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Business events, including conferences, to resume gradually with meetings in August, September: STB

SINGAPORE — The Singapore Tourism Board (STB) will gradually resume business-to-business events such as conferences and trade shows for the first time in about five months. There will also be a new risk-management framework that will be tested at two events in August and September.

Business events, including conferences, to resume gradually with meetings in August, September: STB

The Sands Expo and Convention Centre. Mr Keith Tan, Singapore Tourism Board's chief executive officer, said he was confident that Singapore would lead the way in reimagining safe and high-quality business events.

  • Up to 50 attendees allowed on-site for events under new framework  
  • STB said that a mix of face-to-face, online interactions likely to be near-term norm
  • Roadmap to be created to guide organisers of business events

 

SINGAPORE — The Singapore Tourism Board (STB) will gradually resume business-to-business events such as conferences and trade shows for the first time in about five months. There will also be a new risk-management framework that will be tested at two events in August and September.   

The framework will be piloted at the Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers’ (IEEE's) International Conference on Computational Electromagnetics from Aug 24 to 26 as well as at the Asia-Pacific MedTech Virtual Forum on Sept 24, STB said in a statement on Wednesday (July 22).

Each event will have up to 50 participants on-site. About 1,000 attendees will take part in both events virtually.  

Business-to-business events have been on hold since March because of the Covid-19 pandemic. 

Under STB’s Safe Business Event Risk Management Framework, event organisers must meet five key outcomes:

  • Roll out infection control measures for all participants before and after the event

  • Limit crowd density, especially in enclosed spaces

  • Limit close contact between individuals

  • Maintain a safe and clean environment

  • Prepare for emergencies relating to Covid-19 

STB said that hybrid formats, with a mix of face-to-face and virtual interactions, are likely to be the norm for business events in the near future. 

This is the first time that the IEEE conference, originally planned for March, will be held in Southeast Asia. 

The Asia-Pacific MedTech Virtual Forum will also include hybrid on-site and off-site elements for the first time. Delegates will take part in online discussions, which may go hand-in-hand with physical panel discussions and networking events. 

TODAY understands that the venues of the two events are still being worked out.

STB said that the events were selected because their organisers had actively engaged the board itself and event venues to look into measures needed for an event to be held safely. 

“If these two events proceed smoothly, STB may allow other similar business-to-business events that can implement the requisite safe management measures to resume gradually,” it said. 

Professor Shen Zhongxiang, the general co-chair of the IEEE event, said that his team decided to proceed with the conference because of Singapore’s strong record in delivering quality business events.

“We have complete trust that the Singapore authorities and our venue partner have stringent measures to help us deliver a safe event for our participants,” Prof Shen said.

WHAT ORGANISERS MUST DO

STB said that its risk-management framework is aligned with international best practices, along with reflections and lessons learnt in the past few months.

Organisers must, for instance, develop clear reporting protocols and communication plans to monitor the health of both Singapore and foreign attendees before the event. These include holding a pre-departure briefing for foreign delegates approved to travel under fast-lane arrangements. 

They must also establish a reporting framework with the event venues and the Ministry of Health to report suspected or confirmed Covid-19 cases after the event. 

In addition, organisers must ensure participants are at least 1m apart at all times and that there is only one attendee occupying every 10 sqm in event spaces larger than 930 sqm.

Organisers must also make sure that no more than 50 people occupy an event space. Only up to 20 participants may interact with one another as part of a sub-group and there should be no mingling between sub-groups. 

They must also set out plans to deal with attendees or staff members who display symptoms of Covid-19, such as isolating these individuals and closing affected areas. 

SUPPORTING EVENT ORGANISERS

STB said that it would also work with trade agency Enterprise Singapore and the Singapore Association of Convention and Exhibition Organisers and Suppliers to create an “industry resilience roadmap” for businesses. 

This roadmap will establish best-in-class standards for new safety measures at events, create agile business models with a focus on digital capabilities, and devise pathways for professional development in the post-Covid-19 world.

It will guide event organisers as they plan for a sustainable recovery and the safe resumption of other business-to-business events in Singapore.

Mr Keith Tan, STB’s chief executive officer, said he was confident that Singapore would lead the way in reimagining safe and high-quality business events.

“We want to set Singapore apart as the world’s leading destination for safe, trusted and innovative business events.”  

Related topics

Singapore Tourism Board event B2B business

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