Mayvin Global attended the (#SMF2018) in July; its eighth edition. This annual business events conference is managed by a Singapore business events trade association, SACEOS.
While not absolutely sure what to expect, apart from a theme focused on thinking creatively about business events, choosing venues located in the cultural precinct was a great start.
Prior to departing Australia, delegates were sent a link to the Jublia app, encouraged to connect and schedule meetings with other delegates. This tool enabled delegates to see which contacts were attending. They included universities, venues, event management companies, media, attractions, convention and tourism bureau and more. It was clear from the app, prior to arrival, that in addition to diversity of speakers there was a diversity of delegates - from industries, countries and roles. Interestingly, this was predominantly senior representation.
Attending were 488 delegates from 31 countries across the 1.5 days.
The biggest takeaways:
Flow-on effects | The People
Networking is always one of the most invigorating outcomes of attending a conference. Meeting new and diverse people as well as the opportunity to catch up with existing contacts is a highlight. This is also a key way to generate new opportunities and introductions. Networking, ideas and the opportunities that resulted from the people is what made attendance worthwhile. We had the opportunity to meet with convention bureau from Thailand, Auckland and Melbourne as well as industry associations such as ICCA, PCMA, IAPCO and SACEOS. Many of whom we had not previously connected.
Unique cultural venues
Singapore has a wide range of cultural venues - unknown to many. This conference theme challenged standard thinking. The use of these venues tied in directly and was an absolute highlight. We particularly loved The Chamber - the first location of Singapore parliament. This venue was chosen for "the great debate" and worked to provide a clear divide between the 'sides' and the audience.
There were some absolute stand-outs in the program, particularly Mathias Posch IAPCO President, Dave Lim TEDx Ambassador and Gemma Calvert Professor of Marketing. A positive contribution that many speakers were outside the business events sector - to further challenge thinking. The workshop and plenary format worked well with good breakout options. Biz Events Asia provides a great summary of the program here.
Attending this conference meant we were able to undertake a couple of days of meetings and site inspections with other cultural institutions in Singapore as well as attractions aligned to our existing programs and client requirements. This means we are able to add significant value to existing and future clients.
Professional development by attending an international conference is a big investment for any organisation. Mayvin Global found participation worthwhile and worth considering for 2019.
Congratulations to the team at SACEOS and Janet Tan-Collis outgoing President as well as Oscar Cerezales Organising Chair. Highlights of the conference are available here and the dates for 2019 are July 25-26.