Why the events industry is stronger than COVID-19 - a letter from Singapore
Dear Event Professionals,
Has it really been over a year since the pandemic first swept across the globe?
For those of us in the events industry, the coronavirus pandemic has triggered a whole range of challenges; for many, (from brands to agencies to vendors), the situation has sometimes felt insurmountable. But this doesn’t need to be the case. In fact, the worst thing the events industry can do is nothing.
It’s clear to us all that the pandemic isn’t going away anytime soon - but that doesn’t mean you can’t go anywhere, either! The trick is to learn to adapt, rather than retract, from the world at large. The events industry is stronger than COVID, and it will ultimately outlast it. We’re here to tell you why.
Singapore is now well into the thick of its events recovery roadmap, as a key international hub, the little red dot has had to learn to get MICE events back up and running with both efficiency and safety. Trade and Industry Minister, Chan Chun Sing, has been determined to establish Singapore as a secure meeting place, even in COVID times. How? With trailblazing safety measures and ambitious event initiatives that make use of innovative hybrid experiences. But these measures aren’t exclusive to Singapore, from Europe to the UK to the Americas, they can be put in place all around the world.
Last November, Singapore held TravelRevive - powered by ITB Asia and Singapore Tourism Board (STB) - it was the first pilot tradeshow to prototype a safe ‘hybrid’ event with safe itineraries and digital enabler tools. This was a landmark moment for Singapore. It helped prove that, done correctly, events are still possible in a world with COVID. The more we act, the more we learn, and the better we get at creating unique, safe experiences. Now, we’re calling on major international countries to follow suit so that we can reinject life into the events world on a global scale.
Some countries are already taking this advice on board, with the Netherlands recently trailblazing their first coronavirus ‘test’ events - an umbrella of events that included everything from dance concerts to music performances. Here, the emphasis was placed on getting ‘back to live’ and a number of safety measures were put in place - these required attendees to submit a negative COVID test and health declaration prior to the event, as well as temperature measurement and rapid tests available upon entrance.
When it comes to live events, a recurrent concern has been enforcing social distancing - but worry not! Singapore has already successfully run events using dongles that alert people when they get too close to others - making monitoring social distancing easier than ever before.
Here in Singapore, we are looking at a resumption of large MICE events from 24th April onwards; with the use of a new pre-event testing (PET) framework that was recently announced by Singapore’s Multi-Ministry Taskforce (MTF). Soon, we’ll have the show back on the road - and we’re looking to a future filled with safe, successful, hybrid events. We’d like to invite the rest of the world to join us in doing the same!
There is no alternative to human interaction, whether online or in person, and events aren’t going away anytime soon. In fact, over the last year, appetite for a return to events - even in new, altered forms - has actually grown. With government-backing and adept organisation, countries around the world can achieve innovative, safe events - even on a big scale!
So don’t give up hope - instead, take action, and help us prove to future generations just how important and resilient the events industry really is.
The DMC Collective