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Singapore moves towards the safe resumption of business events with organiser framework

The Singapore Tourism Board (STB) is preparing for the calibrated and safe resumption of B2B events in the coming months and has developed a risk management framework for business events of up to 50 attendees. It is based on strict, safe management measures and STB will trial the framework with two pilot events before scaling up thereafter. 

 Under STB’s Safe Business Event Risk Management Framework, event organisers must achieve five key outcomes:

  1. Infection control measures for every stage of an event attendee’s journey (pre- to post-event) 
  2. Limits on crowd density
  3. Limits on close contacts between individuals
  4. Ensuring a safe and clean environment
  5. Preparing for emergencies relating to Covid-19

STB says it created the framework in consultation with the industry and has aligned it with international best practices, and has included lessons learnt over the past few months, as Singapore’s MICE sector has reimagined what a safe event could look like.

As well as adopting best practices in safety, hygiene and sanitisation, Singapore’s MICE businesses have also experimented with innovative digital solutions to support virtual and hybrid business events.

One such event was the International Dental Exhibition and Meeting (IDEM), which converted its physical tradeshow and conference into a fully virtual event in June 2020. Featuring a digital conference and exhibition, it attracted close to 4,000 participants, with 300 exhibiting brands from 50 countries.

With hybrid formats likely to be the norm for business events in the near future, STB is set to apply its Safe Business Event Framework to two potential hybrid events, the 2020 IEEE International Conference on Computational Electromagnetics (24-26 August 2020) and the Asia Pacific MedTech Virtual Forum 2020 (24 September 2020). Each event will feature a maximum of 50 onsite attendees, in addition to approximately 1,000 attendees participating virtually across both events.

Held in Southeast Asia for the first time, the 2020 IEEE International Conference on Computational Electromagnetics was initially planned for March 2020, before postponing due to Covid-19 developments. The new hybrid format will see sessions streamed online for delegates.

Professor Shen Zhongxiang, general co-chair of the 2020 IEEE International Conference on Computational Electromagnetics, says:

“We have complete trust that the Singapore authorities and our venue partner have stringent measures to help us deliver a safe event for our participants.”

The Asia Pacific Medical Technology Association (APACMed), has plans underway for their Virtual Forum 2020 to include hybrid elements – a first for the association. Delegates can take part in virtual networking and online discussions, which may be complemented by physical panel discussions and networking events.

If these two events proceed smoothly, STB says it will allow other similar B2B events that can implement the requisite SMMs to resume gradually.

STB and Enterprise Singapore (ESG) are also collaborating with the Singapore Association of Convention and Exhibition Organisers and Suppliers (SACEOS) to formulate an Industry Resilience Roadmap (IRR) – a public-private partnership focused on three strategic objectives: Establishing best-in-class standards for new event safety measures, creating agile business models with a focus on digital capabilities, and developing pathways for professional development in the post-Covid-19 world.

The idea is for the IRR to guide Singapore’s event organisers as they plan for the safe resumption of B2B events as part of a sustainable recovery.

Keith Tan, chief executive of Singapore Tourism Board, says: “Singapore’s business events sector has shown much resilience during this difficult period, and we are grateful for their innovativeness and adaptability. While Covid-19 has severely disrupted the industry, I am confident that Singapore will lead the way in reimagining what a safe and high-quality business event could look like. Together with our industry, we want to set Singapore apart as the world’s leading destination for safe, trusted and innovative business events.”

SACEOS president Aloysius Arlando, adds: “Right now, our industry is at a strategic crossroads, and I am heartened that many of our members and industry players have leveraged this crisis as an opportunity to innovate and upskill. We are taking a whole-of-industry approach to establishing safe operating standards and resilient businesses. Together with STB and industry, we have marshalled our collective wisdom and strength to formulate the IRR and ensure Singapore can continue to be competitive; a global Asia node in a Covid-19-safe world.”

For full details of draft advisory see the STB website or contact: secb@stb.gov.sg.