Singapore has long been at the forefront of the convention and meetings industry in Asia.
This is largely due to the island’s flawless attention to infrastructure and commitment to service. At the heart of the city-state’s armoury of world-class venues is the Suntec Singapore International Convention and Exhibition Centre.
Located in the Marina Bay area, Suntec Singapore is surrounded by a mini-city of hotels, retail shopping outlets, a vast array of restaurants and bars and even a performing arts centre. It seems impossible to fault Suntec Singapore’s location for sheer convenience.
There are already an estimated 5,200 hotel rooms, 1,000 shops and 300 restaurants within a 15-minute walk.
And there’s more to come, lot’s more in fact.
The Marina Bay area is undergoing a multi-million-dollar expansion that is designed to increase the city’s allure as not only a business hub but as one of southeast Asia’s most vibrant cities.
The project will transform the area with a range of ambitious projects. The most important is possibly the Marina Bay Sands complex, which will house a casino, hotels as well as substantial meeting and exhibition spaces.
Another attraction will be the Singapore Flyer, a 165m-high observation wheel modelled on the London Eye.
The Marina Barrage will turn the bay into an enclosed reservoir, where watersport activities can be held and three new public gardens will be open to the public.
Warren J Buckley, chief executive officer, says: “Marina Bay will be the new frontier for Singapore and a new focal point for the city. The entire area is designed with people in mind with a mix of commercial, residential and leisure activities.
“The new developments will naturally enhance what we have to offer. They certainly will generate more activities that will be an attraction for tourists, and will enhance the Marina Bay area as a MICE destination, with more offerings for visitors outside of their meetings and conventions – thereby generating exciting attractions for the destination as a whole.”
While Buckley acknowledges the rising levels of competition from rival destinations, he remains confident of Suntec’s status.
“With the ever-changing global environment, bringing in new demands and higher expectations, new MICE venues around the region will no doubt bring more competition to all players. ?
“To stay relevant, a venue needs to continually re-invent itself by developing new competencies and enhancing value-added services to customers. The same applies for a destination. ?
“Hence, in Singapore, it is important for the government to also constantly re-invent itself and to market the destination aggressively on a long-term committed basis so as to remain competitive and to raise the bar higher as a first-class MICE destination,” Buckley says.
When it comes to clients, he says that the centre derives a substantial chunk of its revenue not only from the corporate sector but from meetings and congresses held by professional and scientific associations, among others.
“Corporate and association sectors are of importance because at Suntec Singapore, we host 1,200 events annually and the corporate and association sectors make up a sizeable percentage of our business – at approximately 50 percent,” Buckley says.
Special services for local associations Suntec Singapore supports the International Ambassador’s Programme to assist local associations and societies to bring in international meetings. It works closely with the Singapore Convention Bureau and other bodies to support local associations from the bidding stage right up to the Congress itself.
The support consists of
1. One point of contact – Suntec Singapore – for everything related to the bid.
2. Financial assistance for expenses related to your bid.
3. Assistance for site inspection of international organisation’s officials.
4. Preparation of preliminary projected income and expense budget for the event.
Meeting planners won’t encounter too many space problems here, Suntec Singapore’s conference facilities are located on Level 6. The centre proudly boasts that its convention halls offer the largest column-free meeting area in Asia, spanning 12,000sqm of total floor space, that can be used flexibly for a variety of events.The space allows organisers to hold up to 10,000 delegates in theatre-style seating or 10,600sqm of exhibition space.
Trade shows and fairs are another Suntec Singapore specialty. The exhibition halls are located on Level 4 and offer 12,000 sqm of space with a ceiling height of 8.5m, that’s more than three double-decker buses perched on top of one another. The halls can be subdivided into four sections.
The Gallery offers 3,700sqm of versatile space and is able to accommodate 1,000 delegates in a banquet-style setting or 3,000 delegates theatre-style, the Gallery is a popular venue for holding corporate banquets.
If you’re organising an AGM for Claustrophobics Anonymous, you might want to consider The Concourse, a 930sqm multi-purpose open area featuring three-storey high panoramic windows. It can be used for opening ceremonies, networking parties and small exhibitions. The Concourse can seat up to 600 persons banquet-style.
Levels 3 and 2
The 596-seat Theatre at Suntec Singapore is a popular choice for special events.
Suntec Singapore has a total of 31 meeting rooms, which can accommodate groups of 10 to 400 people. All rooms are fully equipped with state-of-the-art audio-visual, theatrical and lighting equipment. And for your guest speakers, there is also a VIP executive suite featuring its own lounge and bar area that can seat up to 26 delegates.
The Ballroom is a versatile, sub-dividable function hall that can accommodate up to 1,800 delegates in theatre-style seating and up to 1,300 delegates banquet-style.
With a spacious pre-function foyer, the Ballroom offers an elegant location for themed parties and dinners.?