Key highlights of Singapore MICE 2020 in next 5 years for event planners

BannerThe MICE 2020 roadmap was released in end 2014 and remains a useful tool to understand the key trends for the next 5 years in the MICE (Meetings, Incentive Travel, Conventions and Exhibitions) industry. Wherever you are based at, Singapore is likely a MICE destination you will come across. Being Asia’s top convention city for the 10th straight year, Singapore is a world-class MICE destination you don’t want to miss out on.

Best of all, the Singapore Tourism Board has developed a strategy to bring MICE Singapore to greater heights. As event planners, the roadmap serves as a useful guide to spot new opportunities and leverage new systems. Here are a few things you should keep your tabs on.

Credits: Singapore Tourism Board

1. Move to Big Data

– It’s time to leverage big data for your events. Big data can be extremely useful for event planners to track attendee behaviour over time and spot key stats so that you you can plan your event smarter

– STB will be offering more educational opportunities to businesses and companies so it’s a great chance for you to learn how your events and businesses can tap big data

2. Seamless Wifi

– Make sure your event will be ready to leverage the availability of wifi as STB aims to partner with MICE venues and telcos to offer greater accessibility to free wifi.

wecip.com

How can you use this freely available wifi to engage with your event attendees better? How can you make your event more wifi-friendly?

Why not utilise real-time social media reporting for your event to inject some excitement and also encourage greater social media marketing! You can also get your event attendees to use their mobile phones to answer polls or engage with you!

3. Plan your event to coincide with a major event week

One of the visions in the Roadmap is to “Wrap the City Around the Business Event” and STB aims to develop city-wide activities and campaigns that centre around major business event weeks. Planning your event during a major event week can allow you to ride the coattails of an already well-publicised and well-established event so that your event will be an even greater success.

4. Key MICE grants

– For tourism companies

  • TIP-iT: Training Industry Professionals in Tourism scheme supports tourism companies in employee upgrading (Singapore-registered)
  • TTF: Tourism Technology Fund for technology innovation and adoption (Singapore-registered)

– If you’re in the business events industry

  • BEis: Business Events in Singapore (BEiS) scheme seeks to encourage business events industry to anchor and grow quality events and catalyse innovation of new content (Open to all Businesses/ Companies/ Associations in MICE)
  • BIF: Business Improvement Fund supports companies to redesign their business models, processes and systems for commercial sustainability (Singapore-registered)

– For experimenting new concepts

  • KF: Kickstart Fund supports creation and test-bedding of innovative lifestyle concepts and events with strong tourism potential and scalability (Open to all legal entities)

5. Innovate and adopt event technology

STB aims to help businesses and companies adopt technology across the event life cycle, from event registration and ticketing to engagement and post-event analytics.

There has never been a better time to begin accelerating business growth as we see a boom in tech and greater government support, both financially and operationally to execute this.

sxsw.com

Singapore is moving to become a smarter city by leveraging on the Internet of Things (IOT) and big data. STB understands that events are key to developing Singapore’s status as a vibrant, open, friendly and world-class hub. Therefore, positioning your event or business in a way that allows you to tap on new technologies that Singapore will adopt, looking out for educational and upgrading opportunities, networking with the right crowd and partnering Singapore-based businesses who will also be looking to leverage these opportunities (if you are not Singapore-registered), can help you maximise the next 5 years in Singapore’s MICE industry.

 

Request for a copy of the roadmap by emailing Norhayati_SAMAD@stb.gov.sg with your full name, designation, company, name of the report and its intended use. 

With inputs from https://www.stb.gov.sg/industries/mice and Singapore MICE 2020 Roadmap 

 

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Unconventional hackathons for different event needs

Once the sole domain of tech companies and startups, the hackathon has invaded almost every industry. Event planners organise hackathons for different objectives, ranging from recruitment and networking to marketing and education.

The hackathon is an event, usually a competition, for techies that span 2 full days in which software developers, hardware developers, designers and project managers collaborate intensely to develop an innovative project. However, many companies are adapting this format and organising more unconventional hackathons for their own purposes.

1) Non-competitive hackathons

Some hackathon organisers are removing the competitive element to create a more collaborative element while possibly saving money on prizes. It creates a more friendly environment for less experienced participants to join in and learn from more experienced ones. People are more willing to take the time to teach because they are not too preoccupied with winning. In addition, ideas are much more creative as there are tie-ups and cooperation between teams and this leads to more breakthroughs.

Techcrunch.com

However, the drawback is that people tend to work slower and are sometimes less motivated to push themselves to the ultimate limit. Yet, the presentations at the fintech hackathon Hack/Make the Bank 2015 organised at Level 39 still had high quality pitches.

2) Very short hackathons

For the event planners that cannot find a venue for a 2-day hackathon or lack the logistical resources to do so, a short hackathon could just do the trick.

PA Consulting, based in London recently organised a one-hour hackathon. It mainly focused on developing an idea and creating a quick prototype. It served as a great networking session for busy professionals and was awesome for employer branding as people could understand what the company did on a deeper level and forge stronger relationships by working together.

http://hackevents.co/hackathon/united-kingdom/london/714-the-one-hour-hackathon

nytimes.com

3) Non-technical hackathons

The most common non-technical hackathon are business hackathons that mainly focus on the ideation, business building processes and the pitch. Code-free hackathons like Protohack are great for generating less technical solutions, while not excluding them entirely. Prototypes however, tend to be less advanced as it’s difficult to build any actual programmes or products without coding experience.

Photo Credits: mashable.com

4) Virtual hackathons

Working over the Internet on sharing platforms can also get the job done. The best thing about virtual hackathons is the ability to draw participants from all over the world. However, it is difficult to sustain successful teams as there is too little face-to-face contact and time zone issues.

 

What all the hackathons have in common is the culture of encouraging innovation, building and breaking things and teamwork. As long as these values are promulgated, the hackathon will be successful whatever form it takes,

 

Need help planning your next hackathon? Want to reach out to the startup community?

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How to use the festive season to plan a successful charity event

For event planners in the charity sector, the festive season is a stressful period. It’s not called the season of giving for nothing, as most people donate most generously during this period. Event planners must maximise donations during events in the festive season. Here are a few tips and fundraising event ideas to help you tide through this busy but joyous period!

1) Spread positive cheers

Most charities love to make potential donors emotional by showing the plight of the less fortunate and contrasting it with our more fortunate circumstances. So getting your donors to smile and feel happy through your charity event will definitely set you apart!

Get creative in how you can plan a positive and great-humoured event, such as a marathon in the cold that would enable your attendees to feel a sense of accomplishment and fulfillment during this festive season.  You can still highlight the plight of less advantaged people to everyone else during the festive season but do so in a less explicit and more positive way!

Getting your donors to smile can make your event more enjoyable and make your attendees feel more generous! Photo Credits: breathingmatters.co.uk

 

2) Pick your venue wisely to minimise cost

Many venue owners will be putting in money and time to decorate their venues for the festive season. Use this to your advantage! Many otherwise less than stellar venues will light up this festive season and you can grab them at lower costs compared to conventionally better venues.

Be sure as well to think about the venue location. Will there be bad traffic nearby? Will your event attendees find it impossible to park their cars if you hold the event there?

Photo Credits: bigislandchronicle.com

 

3) Coinciding with public holidays

This really depends. Scheduling your event to fall over the public holidays may mean that families can partake in your festivities together. But it may also mean stiffer competition from other events and higher costs. Instead of jostling for those few dates, why not have the event before the public holidays to kickstart a series of festivities. After the event, enhance your online presence or amplify your fundraising efforts as a follow-up to the event.

Photo Credits: sengkangbabies.com

 

4) Bring in the kids…

…and you automatically bring in the parents.

Photo Credits: heart.co.uk

Plan a family-friendly event to bring in even more people!

 

5) Leveraging traditions and culture to market your event

Retail stores have done this the best by using the tradition of giving gifts to encourage crazy shopping. For a charity, why not start a tradition of giving back or sending a gift to your charity during the festive season?

You can also organise Christmas fairs, gift wrapping services and Christmas parties as people are most interested in these sorts of events during this time!

Photo Credits: gordonator.com

And with the surplus of unwanted gifts, auctions, appeals and collections can be extremely successful during this time! Why not plan an event that combines these aspects?

 

Need help with onsite registration and check-in for your next charity event? 

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Photo Credits: telegraph.co.uk

Photo Credits: telegraph.co.uk

Deepavali/Diwali around the world in pictures

Deepavali, or better known as Diwali around the world was celebrated on 11 Nov 2015. The Festival of Lights is celebrated by all Hindus to commemorate Lord Rama and his wife, Sita’s return to Ayodhya after his 14-year exile. It was a dark night when they first returned hence his people lit their houses with little lamps (diyas) so that Rama and Sita could find their way. It is always a great spectacle of dazzling lights, events and community.

Here are some pictures of people celebrating Diwali all around the world:

PC: Navesh Chitraker/ Reuters

Diwali is celebrated in Nepal. Known as Tihar, animals are praised for their loyalty to humans. PC: Navesh Chitraker/ Reuters

cnn dhaka

People celebrating Diwali in Dhaka, Bangladesh PC: CNN

hindu widows vrindavan burn firecrackers cnn

Hindu widows in Vrindavan India burn firecrackers, PC: CNN

Mumbai-Diwali go4travelblog

Diwali celebrated in Mumbai, PC: go4travelblog.com

diwali singapore

Singapore lights up Little India with decorations, PC: Yoursingapore.com

new york indianeagle

New Yorkers celebrate Diwali at Times Square, PC: indianeagle.com

nydailynews karachi

A woman lights up candles in Karachi, Pakistan, PC: nydailynews.com

london

London celebrates Diwali annually by throwing a huge bash in the middle of Trafalgar Square, PC: ndtv.com

delhi telegraph

Children celebrate with sparklers in New Delhi, India, PC: telegraph.co.uk

leicester diwali

Diwali in Leicester, UK with a spectacle of lights in the sky, PC: telegraph.co.uk

 

EventNook wishes all our Hindu friends a Happy Diwali!

 

If you are looking to plan a Diwali event, why not try out EventNook?

Whether it’s free or paid, EventNook can help you with online event registrationevent ticketing and onsite event registration and check-in!

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Tips for effective crowd management at oversubscribed events

An oversubscribed event should be a cause for celebration. But failure to manage event crowds can lead to congestion, bottlenecks and long queues, jeopardising the event experience for your attendees and causing unnecessary delays to your event schedule significantly. Here are a few steps to ensure that you keep event crowds in check and have control over the registration process from start to end.

Photo Credits: halfpastdone.com

1. Require online registration

Requiring your event attendees to register will help you keep track of the number of event attendees to expect. However, using the right tools to track is just as important. Facebook event invites, for instance, are not as accurate in indicating actual attendance. At the same time, you don’t want to overcomplicate the registration process.

A simple but reliable solution would be to create an online event registration website for RSVPs, which can be easily shared on all social media platforms and through emails.

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Try a free and convenient way to create event registration webpages here: https://www.eventnook.com/member/login?ReturnUrl=%2fmanage%2fcreate_event

2. Seat your attendees early

Make sure there is more than enough time for registration to take place (if on-site registration is absolutely necessary). Many event attendees would love to arrive early if they can get better seats or just beat the crowd, so opening registration early can help distribute the arrivals in a more manageable way for you.

3. Maximise venue entrances

Make sure you fully maximise all entrances at the venue. This doesn’t just mean finding all possible entries, but also ensuring the movement of your attendees and any potential queues are strategically planned.

Potential queues should not be blocking the main walking paths or cutting into other queues. Have a good idea of where your event attendees will be entering from and make sure there are clear directions from there. This will ensure that people move efficiently to where they should be rather than block up the entrances asking where they should go.

But make sure people don’t have to criss-cross queues to get to the other side of the venue just to join their queue. Know how to align potential queues in a way that is least disruptive.

Avoid snaky queues! Photo Credits: coinarcade.org

You may wish to have queues according to where the ticket-holder is sitting so that congestions inside the venue itself can be avoided.

Photo Credits: demotix.com

4. Coordinate with venue and hospitality staff

It is important to communicate with venue and hospitality staff prior to the event to ensure they remain up to date about all event details.

The tone they set through their service is also extremely important for the image of your event. Be it for an informal or formal event, an event for VIPs or non-VIPs, a young or old audience, the team of ushers, helpers and security should understand how to adapt their service to the people they are serving (and dressing as well)

ushers, smu, eventnook

Briefing the staff about logistical procedures clearly is basic protocol. Here are some things that you should bring up in your briefing:

  • Make sure to alert the team about any expected surges in arrivals
  • Make sure that emergency procedures are communicated properly.
  • Take note of parking arrangements which can lead to traffic congestion as well.
  • Acquaint them with any event tech they are using to check-in and register.

5. Use latest event tech for efficient check-in

There are various event tools out there to help you cope with event needs. For larger events, event tech tools such as EventNook’s iPad QR code check-in app not only helps you quickly check-in and track the arrival of event attendees (down to their names and designations) in real-time, it also provides a flexible ticketing system whereby you can conveniently check-in people who buy tickets on the spot. It is also extremely convenient for your event attendees, who can choose to just show their tickets on their smartphones without having to print it out.

EventNook's QR code onsite check in

The app has proven itself capable of checking in groups of above 3000 within a couple of hours, and is ideal for small and big events (read about it here: http://blog.eventnook.com/post/ipad-qr-code-check-in-and-registration-solution-smu-ho-rih-hwa-leadership-in-asia-public-lecture-series/).

pm lee, smu, eventnook

Using the latest event tech at your event also helps boost the professional look of the event and leaves a good impression on event attendees.

There is also no problem reviewing the check-in and registration process after the event as everything is properly updated in your account.

 

Need help with onsite registration and check-in for your next huge event? 

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Plan events the youths really want

If you are an older event planner, you might think the young people of today, the millennials, teenagers, youths, whatever you like to call them, are an alien species. They talk, behave, dress and interact in entirely different ways. It is easy to fall into the ‘uncool’ camp with this opinionated bunch.

Photo Credit: unyouth.org.au

But you don’t have to fret. While you may not understand the way younger event attendees truly think, you can keep to the following do’s and don’ts when engaging younger crowds at your events, to avoid major embarrassment, be it youth camps, youth conventions, music events, church camps or sports events

1. Know your social media

Social media lingo and the invisible rules of the digital space are just some things you have to quickly pick up to communicate effectively with youths today.

This includes the use of hashtags and social linguistics targeted specifically at younger event attendees so that you can effectively reach out to them. For this, it may be wise to consult an actual youth when managing your social media accounts.

Photo Credits: www.cnbc.com

Social media provides a platform for people to advertise what they like in a much more natural way, and the youths are making full use of that, sharing what they think and how they feel to everyone in their networks. When leveraged properly, younger event attendees can be a powerful marketing force. They can send your hashtag straight to what’s trending, and might even cause your posts to go viral. They are the gateways to the entire Internet community.

2. Don’t dumb down

Noone likes being spoken down to, and young people are no exception. In fact, you will be surprised at the level of maturity and the amount of experiences young people have today. Make sure to pitch the event at the right level to your target audience by learning about what they know and understand already.

More importantly, make sure your young audience is being heard. Place them first when designing marketing strategies. Make them central to the event.

3. Glide don’t grind (a.k.a. don’t seem like you’re trying too hard)

Event planners must plan events like swans on a lake, paddling furiously beneath the waters to move ahead, but looking calm and classy above water.

Today’s young people have seen some really crazy things through their smartphones. Therefore, extravagant displays and outrageous acts at events may not impress them. In fact, it may make your young attendees think that you are trying too hard.

This is tough advice to follow because you are going to have to try harder to not look like you are trying too hard. But that’s what millennials like to do, torture the older generations.

4. Harness traditional media

Word of mouth, official news publications, magazines, radios and TVs are still being perused by millennials. The youths still value hearing about an event from their friends and seeing posters about it on their school campus. Live roadshows and pre-events are also great ways to reach out to young people, who despite living part of their lives online, still value the power of meeting people face-to-face.

5. Optimise for every device

Smartphones, tablets and computers. Yes, your event should be present on all three and optimised. More people are buying tickets on their mobiles and tablets and a poorly optimised user interface can cause ticket buyers to give up before paying.

Image result for eventnook ipad

6. Don’t be boring

Everyone likes to have fun. But young people need to have fun. It is your duty as event planner to understand what your target audience’s definition of fun is.

Make sure not to take the event too seriously. Inject some personality. Young people are much less tolerant to boredom, so change it up, avoid long lectures with limited physical movement or audience participation and encourage as much interaction as possible.

7. Connect and engage

If you fail to put out a message that resonates with your younger audience, your event will be forgotten by next week, buried beneath all the other events your young attendee went to.

Young event attendees tend to go to events either for fun, for learning, to compete or by force. Not many appreciate the opportunity to network and may not see the point of a live event if they are not connecting with it.

One way to remain relevant is to continuously engage the young people. Let them drive the event marketing. Youths love to be part of something. They love to do exercise their influence so let them be heard. Naturally, this projects a much more youth-centric image of your event and you get to ensure your marketing strategy is on the right track!

 

Need help with event registration for your next event? Looking to plan events for young people?

Whether it’s free or paid, EventNook can help you with online event registrationevent ticketing and onsite event registration and check-in!

 for Free events!

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How to plan effective corporate retreats that deliver results

Lackluster corporate retreat planning can rack up huge losses for the company.

Firstly, there is the opportunity cost for the company when employees are not in the office. Secondly, employees may get more stressed out than usual as they fall behind on work.

So don’t waste time planning boring and repetitive corporate retreats. Instead, put in a little effort and apply these tips to make your corporate retreat time better well spent and truly effective for the company’s needs and growth.

raspberryfieldsfarm

Photo Credits: raspberryfieldsfarm.com

1. Know your goals

Corporate retreats can be used to achieve multiple goals at once. Plan to overachieve because with a bit of strategic planning, you can reach many more goals than what you thought you could.

A corporate retreat can do many things. Here are some you may not have thought of:

  • Improve team dynamics and trust
  • Generate creative solutions for difficult problems
  • Boost understanding of company amongst employees
  • Communicate important ideas and messages
  • Change strategic direction
  • Align everyone in same direction
  • Spark honest and insightful conversations and feedback
  • Etc.

2. Picking a venue strategically

Offsite corporate retreats are much more effective at tapping the creativity of the group because it creates a different environment from the office, preferably one that is open and invigorating.

Picking the right venue can help make your life as an event planner so much more easier. You will be able to plan your activities without worrying about lacking facilities or colleagues complaining about being uncomfortable.

Moreover, some of these venues provide assistance in planning and special venue features that actually facilitate team building and brainstorming so that you as an event planner can accomplish more at once!

Meeting Rooms-01

If you are planning your corporate retreat in Singapore, check out a list of amazing venues for corporate retreat here http://blog.eventnook.com/post/amazing-venues-in-singapore-for-your-next-corporate-retreat/ for some inspiration!

3. Really understand the team

Even if you are not a HR personnel and are just helping to plan the retreat ad hoc, you should take this opportunity to really understand the group dynamics and the people in the company you work for. Not only does this help you plan a tailor-made retreat that works, it is a chance for you to show off your people skills and build great relations with your colleagues.

Take the effort to really understand the quirks and culture of the company and the main issues everyone is facing in terms of working with each other. It will help you navigate the office landscape better as well in your daily work.

4. Content of retreat

A common misconception about retreats is that activities and team building are necessary. In fact, the more creative and fun, the better. However, sometimes, the most effective way to plan a corporate retreat is simply, to keep things simple.

A corporate retreat is meant to demystify and clarify things, rather than complicate things. Introducing games that have no relevance to daily work, or activities that require more planning than you can swallow are not essential to a good corporate retreat.

Instead, you need to treat planning this event as a problem-solving exercise, where you need to identify a problem, perhaps a lacking or a wrong way of doing things, and find solutions, direct or indirect, to it. This ties back to your goals for the corporate retreat.

Perhaps a cooking class? Photo Credits: careeraddict.com

Exercises are a great way to help groups practise working together but rather than think up these exercises on your own, or worst still, rip them off from the internet, adapt problems you see in your daily work life in the company and modify them for the context of a retreat. It’s also great to bring different departments together because exposure to different ways of thinking can help improve creativity!

Tune in for our next blog article to learn more about best practices and inspiration in planning corporate retreat activities.

5. Strategise the flow

Planning a long list of activities without paying attention to how you order the activities can entirely undermine their effectiveness. For instance, if the group has not had the opportunity to get comfortable in each others’ presence, then planning an activity to test and improve trust in the team will not be meaningful.

Ensure that the foundation for future activities are built in the first few activities and participants have time to react to it and become comfortable.

6. Sneak in some work if possible

Retreats as employee rewards are highly costly. If you want to reward your employees, raise their bonus or cash vouchers instead.

So stop seeing retreats as a way to treat your employees. Once you do, you will start thinking of how to make your retreat much more productive for the company.

When planning activities, again try to adapt from day-to-day office work, but make it different enough so that the group will look at it from a fresh perspective.

If your retreat is about getting people to brainstorm solutions to entrenched problems in the company, then ensure there is good understanding of where the problem might lie that prevent the team from solving the problem and tackle that directly in unconventional ways.

Try to mix up fun and serious work. The point is to make the environment as stimulating as possible. An un-office like environment tends to inspire greater creativity as participants get out of their usual selves.

shelter-co.com

Photo Credits: shelter-co.com

7. Manage expectations

Many managers or HR people think that retreats can solve morale issues or teamwork problems. A retreat cannot solve something negative. It can only add to the positives, or reinforce what’s already present.

Also, do not use retreats to include political agendas, and be really careful about this. Make the corporate retreat a neutral ground. Even the boss shouldn’t be able to make it overly about their agenda.

Ultimately, don’t be disheartened that a retreat cannot radically change group dynamics or solve pertinent issues. It’s still a great way to get employees to feel valued and more motivated.

In particular, make sure to really listen to feedback during the retreat. Know that the retreat is a great way to get real feedback in a non-formal setting. And make sure to treat the feedback you get seriously. Go back to the office and work on them so that the value of the retreat as a channel for change becomes credible.

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About EventNook:

Event Mangement Software company, EventNook is an online event registration & ticketing platform where organisers can set up and customise their very own event page. Through it, organisers can collect attendees’ information and their payment using a real-time dashboard. Features such as Automated Email Confirmation and QR Code Check-In make the job of event organisers much easier and more efficient. Recently, EventNook launched an Event Venues Directory which provides information on more than 5,000 venues in Singapore, Thailand, Malaysia, Myanmar and Hong Kong, making one of the best places on the web to look for venues in South East Asia.

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