1. "Bleisure" trips

Business travellers are now more open to the idea that a work trip can double as a holiday, leading to the growing popularity of “bleisure” trips that combine business with leisure. According to a Carlson Wagonlit Travel (CWT) whitepaper on the ‘Bleisure Phenomenon*’, one in five  business travellers extend their stay for leisure. Not surprisingly, the likelihood of a bleisure trip increases with the distance between the origin and destination cities.

Bleisure travellers extend their stay in a country or incorporate sightseeing and other activities within a business day. Popular precincts in Singapore such as Orchard Road, Marina Bay, Chinatown, Little India and Kampong Glam are located near the Central Business District (CBD). This, coupled with the country’s compact size and efficient transport system, makes it a breeze for business travellers to explore Singapore. ­

*The definition of a bleisure for the whitepaper requires a Saturday night stay at a destination either at the beginning or end of a trip, or both.

2. Increasing use of on-site technology at events

The use of on-site technology, such as 360-degree content recording, video conference mobile sites and mobile apps, is now an indispensable component of conferences and events.

As a high tech and high performance country, Singapore is home to many companies that can meet the technology needs of conferences. Viziofly, for example, specialises in creating 360-degree videos, mobile phone apps, AR and VR interactive websites, and live streaming. While most of the meeting venues in Singapore offer WiFi facilities, Fusion Wireless (fusionwireless.co) offers instantly deployable, plug-and-play, mobile, high-speed 4G WiFi solutions.

For more information on technology providers in Singapore, please visit here.

3. Adventure-based team-building exercises

Adventure-based team-building activities or those with a sporting slant are set to get more popular in 2017. These activities not only allow co-workers to learn the value of teamwork, but also enable them to share adrenaline-pumping moments together and build camaraderie.

Many companies in Singapore offer adventure-based events, such as team-building specialist Focus Adventure. It organises activities in different corners of the city-state, including a team race across the UNESCO World Heritage Singapore Botanic Gardens, or Pulau Ubin, a 10 sqkm island off Singapore’s north-eastern coast. There is also go-karting, where participants can race around a 960m-long karting circuit designed by world-renowned FORMULA 1 circuit designer Hermann Tilke.

4. Social engagement before and after events

Event organisers are also hosting pre- and post-conference social tours, including tours around the city or in a particular area of interest. These trips allow delegates to meet and network with like-minded peers in a relaxed environment outside of the event. Participants also get to experience the local culture of the country.

In Singapore, award-winning travel company Journeys is one of the many agencies that provide customised tours combining city orientation and cultural familiarisation. Its team of knowledgeable guides specialise in Singapore’s heritage and culture. If you’re looking for networking over food, Adventour runs a customisable tour about Singapore cuisine.

5. Educational tours

In these lean times, companies are increasingly concerned about getting more bang for their buck from business trips. To offer more value, conference organisers are arranging relevant educational or training tours out of the event venue.

Singapore offers many educational tour options related to various industries. For instance, there are tours of Marina Barrage or the NEWater Visitor Centre for those keen on learning about Singapore’s renowned model of water sustainability. A peek into the behind-the-scenes operations at Tiger Beer Brewery gives participants a better understanding of the country’s favourite beer. There are also tours of the Esplanade – Theatres by the Bay for its architecture, as well as of the URA Singapore Gallery which offers insights into Singapore’s urban planning and sustainable living.

For more information on tours in Singapore, please visit here.