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Ongoing growth for Singapore conventions
Singapore's push for a bigger slice of the meetings, incentive travel, conventions and exhibitions (MICE) market is on track as venues report a full calendar of events.
Venues and event organisers are confident that growth will continue into 2012 as additional space comes on stream, although some also caution that a sluggish economic environment could potentially dent budgets.
Integrated resort Marina Bay Sands (MBS) has booked nearly 2,400 events to date involving over one million participants since it opened its doors in April 2010.
MBS President and Chief Executive George Tanasijevich says "we're at nearly full capacity for the trade show space, and are breaking our own records for the conference floors. With foreign delegates travelling to attend events at Marina Bay Sands, we're seeing growing demand in our hotel as well as spillover benefits for other hotels."
The integrated resort is seeing events that are new to Singapore as well as new to MBS, such as Cruise Shipping Asia 2011, WasteMET Asia 2012, Singapore International Water Week 2012 as well as the major crowd-puller, CommunicAsia, which attracted some 38,000 attendees to its 2011 edition.
Resorts World Sentosa (RWS) has hosted over 1,200 events in the first six months of this year alone, compared to the 1,500 events it held over the nine months it was operational last year.
Among those held at RWS this year were the Asian Attractions Expo, the World Chinese Entrepreneur Convention and the 13th Asia Pacific Life Insurance Congress.
RWS's Vice-President of MICE Sales and Event Services, Paul Stocker states that "by the end of the year, we are expecting to double the total number of events compared to last year.
"We are receiving more than 30 enquiries every day."
Expansion is also underway at other venues enabling them to both net more events and put on a better show.
RWS, for instance, has two more luxury hotels opening in 2012, in addition to its Marine Life Park oceanarium.
Stocker adds "this would enable us to host even bigger events with our increased capacity.
"While taking into consideration global economic volatility, we are cautiously optimistic that (next year) we can increase events by at least 20%."
The Singapore Expo - which already racks up some 600 events annually and attracts some six million visitors - is launching a new wing in March 2012, adding over 8,000 metres2 of space to its existing inventory.
Excluding the new wing - which is energy- and water-efficient as well as built with eco-friendly furnishing materials - the Expo already has over 123,000 metres2 of indoor and outdoor space.
As competition heats up in the region, venues have had to reinvent themselves to enhance the experience offered as the needs of event organisers change, highlighted a spokeswoman for Singex, the Expo's manager, who stated "delegates and organisers alike are also seeking more value-add services, pointing to features such as high-speed wireless connection.
Meanwhile, Suntec Singapore International Convention & Exhibition Centre (Suntec Singapore) is on track to meet its target of some 1,500 events this year, with footfall expected to clock some over 7 million visits.
Suntec Chief Executive Pieter Idenburg explains "2011 has proven to be positive and, in most respects, comparable to last year. Our outlook remains optimistic and we continue to see growth across all business segments."
However, with the economy expected to grow at a more subdued pace from now to 2012, this could also translate to slower growth for the MICE industry.
According to Idenburg, growth for the MICE industry could 'start to level out a bit' next year, while Singex's spokeswomen highlighted that companies could also pull back when it comes to budgets, with small and mid-sized event organisers likely to be a little more cautious when it comes to spending.
Suntec Singapore has also been recently named as the Best Business Event Venue for a third time at the annual Singapore Experience Awards.
Organised by the Singapore Tourism Board, the awards recognise individuals and organisations with the best product and service delivery who have contributed to a distinctive and compelling Singapore Experience and brings together the best in the fields of retail, leisure, education, healthcare, business travel and MICE.
Images: Suntec Singapore (top) and Singapore's Marina Bay Sands (below).
16th February 2011 - SUNTEC INTERNATIONAL CELEBRATES NINE MONTHS OF EXPLOSIVE GROWTH
9th February 2011 - TRANSFORMING SINGAPORE’S TOURISM AND LEISURE LANDSCAPE
8th February 2011 - BAULDERSTONE WINS $350 MILLION ADELAIDE CONVENTION CENTRE CONTRACT
7th February 2011 - HAT-TRICK FOR SUNTEC SINGAPORE AT THE CEI ASIA INDUSTRY AWARDS 2011
4th February 2011 - SUNTEC INTERNATIONAL SIGNS PARTNERSHIP WITH ADELAIDE CONVENTION CENTRE
7th January 2011 - HKCEC VOTED BEST VENUE FOR THE EIGHTH TIME
31st December 2010 - SINGAPORE CASINO TO LAUNCH WORLD’S FIRST ARTSCIENCE MUSEUM
30th November 2010 - SINGAPORE EXPECTS RECORD 12 MILLION VISITORS THIS YEAR
8th September 2010 - SINGAPORE SPORTS HUB DEAL SIGNED
19th July 2010 - ASIAN ATTRACTIONS EXPO MOVES TO SINGAPORE IN 2011
24th May 2010 - US GAMING COMPANY BETS LARGE ON SINGAPORE AND ASIA
16th March 2010 - SA LABOR COMMITS TO ADELAIDE CONVENTION CENTRE OVERHAUL
3rd September 2009 - SUNTEC SINGAPORE SOLD
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