Event agencies and venues were among 31 individuals and organisations recognised at this year’s Singapore Tourism Awards.

Organised by the Singapore Tourism Board to recognise industry excellence, the awards ceremony took place last night at Shangri-La Hotel with eight categories dedicated to MICE and business events.

STB chief executive Lionel Yeo says: “The Singapore Tourism Awards aims to raise industry standards by showcasing the best of what Singapore has to offer. Past Awards recipients have served as inspiration for the tourism industry to reach new heights and I am pleased that this year’s recipients have continued that fine tradition.”

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The Kranji Countryside Association took the Association Conference Organiser of the Year award for the 7th Commonwealth Agriculture Conference, while Ace:Daytons Direct International was named Business Event Service Provider of the Year for the Singapore MICE Forum 2016.

Commenting on the win, Ace:Daytons Direct International managing director, Nancy Tan, says: "One of the most satisfying aspects was being able to share our proprietary software, MICEapps, and adapt it to suit various requirements of the event. This was especially in terms of event technology platforms that went beyond performing typical PCO functions to being a total solutions provider."

PMG Asia-Pacific won Best Meeting/Incentive Organiser award for Aruba APAC Atmosphere 2016, while Marina Bay Sands Expo & Convention Centre (MBS) scored the Best Business Event Venue award for the third year running, beating Resorts World Sentosa and Grand Hyatt Singapore for the top gong. 

Best Exhibition Organiser was awarded to UBM SES for Food&HotelAsia2016, while unbound was named Best Trade Conference Organiser for InnovFest unbound 2016.

UBM SES project director, Ting Siew Mui, says: "We are very proud of the show's scale and attribute this win to our hard-working team. Next year we will be expanding the show to two venues—taking over Singapore Expo and Suntec."

InnovFest unbound made a splash with its inaugural Singapore event in 2015 and continues to attract big crowds. This year's edition, which took place earlier this week (May 3-4) at MBS, drew a record 11,300 visitors.

unbound CEO and founder, Daniel Seal, describes the win is a "real endorsement" and "significant validation".

"What really matters with events isn't the buffet line, it's all about content," Seal says. "We put alot of effort into getting our content mix right and creating the right energy so people want to stay longer... event planning shouldn't be all about data, it's both an art and a science."

The Exceptional Achievement Award was awarded to Kingsmen Exhibits Pte Ltd, for receiving the Best Business Event Service Provider award for the past three consecutive years (2016, 2015, 2014).

Top awards

The legendary Janet Tan-Collis, president, Singapore Association of Convention and Exhibition Organisers and Suppliers (SACEOS) received the highest accolade of the evening—Lifetime Achievement for Outstanding Contribution to Tourism. Tan-Collis’ win is attributed to her unwavering commitment to developing talent and resources for the MICE industry, and working with MICE associations to develop education programmes for MICE thought leadership. 

Special awards were also given to Chan Yew Weng, chairman of World Congress of Anaesthesiologists 2024 Bid Committee and Erik Juul-Mortensen, president of Tax Free World Association (TFWA), who were both recognised as Best Business Event Champion. They played principal roles in driving and securing Singapore’s bid for the World Congress of Anaesthesiologists 2024 and the TFWA Asia Pacific Exhibition and Conference 2018 to 2022, respectively.