As the world adapts to living with COVID-19, Singapore stands as a thought leader at the forefront of reimagining business, travel and MICE amidst a landscape forever changed by the pandemic. Only through innovation, the development of new skills and the creation of new business models can the industry build back better and future-proof business events.
Singapore’s business events industry has been agile and resilient, facing challenges head on by coming up with prototypes and protocols for a new era of events. Beyond MICE, the broader Singapore tourism sector has also demonstrated ingenuity and innovation, reimagining tourism offerings and creating experiences that are new and unexpected.
Here, we share just some of the destination’s most exciting innovations…
Innovation in hybrid & digital
Embracing hybridisation, local MICE companies have transformed live event elements while harnessing digital technologies to enhance and extend content delivery and engagement. This includes usage of immersive technology such as holograms, avatar robots and wearable tech to create realistic hybrid event experiences for event delegates.
Marina Bay Sands launched a hybrid event broadcast studio featuring a three-dimensional stage fitted with an immersive backdrop and hologram functionalities, as well as the Virtual Meeting Place that offers a unique O2O2O (Online-to-Offline-to-Online) meeting experience, including creativity-sparking meeting spaces at Sands SkyPark.
Local event technology company GEVME developed a flexible platform to build and manage custom virtual experiences, while media company Pixie Pitch created a digital mapping tool that can transform any surface into an interactive display.
Singapore Tourism Board is actively supporting innovation and transformation in the MICE sector – it recently launched a White Paper ‘Reimagining Business Events – Through COVID-19 and Beyond’, in partnership with leading global associations PCMA + UFI, and has partnered with the National Trades Union Congress to establish the MICE and Events Capability Building Network, bringing together educational institutions across Singapore to develop blueprints of new and refreshed career paths, and to curate new training programmes.
Innovation in sustainability
As the world recovers from the impact of Covid-19, building back more sustainably is crucial, and Singapore has implemented numerous initiatives to help planners measure and reduce carbon impact and deliver greener events.
Many meeting venues in Singapore also raise the bar on sustainability. For example, The Sands Expo and Convention Centre is Singapore’s first carbon-neutral business event venue, supporting the nation’s green energy targets through investments in Renewable Energy Certificates.
Resorts World Sentosa is home to one of the country’s largest solar panel installations which can produce enough electricity to power 108 four-room flats every year, while Fairmont Singapore and Swissôtel The Stamford are developing an urban aquaponics farm that champions sustainable agriculture practices in the industry.
PARKROYAL COLLECTION Marina Bay is Singapore’s first garden-in-a-hotel with a focus on sustainability and wellbeing. The hotel is home to a four-storey SkyBridge, lush gardens and a 13-metre-high green wall.
Innovation in Singapore’s tourism sector
Despite a challenging 18 months, Singapore’s tourism sector has continued to innovate, with new and improved offerings across the board. Opened in March 2021, The Clan Hotel is a new modern hotel that fuses luxury with food and drink heritage. Located in Chinatown, the hotel offers the whole experience of its precinct and tells the story of the nation. Projected to open in 2022, the proposed Raffles Sentosa Resort & Spa Singapore is set to become the first villa-only hotel in Singapore and will feature 61 villas, each with its own courtyard and private swimming pool.
Ratio is the world’s first robotic café and lounge. The futuristic café automates drink-making with robots performing their tasks with precision. Opened in September 2021, Eatbox is a 9,500 sq ft creative food hall featuring 20 booths and four kiosks with international cuisines and fusion fare, plus a hype zone which houses interactive murals created in collaboration with local artists.
There are several new attractions for delegates to experience, including HydroDash, Singapore’s new and only floating aqua park, and Singapore’s Museum of Ice Cream, the first outside of the United States, which is dedicated to all things related to the sweet treat and features multi-sensory and interactive installations.
The Singapore Flyer’s two-storey indoor space has been completely transformed with the Time Capsule, a multi-sensory attraction of Singapore’s rich history, heritage, culture, and landscape, while New World’s End by OH! Stories is a new permanent immersive audio-guided art experience taking place in Jalan Besar. In this self-guided tour, participants get to explore the neighbourhood through a fictional story set in New World Amusement Park in the 1970s, discovering alleyways and hidden spaces along with immersive sets fabricated for the tour.