Singapore may have some reason to be optimistic – according to The Straits Times last week, experts suggest that the local MICE industry may rebound by 2023 after a year of stabilisation in 2022.
Despite the emergence of the Omicron variant of Covid, some industry players believe that Singapore’s swift adoption of hybrid meetings and health and safety measures will stand events in good stead.
IGE Media spoke to several Event Service Providers (ESPs) who shared their hopes and concerns about industry shifts.
Some were hopeful, especially after encountering a recent uptick in the number of physical events they participate in. “I’ve pivoted towards weddings recently, so there are plenty of physical events. I do see more of my peers starting to host in-person events as well,” said Emcee Jackie Lin.
A spokesman for event planner The MeetUp SG said that they are now encountering more enquiries for services such as corporate gifts, dessert tables and bridal shower setups. The MeetUp SG is even looking to expand and add on manpower.
More cautious are other players like Mr Wee Kian Meng of Mr Bottle’s Kids Party, which does party planning. “We’ve held some workshops and parties recently after the rules were relaxed to allow groups of five. However, corporate kids’ events used to be a big bulk of our revenue and they are not back totally yet,” he said, adding that ESPs in his support group are still pessimistic given the advent of Omicron. Mr Lin also expressed a reserved sense of optimism.
One thing ESPs did agree on is that virtual events are increasing in popularity. The MeetUp SG has received queries about virtual dinners and dances. And Mr Wee pointed out that he sees many more virtual events than he did last year, saying, “Last year some were still hesitant and waited for physical events to return. This year, many have gone into the virtual space.”