"Conventions redefined". With that punchy promise, Singapore EXPO – the Lion City’s largest purpose-built business events venue – raised the curtain in March on a new wing, MAX Atria.
Developed at a cost of US$44 million, this extension, adjoining EXPO Halls 1 and 2, features 32 column-free rooms with spacious foyers, a rooftop terrace and garden courtyard, accommodating over 3,500 people in spaces versatile enough to be configured for meetings, banquets, light exhibitions and product launches.
MAX Atria facade
In addition, a bridge on the second floor, linking the EXPO halls and MAX Atria, has a roomy Coffee Bean and Tea Leaf cafe as well as Heath Lounge, serving Asian fusion meals and Archipelago beer, a Singapore brand. Both outlets offer a relaxed ambiance for more casual discussions away from the main floor activity.
If you’re wondering about the name, MAX Atria, Lyn Sim, EXPO’s marketing communications director, explains to Mix that it was "consistent with the EXPO’s concert venue ‘MAX Pavilion’, while ‘Atria’ refers to a large, open space inside a building".
An airy and refreshing environment is the impression that EXPO management sought hard to make with their latest offering. The expansive floor-to-ceiling windows, lush landscaping and graceful interiors are most evident; what is not – and this is where the facility has raised the industry benchmark – are its energy-efficient measures that have marked it as the first purpose-built meeting venue in Singapore to attain the Building and Construction Authority’s Green Mark Platinum Award.
When using the lift or escalators, enjoying the air conditioning or occupying the conference spaces, delegates and visitors can take comfort in the thought that state-of-the-art systems – both power thrifty and practical – are in use throughout. For example, there are light sensors installed in the pre-function foyers, staircases and restrooms, while LED light fixtures in the function rooms are designed to contribute more than 30 per cent energy savings throughout the year compared to a conventionally constructed building of the same size. What’s more, Green Label products with at least 30 per cent recycled material are used in the daily operations.
Banquet setting at the Garnet Room
Aware of consumers’ high priority for connectivity, MAX Atria contracted the services of provider Xirrus to do the job. The result is Xirrus Arrays, supplying complimentary and seamless connectivity up to a bandwidth of 2mbps, which, depending on the number of events and participants, can be scaled up even more. In keeping with the annex’s Earth-friendly mission, this service was installed using fewer access points and less cables.
"Enabling onsite organisers and delegates to stay connected and multi-task is the new norm, hence we offer complimentary and high-performance wifi access," says Aloysius Arlanda, group chief executive of Singex, the group that runs EXPO and MAX Atria. "The opening of MAX Atria caters to a growing trend of integrated event platforms, be they co-located exhibitions, conferences, symposia, workshops or product launches. This customisation allows organisers not only to enjoy versatile options in personalising the event experience, but to maximise their return on investment.î
The new wing has hit the ground running since it soft opened in early March. That same month, it welcomed early clients such as the Singapore Tourism Board, which hosted its annual Industry Conference, and the International Furniture Fair Singapore that organised a series of seminars and master classes; while on April 3, TEDx, a spin-off event of the TED talks took place there. From May 18 to 20, global direct-selling giant Herbalife took over the EXPO halls and MAX Atria staged its "Asia-Pacific Extravaganza" that boasted attendance of some 24,000 delegates.
"The rest of the year is packed," says EXPO spokesperson Sim. If anyone still needs convincing to hold their next event at Singapore’s newest innovative venue, there are opening rates valid until year-end for half-day and full-day meetings that start from US$25 per person per day.
TOTAL FLOOR AREA MAX
Atria adds another 8,000 sqm of conference and event space to Singapore EXPO’s existing 123,000 sqm. Consisting of 32 rooms – all column-less – and ample pre-function foyers, spread over two floors, the facility has been designed to accommodate conferences, meetings, banquets and light exhibitions.
Extra pluses are the rooftop terrace, featuring a 460 sqm area ideal for intimate cocktails and special activities, as ?well as the garden courtyard.
Other noteworthy details:
• Floor-to-ceiling windows allow natural light to flood the interiors.
• Verdant landscaping provides refreshing views.
• Energy-efficient measures are incorporated in lifts, escalators and air-conditioning systems, with light sensors installed in pre-function foyers, staircases and restrooms and LED light fixtures in the meeting rooms.
• Complimentary high-speed wifi access is provided by premium broadband provider Xirrus.
• A blend of bergamot, white rose and cardamom scent is infused in the air, while contemporary music tempos differentiate the experience of a morning conference, afternoon meeting or evening banquet.
• TungLok, the prestigious Singapore restaurant group, has been appointed resident caterer.
CONTACT MAX Atria@Singapore EXPO
TEL +65 6403 2160
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