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M.I.C.E. Venues

 February 14, 2003
Suntec Singapore Unveils Strategies for 2003

 Suntec Singapore International Convention & Exhibition Centre (Suntec Singapore) hosted a total of 1,288 events last year compared to 1,346 events in 2001. This decrease of 58 events from 2001 was a result of an overall dip in the number of seminars, trade exhibitions, special events and catering functions. On the other hand, conventions and public exhibitions rose by 24 events in total. Despite the marginal decline of 4.5 % from 2001, the Centreís performance still falls within expectations. Based on the outcome in 2002, Suntec Singapore has shaped new strategies to meet targets for 2003.

"Given the current uncertainties of global security concerns, the recent terrorist crackdowns in Asia and the general weak economies, we are pleased that we have met our targets. Year 2001 was a record year for us since the Centre opened in 1995, so kudos to the team for being able to come close to that in 2002 and still perform better than Year 2000. We are also happy that our partnerships with industry players have resulted in attracting international events like the 2006 Annual Meeting for the International Monetary Fund/World Bank to Singapore," said Mr. Warren J. Buckley, CEO of Suntec Singapore.

Strategies for 2003
While maintaining the focus on its core business of conventions and exhibitions, Suntec Singapore has identified six main strategies for 2003:

1) Successful Partnerships And International Marketing
"The joint marketing campaign, "Singapore Intelligence Centre - Where Great Minds Meet" was created with our partners to jointly and powerfully market the combined strengths effectively in a crowded marketplace. This totally integrated events infrastructure that we have within a 15-minute walk is unparalleled in the world and we will continue with our partners to pool resources to market this excellent destination," says Warren Buckley.

Working closely with the consortium partners and with the Singapore Tourism Board (STB), Suntec Singapore conducted research on 183 associations in the last 18 months and to date, Suntec Singapore has won five international bids representing 7,800 delegates. The Centre is now bidding for another 23 international meetings.

For 2003, events held at Suntec Singapore will draw approximately 46,800 overseas visitors, which will generate 163,800 room nights (3.5 nights on an average) for the surrounding hotels. Using a conservative average room rate of S$180.00, the total room nights equate to nearly S$30 million in room revenue for Singapore hotels. This is approximately a 30 per cent increase over 2002. The partner hotels have reported 27,070 room nights at an average room rate of S$224.48 - revenue of S$5.96 million - that was confirmed by event organisers for events held at Suntec Singapore in 2002.

Based on the success of the Singapore Intelligence Centre, Suntec Singapore will continue to seek out key local and international partners in 2003 to strengthen the destination sell in the international market.

The Centre will also continue to work closely with government agencies and key associations like Singapore Tourism Board, IE Singapore, Economic Development Board and other relevant parties to attract international events.

2) One-stop Access
With the success of the partnerships that Suntec Singapore has established, the Centre offers customers direct access to 75,000 square metres of meeting space, 5,200 hotel rooms, 1,000 retail shops and 300 restaurants. The hotels adjacent to the Centre offer another 101 meeting rooms and 11 ballrooms. Thus, Suntec Singapore is able to offer customers a single contact point for flexible space rental, accommodation and event management. This represents true one-stop shopping for the convention or exhibition planner, where Suntec Singapore will provide a totally comprehensive and tailored proposal encompassing the different components that the customer needs.

3) Effective Market Segmentation & Unique Solutions
Suntec Singapore's multifunctional facilities provide the Centre with a platform to attract all types of events. To showcase this flexibility, Suntec Singapore has developed a simple strategy of "More than Meeting Space" for its local marketing programme fro 2003.

The Centre has also received increasingly diverse events, especially performing arts activities like jazz, pop and classical concerts, as well as theatre productions. Suntec Singapore expects this to continue to grow and is adopting a more flexible pricing and promotional strategy for this market segment.

Suntec Singapore continues to seek out opportunities to tailor packages to clientísí needs. For example, to cater to clients who hold their seminars in the evening, the Centre has launched "After 6" seminar packages, which gives cost savings of up to 30 per cent off the regular rates.

4) E-marketing Programme
Besides developing an extensive permission based database, Suntec Singapore is also looking at promoting electronic Request For Proposals to speed up their response to sales enquires and to streamline the sales process. This will be supported by a strong presence in relevant industry and search engine sites.

The Centre has also kicked off the conversion of their sales brochure and other marketing materials into a special electronic format, which is compressed to a file size of less than 1 megabyte for easy emailing. Previously, the sales brochure took up 6.4 megabytes of space in PDF format.

The e-brochure contains special features that accommodate graphics easily and that allows the pages to turn like a "normal" book, instead of requiring the reader to scroll. Therefore, these features enhance the readability and "look and feel" of the e-brochure, bringing it close to reading a hard copy brochure.

As a result, the costs of producing and distributing brochures will be reduced and the distribution is almost instant. The first e-brochure is due to be ready by end of the March 2003.

5) Engaging the Customers
Building on the good rapport that the Centre has with its customers, Suntec Singapore is looking to better understand customers by increasing feedback channels, organising quality surveys and holding focused training sessions for staff.

The first customer survey will kick off in March 2003 where customers will be asked to rate the Centre's service and facility quality. A "mystery customer" exercise will also be launched to obtain another measurement of current quality. Based on the results of these programmes, Suntec Singapore will be able to address weak areas and to maximise their current strengths.

Staff will undergo focused customer service training programmes to learn how to not only meet, but also to exceed customers' expectations, as well as to continually carry a positive and flexible mindset.

6) Suntec Integrated Media
Suntec Integrated Media has grown its stable of shows from a humble beginning of three shows to 13 shows and 4 conferences since its inception last year. Established as a full-fledged exhibition organiser, Suntec Integrated Media - a division of Suntec Singapore - conceptualises and develops business events, as well as provides a platform for overseas organisers to enter the Asian market. From concept to realisation, SIM completely administers all aspects of event organising. Through this division, Suntec Singapore is able to increase its revenue streams and at the same time, expand the current exhibitions market in Singapore.

Their calendar of shows is as follows:

- Cleaning and Maintenance Asia, 25-27 February 2003, Suntec Singapore
- Energy Management Asia, 25-27 February 2003, Suntec Singapore
- Conference on Energy for Sustainable Growth: The Policy and Technology Challenges, 25-27 February 2003, Suntec Singapore
- Facility Management Asia, 25-27 February 2003, Suntec Singapore
- Conference on The Changing Role of Facilities Management, 25-27 February 2003, Suntec Singapore
- Public Design Asia, 25-27 February 2003, Suntec Singapore
- Water & Waste Tech Asia, 25-27 February 2003, Suntec Singapore
- Conference on The International Water Reuse and Desalination Conference, 25-27 February 2003, Suntec Singapore
- Conference on Solid & Hazardous Waste Conference, 25-27 February 2003, Suntec Singapore
- Fast Forward, 21-23 April 2003, Suntec Singapore
- Gym Asia, May 2003, Suntec Singapore
- Asia Dive Expo, 9-11 May 2003, Bangkok
- Food Fiesta, 1-3 August 2003, Suntec Singapore
- Ideas!, 23-25 September 2003, Suntec Singapore

With these six main strategic thrusts, Suntec Singapore looks forward to a challenging year ahead, where the performance for 2003 will depend considerably on the stability of the external environment like the global economy and pending international conflict.