STB to help reboot Singapore meetings

SINGAPORE, 24 July 2020; As economic activities in Singapore resume, the Singapore Tourism Board will support the safe restart of Business-to-business events in the coming months.

STB announced earlier this week it would introduce a risk management framework for business events of up to 50 attendees, based on strict safety management measures.

STB will trial this framework with two pilot events before gradually scaling up to other events and event organisers following an evaluation.

Under STB’s Safe Business Event Risk Management Framework, EOs 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.

The framework was created in consultation with the industry and is aligned with international best practices. It arises from reflections and lessons learnt over the past few months when businesses in Singapore’s MICE sector conceptualised and reimagined what a safe event could look like. Apart from adopting best practices in safety, hygiene and sanitisation, Singapore’s MICE businesses have also experimented with innovative digital solutions such as technology to support the creation of virtual and hybrid business events. One such event was the International Dental Exhibition and Meeting (IDEM), which converted its physical trade show and conference into a fully virtual event in June. Featuring a digital conference and exhibition, it attracted close to 4,000 participants, with over 300 exhibiting brands from over 50 countries, demonstrating how virtual engagements can augment face-to-face events safely and effectively.

Piloting “hybrid” events

Hybrid formats with a mix of face-to-face and virtual interactions are likely to be the norm for business events in the near future. To prepare for this transition, STB’s Safe Business Event Framework will be applied to two potential “hybrid” events such as the 2020 IEEE International Conference on Computational Electromagnetics (24 to 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 but was postponed due to Covid-19 pandemic. In its new hybrid format, sessions will be streamed online for delegates to attend the conference virtually.

To be organised by the Asia Pacific Medical Technology Association (APACMed), plans are 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.

The two events were selected as pilots because their organisers have actively engaged event venues as well as STB to examine the safe management measures required for a safe event. If these two events proceed smoothly, STB may allow other similar B2B events that can implement the requisite SMMs to resume gradually.

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