2,500 participants over 3 days expected at S'pore's largest pilot trade show since Covid-19 outbreak

Robots will be deployed for the Architecture & Building Services event to record the SafeEntry of guests and conduct temperature screening. ST PHOTO: ALPHONSUS CHERN

SINGAPORE - Some 2,500 in-person business visitors, delegates and exhibitors will gather over three days for a trade show at Marina Bay Sands from June 30, in the largest such pilot since the Covid-19 outbreak.

Organised by the Conference and Exhibition Management Services (Cems), the Architecture & Building Services event will have double the number of in-person attendees compared with the first two pilot large-scale meetings, incentives, conventions and exhibitions (Mice) events.

There were about 1,000 in-person participants over two days at Geo Connect Asia, which was held last month, and TravelRevive, held last November.

All three events were organised under the newly developed hybrid event trade show prototype for safe business events, safe itineraries and digital enabler tools, as part of a collaboration under one of the Emerging Stronger Taskforce's Alliance for Action groups.

Another 5,000 virtual attendees are expected at the latest event, which will focus on the built environment and its related sectors, such as safety and facilities management.

To manage the higher number of attendees, the 11,620 sq m exhibition space will be divided into four zones, with four rotating groups, containing 50 people each, spending about 30 minutes in each zone.

Another batch, consisting of another four groups, will enter the exhibition hall after the previous batch completes the two-hour process, with four batches per day.

Technology will also be used to ensure that guests comply with safe management measures.

Robots will be deployed for the event, including at the entrances of the exhibition halls, to record the SafeEntry of guests and conduct temperature screening.

The CG5ServBot, which can take the temperature of three people at one go, will help to reduce the amount of manpower needed to be stationed at each entrance.

It is currently used at about 50 retail and food and beverage outlets in Singapore.

Cems managing director Edward Liu said the company is in talks with local technology companies Viatick and Trakomatic to provide solutions used at previous events, such as a Bluetooth-tracking dongle used to flag unauthorised interactions between participants from different zones at last month's Geo Connect Asia, an event focusing on location-based data tech.

In line with the new regulations announced by the Ministry of Health last month, from April 24, those going to Mice events with more than 250 attendees will have to undergo pre-event testing.

All local vaccinated attendees who have had time to develop sufficient protection will not have to be tested.

The Mice industry plays an important role in Singapore, supporting more than 34,000 jobs with an economic value-add of $3.8 billion, or nearly 1 per cent of Singapore's gross domestic product, according to a survey commissioned by the Singapore Tourism Board (STB) in 2019.

Mice business travellers are also high-yield visitors who boost spending in the lifestyle and hospitality sectors. But the Mice industry is among the sectors most severely affected by the Covid-19 pandemic.

Mr Andrew Phua, STB's executive director of exhibitions and conferences, said that pilots such as the Architecture & Building Services event are aimed at proving that larger Mice events can be held safely.

"We will continue to guide and support the industry to build new capabilities, and reimagine the future of Mice events so that the industry will emerge stronger from Covid-19."

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