The Singapore Maritime Week (SMW) 2022 took place from 4 to 8 April at the Marina Bay Sands Expo and Convention Centre. Organised by Maritime & Port Authority of Singapore and Managed by Informa Markets, SMW is an annual gathering of the international maritime community to advance key industry issues and exchange ideas to bring the sector forward.

Driven by the Maritime and Port Authority (MPA), the SMW is in collaboration with industry stakeholders and research and educational institutions. Furthermore, SMW brought together key opinion leaders and industry leaders through conferences, dialogues and forums. Importantly, it is a one-stop-shop for assessing new market opportunities and forging partnerships with the maritime ecosystem.

Buzz of face-to-face networking

While Safe Management Measures (SMM) restrictions were partially enforced before the 26 April announcement of removal of group size limits, attendees were nevertheless elated to be able to reconnect with industry friends face-to-face.

After a 2-year hiatus of not being able to attend in person events, a sense of exuberance and buzz was palpable in the conference rooms and exhibition as zoning guidelines were lifted and safe distancing measures relaxed. Delegates were able to network and catch up with industry friends with the relaxed SMM regulations. Informa interacted with many delegates who further reinforced the need for face-to-face setting to allow for meaningful and valuable connections.

All conference sessions had full attendance and the lifting of restriction allowed for intermingling which was much welcomed by all. It was truly heartening and encouraging to experience the high energy vibes across the sessions. 

The event also saw more international attendees with easing of travel restrictions and gathering of up to 10 persons were allowed to dine together (prior to the removal of group size limit on 26 April).

To provide for a safe and efficient on-site experience, the registration portal offered participants a seamless registration contactless registration system with self-help counters for speedy check-in and badge pick up for delegates.  With scanning of QR codes from email confirmation to onsite badge pick up, delegates were able to complete the process in a safe and swift manner.

Hybrid format

The 5-day event took on a hybrid format; both in-person and virtually. Swapcard was the virtual platform of choice and it provided attendees with AI-powered networking opportunities, online conference content, networking, online exhibition and attendee engagement throughout the entire week, and beyond. 

All conference sessions were live streamed through the virtual platform, hence providing a holistic experience where attendees have the options to either attend in person or virtually. The virtual platform remains open for additional 4 weeks (post event) and it offers video-on-demand from the conference sessions where attendees can access the content as well as allowing attendees to continue the networking virtually.

Overall, Singapore Maritime Week 2022 was a resounding success and provided a great platform for the industry to reconnect with friends and partners, gain insights and make meaningful connections. Forging connections in a face-to-face setting is ever more important and meaningful today. The magic of physical events and networking is truly back! 

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