Factfile
Event  MICE coLAB
Group size  More than 150 participants 
Organiser  Singapore Tourism Board (STB)
Event manager  UP Singapore
Venue  Suntec Singapore
Date  February 21-23

The brief
Singapore Tourism Board (STB) and industry partners launched a business events-centric brainstorming event in Singapore to raise awareness and drive technological ideas for the industry. This would encourage industry collaboration and tap into the technical community’s passion for innovative solutions. UP Singapore was chosen for its experience in similar projects.

Challenges
Although UP Singapore has a community of about 4,000 innovators across professional and academic fields, few knew about the business events industry. The key challenge was to identify people interested in or already working in the industry or travel in general.

Derrick Chiang, director UP Singapore, says: “We had more than 150 participants– a record for similar events we have organised. After mingling and helping to connect people with similar ideas and interests, 26 teams were formed.”

Back-to-back sessions in different formats and group sizes over three days meant Suntec had to execute swift turnovers for room set-ups so that sessions could follow smoothly after short breaks. Another challenge was the extended working times to 11pm, as some participants stayed until late to work on their projects. 

With 26 groups working simultaneously on laptops, having sufficient power points and reliable, high-speed WiFi were important. 

Execution
The event kicked off on Friday evening and pitch presentations were on Sunday afternoon. Suntec provided the venue, logistics and event support, including serving F&B. The venue’s digital signage system was put to good use, helping participants to find their respective rooms, especially on the final day when the F&B room had to be relocated when one session ran over time.

Interactive creative director Lee Yoong Foo from hackathon winner Ace:Daytons Direct says: “Using our collective experience, and inspired by the free WiFi connectivity at Suntec Singapore, we created a powerful solution by combining iBeacon and augmented reality specifically for MICE use. This competition was a great step forward for the Singapore MICE industry.”

Comment
John Conceicao, STB executive director of capability & innovation and visitor information & feedback, says: “The event saw one of the highest number of participating groups at a tech brainstorm event, a sign not only of the industry’s willingness to collaborate and share but also the community’s passion in developing innovative solutions to improve the overall visitor experience.”

Oscar Cerezales, chief operating officer for Asia Pacific at MCI, who was one
of the judges, concurs. “MICE coLAB is a mix of three variables: collaborative approach, innovation and thinking out of the box. To me, this is the recipe for success if we want to be ahead in the ‘MICE game’.”  

Timeline
September 2013  MICE-themed hackathon idea mooted
November  UP Singapore appointed as event manager
December  Information gathering, planning and development
January 2014  Publicity and recruitment of participants
February 18  Workshop on MICE industry
February 21-23  Event held