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Innovation and new business models key topics at SMF 2023

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Innovation and new business models key topics at SMF 2023
Leading business event organisers and corporate clients shared inside stories, insights and tips on innovation and new business models in panel discussions at the Singapore MICE Forum (SMF) in July, attended by some 400 industry delegates from Singapore, the region and more distant markets.

Elevandi executive director, Pat Patel, said to remain successful, events like the Singapore FinTech Festival (SFF) constantly reshape themselves to meet participants’ needs and interests, adding new items to the program to make it difficult to replicate. SFF went global when others tended to be local.

Regulators and policy-makers should upskill and get closer to innovators, who in turn must realise what they can and cannot do, he advised.

COVID-19 forced owners of long-established European tradeshows to re-think. That’s how brands like Silmo and Vinexpo came to Singapore and Southeast Asia, said Elaine Chia, APAC CEO of Comexposium. But while internationalising and looking outside for partnerships, it’s important for the team to understand the business and industry, verticals and governance within each country.

Growth comes through value creation, said Ryan Yuen, managing director of Singapore International Water Week (SIWW). When the biennial SIWW went online during the pandemic, they found half the audience had never visited the Singapore show. A content-rich digital platform was developed to reach them. SIWW+ has become a digital technology and innovation resource hub. A 10-year partnership will see MMI Asia co-organising the cornerstone Water Expo from 2024.

Views and tips from other panellists included the omnichannel option of letting customers decide how they get content and interact with the brand, especially to engage younger audiences; AI can be a double-edged sword even as technology continues to be a growth driver; organisers should be open and transparent to make partnerships work, and when things go wrong, share challenges and find solutions together.

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