By Susheela Menon
HR leaders have always understood the need for leaders, employees and customers to connect well for better business prospects, whether for banking jobs and financial jobs, even to those that are in the events industry. MICE events are today organised with speciﬁc goals in mind and organisers are starting to feel the pressure of providing impeccable technical support, hybrid venues and hassle- free services.
With 1100 events confirmed for 2012, Resorts World Sentosa (RWS) hopes to increase events by at least 20% as it opens two additional hotels, the Marine Life Park, and a wellness sanctuary to attract MICE events and business travellers. The Singapore Expo Convention and Exhibition Centre (Singex) too looks forward to having a number of companies hosting its events with the centre this year and predicts a greater variety of events. Singapore’s prominent MICE venues are seeing a vibrant and growing business despite talks of global downturns and budget limits. What should HR leaders look for when organising MICE events and do event organisers have what it takes to match their expectations?
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Women’s Fashion Week Singapore 2011 was held in Marina Bay Sands, which transformed its expo halls into a Parisian boulevard for the event. Says Mike Lee, Vice President of Sales, Marina Bay Sands (MBS), “We encourage event organisers to think out-of-the-box and utilise every avenue available to make their event memorable.” MBS also sees itself as a one-stop service place with its MICE team equipped with all kinds of infrastructure and expertise. It reflects an optimistic outlook for the MICE industry this year. As HR leaders target specific goals at every event, venues are chosen after considering a number of criteria that determine the objectives of the event. Being cost-effective is important but the venue must also be able to help the event work with the company’s ROI and ROE goals. Issa Jouaneh, Vice President and General Manager of American Express Meetings & Events, says that new trends are coming up in venue selection. “Local venues and mid-tier properties are viable options that can fit a budget and meeting goals. However, in the Asia-Pacific region, we see that large cities remain the preferred destination for meetings.” Jouaneh says that as companies are starting to get smart about meetings, this traditionally unmanaged industry is coming into its own. “h e value of meetings is recognised as a key enabler of deepening connections with customers and suppliers in a way that leads to loyalty and business growth,” he says.