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SACEOS works towards end-month launch of safe-opening SOPs

SACEOS is working on a set of guidelines to help Singapore’s MICE industry bounce back quicker; social distancing will be the norm at future events pictured

The Singapore Association of Convention and Exhibition Organisers and Suppliers (SACEOS) aims to launch the SG SafeEvents Handbook – part of the Industry Resilience Recovery (IRR) safe reopening roadmap – by end-July, to help companies prepare for the possibility of smaller events in mid-August.

Edward Koh, executive director, conventions, meetings and incentive travel, Singapore Tourism Board, speaking at a SACEOS webinar on July 2, said it was very likely smaller events would start first.

When it starts, Koh stressed safety was of utmost importance and the Ministry of Foreign Affairs was working hard on safety protocols and what is “deemed safe enough” in Singapore’s “green lane” talks – to allow travel for business and official purposes – with a number of countries, including South Korea, Australia, New Zealand, Malaysia; and China – where an agreement was reached at the end of May.

Its president, Aloysius Arlando, said the association was taking an inclusive ecosystem approach by identifying all event genres and partners to be part of IRR.

Vice president, community, advocacy and communications, Selina Sinclair, whose committee is in charge of producing the handbook, added SACEOS would try to get non-members identified.

Arlando said: “The public and private sector have to collaborate for a firm foundation to be created to restart business,” adding that the handbook would address what it means for companies to have agility and resilience.

To prepare industry players, SACOES is looking at SG SafeEvents accreditation; business modelling for tomorrow; knowing who the customer is and platforms to reach them; measuring return on investment; the importance of embracing technology in density control and management and contract tracing; and how to build new core skills to deliver live and digital events.

Arlando observed the IRR roadmap is no guarantee all businesses will survive, but it is Singapore’s best chance, because if there is no rulebook, the industry will have to “do and learn as we go along”.

“That is why it is important to co-create and we hope to do so in the coming months. It is not a race to reopen but a race to be market-ready. The environment has changed so responses also have to change,” Arlando commented.