New roadmap with advice on holding Mice events safely launched

The first hybrid Mice event with up to 250 attendees will be the Singapore International Energy Week conference.
The first hybrid Mice event with up to 250 attendees will be the Singapore International Energy Week conference.ST PHOTO: CHONG JUN LIANG

SINGAPORE - A guide on how meetings, incentives, conventions and exhibitions (Mice) events can be held safely amid the coronavirus pandemic has been rolled out to help organisers as business events are gradually allowed to resume.

The first edition of the Event Industry Resilience Roadmap, unveiled on Thursday (Oct 8), also includes information on the benefits and how to hold hybrid events - which are events which have both physical and virtual attendees - as well as a capabilities development plan to support enterprises in the industry.

The roadmap was developed by the Singapore Association of Convention and Exhibition Organisers and Suppliers (Saceos) with Enterprise Singapore (ESG) and the Singapore Tourism Board (STB).

Speaking at a briefing on Thursday, Saceos president Aloysius Arlando said: "The (roadmap) will help Mice enterprises reflect and rediscover ways to rebuild a successful business and restore the vibrancy and competitiveness of the industry."

The second edition of the roadmap, which is being developed and will be unveiled at a later date, will expand on business model development and other capabilities required to help firms in the Mice industry to pivot successfully to the hybrid model amid the coronavirus pandemic.

Organisers have been able to apply to pilot Mice events with up to 250 attendees from Oct 1, and all proposals will be reviewed by STB and the Ministry of Trade and Industry.

The first hybrid Mice event with up to 250 attendees will be the Singapore International Energy Week conference, which will be held at Marina Bay Sands from Oct 26 to 30.

Mr Arlando noted that as events progress towards a hybrid model, organisers would need to deal with physical and virtual audiences and consider how to best engage them in both offline and online mediums. What they eventually settle on will depend on their business model, he said.

"We have to be mindful (of) what could be a steady-state model, and that's something which we hope to really discover through these number of pilot events, and hopefully arrive at a commercially viable and hopefully viable hybrid platform," Mr Arlando added.

Saceos vice president of digital and innovation Veemal Gungadin also explained that there is some investment outlay involved with holding hybrid events, such as setting up studios, purchasing new equipment and other infrastructure needs to meet the safe management measures set out by the Government.

This means that, at the start, it will probably cost more to hold hybrid events, as compared to conventional physical events, he said.

"(But) there are initiatives that are ongoing to have, for example, more centralised systems...that can be leveraged on. With economies of scale, on a per event basis, costs goes down," Mr Gungadin said.

A memorandum of understanding was also signed between Saceos and the National Trades Union Congress to establish the Mice and Events Capability Building Network on Thursday.

This effort, which is supported by STB, ESG, Workforce Singapore and SkillsFuture Singapore, will help to facilitate the capability development of Mice professionals, including freelancers and self-employed persons.

The network will partner with educational institutions to develop blueprints of new and refreshed career paths, as well as to create and curate training programmes to support industry recovery.

The guide for holding Mice events safely can be found here.