2018 was an amazing showcase for MICE and business events in Singapore.
The city-state hosted numerous high-profile international business and political conferences and introduced exciting new content and conferences to its already busy events calendar. Singapore always puts on a great show and has cemented its mark as the place in Asia for regional thought leadership, amazing events and experiences.
The little red dot was ranked the most competitive events city in Asia in the inaugural Global Competitive Meetings Index 2018. It also retains the crown of Top Convention City in Asia – a title it has cemented for the last 16 years. The business event community’s world-class professionalism, expertise and execution, combined with excellent infrastructure, and hospitality proves unmatched. Business travellers wanting to do business in Asia have ample opportunities to plan a visit, meet prospective clients and buyers, expand into Asia and be part of the excitement and buzz.
Amongst the over 400 major business events that Singapore hosted in 2018, headliners included the historic meeting between the United States President and North Korean Leader at the Trump-Kim Singapore Summit (June 2018), 33rd ASEAN Summit 2018 (November 2018) and the Bloomberg New Economy Forum (November 2018). These challenging and high-profile events, confirmed at the last minute, put Singapore’s MICE industry to the test. The inaugural Bloomberg New Economy Forum hosted by Michael Bloomberg for 400 of the world’s top business leaders was originally slated to be held in Beijing but the organisers shifted the meeting to Singapore at short notice due to ongoing trade war tensions between the United States and China. In a matter of weeks, Singapore’s MICE industry was mobilised and put together the event, sparing no expense. A welcome dinner at the Clifford Pier showcasing local cuisine made for a unique dining experience and venue. Michael Bloomberg had nothing but praise for Singapore and shared that “ I[Michael Bloomberg] don’t think there is any other country that could have become a host for us as quickly and as efficiently as you[Singapore] did, the people in the country could not have been nicer and more efficient…”
Despite our size, Singapore proved it can organise events of any size. In November, it hosted the world’s largest FinTech event – The Singapore FinTech Festival 2018 with over 45,000 delegates from 130 countries, 250 speakers and 500 exhibitors. Into its third edition, it continues to be the biggest FinTech event in the world and a global platform for the community to connect, collaborate and co-create. Other mega trade fairs including Food & Hotel Asia 2018 saw a turnout of 48,000 trade attendees spread across two venues, while the sixth edition of the biennial Singapore Airshow 2018 saw its best ever turnout of 54,000 trade attendees from 147 countries. A 13 per cent increase from the previous edition proved that no matter the size, Singapore can deliver.
Today, in an ever-changing global economy and landscape, people need to meet more than ever to understand new industries and trends, establish new contacts and network to stay relevant and expand their businesses. This is where Singapore’s investment in nurturing original and new-to-market content tailored for Asia is instrumental. In 2018, Singapore hosted new content and events in various industries, including the Industry Transformation Asia Pacific (ITAP) 2018 – A Hannover Messe Event. The inaugural Asian leg of the world’s leading trade show for industrial technology. showcased the newest ideas in advanced manufacturing. Other notable new events in Singapore included Brainstorm Design 2018 presented by Fortune, TIME and Wallpaper*. Part of the annual Singapore Design Week (February 2018), it saw creative thought leaders discuss the transformative power of design in businesses. At the inaugural Asia Derma 2018 (December 2018), the Asia-Pacific Dermatology & Aesthetic Conference & Exhibition tackled the pressing dermatology challenges faced in the Asia Pacific region. Lastly, International Luxury Travel Mart (ILTM) Asia Pacific 2018 made the strategic move from Hong Kong to Singapore, re-positioning itself as the preeminent travel mart for the whole of Asia-Pacific. It hosted 538 luxury travel buyers comprising of high-end travel agents, concierge companies and private travel designers from 16 countries across the Asia-Pacific.
To all our fellow colleagues and industry friends, what a year it has been! Congratulations on putting on a great show! We’re proud to be part of your community and the meaningful work that you do.
Here’s to another great year of events and collaborations in 2019. Salut!
*Featured image credit: Bloomberg New Economy Forum