Top News Singapore pilots hybrid event with TravelRevive By Pamela Chow / Posted on 26 November, 2020 15:21 Singapore is pressing forward with a prototype for hybrid events that can accommodate up to 250 pax in person, including overseas visitors, made possible with safe itineraries, rapid antigen testing and a strict cohort system. The prototype was launched yesterday (November 25) at TravelRevive, a joint event organised by Singapore Tourism Board (STB) and ITB Asia from November 25-26. Singapore looking at managing, not eliminating risks, for safe resumption of MICE events: Chan TravelRevive is the first hybrid travel tradeshow to take place in Asia-Pacific amid Covid-19, and is expected to see close to 1,000 delegates on-site across both days, including 65 foreign delegates from 14 countries. On top of the polyamerase chain reaction (PCR) test that international attendees had to undergo upon arrival, they also took a new rapid antigen test before the event that delivered Covid-19 diagnoses within 30 minutes. Speaking at the event, Chan Chun Sing, Singapore’s minister of trade and industry, said: “We are not waiting for a vaccine to arrive, nor are we waiting for the Covid-19 pandemic to blow over. Instead, we are establishing foundations now to get started on a journey to reinvent and rebuild (the MICE) industry.” Features that have been spun into this new hybrid event format include a blend of physical conferences and virtual broadcasts, an online meeting diary for delegates, as well as exclusive experiences such as a private museum tour and a private tepee dinner in Night Safari. The shift towards digitalisation of MICE events and the reinvention of leisure experiences were “already present prior to Covid-19”, remarked Chan. He observed that businesses had begun to revaluate the need to travel for routine meetings, and travellers were starting to consider more environmentally friendly travel experiences. “The outbreak of Covid-19 has driven (another) need: health security and physical comfort. Whoever can ensure visitors’ health security in a faster and better way will gain a competitive advantage. Singapore recognises this, and has every intention to lead in this area,” he described. Chan also stressed that Singapore is adopting a “risk management approach instead of a risk elimination approach”, as it is “unable to tap on a large local population or domestic sector”. Going forward, various industry stakeholders will roll out a series of products to reinforce safety measures for the leisure travel and MICE industries. For instance, Changi Airport Group is developing a safe travel concierge, which provides visitors a checklist of requirements before entering Singapore and helps business delegates remain in their event cohort. Other protocols in the works, such as a combination of PCR testing on arrival and periodic antigen tests, usage of the TraceTogether app for contact tracing, and more will be detailed in the Events Industry Resilience Roadmap by SACEOS, STB and Enterprise Singapore. Chan said: “We hope that such protocols will be accepted and adopted by more countries. This will allow all of us to have a shared protocol (that can) reduce the need for a long-term quarantine period that is really disrupting business travel.” In addition, during the event, the STB inked three MoUs which it said are a “boost to the MICE industry in Singapore” and signal international event organisers’ confidence in Singapore “as launchpad for regional expansion”. The first is a one-year MoU that the Infocomm Media Development Authority and STB have signed with B2B event organiser Informa Tech to launch a new international technology event in Singapore. Slated for the second half of 2021, the event will bring together governments and businesses in the infocomm, media and tech ecosystem to discuss topics related to innovation and digital transformation in the tech sector. STB said the partnership will “help to deepen Singapore’s position as a thought leader in the digital space and provide a platform for the discussion of new ideas, policies and regulations”. The flagship tech event will also allow Singapore to tap on new and existing international networks, as well as leverage Informa’s industry knowledge, expertise and networks to further create and grow new best-in-class events in Singapore, it added. Secondly, the STB has also signed a a three-year MoU with Fiera Milano, one of the world’s leading exhibition organisers, to establish a South-east Asia Regional Headquarters (RHQ) in Singapore. The new office will be Fiera Milano’s first South-east Asian headquarters, and will make them the first Italian professional exhibition organiser to set up its RHQ in Singapore. It will also serve to deepen Fiera Milano’s presence in South-east Asia, providing greater support in the region. The collaboration is also set to strengthen commercial relations between Italy/Europe and the South-east Asian region. Lastly, under a one-year MoU inked with STB, Messe Munich will establish its South-east Asia RHQ in Singapore, as part of the trade fair company’s plans to grow its presence in the region. The partnership will also see Messe Munich creating new anchor events in Singapore. By bringing both Fiera Milano and Messe Munich into Singapore, STB said that it will also leverage their existing network of events, hosted fairs, and exhibitors to launch high-quality international tradeshows that appeal to both South-east Asian and international audiences.