Bigger suites to rev up experience

Corporate hospitality guests at this year's Formula One SingTel Singapore Grand Prix are in for a bigger, but more intimate experience. This, following a move by race organisers to increase the size of the suites by 30 per cent, as well as change the layout configuration.

According to Shamini Suppiah, Singapore GP's assistant director of corporate sales, this will result in a "less formal atmosphere that provides fine dining facilities".

For returning guests, the most obvious difference will be a switch from round, 10-seater tables to rectangular set-ups.

"Many of our clients wanted to move away from the banquet-style layout," said Suppiah.

The Sky Terrace, an open-air area atop the respective grandstands that is open to Sky Suite guests, has also been enhanced with added food and beverage options, as well as speciality bars.

One of the most distinctive features of the Marina Bay Street Circuit's hospitality suites, however, is its made-to-order nature, which even allows corporations to combine suites and turn them into a duplex space.

"Everything is customisable," said Suppiah, who turns 46 today. "We give our clients the flexibility to do what they want."

That approach is working - with 80 per cent of last year's corporate clients returning this year, and fewer than 100 hospitality tickets remaining for this weekend's race. And she is confident that this will continue, even with the Asian markets struggling.

"So far, we've been sold out at every race," she noted. "The economy has never been a concern."

FABIUS CHEN