Hosting an average of 6,000 business events annually, including regional meetings, conferences and exhibitions, Singapore definitely has room for more than one convention centre.
With the opening of Resorts World Sentosa and Marina Bay Sands, meeting planners and event organisers have a whole new range of venues with the ability to cater to groups of any size.
The newly opened Marina Bay Sands (MBS) is the Lion City’s latest gem. The integrated resort’s three-tower hotel, topped by its 12,400sqm Sands SkyPark, cuts an iconic figure and is now redefining the skyline of Marina Bay in Singapore’s southern tip. It is a 360ha development designed to seamlessly extend Singapore’s downtown district and further support the city-state’s continuing growth as a major business and financial hub in Asia.
MBS is one of several massive structures that have risen on the site in recent years, including the ferris wheel Singapore Flyer and the Marina Barrage, that forms the city’s largest reservoir, and the 3.5km landscaped waterfront promenade. The highly anticipated 101ha Gardens by the Bay is also under construction.
In August, MBS began a regional roadshow to promote the property’s slate of offerings for business events.
“Because of our scale, we are unique. We are a mini-city – a destination within a destination,” says Arthur Chernov, MBS vice-president for sales, during a dinner in Hong Kong.
Anchoring MBS’s claim to be the preferred business events destination in Singapore is the five-storey Sands Expo and Convention Center which, at over 120,000sqm, is the largest exhibition and meeting facility in the city with a capacity of more than 45,000 delegates or 2,000 booths for exhibitions. In addition, it houses the biggest grand ballroom in Southeast Asia, which can hold 6,600 for banquets and can seat up to 11,000 people for a theatre-style convention. Moreover, MBS has 250 meeting rooms that are flexible enough to suit any desired setup.
As with any new builds, MBS had to get past teething problems, but it has not wavered on its commitment to service quality.
“We have 7,000 staff who were trained for eight months to surpass your expectations,” says Chernov.
Furthermore, MBS offers a complete package encompassing accommodation, F&B, shopping and entertainment. Its 2,561 guestrooms feature 18 different room types and there are over 50 dining experiences to savour. The Crystal Pavilion is a cool venue for a night out. The Shoppes at Marina Bay offer an eclectic mix of high-end and new-to-market labels.
There are two 4,000-seat theatres – one will be the permanent home of the Broadway version of The Lion King while the other will be a stage for shows and concerts.
Apart from the Sands Expo and Convention Centre, event organisers have a choice of other venues within the resort. The 1.2ha SkyPark has come to be hippest place for cocktails while the outdoor Event Plaza can rock 10,000 people during festivals and carnivals.
More than 370 events have been booked at MBS since its opening, with new exhibitions and shows debuting in its premises in the next two years, such as Cruise Shipping Asia 2011 and Art Stage Singapore 2011 and 2012.
“The business momentum for MBS has never been stronger,” says an MBS spokesperson. “We have received [much] positive feedback on our services, food and facilities. They include Great Eastern Life Assurance, which sent us a note saying that we have ‘exceeded all expectations’.”
Total floor area: 120,000sqm that can hold up to 45,000 delegates
Grand ballroom: More than 8,000sqm that can host up to 6,600 delegates for banquets and 11,000 for a theatre-style convention
Meeting rooms: 250
Exhibition hall: Over 30,000sqm, spanning two floors. It is designed to house some 2,000 booths simultaneously
The 1.2ha SkyPark atop the three hotel towers, two theatres that can seat a total of 4,000 people for product launches and conferences and the Event Plaza for outdoor programmes.
Marina Bay Sands
10 Bayfront Avenue, Singapore 018956
tel: 65 6688 3000