When the Covid-19 pandemic first struck in early 2020, business events came to a complete halt. Today, as the world learns to live with Covid in our midst and borders reopen once again, we are finally seeing some signs of revival for the industry.
That said, physical MICE events as we know it, are never the same again. The need to provide a sense of assurance to not only attendees but clients, will be the key for international business events to return to some level of pre-pandemic normalcy.
How then, can event organisers regain the trust and confidence of their customers?
In June 2021, with the support of Singapore Tourism Board and Enterprise Singapore, SACEOS launched the SG SafeEvent Certification programme to provide a mark of assurance to enterprises in upholding the highest standards of hygiene and safe management practices. Since then, nearly 90 companies have signed up and over 60 of them have attained the certification.
Among the pioneering batch of certified companies is Spark Planners. Founded in 1995, the event organiser has grown to be one of the leading events management companies in Singapore with experience organising events in Asia Pacific, Europe and United States.
Suffice to say, the pandemic has hit the Singapore-based company hard. And like many other MICE players, they were forced to pivot to virtual and hybrid events. That said, with physical events at the heart of what Spark Planners do, the next challenge on the horizon will be regaining the trust of their customers and attendees as events progressively resume.
“The main challenge we faced in the past 2 years is pivoting to virtual and hybrid events which we ignored before the pandemic. In 2020, we started to manage virtual events with little experience,” shared Jean Goh, Executive Director, Spark Planners.
“However, we believe that virtual events are always meant as a plug-gap measure for us. Event organisers like us live and breathe on physical events. As we see the return of more physical events despite the capacity restrictions, we are seeing clients place more emphasis and priority on safety.
“Therefore, we saw the need to regain the trust of our clients and attendees. And when the SG SafeEvent Certification was launched, there was never a second thought about coming onboard,” she added.
Business impact of SG SafeEvent Certification
Understanding that the safety and wellbeing of event attendees are the top priority for their clients, Spark Planners decided to leverage on the SG SafeEvent Certification to their advantage. And they did so by incorporating SG SafeEvent Certification in their presentation pitches as well as their email signatures.
Since being accredited in July 2021, the certification has not only helped the company garner positive feedback from their existing clients, it has also played a role in the awarding of projects to organise international events in Singapore. Upcoming events that Spark Planners have clinched include the International conference by Asian Society for Precision Engineering and Nanotechnology (ASPEN) taking place on 15-18 November 2022 and the International Institute of Welding Conference on 16-21 July 2023.
“The certification has enabled us to gain assurance and confidence from both local and overseas clients. In fact, when they learnt that we are SG SafeEvent Certified, the international committees supported the awarding of the events to us as they were assured that we can conduct them safely and effectively,” Goh shared.
“We have seen the benefits and impact of the SG SafeEvent Certification for our business. And we believe that the certification will help more companies get back on their feet and provide them a competitive advantage as events continue to reopen.”
Looking ahead to building back stronger in 2022, Spark Planners plans to continue leveraging on the SG SafeEvent Certification to drive confidence in the Conduct, Construct and Compliance of their events, and strengthen Singapore’s position as a safe and trusted MICE destination.
“We are excited about what lies ahead for the MICE and Events industry in 2022 as we continue our reopening efforts. Armed with the SG SafeEvent Certification, we will continue to use that to our advantage, strengthen our business proposition and add value to our customers,” she said.
If you would like to find out how you can be SG SafeEvent Certified, please contact us at [email protected] or learn more here.
If you’re SG SafeEvent Certified and would like to share how it has benefitted your company, please feel free to contact us at [email protected]