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Preview| Exhibition World16| Nov/Dec 2010| Singapore, with itspedigree as a hostdestination forinternational events, is atimely host for this year's UFICongress courtesy of thenew and hugely impressiveMarina Bay Sands resort,one of the world's foremostexhibition and conventioncentres.President and chief executive at Marina Bay Sands,Thomas Arasi, spoke to EWabout the prominence ofSingapore in South East Asia, and what the UFICongress means to the new venue.What does the event mean for Marina BaySands?UFI Congress is back to Singapore for the first time in16 years. It was last held in Singapore in 1994. Thiswas a win not just for the country but for us too as thiswas the first major deal we announced. It is bothsignificant in the number of leads that we expect togenerate, and symbolic as the industry's recognition ofour promise.Why should the international exhibitionindustry be focusing on South East Asia rightnow? South East Asia is increasingly viewed as a neweconomic force with its growing affluence. The regionis being tapped by multinational companies, frombanks to manufacturing firms and the biotech industryin order to grow their operations. So it makes sense forexhibitors to follow suit and hold their events here. What do you hope to achieve by hosting/organ-ising the event?Hosting the UFI Congress will allow MBS to showcaseour capability and flexibility to this international groupof decision makers in the exhibition and conferenceindustry. Beyond the conference and tradeshowfacilities that we offer, the 'under one roof' concept ofour integrated resort means that delegates don't haveto travel too far to enjoy world-class gourmet,entertainment, retail, gaming and accommodationchoices.The Marina Bay area has now attained a new buzzand allure among international visitors. It's becoming amust-visit for any visitor and we are happy to play a keyrole in this transformation. This buzz is an X-factor thatcannot be easily replicated, and we believe megaevents will continue to be drawn to this area.What are your biggest goals for 2011?To-date, MBS has sealed over 550 deals which willbring over 355,000 participants to the Sands Expo andConvention Centre, demonstrating its ability to drawboth marquee events and smaller intimate meetings,conferences and weddings. The bulk of the activitiesare taking place this year and in 2011, with a handfulslated for 2012. Over 300 events have been successfully concluded,drawing a crowd of 177,000 participants to the venuesince we opened in late April 2010.In five months, we have already hosted several high-profile events at Sands Expo and Convention Centreand the Sands SkyPark. These include the buildingindustry tradeshow Bex Asia 2010, music event AvalonGo! and the month-long Youth Olympic Games.Singapore is already a leading destination formeetings and conventions and MBS will boostSingapore's profile even more. In addition todeveloping Singapore's biggest meetings, incentives,conventions and exhibitions (MICE) facility, we havebeen working hard to bring in new shows to Singapore. For instance, new shows such as the IndustrialFabrics Association International Expo Asia 2011 aredebuting with us. Other firsts include the Art StageSingapore 2011 and 2012; Dye+Chem AsiaInternational Expo 2010 and 2012; Sound Light Visual(SLV) Expo 2010 and Offshore Asia 2011. Othermarquee events include Cruise Shipping Asia 2011,another new show for Singapore. In 2011, our mission remains the same - to bringmore events to MBS and boost the tourist arrivals intoSingapore. We remain committed to adding moredepth and breadth to the MICE offerings forconference organisers and delegates doing businessin Singapore."THE MAGAZINE FOR THE GLOBAL EXHIBITION COMMUNITY WWW.EXHIBITION-WORLD.NETThomas ArasiEdward Liu, president of the Singapore Associationof Convention and Exhibition Organisers andSuppliers, organiser of this year's UFI Congress, onthe benefits of exhibiting in South East Asia."Economically South East Asia is experiencing itsstrongest growth in recent years, with Singaporeexpecting a double-digit hike for this year andIndonesia, Malaysia and even Thailand registeringrobust development, despite the latter's recentpolitical hiccups."With the availability of two new world-classfacilities such as the Marina Bay Sands and theResorts World at Sentosa, Singapore has re-emerged as a favourite venue for internationalmeetings, incentive travels, conventions andexhibitions for the Asian region. The 77th UFICongress, with its record-breaking attendance,bears testimony to the enhanced attractiveness andvibrancy of Singapore as the regional hub for theMICE industry, in the years to come."Why South East Asia?

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