Jeannie Lim, executive director, conventions and meetings, at the Singapore Tourism Board (STB) set the context for the conference break out session ‘Business (Events) as usual? Maintaining Singapore’s position in the face of global change’ with a business update.
According to the Global Opportunity Analysis and Industry Forecast 2017-2023 by Allied Market Research, the global MICE Industry generated a revenue of US$752 billion and is expected to grow at a CAGR (Compound Annual Growth Rate) of 7.5% (2017-2023) to reach US$1,245 billion by 2023.
According to The Committee on the Future Economy Report, published in 2017, the Lion City needs to remain an open economy, be bold and innovative, and develop new skillsets in areas like cyber-security and data analytics if it wants to stay ahead of the competition.
As well as powerful platforms for knowledge exchange, STB’s Lim, said business events are important economic accelerators for Singapore. She stated that mergers and acquisitions via horizontal and vertical integrations within the events sector are increasing the industry’s global footprint and will help to better cater to evolving customer needs.
The ‘festivalisation’ of events is evidence of this trend – where hybrid events offer delegates learning opportunities, business networking and entertainment. Business events now include B2B2C components, enhanced by newer technologies like augmented and virtual reality, to deliver greater return, not just on investment, but on impact as well as engagement.
To stay ahead of the pack, Pico Global senior vice president, Darren Lim, said ‘first mover advantage’ is key and identified gaming and E-Sports as a growth opportunity for event curators.
He highlighted events like ChinaJoy, a digital entertainment expo held annually in Shanghai, which attracts an engaged community of fans with a highly profitable fusion of AR VR, gaming, e-sports, anime and wearable tech.
Building communities through meaningful engagement is a strategy supported by Selina Chavry, global managing director at Pacific World, who examined case studies such as C2 Montreal and Singapore MICE Forum.
“Even if the demographic of the participants is diverse, our events must have a good variety of knowledge sessions that are engaging and motivating, she said.