New standards for Mice sector launched as S'pore prepares to hold larger events, welcome visitors

Attendees at STB's annual Tourism Industry Conference on April 7, 2021. ST PHOTO: GAVIN FOO

SINGAPORE - Singapore has launched a new certification programme for the meetings, incentives, conventions and exhibitions (Mice) sector for large-scale events to be conducted in a safe manner.

Event organisers, venue owners and suppliers who meet strict benchmarks and uphold best practices in areas such as hygiene and sanitisation, safe distancing and emergency management will be able to display a mark of assurance that they meet Singapore government standards, which can serve to assure global participants, such as conference attendees.

The SG SafeEvents Certification, billed as a first-of-its-kind programme, was launched on Wednesday (April 7) by the the Singapore Association of Convention and Exhibition Organisers and Suppliers (Saceos).

The certification is aimed at giving Mice players here a competitive edge as they recalibrate their business operations for a Covid-19-safe marketplace, said Saceos president Aloysius Arlando.

Adherence to the national standards provides a mark of assurance to the industry and the global community that events organised by certified organisers and suppliers, and held at certified venues, are "recognised under the programme to be safe, and the health and well-being of all involved are managed with the utmost care and consideration", he said.

The provisional standard goes beyond current government-mandated safe management measures and complements the Singapore Tourism Board's (STB) safe business events framework, which hybrid events such as TravelRevive and Geo Connect Asia 2021 have followed.

To be certified, event organisers must also have a risk management plan and use contactless technology where feasible, while venue operators must develop a routine and periodic cleaning and disinfection plan.

The programme, announced at STB's annual Tourism Industry Conference, will run for three years, after which there may be plans to use the experience gained to turn the SG SafeEvents Certification into a full-fledged Singapore standard.

Ms Jeannie Lim, assistant chief executive of STB's policy and planning group, said the SG SafeEvent standards contribute to Singapore's post-Covid-19 reopening efforts.

"As we progressively resume larger events and welcome more overseas visitors, we must ensure that the industry is ready to implement the necessary safeguards and systems to ensure the well-being of our visitors as well as the local community," she said.

In support of the Mice sector, STB will also be setting up two new offices in Brussels and San Francisco.

Announcing this during the Tourism Industry Conference, STB's chief executive Keith Tan said that these offices would draw more business events to Singapore, by facilitating engagements with more international organisations. For instance, organisations with offices in Brussels include the United Nations, the World Health Organisation and the World Bank.

Companies in the Mice sector that wish to be certified under the provisional standard can register their interest with Saceos to attend an industry briefing in May, where more details of the certification process will be announced.

Attendees taking the antigen rapid test before the Tourism Industry Conference on April 7, 2021. ST PHOTO: GAVIN FOO

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