Undeterred by the global economic downturn,
Singapore continues to attract a robust pipeline of business
events, attesting to its stature as a premier business events
destination in Asia.
One area which the Singapore Exhibition and
Convention Bureau (SECB), a group of the Singapore Tourism Board
(STB), is actively bidding for is conferences and these efforts
are bearing fruit.
Singapore was given the thumbs-up by the World
Conference on Tobacco or Health (WCTOH) which will be holding its
15th conference in Singapore for the first time in 2012.
With one of the lowest smoking rates in the
world, Singapore is recognised as a global leader in tobacco
control and hosting the conference will allow Singapore to take on
a greater leadership role in building capacity and facilitating
collaboration in tobacco control in the Southeast Asian region.
The WCTOH is expected to attract more than 2,000
experts on smoking cessation to Singapore.
Singapore has also successfully attracted new
conventions such as the International Conference on Emergency
Medicine (ICEM) in 2010, which is expected to attract more than
2,000 emergency room professionals to Suntec Singapore
International Convention & Exhibition Centre for a series of
lectures, symposia and panel discussions. This marks the first
time that the event is held in Asia since the biennial conferences
began in 1986.
“Singapore was selected for the conference
because of its excellent business location, geographical
accessibility, originality in approach to scientific content,
exceptional conference facilities and the invaluable support from
various organisations, including the Singapore Exhibition and
Convention Bureau (SECB),” said Professor V Anantharaman, Chairman
of the ICEM Organising Committee.
One notable event in the association meetings
pipeline is UFI, the Global Association of the Exhibition
Industry, which recently announced that it would be staging the
77th UFI Congress in Singapore.
The event will welcome UFI members from over 50
countries to Singapore’s new integrated resort, the Marina Bay
Sands, in November 2010 for a series of UFI meetings including the
Annual General Assembly and the UFI Board of Directors Meeting.
Singapore last hosted the UFI Congress in 1994.
UFI’s decision to return to Singapore affirms its appeal as a
business events destination.
There are also selective opportunities in the
tradeshow segment and the SECB continues to work closely with
business events industry partners and Singapore government
agencies to attract new shows to Singapore, such as IFAI Expo Asia
2011, the inaugural Asian edition of the Industrial Fabric
Association International’s tradeshow in the United States. The
first-ever IFAI Expo Asia is expected to attract some 100
exhibitors from countries such as South Korea, China and
Singapore will also welcome the return of JIAM
in 2011. JIAM, the International Apparel Machinery Trade Show, is
one of the world’s top three major apparel machinery trade fairs.
Held at Singapore Expo, the inaugural show in
2008 was the first to be held outside of Japan, and it showcased
the latest in apparel manufacturing and machinery and attracted
international participants and apparel manufacturing industry
experts from around the region.
Looking at the immediate horizon, in 2009,
Singapore will welcome some 13,000 dental professionals to the FDI
Dental Congress, which will be held at the Suntec Singapore
International Convention and Exhibition Centre in September 2009.
The 2009 Congress is expected to be the biggest that the FDI will
In September, Singapore will also host the
inaugural Spikes Asia – 1st Asian Advertising Festival, created by
the organisers of the Cannes Lions International Advertising
At the same time, Singapore continues to grow
and build on the success of signature, tent-pole events which
showcase the success of the SECB’s Strategic Clusters Approach,
such as the Singapore International Water Week (SIWW) and
This year will also see the return of
ITB Asia, the Asian edition of the world’s largest travel
trade show, ITB Berlin. Many of the exhibitors in ITB Asia 2008
will be returning for the 2009 event and exhibitor registrations
have been flowing in steadily for this year’s show.
Ms Whey Whey Ng, Messe Berlin (Singapore)
General Manager said, “The demand for exhibitor space at ITB Asia
2009 is exceeding our expectations. We look forward to welcoming
leading brands in the travel industry in Asia attending this
year’s show. Visitors can also expect a better mix of country
NTOs, more presence from North Asia and a stronger focus on
meetings, incentive travel, conventions and exhibitions at ITB
Asia 2009. In addition, this year’s show will also consist of a
technology and knowledge forum focused on solutions and hands-on
best practice workshops for delegates.”
Meanwhile, Singapore is gearing up for new
tourism developments coming onstream which will provide more
possibilities and offer a wider spectrum of business, leisure and
entertainment venues and activities for business events visitors,
such as the two Integrated Resorts, the Marina Bay Sands and
Resorts World at Sentosa opening end 2009 and 2010 respectively,
the Marina Bay Financial Centre which will be up and running in
2010, and Gardens by the Bay which will welcome the world in 2011.
Coupled with recent new additions to the tourism
landscape, including Marina Barrage, Capella Singapore, Park Hotel
Clarke Quay and the upcoming Movenpick Treasure Resort Singapore,
and the upcoming 2009 Formula 1 Singapore Grand Prix, these myriad
offerings and events will collectively help raise Singapore’s
appeal as a destination for business and leisure visitors alike.
In a bid to mitigate the impact of the
challenging global business climate, the SECB has enhanced the
“Business Events in Singapore” or “BE in Singapore” incentive
scheme to help business events organisers defray a higher
proportion of events’ project costs by providing a greater scope
of funding support.
The SECB has also embarked on an
attendance-building campaign to drive business events visitorship
in 2009 and grow Singapore’s market share within this segment.
Under this initiative, SECB will work with key business event
organisers to strengthen the programming of their events and
jointly promote these events in key regional markets.
Under the “2009 Reasons to Meet in Singapore”
campaign, the SECB in collaboration with Singapore hotel partners,
have launched attractive accommodation and meetings deals for
business travellers including special promotions that encourage
them to spend an extra day to explore Singapore and bring along a
partner to enjoy the destination’s exciting attractions and
leisure offerings. During their stay, business delegates and their
partners can also enjoy special F&B and retail promotions.
“The SECB will continue to work with our
industry partners to ensure that secured business events occurring
within the next two years can be realised, while at the same time,
encouraging Singapore industry players to build alliances with
international players so as to attract more strategic business
events to be staged in Singapore. Through international and
industry-wide collaboration, we are able to provide greater value
to our business event clients and visitors,” said Ms Melissa Ow,
Assistant Chief Executive, Business Travel and MICE Group, STB.
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