Whenever Singapore is mentioned, one would often associate it with its multi-cultural cuisine unparalleled shopping experiences and tall skyscrapers. But the bustling city is also a growing hub for business events, having established itself as one of the world’s leading destinations for MICE (Meetings, Incentives, Conventions & Exhibitions) tourism.
The city-state, named Top International Meeting City for 10 years by the Union of International Associations (UIA), saw a busy year in 2017, with events such as the ASEAN Tourism Forum, Singapore MICE Forum 2017 and the Singapore FinTech Festival, taking place here. As the chair of the ASEAN in 2018, this year the city-state will also host the 33rd ASEAN Summit, an ideal opportunity for integrated resorts like the Marina Bay Sands to showcase what they can offer the business community.
Since its opening in 2010, Marina Bay Sands has helped Singapore drive ahead of global and regional competition by attracting more than 610 new MICE events to the city-state, including the YPO, the world’s largest annual gathering of chief executives, and the International Trademark Association Annual Meeting. Collectively, these events have brought millions of international delegates to Singapore over the years – further raising the country’s profile as a top business events venue across the globe.
“The MICE business is a very critical element of our business plan here and it takes up a substantial amount of space within our building,” says George Tanasijevich, President and CEO of Marina Bay Sands.
Indeed, the integrated resort’s (IR) Sands Expo and Convention Centre is Singapore’s largest and most versatile meeting space, featuring over 1.3 million square feet of flexible space and the capacity to host up to 45,000 delegates. In 2017 alone, Sands Expo hosted over 3,500 events with more than 1.4 million attendees.
This year, Marina Bay Sands became the first hospitality establishment and MICE venue in Singapore to receive the Singapore Tourism Board’s ‘Exceptional Achievement’ award. This comes after the integrated resort was named ‘Best Business Event Venue’ for three consecutive years since 2015.
The beauty of its MICE model is that Sands Expo sits within an award-winning integrated resort that constantly evolves with refreshed programming – allowing organizers unique spaces to network and do business, and also a place to stay and indulge in leisure offerings, all under one iconic roof.
“The government, in its forward-thinking approach, recognized that the most attractive space for event organizers and delegates is the MICE space that sits in an integrated resort,” he says. “That's because of the convenience factor where you have everything situated under one roof. You have unique venue spaces to hold special events outside of the MICE facility but within Marina Bay Sands.”
He adds: “It eases the opportunity to develop relationships and grow your business. That's something that is extremely important for both our business model and for the overall goal of Singapore.”