Marina Bay Sands took home the highly-regarded ‘Exceptional Achievement’ award last night at the Singapore Tourism Board’s (STB) annual Singapore Tourism Awards – making it the first hospitality establishment and meetings, incentives, conventions and exhibitions (MICE) venue in Singapore to be conferred the prestigious title.
The award comes after the integrated resort was named ‘Best Business Event Venue’ for three consecutive years since 2015.
Ian Wilson, Senior Vice President of Non-Gaming Operations, Marina Bay Sands, said: “We are humbled to be conferred the ‘Exceptional Achievement’ award by the Singapore Tourism Board. This would not have been possible without our dedicated Team Members who continually raise the bar to deliver exceptional service. We also want to thank our clients for the trust and confidence they have placed in us through the years. As Marina Bay Sands crosses our eighth year of operations this year, we will continue to transform Singapore’s business tourism landscape as we strive to deliver an all-rounded destination experience that combines business with leisure.”
Oliver Chong, Executive Director, Communications and Marketing Capability, Singapore Tourism Board said, “We are pleased to recognise Marina Bay Sands for their exceptional achievement in consistently delivering outstanding experiences for business events and visitors. We hope that more industry players will be inspired by this recognition to create even more enriching experiences for event attendees and contribute to Singapore’s appeal as a top business destination.”
On the same night, Marina Bay Sands also took home the Best Shopping Mall Experience award for The Shoppes at Marina Bay Sands.
John Postle, Vice President of Retail, Marina Bay Sands, said: “The Shoppes at Marina Bay Sands is exceptionally pleased to be a third-time recipient of ‘the Best Shopping Mall Experience’ conferred by the Singapore Tourism Board. Since opening in 2010, we have been driven by the vision to create highly compelling retail experiences that continue to draw shoppers from all over the world to Singapore. In the midst of a rapidly changing retail landscape, our constant innovation through reinvestment and introducing unique retail concepts have paid off. We are humbled by our win, and will continue to build on this success in the years to come.”
Major MICE tradeshows and conferences coming up
As a leading MICE venue, Marina Bay Sands has always been at the forefront of Singapore’s growth as a MICE destination. In 2017, the integrated resort hosted over 3,500 events, which collectively drew over 1.4 million delegates. It has also brought in over 610 new-to-Singapore events since opening.
A host of notable flagship tradeshows, high-profile conferences and first-to-Asia and Singapore events across diverse industries are also being lined up for the year.
In March 2018, the integrated resort played host to two high profile back-to-back events, YPO and the first-to-Singapore tradeshow, Money 20/20 Asia. Marina Bay Sands is the only venue in the world to host YPO more than once, following the group’s last successful event in 2012. Money 20/20 Asia is also set to return to the integrated resort in 2019.
Terry O’Connor, YPO EDGE 2018 Host City Chair and former Regional Chair of Southeast Asia, said: “YPO members had a sensational week at Marina Bay Sands. The event was seamless, and I’m overwhelmed by the gratitude that they’ve expressed for the experience that they had in Singapore and at the integrated resort. A large part of that was due to the service we had from Marina Bay Sands’ MICE team – every level of detail was thought through, from the hospitality to the food and beverage arrangements. The collaboration between the YPO team and the Marina Bay Sands team was awesome.”
Tracey Davies, President of Money 20/20 Asia, said: “Our debut Money 20/20 show in Singapore was amazing, and we’ve received really amazing feedback on delegate experience and content. From an organiser perspective, we really appreciate how the team at Marina Bay Sands was incredibly flexible because we do things very differently. We redrew our floor plan, added features continuously, and we appreciate how patient and helpful the integrated resort’s team was. We are delighted to be coming back to Singapore and Marina Bay Sands next year, and all our customers, delegates and sponsors are also looking forward to returning in 2019.”
Many reputable international tradeshows, organised by established meeting planners such as REED Exhibitions, UBM, Comexposium, and Messe Berlin, have called Marina Bay Sands home in the past few years.
From 21 to 24 May 2018, the integrated resort is set to welcome over 1,000 luxury travel buyers and suppliers on property for the International Luxury Travel Market (ILTM) Asia Pacific edition. During the four-day event, Marina Bay Sands will be the platform for these delegates to network, transact knowledge and do business within one of the world’s most exquisite hospitality establishments.
Marina Bay Sands has also built a strong pipeline of returning shows, with an annual average of 34 per cent repeat events over the past four years. This can be attributed to the integrated resort’s unique business model, as well as its MICE team’s track record of co-creating memorable experiences for clients.
This year, Marina Bay Sands will once again welcome prominent healthcare event Medical Fair Asia for its 12th edition following the show’s successful debut at the integrated resort in 2016; ConnecTechAsia (encompassing CommunicAsia and NXT Asia); the 8th Singapore International Water Week; as well as ITB Asia – which will be holding its fifth consecutive show at Sands Expo.
Come 2019, Marina Bay Sands will also officially welcome the annual International Furniture Fair Singapore (IFFS), Asia’s premier design-led sourcing platform, to Sands Expo from 9 to 12 March.
Global media, digital and creative communications leader Dentsu Aegis Network, held their Asian Global Leadership Conference for the first time in Singapore at Marina Bay Sands in March this year. In June 2018, more than 1,000 C-level executives from over 70 countries are expected to gather at Marina Bay Sands for the Consumer Goods Forum Global Summit, which returns to Singapore after 20 years.
A choice venue for Association Meetings
Marina Bay Sands is also fast becoming the choice destination for high-level association meetings. The integrated resort hosted a record number of 50 association meetings in 2017, up from the annual average of 40. The increase in the number of association meetings hosted demonstrates Marina Bay Sands’ growing position as an innovation hub in Singapore.
Last year, the integrated resort successfully hosted five major new-to-Singapore association meetings – three of which were held under the Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers (IEEE) umbrella and two others by the International Union of Microbiological Societies (IUMS) and the World Congress on Safety and Health at Work organised by the International Labour Organisation (ILO).
Marina Bay Sands will continue to see strong growth in its association meetings portfolio as it strives to become the home of IEEE events in the region. In 2018, Sands Expo will host three IEEE-related conferences – including the recently concluded INTERMAG 2018 in April, the International Symposium on the Physical and Failure Analysis of Integrated Circuits (IPFA) in July, as well as the upcoming International Conference on Intelligent Rail Transport (ICIRT) in December.
The integrated resort is also set to expand its portfolio of healthcare and pharmaceutical events with the inaugural Dental Aesthetics Meeting in Asia (DAMA) taking place in September 2018, the 28th World Congress on Ultrasound in Obstetrics and Gynecology in October 2018, and the International Council of Nurses (ICN) Congress in 2019.
Marina Bay Sands builds MICE leadership team
With an eye on the future, Marina Bay Sands has also made two key senior leadership appointments to lead the MICE team into its next stage of growth.
Industry veteran Ong Wee Min, who joined Marina Bay Sands in 2012, has expanded his role in the integrated resort. As the newly appointed Vice President of Conventions and Exhibitions, Wee Min is responsible for the overall management of Sands Expo and Convention Centre to ensure its continued success as the top business events venue in the region.
The integrated resort has also promoted another industry veteran Ailynn Seah as Vice President of MIC and Association Sales to oversee the Regional and MIC Sales team, with an added focus on growing the integrated resort’s Association Meetings portfolio.
Ian Wilson added: “The success of our MICE business is built on having a strong pool of talented employees, with the right leaders to lead them. This is especially important in an industry that relies heavily on people, relationships and networks. Wee Min and Ailynn are two highly-respected and recognised individuals in the MICE industry. With these new senior leadership appointments, I am confident that our integrated resort is well-placed to enhance our status as a leading MICE destination in Asia, and our clients can certainly be assured that they are in the best hands when they hold their events with us.”