COVID-19: Two B2B events to trial safe management framework for up to 50 attendees

Staff Writer, Singapore
·Editorial Team
·3-min read
Suntec Real Estate Investment Trust ("Suntec REIT") is the first composite REIT in Singapore, owning income-producing real estate that is primarily used for office and/or retail purposes. (PHOTO: Suntec REIT)
Suntec Singapore Convention and Exhibition Centre. (PHOTO: Suntec REIT)

SINGAPORE — The Singapore Tourism Board (STB) will trial a safe management framework of up to 50 attendees for business-to-business (B2B) events, in preparation for the resumption of meetings, conventions, exhibitions and trade shows amid the COVID-19 pandemic.

In a media release on Wednesday (22 July), STB said the safe management framework will be applied to two “hybrid” events, featuring a mix of face-to-face and virtual interactions which are likely to be the norm for business events in the near future.

The events are the IEEE International Conference on Computational Electromagnetics (24 to 26 August) and the Asia Pacific MedTech Virtual Forum (24 September). Each event will feature a maximum of 50 on-site attendees, in addition to approximately 1,000 attendees participating virtually across both events.

For instance, delegates at the IEEE International Conference on Computational Electromagnetics can take part in virtual networking and online discussions, which may be complemented by physical panel discussions and networking events.

Five key outcomes necessary for event organisers

The two events were selected as pilots because their organisers have actively engaged event venues as well as STB to examine the safe management measures required for a safe event.

Should they proceed smoothly, STB may allow other similar B2B events that can implement the requisite safe management measures to resume gradually.

The framework is based on strict measures, with event organisers needing to achieve five key outcomes:

  • Infection control measures for every stage of an event attendee’s journey (pre- to post-event);

  • Limits on crowd density (for example, by ensuring at least 1 metre spacing between individuals at all times);

  • Limits on close contacts between individuals (for example, by ensuring no intermingling between different sub-groups);

  • Ensuring a safe and clean environment;

  • Preparing for emergencies relating to COVID-19.

The resumption of B2B events under Phase 2 also requires the prior approval of the Ministry of Trade and Industry.

Businesses that do not comply with the above framework may be fined and/or jailed under the COVID-19 (Temporary Measures) Act. They will also be ineligible for government grants, loans, tax rebates and other assistance.

Roadmap to establish standards, create business models

STB and Enterprise Singapore are also collaborating with the Singapore Association of Convention and Exhibition Organisers and Suppliers (SACEOS) to formulate a roadmap to establish standards for new event safety measures, create business models with focus on digital capabilities, and develop pathways for professional development amid the post-pandemic world.

“Our industry is at a strategic crossroads, and I am heartened that many of our members and industry players have leveraged this crisis as an opportunity to innovate and up-skill,” said SACEOS president Aloysius Arlando.

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