The New Economy Forum, a major global conference of political leaders organised by Bloomberg, was moved from Beijing to Singapore just 10 weeks before the event date on Nov 6, 2018. The move out of Beijing indicated the ‘difficulty of conducting business’ because of rising tensions between China and the US. On top of that, the import expo had taken on new significance for Chinese leaders because of the trade war.
The forum itself was held at Capella Singapore, while the gala dinner took place at the Clifford Pier in Fullerton Bay Hotel. Andrew Phua, director, exhibitions & conferences, Singapore Tourism Board (STB), said that a full “MICE experience” was planned, which enabled delegates to mix both business and leisure during their trip.
Given that the forum brought in many high-profile business professionals and politicians, security and logistics were a major part of the scramble leading up the event. At Capella Singapore, about 250 personnel were mobilised across the hotel’s meeting spaces as well as close to 200 guest rooms that were booked. The team oversaw a range of tasks ranging from security and logistics, to guest services and technical support.
Meanwhile, at Clifford Pier, close to 200 staff were delegated on the floor for the dialogue. The evening’s menu featured inventions from two prominent local chefs: Malcolm Lee, who helms the Michelin-starred Candlenut and Pang Seng Meng and Alexander Pang from New Ubin Seafood.
“[The event] is testament to Singapore’s ability to offer safety and security, excellent infrastructure, efficiency, cleanliness and accessibility – all of which add up to form a secure and friendly environment for business travellers, delegates and event organisers,” said Phua.
SACEOS president Janet Tan-Collis added that Singapore’s “can-do spirit” and ability to execute best practices are some of the reasons it managed to pull off the event in a short span of time. “Whatever market you’re talking about, when it comes to Singapore, an event will definitely be correctly put even if not beautifully put,” she said.
The Bloomberg event was months after what was the biggest meeting of the year for the region – the Trump-Kim summit, also held at Capella Singapore. “It shows the ability for [Singapore] to be tolerant and sensible in bringing everyone together,” said Tan-Collis.
Bloomberg and Capella Singapore declined to comment for this story.