SINGAPORE - A travel event in November will be the first trade show here to pilot new safety measures for meetings, incentives, conventions and exhibitions (Mice) events, like automated registration kiosks, amid the Covid-19 pandemic.
The TravelRevive trade show will also trial contactless technology following the easing of rules for Mice events announced in September.
For instance, by scanning QR codes, attendees will be able to register for the event and download the booth materials of exhibitors thus minimising contact between them, said Messe Berlin (Singapore), the organiser of the ITB Asia trade show, on Monday (Oct 5).
The two-day TravelRevive event is organised by Messe Berlin (Singapore) and the Singapore Tourism Board (STB). It runs from Nov 25 to 26 and will be held at Marina Bay Sands Expo and Convention Centre.
Other safety measures that will be in place for TravelRevive include plexiglass shields in exhibition booths and meeting pods which will allow for private meetings between exhibitors and buyers.
These meeting pods will ensure the safety of those at the event, since they reduce the transmission of droplets which are known to spread the coronavirus, said Messe Berlin (Singapore).
In addition, social distancing ambassadors will be deployed onsite, the conference room floor plan will be reconfigured to allow for social distancing and contact tracing will be conducted.
The event is expected to host 150 people from various Asian countries and the measures it is trialling come after STB in September announced relaxed rules for Mice events that were in place to limit the spread of Covid-19.
STB said then that event organisers could apply to pilot bigger Mice events with up to 250 participants from Oct 1.
This is an increase from the previous maximum number of attendees of 50 and is in line with the gradual resumption of economic activities in Singapore. It also comes after a successful pilot in August for an event with up to 50 delegates.
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 STB in 2019.
Mice business travellers are also high-yield visitors who spend close to double that of leisure travellers. But the Mice industry is among the sectors most severely affected by the Covid-19 pandemic.
For November's TravelRevive, the new safety measures for Mice events to be tested there were developed by the Alliance for Action on Enabling Safe and Innovative Visitor Experiences.
The alliance is one of the alliances formed under the Emerging Stronger Taskforce. These alliances are industry-led and government supported coalitions that test ideas in key strategic areas for Singapore during the Covid-19 pandemic.
Messe Berlin (Singapore) said on Monday that the alliance is working with relevant Government agencies and industry stakeholders to deploy "digital enablers" for TravelRevive to "facilitate a seamless and safe visitor experience journey" from before event participants arrive to 14 days after the event.
The alliance has also designed itineraries, comprising a selection of leisure activities that comply with prevailing safe management guidelines, which will be trialled with the attendees of TravelRevive.
These itineraries could serve as a model for small groups of international visitors when international travel resumes eventually, Messe Berlin (Singapore) said.
Last Thursday, STB called a tender to appoint two to three destination management companies to design and pilot these itineraries for TravelRevive participants.
The proposals submitted by these companies are expected to provide peace of mind to delegates during the event, said STB.
In their proposals, companies should also allow for data collection of delegate preferences which will go towards developing and refining future itineraries.
They should also gather feedback on the capabilities and skillsets the itineraries require.
Those submitting proposals have until Oct 19, 4pm, to do so.
Besides testing new safety measures, TravelRevive will have virtual elements, such as a live telecast of conferences, on-demand sessions and an online exhibitor directory.
Exhibitors attending the travel event include STB and Sentosa Development Corporation. Other attendees expected include travel trade professionals including buyers, sellers, national tourism organisations and media outlets.
STB's assistant chief executive Yap Chin Siang said that public health and safety remain Singapore's priority and the board has worked closely with the industry to create strict protocols to reimagine what a safe and high-quality business event could look like.
"Together with our industry, we want to set Singapore apart as the world's leading destination for safe, trusted and innovative business events," he said.