A Flourishing Landscape for Lifestyle Sectors

Direct flights to

111 destinations

in 42 countries1

$2.4 billion

value-added into the media industry2


media commissions under the S$8 million Public Service Content (PSC) Fund3

S$240.8 million

investment in agrifood tech in 20194

S$4.9 billion

e-commerce market5

Impact of design on Singapore’s economy is valued at

S$34.3 billion6

Why Hold Lifestyle Events in Singapore? 

A Vibrant F&B & Retail Sector Driven by Tech

Singapore is known for its culinary prowess with bars like Atlas, and Jigger and Pony, as well as restaurants like Odette, Les Amis and Burnt Ends13 , rated amongst the world’s top14. In the retail world, the Textile and Fashion Federation (TaFF) supports local labels, with success stories from Martha Who and Kanzi Collection. TaFF also regularly holds events on topics like analytics, design thinking, sustainability and merchandising to help fashion retail businesses scale15. Online stores complemented existing physical stores are user-centric and equipped with real-time inventories to reach larger international audiences. 

With the launch of the Industry Transformation Maps (ITMs) for both the retail and food services industry, Singapore is set to become an important hub for F&B and retail players.

Business opportunities abound, especially as both sectors ramp up innovation and digital efforts to increase cost savings and engage with their customers. For example:

  • Ratio

    Although robots have long been used in the F&B sector to clear trays16 and as baristas17, cafe and lounge, Ratio, has taken this a step further by tapping on both robotics and artificial intelligence to offer made-to-order drinks in the exact ratio that one prefers18.

  • Ma Cuisine

    As the COVID-19 pandemic drove multiple F&B outlets to innovate and bring the restaurant experience to homes19, gastro wine bar, Ma Cuisine, developed an app that went beyond taking reservations and orders. Now, one can also purchase curated tableware, art and gourmet produce, and even chat with the co-owners directly.
  • Commune

    Furniture retailer, Commune, mixes 3D floor planning and virtual reality (VR) simulation to help buyers make visualise their purchases20.
  • Decks

    Fashion retailer, Decks, introduced a radio-frequency identification system to manage its inventory and facilitate self-checkouts21.
  • Shiseido 

    Shiseido Asia Pacific expanded its presence in Singapore with a new Asia Pacific Innovation Centre to develop products for Asian consumers and to train beauty professionals in the region22.

A Growing Agri-Food Sphere

Singapore’s commitment to produce 30 percent of its nutritional needs locally by 2030, and the set up a $60 million agri-food cluster transformation fund23 make the country an ideal location for business events in this arena.

Locally, the sector is growing rapidly with the development of salt-tolerant tilapia, climate-proof vegetables24, and Temasek Rice, Singapore’s first home-grown rice capable of withstanding floods25.

In the realm of alternative proteins, biotech company, TurtleTree Labs, is pioneering the production of milk using cell-based technology26, and Shiok Meats is developing a method to grow seafood and meat from cells instead of animals27.

Global players have also been drawn to Singapore. This includes: 

  • Perfect Day

    A US-founded alternative protein company that uses fermentation biotechnology techniques to develop and produce animal-free dairy proteins, casein and whey. In 2020, Perfect Day announced the launch of its Asian-based research and development (R&D) centre in Singapore28.
  • &ever

    &ever, a German indoor vertical farming company which specialises in a proprietary “dryponics” substrate, and end-to-end automated farming system, opened its first global R&D centre in Singapore29.
  • Buhler

    Swiss-based global giants, equipment manufacturer, Buhler, and manufacturer of flavours, fragrances and active cosmetic ingredients, Givaudan, set up a dedicated plant-based food innovation centre in Singapore.
  • Oatly

    In partnership with Singaporean beverage company Yeo’s, Swedish oat drink company, Oatly, is investing S$30m to build its first plant-based milk production facility outside of Europe and North America30.

These businesses, along with accelerators like GROW, Hatch Blue, Trendlines and The Yield Lab31, make Singapore an ideal location to connect with both existing and rising agri-food players. 

The Merging of Design and Business

Furniture design and urban planning have helped Singapore make its mark at global festivals like the Venice Biennale of Architecture and Milan Design Week32.

Award-winning international architects have also worked on various projects in the country. This includes Learning Hub by Thomas Heatherwick33, the Interlace and DUO by Ole Scheeren34 and Jewel Changi Airport by Moshe Safdie35.

With the sheer number of green buildings like Gardens by the Bay and Park Royal on Pickering36, Singapore has incorporated sustainable practices with ambitious design.

Efforts to raise our design profile continue with areas like Design Orchard, an integrated retail and incubation space that aims to groom new and emerging designers in the lifestyle and fashion sector37, and the launch of the Singapore Good Design (SG Mark) to benchmark good design and quality38.

Testament to our growing profile, Singapore is home to Tupperware Brands' Global Design Centre for Asia39, Asia’s first Porsche Design Studio40 and Proctor & Gamble’s (P&G) Singapore Innovation Centre — an international innovation hub for P&G’s global hair care, skin care, home care, and personal health and grooming products, just to name a few.

These examples help cement Singapore’s reputation as a leader in the design sphere, making the country a natural choice for events in architecture, fashion and more.

There is also potential for conferences and exhibitions revolving around design thinking. Interest is rising in this area as the Singapore government leads the way in using design thinking to develop digital parking and programmes for people with disabilities. Businesses have also come on board with Dsg’s Business Value of Design programme, an initiative that encourages companies to leverage on design thinking to improve their bottom lines41

An Innovative Travel Sphere

The creativity and resilience demonstrated by Singapore’s travel players has given rise to multiple smarter ways to travel, and in turn a myriad of case studies and experts that event organisers can tap on.

  • Hotels

    The hotels sector has long started leveraging on artificial intelligence, with Hotel Jen using robot butlers since 201742. Now, features like self-check-in kiosks, chatbots, contactless payments and digital in-room dining services are the norm. Singapore Tourism Board and Singapore Hotel Association have also launched a facial recognition tech E-Visitor Authentication System (EVA) to smoothen the check-in process in Swissotel The Stamford and Grand Park City Hall43.
  • Experiences

    Operators like TourHQ, Airbnb's Online Experiences44 and Monster Day Tours45 offer virtual tours that mix in live-streamed events with pre-recorded footage. Hotels, museums, tour operators and more are also coming together to offer bundled packages to provide one-stop services to our travellers46.
  • MICE Events

    Marina Bay Sands set up its first hybrid broadcast studio47 capable of projecting 3D holographic avatars onto a physical stage for a truly immersive presentation. Singapore EXPO launched FleX, a modular breakout room solution which offers spaces easily configured with different layouts to cater to hybrid events. One can also look forward to faster, cheaper and accurate methods of COVID-19 testing at immigration checkpoints and MICE events to facilitate safer travel and event experiences in the future.
  • Airport

    Changi Airport, which welcomed over 65 million visitors pre-pandemic, is the first airport to upgrade its check-in systems with fully automated, touch-free kiosks48. Today, immigration lanes are fitted with biometric systems for contactless identity verification that uses iris-recognition technology instead of the traditional fingerprint scans.

Growing Media and Digital Content

Testament to Singapore’s credibility in developing media and digital content, companies like Lucasfilm, Tecmo-Koei, Bandai Namco, Electronic Arts and Ubisoft— whose Singapore studio has played a part in the globally acclaimed Assassin’s Creed franchise— are now based in the country. 

eSports is growing rapidly with support of organisations like EMERGE Esports, dedicated to groom eSports athletes and other professionals49. Singapore is home to eSports champions like Daryl Koh, Ho Kun Xian and Jeng Yih Wong, and has hosted both the US$300,000 M2 World Championship50 and the Free Fire World Series 2021 Singapore (FFWS 2021 SG)51.

In the media realm, Singapore is recognised for films by directors Eric Khoo (“12 stories”) and Anthony Chen (“Ilo Ilo”) and for being the film location for movies such as “Crazy Rich Asians”, “Hitman: Agent 47” and “Equal”. More is to be expected with IMDA’s partnerships with global players like Tencent and Viacom to develop “made in Singapore” content52.

The country is also known for hosting the annual Singapore Media Festival, which brings together events like the Asian Academy Creative Awards (AAA), Asia TV Forum & Market (ATF), ScreenSingapore, Singapore International Film Festival (SGIFF), and in 2020, the digital version of VidCon Asia, called VidCon Now.

Together, this means that organisers will find both the talent, expertise and infrastructure needed to make their events successful. 

Get Inspired 

Asia-Pacific Agrifood Innovation Summit 

Singapore’s annual summit explores the latest innovations and market opportunities across Asia’s agri-food supply chain.

FHA-F&B and FHA-HoReCa

Southeast Asia’s largest food and hospitality trade event, FHA is a launchpad for new-to-market innovations and a platform for international suppliers to network and harness opportunities in Asia. The inaugural FHA-HoReCa (Hotel, Restaurant & Café) in 2022 will showcase an extensive line-up of products and smart technologies in areas including but not limited to bakery, food service and hospitality equipment.

Gamescom Asia 

A platform for SEA game developers to explore partnerships and connect to international publishers. 

ITB Asia 

A trade show for leading travel companies, SMEs and international buyers from the MICE, leisure, corporate travel and tech travel markets. 

Singapore Design Week (SDW) 

As one of Asia’s premier design festivals, SDW is a design thought-leadership event, open to the public, where the worlds of design, business and public policy intersect.

Singapore Media Festival

A three-week long festival focused on Asian storytelling and the “made in Singapore” ethos. 

TFWA Asia Pacific Exhibition & Conference

The leading trade event for the duty-free and travel retail industry in APAC. A chance to find out about the latest research, brand news, trade advice, and to network. 

ILTM Asia Pacific

An exclusive, invitation-only, luxury travel event catered to the top travel agents and businesses across the Asia Pacific region. 

Web in Travel (WiT) Singapore

Asia's leading digital travel media & events platform with content focused on how technology impacts the future of travel.