Singapore Tourism Board
(STB), Professional Convention Management Association
(PCMA) and UFI
(The Global Association of the Exhibition Industry) have partnered to launch a white paper titled “Reimagining Business Events – Through COVID-19 and Beyond”.
The business events sector supported nearly 26 million jobs and contributed US$1.5 trillion to global GDP in 2017, which would rank it as the 13th largest economy globally, surpassing those of Australia, Mexico and Saudi Arabia. COVID-19 changed all that. In 2020, the global travel and hospitality suffered a loss of US$935 billion, with the business events industry among the worst hit. The onset of the pandemic was a wake-up call for the industry, heavily dependent on physical interaction, to reinvent itself.
Launched at the first hybrid Singapore MICE Forum x IBTM Wired at Marina Bay Sands on 28 June 2021, the white paper is the first such collaboration between a destination and leading associations representing the exhibitions, conventions and meetings industry. It takes stock of how various sectors within the industry have transformed in response to COVID-19, and consolidates ideas from around the world to help business event organisers rethink their offerings and operations.
Mr Keith Tan, Chief Executive, Singapore Tourism Board, said: “The pandemic has emphasised the need to innovate and be nimble in the business events sector. This journey of transformation is not a sprint, but a marathon that extends beyond the pandemic.”
Mr Sherrif Karamat, President and CEO, PCMA, said: “Our success in emerging from the pandemic is dependent on our ability to solve the transformational challenges of our audiences. The pandemic forced us to look at how we deliver on what our audiences need and what they want to be successful for the future. While the pandemic has changed the way our audiences engage with business events, it has not altered their desired outcomes from these events.”
„The pandemic has emphasised the need to innovate.“
The white paper highlights three innovation pillars to successfully reimagine the industry: Business Models; Delegate Experience; and Talent & Capabilities. STB, PCMA and UFI obtained perspectives from international industry practitioners who embraced and exemplified these considerations, adopted a growth mindset and piloted successful concepts. The case studies from Singapore, Australia, Italy and the United States include those from event planners and organisers, venue and tour operators, industry and trade associations and a multi-sector recovery taskforce.
Mr Kai Hattendorf, Managing Director & Chief Executive Officer, UFI, said: “Business event companies and their customers across Asia-Pacific have shown themselves to be more open to digital business developments than their global peer group. And looking forward, exhibitors in Asia are now much more optimistic about their budgets than they were in summer 2020. We hope that this white paper is useful in showing some of the approaches and opportunities that lie ahead for business events as the fastest of all fast tracks for economic recovery.”www.ufi.org/Reimagining-Business-Events-White-Paper-June-2021.pdf