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Leading comment24 / ConferenCe & Meetings World / issUe 66'MICE central' Asia now boasts a fifth of the world's meetingsaloysius arlandoThe Singapore EXPO Convention and Exhibition Centre is a long standing member of the International Association of Convention Centres (AIPC). AIPC represents a global network of 170 leading centres in 54 countries and can be contacted at: marianne.de.raay@aipc.org or visit www.aipr.org'rightsizing' into decentralised intimate sessions to speak directly to their target audiences. Venue managers therefore need to move beyond capacity supremacy to adopt a strong people-centric approach towards operational excellence and creative solutions, where partnership and customer focus are the priorities. Leading spaces should now focus on developing ancillary services like hassle-free internet connection, delegate-focused concierge services and intelligent technical capabilities, like mood lighting systems and video conferencing technology to differentiate themselves.In this ROI-driven environment, quality assurance and smooth event delivery are more important than ever. Venues can demonstrate their commitment to customer-centric quality management systems through the adoption of industry best practices and globally recognised certification standards like the ISO 9001:2008 achieved by Singex. These best practices and industry standards must be reviewed annually to maintain relevancy with organisers and visitors.Security and environmental concernsAdding to the list of concerns today are potential security threats and natural disasters. To cope with the realities of a changing world, venues must prepare robust and responsive crisis communication and disaster recovery plans. Critical business functions should be reviewed regularly with partners and public agencies. Going one step further, venue managers can work towards receiving certification in business continuity management, like the BS25999 and SS540:2008, to signify that their centres are able to resume operations during service disruption within a reasonable timeframe and with minimal interruption. Finally, good governance also extends to good citizenship. Green initiatives are becoming less of a flash-in-the-pan trend and more of a business requirement. From energy efficiency to waste minimisation and sustainable goods procurement, venue managers should reflect on the carbon footprint left by their properties and incorporate environmentally-conscious measures into their daily operations. Replacing artificial light with natural light in walkways and recycling waste after each event are two common ecofriendly practices for venues. At EXPO, managed by Singex, air conditioning systems use NEWater2 to cool chillers, while MAX Atria (EXPO's enhanced convention wing opening in early 2012) is certified Green Mark Platinum3, having integrated innovative sustainability features in its construction.As major Asian economies continue to forecast strong economic growth for 2011 and beyond, Asia is set to be the focal point for trade and investment in years to come.Continued focus on good governance and operational excellence can only be positive, motivating venue players to collectively raise industry standards through healthy competition and contribute to an even more vibrant and dynamic MICE landscape. Above: singex eXPo, integrating sustainability

Singapore EXPO Convention and Exhibition Centre 1 Expo Drive, #02-01, Singapore 486150 Tel: +65 6403 2160 Fax: +65 6822 2616Managed by Singex Venues Pte Ltd, an ISO 9001:2008, Business Continuity Management SS540 and BS25999 certified companyArtist's ImpressionArtist's ImpressionAwaken your senses.Ignite your thinking at MAX Atria.At Singapore's newest MICE facility, green features and technology have been seamlessly integrated with versatile event spaces to sharpen your thoughts and inspire discussions. Discover MAX Atria in early 2012, where conventions are redefined.. Column-less rooms (7 on Level 1, 25 on Level 2) for a variety of business events including conferences, meetings and banquets. 10 column-less ground-level convention-exhibition halls, supported by an additional 16 meeting rooms, available at adjoining EXPO. Certified Green Mark Platinum by Singapore's Building & Construction AuthorityTo book your event space, please email sales@maxatria.com.sgor visit www.maxatria.com.sg to find out more.