IMDA’s Open Innovation Platform, will also be trialled at GCA 2021. 

To help the industry develop innovative hybrid business models and pathways for new capabilities, the Singapore Association of Convention and Exhibition Organisers and Suppliers (SACEOS), with the support of STB and Enterprise Singapore (ESG), developed the Event Industry Resilience Roadmap (IRR) in Oct 2020. The aim was to establish best-in-class standards for safe business events.

For a timeline on how Singapore has progressively resumed MICE events, refer to Annex A.

Charting a new path for Singapore’s MICE industry

The pilot events and the gradual increase in capacity limits are important steps to support the recovery of Singapore’s MICE industry and bolster our position as a leading MICE hub. Prior to COVID-19, the MICE industry supported more than 34,000 jobs with an economic value-add of $3.8 billion, or nearly one percent of Singapore’s GDP. 

To further help our MICE businesses emerge stronger, STB and ESG have collaborated with the SACEOS to formulate the Technical Reference on safe event management for the MICE and events industry.  Developed by the Working Group on safe event management appointed by the Singapore Standards Council (SSC), the standard outlines best practices for conducting events in a safe and responsible manner, and reinforces Singapore’s commitment to safety, hygiene and welfare. 

Looking ahead, STB is partnering PCMA and UFI (global association of the exhibition industry) on a White Paper to document the transformation of the MICE industry in response to COVID-19 and to chart pathways to recovery and growth. This is the first such collaboration between a destination and leading associations representing the exhibitions, conventions and meetings sub-sectors. The White Paper aims to share global perspectives on reimagining the future of business events, while capturing lessons learnt in the reopening journey thus far. The paper is set to be released in the second half of 2021.

Mr Keith Tan, Chief Executive, Singapore Tourism Board, said: “Over the past year, we have been encouraged that MICE events continue to pick Singapore as a host destination. This shows that our efforts to progressively resume MICE events in a safe, trusted and innovative way are paying off. Our industry has shown the way in piloting new solutions that prioritise safety without compromising the event experience, and I am confident they will continue to do so as we prepare to emerge stronger from COVID-19.”

Mr Aloysius Arlando, President, SACEOS, said: “This announcement comes at an opportune time and is a much-needed boost to the local MICE industry which has remained resilient and agile during these uncertain times. We will continue to work closely with the industry, STB and ESG to set safe operating standards for the industry and help our businesses chart a new path in a COVID-19-safe environment.”

STB Infographic


[1] Business to Business events such as meetings, conferences and exhibitions. 
[2] Under STB’s Safe Business Events framework introduced in July 2020 for events of up to 50 attendees, EOs must achieve five key outcomes. The framework was created in consultation with the industry and is aligned with international best practices. More information here.  
[3] Convening Leaders is PCMA’s largest annual conference that discusses the latest innovation in event technology, meeting design and business event strategy. It is held annually within the USA and moved out of North America to Singapore for the first time in its 64-year history.
[4] The Emerging Stronger Taskforce (EST) was formed under the Future Economy Council (FEC) to review how Singapore can stay economically resilient and build new sources of dynamism to emerge stronger from COVID-19..  
[5] TravelRevive was used as a platform to testbed our first prototype for safe business events, safe itineraries and digital enablers in Singapore, developed by the Alliance for Action on Enabling Safe and Innovative Visitor Experiences, under the EST. 
[6] The solution taps on geospatial technology to monitor attendees’ movements throughout the event via an app and temperature-tracking wearables, and also allows automated check-in through facial recognition. 

ABOUT THE AUTHOR

Theodore Koumelis

Co-Founder & Managing Director

Theodore is the Co-Founder and Managing Editor of TravelDailyNews Media Network; his responsibilities include business development and planning for TravelDailyNews long-term opportunities.