Singapore selects events to pilot anti-Covid rule

Risk-management measures to operate at two hybrid conferences with 50 allowed to attend each live event. Measures to be applied to other business events if successful

SINGAPORE intends to lead the way with “best-in-class” standards for new event-safety measures as a risk-management framework for business events for up to 50 people is rolled out.

Singapore Tourism Board (STB) will apply the Safe Business Event Risk Management Framework on two pilot events before organisers can gradually scale up events.

Both the 2020 IEEE International Conference on Computational Electromagnetics (August 24-26) and the Asia Pacific MedTech Virtual Forum 2020 (September 24) will have a maximum of 50 onsite attendees with 1,000 more participating virtually across the two events.

Meetings, conventions, exhibitions and trade shows in Singapore have been put on hold since March as authorities bring local cases of Covid-19 under control and STB works with stakeholders towards resuming business events safely.

“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,” said Keith Tan, chief executive of Singapore Tourism Board.

More… Singapore to ‘test-water’ events

“Together with our industry, we want to set Singapore apart as the world’s leading destination for safe, trusted and innovative business events,” Tan said.

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

The framework was created in consultation with the industry, including co-operation between STB, MICE businesses, Enterprise Singapore and Saceos, Singapore’s event suppliers and organisers association, and is aligned with international best practices.

Best-in-class standards for new event safety measures have been created for the framework with a focus on digital capabilities, and “developing pathways for professional development in the post-Covid-19 world”, STB said in a statement.

Organisers of the two events selected as pilots have been actively engaged with event venues and STB to examine the necessary health and safety to go ahead. If both proceed smoothly, STB will consider other conferences that can implement the framework measures.

Singapore, Malaysia in talks to re-open borders

Held in Southeast Asia for the first time, the 2020 IEEE International Conference on Computational Electromagnetics was initially planned for March, but was postponed due to Covid-19 . In its new hybrid format, sessions will be streamed online for delegates to attend the conference virtually.

“We chose to continue with our conference in Singapore because of the country’s strong track record in delivering quality business events,” said Professor Shen Zhongxiang, the conference’s general co-chair.

“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.”

Organisers in Singapore have already experimented with virtual and hybrid conferences. The International Dental Exhibition and Meeting (IDEM) converted its physical trade show and conference into a fully virtual event in June.

Singapore support enters MICE phase

IDEM attracted close to 4,000 participants, with over 300 exhibiting brands from over 50 countries. STB said the event demonstrated how virtual engagements could augment face-to-face events safely and effectively.

“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,” said Aloysius Arlando, president of Saceos.

“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 [Industry Resilience Roadmap] and ensure Singapore can continue to be competitive; a global Asia node in a Covid-19-safe world.”

The measures come as the Singapore Tourism Recovery dialogue event heard that the city state is in talks with cities to establish “green lanes” or travel bubbles. Destinations reported to be given priority include South Korea, Australia, New Zealand and European cities where Covid has been brought under control.

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