A Thriving Exhibitions and Conventions Destination
Singapore has long enjoyed a strong reputation for being one of Asia’s top exhibitions and conventions hub. This is readily borne out in the numerous awards and accolades the Republic has won through the years, including Top International Meeting Country for the third time, Top International Meeting City for the seventh consecutive year (Union of International Associations 2013) and Asia’s Top Convention City for the 12th consecutive year (ICCA Global Rankings 2013), among others.
Accordingly, the Business Travel and Meetings, Incentive Travel, Conventions and Exhibitions (BTMICE) sector is an important contributor of tourism receipts. In fact, BTMICE visitor arrivals hit 3.5 million with an estimated expenditure of S$5.5 billion in 2013. An Economic Impact Analysis (EIA) study on the industry from 2008 to 2012, conducted by market research firm Frost & Sullivan and the Singapore Tourism Board (STB) recently found that overall EIA of MICE activities is approximately S$3.7 billion or 1.1 per cent of Singapore GDP in 2012.
Myriad Factors Behind Singapore’s Success
Many factors have contributed to Singapore’s success as an exhibitions and conventions hub. These include its strategic location and great accessibility, its position as one of Asia’s premier trade and business hubs, its strengths in knowledge-based industries such as banking & finance and biomedical sciences, as well as the presence of some 150 international non-profit organisations (INPOs) such as the World Bank Group and International Air Transport Association (IATA). These are just some of the many factors that attract international delegates to Singapore for exchanges of ideas and thoughts.
Beyond Singapore’s inherent qualities, its government also plays an active role in attracting world-class exhibitions and conventions to the island city state. The Singapore Exhibition Convention Bureau (SECB) - which is a part of the STB - serves as the lead government agency for this sector, and looks to advance Singapore’s position as a leading business events destination. One of the ways SECB does this is by partnering with business event organisers, associations and MICE industry stakeholders to identify key opportunities to grow, attract and create business events.
In 2013, STB announced its intent to grow BTMICE revenue from around 33 per cent of total tourism receipts to 36 per cent by 2020. STB executive director for exhibitions, conferences, conventions and meetings Jeannie Lim has said that the board is working on a programming strategy that groups together events from the same economic cluster, as well as working with hotels and attractions to offer “innovative and interesting experiences”.
Housing the Crowds
Over the years, Singapore has built up the infrastructure necessary to be a world-class exhibitions and conventions hub. Here in the Republic, you will find an excellent range of premier convention centres, exhibition halls, and meeting venues that will suit a variety of needs and budgets.
Those looking to host large scale international conferences and exhibitions can look to the Marina Bay Sands Expo & Convention Centre, Suntec Singapore Convention & Exhibition Centre or the Singapore Expo with its MAX Atria wing. There’s also the Grand Copthorne Waterfront Hotel Conference Centre, Raffles City Convention Centre, and Resorts World Sentosa, which all offer first-class conference and meeting facilities, while being located conveniently near a wide range of accommodation, dining, shopping and entertainment options.
Did You Know?
All in all, new and existing venues for MICE, which include the two Integrated Resorts, Raffles City Convention Centre, Singapore EXPO Convention and Exhibition Centre (Singapore EXPO) and Suntec Singapore Convention and Exhibition Centre (Suntec), offer approximately 340,000 square metres of MICE space.