Singapore in biz travel focus


The Singapore Exhibition and Convention Bureau (SECB) has outlined a suite of initiatives to propel the growth of the MICE (Meetings, Incentive Travel, Conventions and Exhibitions) industry to meet the targets envisioned for the Business Travel and MICE (BTMICE) sector in the Tourism 2015 strategic blueprint and to establish Singapore as an Exchange Capital of the World.

The initiatives mark a milestone in the SECB’s steps to rally international and local industry partners to drive the growth and calibre of business events staged in Singapore.

With new developments such as the Marina Bay Sands Integrated Resort and the redevelopment of the Marina Bay area into a vibrant MICE hub that will offer up to 200,000 sqm of convention and exhibition space, as well as exciting and enriching leisure and entertainment options, the stage is set for the SECB to partner the industry to attract, create and grow strategic business events. 

Amidst intensifying competition, Singapore is keenly aware of the need to continually re-invent itself to remain a relevant, compelling and appealing MICE destination.  Mr Aloysius Arlando, Assistant Chief Executive, Business Travel and MICE Group, Singapore Exhibition and Convention Bureau (SECB) said: “Singapore is moving beyond being merely an efficient and effective venue. We strive to be a catalyst for business success and an exchange capital of the world where people, technology and ideas converge to create value for both business events and visitors.”


The BTMICE sector accounted for 33 per cent or more than €1.5 billion (SGD3 billion) of total tourism receipts in 2005. The SECB aims to substantially raise its contribution to 40 per cent or €6 billion (SGD12 billion) by 2015. This translates into an annual growth rate of 13 per cent.

“Singapore seeks to bring value to business events through leveraging our key industries, pro-business environment and global connectivity. Our goal is to be a top MICE destination which offers MICE visitors opportunities to exchange ideas, network, explore business prospects, and develop human capital,” said Mr Arlando.

To realise this vision and to galvanise the BTMICE industry, the SECB has embarked on the following key initiatives:

1) New Business Strategy: The Strategic Cluster Approach

The SECB’s new business strategy for the MICE industry will entail a close collaboration between Singapore Inc. agencies and industry partners within key economic clusters to create, grow and attract business events that are centred on Singapore’s main economic drivers. These include clusters such as biomedical sciences, Information and Communication Technology (ICT) and digital media, environment and water technologies, banking and finance, transportation and logistics, and tourism.

The strategy seeks to leverage Singapore’s key economic sectors in order to develop a strong ecosystem of business events, thus complementing the development plan of these sectors, while creating buzz and strengthening the strategic position of Singapore as an exchange capital for each of these clusters.

2) “BE in Singapore or Business Events in Singapore” Incentive Scheme

The SECB is committing €85 million (SGD170 million) drawn out of the €1 billion (SGD2 billion Tourism Development Fund to finance the development of business events over the next five years (2006-2010).

Called “BE in Singapore”, this is an umbrella incentive scheme that supports the evolving and varied needs of the MICE industry. It was developed in consultation with the industry to empower them to attract, bid for and grow a sustainable volume of strategic business events to support the development of key clusters that make up Singapore’s economic base.

First recipients of the scheme include the following which will be staged in Singapore between end-2006 and 2009: FDI World Dental Congress 2009; Guess World Conference 2007; Herbalife Asia Pacific Extravaganza 2007, International Council of Shopping Centres (ICSC) Asia Expo 2007; International Conference on Thalassaemia & the Haemoglobinopathies and International Conference for Parents and Thalassaemics 2008; Alzheimers’ Diseases International Congress 2009; The 3rd International Symposium on Advanced Ceramics 2006; the International Solid Waste Association (ISWA) Annual Congress 2008; Cityscape Asia 2007; International Apparel Machinery Trade Show (JIAM 2008 Singapore), and Games Convention Asia 2007.

To complement “BE in Singapore”, the SECB has embarked on initiatives to entice International Organisations to establish their Asia-Pacific base in Singapore. It will also encourage the domestic MICE industry to forge stronger partnerships so as to strengthen its marketing and business development presence globally.

3) Global Marketing and Advertising Campaign - “Singapore, Where Great Things Happen”
To entrench Singapore’s value proposition as the catalyst to business success, the SECB has embarked on a 3-year global marketing and advertising campaign for the MICE industry, revolving around the tagline, “Singapore, Where Great Things Happen”.

It will showcase Singapore as a MICE destination of choice which not merely offers world-class venues to suit all kinds of business events, but also provides the platform for a rewarding exchange of ideas, networking and business prospects.

Consisting of print and online advertising, publicity and marketing activities, the campaign was launched in Singapore and then rolled out pan-regionally. It will be augmented by marketing and promotional activities in overseas markets including China, India, Japan, Vietnam, Malaysia, Australia, New Zealand, North America and Europe.

Seven ad creatives have been developed. Two of these focus on Singapore’s key strengths as a leading MICE destination, while an additional five focus on aviation, biomedical sciences, ICT and media, environmental technology, and banking and finance clusters.

This global advertising campaign is a one-year campaign, which kicked off pan-regionally, followed by in-market advertising. Subsequently, the campaign will be reviewed and refreshed on a year-on-year basis. It will be seen in pan-Asian consumer and trade publications as well as consumer and trade media in major overseas markets such as Europe, America, China, India and Japan.

Buoyed by the successful staging of the Annual Meetings of the Boards of Governors of the International Monetary Fund and World Bank Group in September 2006, Singapore is well-poised to ride on the momentum of its proven track record and experience in organising mega international events, and to synergise this with the new initiatives. To date, Singapore has hosted some of the world’s most prestigious events, including the World Economic Forum and the 117th International Olympic Committee Session in 2005. The opportunity to host these big-scale and high-profile international events and the success achieved thus far affirm Singapore’s capabilities as a MICE destination of choice.

“The SECB will continue to build and leverage Singapore’s demonstrated capabilities to host large-scale events as well as its new business, marketing and channel development initiatives to aggressively build up a strong pipeline of quality business events,” said Mr Arlando.