More Than Just a Venue
Ong Wee Min, Executive Director, Sales, at Marina Bay Sands, shares his thoughts on the role of the venue owner in the MICE industry.
What has been some of the notable events held at Marina Bay Sands in recent years?
The successful planning and execution of SIBOS 2015 was one highlight. SIBOS is the world’s largest financial services event and it was last held in Singapore in 2003. The team was very excited to create memorable moments for all delegates.
Another highlight was the planning and execution of the ASEAN Para Games (APG) in December 2015. We worked closely with the APG Organising Committee to conceptualise and create a Games Village within Marina Bay Sands where the athletes lived, ate and interacted with their fellow counterparts from different countries. There was a special appearance by David Beckham at the Games Village to inspire the athletes. It was a magical moment that capped a successful event.
How has the role of the venue changed in the MICE industry over the years?
Successful venues of today should no longer think of themselves as mere landlords. Venues need to see themselves as partners with their MICE clients to co-create value for the respective stakeholders of the event. We are the conduit that changes with every event requirement; we help the client bring its brand to life and help the client’s stakeholders achieve their varied objectives.
What is special about Marina Bay Sands' MICE offering?
Marina Bay Sands offers the MICE delegate a truly integrated solution that no other venue in the world can. For instance, delegates can stay in the distinctive Marina Bay Sands Hotel, conduct business transactions and exchange knowledge and contacts in the Sands Expo and Convention Centre, and entertain business partners in our celebrity chef restaurants and other iconic attractions such as ArtScience Museum.
What were some of the more challenging projects?
Every event is unique and has its special requirements. This is because no one event is similar. Hence, there is no such thing as a one-size-fits-all strategy. Take the ASEAN Para Games, for example: it was not the first time that we have worked with our clients in a joint CSR effort. However, it was the first time that we had a year-long engagement with various partners in the ASEAN Para Games using our CSR programme, “Sands for Singapore”, which enabled APG to amplify its outreach efforts to the community.