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46 / ConferenCe & Meetings World / issUe 67Singaporenew-to-market show focused on rehabilitative and assistive technology, and integrated care, scheduled for February 2013. The event is the first of several planned joint ventures. "Singexpo's strong Asian business and government contacts, as well as affiliations with leading international trade associations and organisations, make it an ideal partner for Fiera Milano's foray into Southeast Asia and beyond," Enrico Pazalli Fiera Milano Chief Executive Officer adds. Singexpo is also working with educational institutions like Institute of Technical Education to provide students with a living classroom and practical experience.The venue's MAX Atria launched in March and has already been awarded Green Mark Platinum by Singapore's Building and Construction Authority. The new area will add 8,000sqm of events space.Looking aheadCMW asked Arlando to engage in a bit of futurology:"Effective cost management to generate maximum ROI for business events will continue to be a critical consideration. This will lead to event organisers looking at both objective-driven content and delivery that supports it," Arlando said. events across all spectrums of the value chain," he says."Suntec is catering to this increasing trend of convergence by physically altering its spaces to meet this new demand."Delegates are promised free Wi-Fi connection throughout the building with a platform capable of handling 15,000 laptops, tablets or hand-held devices being used simultaneously."We wanted to take a lead in the provision of free internet connectivity," says Ong Wee Min, who adds Suntec recorded 90 per cent occupancy rates for June, July, October and November 2011. In terms of challenges to the business, Ong Wee Min identifies a "relatively limited talent pool" from which to draw upon in Singapore. "This is especially so when trying to combine various desirable attributes such as individuals with relevant experience and an open and curious/innovative mind," he says.Over at Singapore Expo Convention and Exhibition Centre (Singexpo), CEO Aloysius Arlando tells CMW 2011 was an eventful year and one in which the venue stayed committed to investing to meet the evolving needs of organisers and delegates. "Not only did we maintain our ISO Quality Management System certification, we also earned dual certification in Business Continuity Management from accreditation bodies in Singapore and the UK, and we are proud to be the first convention centre in the world to do so," says Arlando.In spite of a competitive event landscape, the venue hosted strong events such as International Furniture Fair Singapore; Military Simulation & Training Asia and Undersea Defence Technology Asia.Singexpo has a joint venture with Italian venue and organiser, Fiera Milano. "Together," says Arlando, "we have launched RehabTech Asia, a "Organisers and delegates continue to remain highly focused on rates and value-adds."It is no longer a case of technology adoption, but technology assimilation into the meetings delivery that will take on an increasingly important role for delegates who need to maximise their attendance at events as well as staying fully connected to the office. "The innovative implementation of technology will enable organisers to engage delegates and the media, network, win new business or retain existing clients. "Organisers are increasingly resistant to being charged for delegate Wi-Fi usage. Singexpo has partnered Xirrus to provide high-performance, complimentary wireless connectivity all across MAX Atria. "We're also expecting more new meeting and session formats being introduced to engage a new breed of delegates who will no longer accept traditional formats and have multiple information sources. "We have noticed a growing trend of 'Confex' events, which is due to the convergence of exhibitions and conferences; thus blurring the line between the two. The scale tends to be smaller but the exhibitions' profiles are more focused and niche."We find pressing the scarcity of qualified MICE professionals in the region, leading to shortage of skills. "Coupled with the fact that all of us in the MICE industry are actually competing for the same pool of talent that our counterparts in the F&B, hospitality, retail, and service sectors are, the search for the right people will certainly intensify, not just in Singapore, but the region. At Singex, we're casting our net further and wider beyond just the event and MICE industry in order to acquire top talent. Internally, we strive to offer clear, long-term career paths and development opportunities to retain our existing talent." Above: suntecThe new MAX Atria at Singexpo will add8,000sqm