Source: Straits Times

By Louis Lee, Head of IoT for Events, Viatick

As we transit into a faster pace of opening, Singapore Tourism Board (STB) has announced that MICE event pilots with fully vaccinated participants will be allowed a capacity of 1,000 at a time, compared to the previous 500 persons capacity.

We’ve seen how the focus has shifted to focus more on incident management and adopting contactless technologies as the expected crowds increases. So much so that enforcement checks have increased, and non-compliant event organisers will face a fine of up to $10,000, imprisonment of up to 6 months or both. The one that hurts the most, is the order of a business to cease business activities or close altogether (COVID-19 Temporary Measures Act, Infectious Diseases (Mass Gathering Testing for Coronavirus Disease 2019) Regulation 2021).

So, with these key changes, what must an Event Organiser do to be in compliance to the Safe Management Measures (SMM) and ensure everyone’s safety while running an event?

Organisers must be able to demonstrate to the relevant authorities that they are in compliance to the 5 total outcomes mapped out by STB for Safe Business Event Framework with the guidance of TR84 standard by Singapore Standard Councils. The few major key points from the framework are prevention and tracking of intermingling between users of different zones, ability to help back trace and aid in contact tracing in the event of a need and demonstrating compliance consistently for larger events to happen.

Now that we understand the enforcement actions against non-compliance, let us take a deeper look into pitfalls (the risks and exposures) that organisers and clients will face while managing an event and how the Safe Event Tool (SET) can help to mitigate these pitfalls.

Safe Management Measures, Outcome No. 3: Safe Distancing

Para 3.1 of SMM, organisers are to limit the number of attendees in each zone to not more than 50 persons at any one time during an event and maintaining the composition of each zone throughout the event with no intermingling. While this might seem possible to manage by deploying safe distancing ambassador, how do organisers ensure that the group are in the same composition each time? Data reliability will be an issue especially for group size of 500 – 1000 pax, and it would be impossible for manual labour system to be deployed to monitor participants. Spending money to comply is one thing, but spending money without having the ability to attest and demonstrate on a digital level to whoever’s asking, is very ROI unfriendly.

A digital aid like SET that monitors participants in real-time, sending alerts to organizers when there is a potential breach of SMM, i.e., intermingling, would have allowed the event organisers and venue owners to do all that at half the monies already spent, while still having data logs of these any time they needed it. It’s also a more pragmatic way of real time intervention, driven by data.

Register Online, Print Event Badge Yourself

In para 3.13 of SMM, organisers are to arrange for participants to register online, print their name badges, and assemble their name badges and lanyards in advance of the event where reasonably practicable. This is possible through kiosks that can be done by the participants on a self-serve basis. Knowing how important this portion is to all events, SET, has integrated and is readily up for integration with third-party registration companies, and uses facial recognition system to check in participants, and automatically prints out event badges to minimize contact points.

In para 3.16 of SMM, organisers are also to implement contactless technology solutions at exhibition booths for participants to collect information about a product and exchange contact details. This would be costly to achieve with manual labour, and there is currently no readily available solution in the market for such application that can be plug and play without high infrastructure set up costs. However, events with SET can integrate exhibition booths into the solution, uses it to push information to participants. This would minimize the contact point in traditional company brochure exchange.

Safe Management Measures, Outcome No. 5: Emergency Management & Contact Tracing

In para 5.1 of SMM, every event is required to appoint a lead officer, who may be the Safe Management Officer, to oversee the development and implementation of the SMM plans, liaise with STB for review and ensure awareness and compliance of SMMs throughout the event. Organizers are exposed to not having reliable solution on data collection and documentation for deployment.

Data collected by manual labour or other solution are at risk of accuracy and no proper documentation to present to relevant authorities upon request, furthermore, it’s extremely expensive to do this well with volume. With the implementation of SET, organisers can demonstrate to STB and relevant authorities confidently that a clear workflow is established on incident management.

In para 5.2 & 5.5 of SMM, organisers are required to develop and implement responses to situations such as handling participants or staff who are found to display COVID-19 symptoms, coordinating information flow with all relevant parties (e.g., how to facilitate contact tracing and informing the relevant authorities), and provide training for staff to ensure they can respond to situation and carry out procedures relating to COVID-19.

All relevant documentation and records of the event are required to be kept by the Organiser and submitted to the relevant authorities upon request. Relevant documents include inspection/monitoring records, temperature-taking records, contact tracing records (such as the list of participants in each zone/program and the seating plan) and incident management process. The SET solution can provide contact tracing and trail history report of all participants to aid the Authorities in emergency respond and incident management in a click of a button without extra work. The solution keeps record of all participants (including temperature record, contact tracing and trail history) for 14 days, and use for contact tracing in the event of confirmed cases.

Running an event is already hard enough and doing that while making sure that the event is compliant to SMMs makes it extremely taxing for manpower on the group, and not sustainable in the long run. Let digital solutions handle this while aiming for a better ROI profile to lower the events’ running cost. Moreover, organisers should focus on the important things; Running the event.

Automating accurate data collection with proper documentation to support organisers and enterprises to comply to SMM, while demonstrating confidence to clients on running large scale events will be a key that we would like to see the industry moving towards.

Technologies that can aid in both compliance, and drive business value should be key, in this stage of possible technology selection.

SET does all the above by the way. Reach out to us to request for a demo on SET solution and how you can get up to 70% exclusive fundings support from IMDA to support technology adopters for safer re-opening of MICE Industry.