If anyone believes this week will see Singapore bathe in yet more of the limelight when it comes to hosting events for the meetings industry, think again.
Of course, the juggernaut of events going on this week the Lion City’s Travelrave are unrivalled in stature and innovation. ITB Asia, the Web in Travel Conference, Aviation Outlook Asia and much more will culminate with an evening in which the city’s conference organisers, venues, restaurants and other sectors will gather at the Singapore Experience Awards for a collective pat on the back.
But holding the meetings and events flag for North Asia, and a certain international hotel giant in particular, is Shanghai. The Marriott “cluster” kickstarts its ‘Catch Me If You Can’ with a day of activities this week in an event that involves 15 MICE hotels and 90 Shanghai clients involved in planning business events, conferences and incentives.
Catch Me If You Can will hardly eclipse the jamboree in Singapore this week, but it shows how venues in China are gearing themselves towards the increasingly sophisticated demands of event planners. All this comes at a time when the clampdown on government-related entertainment and lavish banquets is seeping red ink through the balance sheets of luxury hotels. Raising the profile of venues among the private sector is therefore a smart move.
With that, they can look Singapore in the eye.