Singapore strikes alliance with global players

City’s tourism board seals three understandings with business events operators to strive for sustainability, more trade shows and strengthening Singapore’s global role in the MICE industry

SINGAPORE tourism chiefs signed three Memoranda of Understanding with international MICE organisations to grow the industry and reinforce Singapore as a “Global-Asia Node” for business events.

The signing ceremony was held alongside the launch of Asia CEO Summit on October 5 at The Fullerton Hotel Singapore, and comes on the back of a strong business recovery following the reopening of Singapore’s borders in April.

A spokesman for Singapore Tourism Board (STB) said it also showed the confidence that global event organisers continue to have in Singapore as the preferred destination for MICE events and a launchpad for international expansion.

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The three MoUs are with key players to drive sustainable tradeshows, as well as Italian Exhibition Group (IEG) and Comexposium to broaden their footprint in Singapore.

“The strategic alliance with Informa Markets and tradeshow ecosystem players supports our vision of becoming one of the most sustainable MICE destinations in the Asia-Pacific by 2030 or earlier,” Keith Tan, STB chief executive, said.

“As Singapore’s MICE industry recovers strongly, our partnerships with IEG and Comexposium will boost the vibrancy of Singapore’s business events calendar and create new opportunities for our MICE industry.”

(i) Global MICE Sustainability Alliance
This seven-party MoU aims to meet the growing demand for sustainable business travel by reducing waste and the carbon footprint of exhibitions. To achieve this, key players in the tradeshow space have come together: STB, the world’s largest tradeshow organiser Informa Markets, Constellar Venues, PICO World (Singapore), Cityneon Holdings, Kingsmen Exhibits and the Singapore Association of Convention & Exhibition Organisers & Suppliers (SACEOS).

The alliance will explore new solutions for green events and leverage its global expertise in sustainable event planning to ensure that these will adhere to local MICE sustainability standards that are currently being developed. It will also focus on industry education to increase awareness and adoption of green practices. The alliance aims to set out clear sustainability targets over the next 6 months for the identified pilot event – Food & Hotel Asia (FHA)-Food & Beverage 2024 and trial green initiatives there.

These efforts build on Singapore’s sustainability efforts under the Singapore Green Plan 2030, and are part of STB’s ambition for Singapore to be a top sustainable urban destination.

Charlie McCurdy, CEO, Informa Markets, said: “Sustainability has been of growing commercial and personal importance for several years now, but to make the most of these opportunities and address the challenges in the events industry, we all need to collectively double down on our commitments.  Informa’s approach is called FasterForward, reflecting our commitment to become an ever more sustainable business that not only improves our impacts on the environment and communities but also supports our customer markets and host cities do the same.

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“We’re proud to be working with the Government of Singapore as well as other supply chain partners, to identify ways that we can all come together to create a leading destination for sustainable events.  Many of our events in Singapore have already started on this pathway.  This includes our flagship FHA-Food & Beverage and HoReCa events, which have been increasing our sorting of waste, powering our events with renewable electricity and featuring important content on sustainable solutions such as alternative proteins.”

Richard Ireland, president of industry association SACEOS, said: “As part of the wider sustainability objectives of Singapore as a destination, there is a need for the MICE industry to manage the environmental impact of events and improve our social and community engagement footprint.

“Now more than ever, attendees are demanding greener events and there is a huge opportunity for the industry to meet their needs and open up more partnerships. The signing of the Sustainability Alliance MoU among major industry players in Singapore is an important step towards forging a more sustainable and greener MICE industry together.”

(ii) Italian Exhibition Group (IEG) X STB MoU
IEG, one of the world’s leading exhibition organisers, and STB have signed a three-year MoU to expand the Italy-based company’s business in Southeast Asia. This includes establishing IEG’s Southeast Asia regional headquarters in Singapore by the end of 2023.

The new headquarters will be IEG’s first in Asia, leveraging on Singapore’s position as a Global-Asia Node to strengthen their presence in the region. Under the partnership, IEG and STB will also explore ways to develop and anchor events in Singapore.

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As a start, IEG is acquiring two trade shows in the jewellery and food & beverage sectors from Conference & Exhibition Management Services (CEMS) – The Singapore International Jewellery Expo (SIJE); and Café Asia, Sweets & Bakes Asia and Restaurant Asia. The aim is to expand IEG and the trade shows’ presence in Singapore and Southeast Asia.

“Singapore Tourism Board and IEG thus begin a long-term collaboration, confirming the global expansion of our Group, which has now taken a decisive step towards the development of its products in Singapore and the entire Southeast Asia region,” said Francesco Santa, International Business Development Director, IEG. “Further proof is the agreement signed with CEMS for the acquisition of the jewellery and food shows. The valuable exchange of know-how and innovation between IEG and Singapore will contribute to strengthening trade relations in the ASEAN region, of which Singapore is the hub, with economic growth rates amongst the highest in the entire world.”

(iii) Comexposium X STB MoU
Under this three-year MoU, leading global event organiser Comexposium will invest in Singapore by growing existing shows such as Milipol Asia-Pacific, Asia-Pacific’s largest homeland security event, and launching two anchor events – SILMO Singapore, a leading eyewear and lifestyle tradeshow held from 12 – 14 April 2023; and Vinexpo Asia, a major wine and spirits exhibition held from 23 to 25 May 2023. Both events are linked to established brands in Paris.

Elaine Chia, chief executive, Asia Pacific, Comexposium, said: “We are excited with the possibilities and potential of launching some of Comexposium’s most treasured brands in Singapore. We look upon Singapore as an excellent platform to serve the demands of the Southeast Asia market and Australia and New Zealand. Going beyond Milipol, the largest homeland security event, Comexposium will expand its presence in Singapore.

“We will broaden our portfolio and bring in more lifestyle and fashion exhibitions to enhance the quality and range of content to Singapore’s MICE sector in the near future. We will start with leading eyewear and lifestyle exhibition, SILMO, and Vinexpo, a specialised wine trade show in Asia, which will make its debut in Singapore next year. Comexposium will continue to work with STB to leverage on Singapore’s excellent business infrastructure and accessible travel to make Singapore a hub for its Southeast Asia’s springboard – bringing greater value to the MICE industry in Singapore.”

Main picture: The Fullerton Hotel where the signings took place yesterday

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