SINGAPORE’s MICE industry revival will depend upon “test-water events” once authorities are confident a safe transition has been made under the second phase of lockdown measures being eased.
Dates for the commencement of trial or “test-water” events have not yet been confirmed, but may take place during Phase Two or later in the year.
To prepare local industry stakeholders, the city state’s association for convention and exhibition organisers and suppliers (Saceos) has joined forces with Singapore Tourism Board and Enterprise Singapore to work on an Industry Resilience Roadmap that will serve as an “operational handbook” as business events cautiously begin in stages.
The Industry Resilience Roadmap (IRR) comes after Saceos officials, led by association president Aloysius Arlando, met with Chee Hong Tat, Singapore’s senior minister of state for trade, industry and education.
“With a focus on maintaining community health and safety, the reopening of the Singapore economy will be a very gradual process. These cautious steps are necessary to ensure we are firmly on the road to recovery,” Arlando said.
The Saceos president added that the re-opening of Singapore’s MICE and event industry would “therefore be calibrated and will depend on ‘test-water events’ that will be allowed to take place in Phase Two (Safe Transition) or in the later part of the year”.
The IRR focuses on three strategic objectives:
1/ Safe and sustainable operating environment: Outlining safe and hygienic protocols for the reopening of events with a focus on the customer journey;
2/ Strengthen enterprise capabilities to innovate and scale-up: Embedding digital foundations and risk-mitigated business models that enable us to be agile in years ahead;
3/ Build a strong and vibrant industry to drive future change: Developing new and certifiable capabilities, establishing a national qualified list of industry players.
“This crisis hasn’t simply paused our plans, it has fundamentally altered the way we live, work and play,” Arlando said.
“The rules of engagement have changed, and difficult decisions will have to be made, which is why we must rally together to strengthen our workforce and business capabilities to ensure we emerge stronger and better prepared for future crises.”
A spokesman for Saceos said that since Covid-19 outbreak, the association has launched specialised support programmes”, including a series of small-enterprise clinics focused on risk management and by lobbying the government about the industry’s plight.
Saceos’ efforts over the past four months have resulted in funds to provide help, enhanced Job Support Scheme aid for MICE organisers and suppliers, and talks between stakeholders in the public and private sectors.
“Right now, our industry is at a strategic crossroads. We must marshal our collective wisdom and strength to revitalise our businesses and create new pathways for our workforce… so that Singapore can continue to be truly competitive”, Arlando said.