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The Show Must Go On: How These S’pore Events Firms Are Tapping On Tech To Survive Covid-19


The occasions business in Singapore has floor to a halt following the Covid-19 virus outbreak.

On March 20, the Ministry of Well being introduced that each one occasions and gatherings with 250 or extra folks attending at anybody time have to be suspended till June 30 to scale back the chance of virus transmission.

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Afterward March 24, the Multi-Ministry Taskforce tightened the rule and banned all occasions and any gatherings of greater than 10 folks.

These authorities prohibitions meant that enterprise conferences, commerce exhibits, music festivals and live shows, company occasions and even weddings, should both be placed on maintain or cancelled.

For sure, the sudden dearth of occasions has badly impacted the MICE (conferences, incentives, conferences and exhibitions) business. The truth is, it may be argued that the occasions business was the primary to be affected by Covid-19.

It has affected not solely the organisers, but in addition the distributors and freelancers who ply their commerce on this house.

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In accordance with I Misplaced My Gig — a web site that information losses from Covid-19 — roughly S$30.2 million has been misplaced, with over 2,000 folks affected and over 8,700 jobs misplaced (figures are correct at time of writing).

Vulcan Publish spoke to 2 gamers within the native occasions business to see how they’re coping with this disruption and the way they’re rising to the challenges of Covid-19.

Occasions Business Hit By Wave Of Cancellations

Talking to Stefan Lim, nation head of PouchNATION Singapore, he mentioned that he witnessed occasion organisers primarily suspending their occasions in the direction of the third and fourth quarter of this yr.

zoukout singapore
ZoukOut Singapore / Picture Credit score: Time Out

Up to now, PouchNATION has helped help main occasions and festivals within the area resembling Good Vibes Pageant, ZoukOut Singapore, Sentosa GrillFest, 18th Asian Video games (Media Gathering) and Forbes Underneath 30 Summit 2018.

Whereas they’ve certainly skilled some losses attributable to this downturn, Stefan mentioned that as a tech-driven firm, they will function each offline and on-line, which helps to cushion their losses.

A neighborhood occasions agency that specialises in organising offline occasions nevertheless, has been challenged by larger depth.

Known as Scenestealer, it organises varied occasions from artwork installations to way of life launches and neighborhood festivals. Its most up-to-date challenge is Intergalatica Odyssey @ ArtScience Museum, which is an immersive, multimedia house exhibition.

Intergalatica Odyssey @ ArtScience Museum
Intergalatica Odyssey @ ArtScience Museum / Picture Credit score: Scenestealer

In accordance with Silver Adrienna Ng, managing director of Scenestealer, considered one of its first few occasions that received cancelled was a cross-region maritime seminar organised for Norway and Singapore.

Subsequently, way of life occasions for a number of purchasing malls began to tug out, and model activation campaigns for large-scale music festivals resembling HydeOut received postponed.

COVID-19 has a direct destructive affect on our firm’s income in compliance with the safe-distancing mandate.

We have now been reeling from the affect ever since, (struggling) 98.3% earnings loss since February 2020.

– Silver Adrienna Ng, managing director of Scenestealer

She added that it has been an enormous problem for her to maintain the enterprise whereas incurring income losses and bearing overhead bills.

On the identical time, she additionally has to search out “new channels of engagement within the digital world” in addition to assist shift purchasers’ mindsets in the direction of the digital world on occasion organising.

Monetary Losses Not Comforted By Lack Of Gov’t Assist

silver ng scenestealer
Silver Adrienna Ng, managing director of Scenestealer / Picture Credit score: Scenestealer

So as to add salt to the wound, Silver feels that the native occasions business is missed when it comes to authorities assist.

She has even written an enchantment letter requesting for an extension of upper help underneath the Jobs Assist Scheme (JSS), however has but to obtain any replies.

The affect of the occasions business that resulted from Covid-19 has not been addressed because it ought to have alongside tourism and F&B sectors.

It’s important that the federal government sees the business as a vital extension of the tourism business via MICE, leisure and way of life occasions that strongly helps the ‘X-factor’ of our metropolis as an avenue of thrilling issues to do for tourism enhance.

– Silver Adrienna Ng, managing director of Scenestealer

stefan lim pouchnation
Stefan Lim, nation head of PouchNATION Singapore / Picture Credit score: Stefan Lim

Stefan echoed her sentiments, including that occasions certainly play an enormous half in tourism as lots of their festivals and conferences see a very good share of attendees flying in to Singapore.

I used to be at first inspired to see that MICE venues had been included within the Jobs Assist Scheme (JSS) to take pleasure in 75% wage help, however saddened to see that the occasion distributors had been disregarded. I imply, no occasion, no occasion distributors proper? There are actually hundreds of jobs and earnings presently misplaced as a result of there aren’t any occasions.

We presently solely fall in the identical Tier Three as everybody else, which means solely 25% JSS help.

– Stefan Lim, nation head of PouchNATION Singapore

Pivoting To On-line Occasions

livestreaming events
Livestreaming occasions / Picture Credit score: New Music USA

Because of the present disruption in occasions, PouchNATION has just lately diversified their merchandise providing to launch a brand new vertical — digital occasions — which provides another for occasion organisers to stream occasions on-line.

In accordance with Stefan, PouchNATION’s on-line merchandise are seeing a “large demand” in the meanwhile. The truth is, they’re confirmed to be broadcasting occasions in Malaysia, Vietnam and the Philippines beginning subsequent week.

Nonetheless, taking such occasions on-line is a unique ballpark and requires a brand new set of concerns.

When offering our purchasers with the instruments to run digital occasions, we deal with (two issues). Firstly, monetisation — that is the place our ticketing system turns out to be useful.

Secondly, interplay and engagement. We’re releasing a brand new product that’s just about targeted round partaking on-line audiences whereas streaming occasions.

– Stefan Lim, nation head of PouchNATION Singapore

For Scenestealer, Silver mentioned that that is the time for them to “adapt and redesign” the best way they organise occasions, including that pivoting to digital occasions is certainly a “path (they) are steering the boat in the direction of throughout this time.”

The Silver Lining Of Covid-19

Regardless of the challenges that Covid-19 has caused, Stefan mentioned that the pandemic has additionally opened up a enterprise alternative for them.

Many occasion organisers began to succeed in out to us asking how we may help them to run safer occasions. (Since) many consumers have an interest, we’re (now) engaged on expertise that may make occasions safer sooner or later.

So general, though the business is impacted, we see lots of alternatives so as to add worth with our expertise.

– Stefan Lim, nation head of PouchNATION Singapore

rfid wristband cashless payment
RFID wristband for cashless fee / Picture Credit score: PouchNATION

The occasion expertise answer supplier presently provides providers like RFID wristbands and playing cards for cashless fee, consumer behaviour and visitors knowledge monitoring, offline engagement mechanics on- and off-site, in addition to e-ticketing.

pouchnation wristbands
PouchNATION wristbands / Picture Credit score: PouchNATION

Past these providers, PouchNATION is launching a brand new product within the wake of Covid-19: physique temperature screening wristbands.

(Our) superior health-screening wristbands shall be combining PouchNATION’s conventional NFC wristband and all its options with newly-added physique temperature sensors.

– Stefan Lim, nation head of PouchNATION Singapore

Future Of The Occasions Business

PouchNATION just lately carried out a survey with market leaders that discusses the consequences of Covid-19 on the regional occasions business.

Stefan mentioned that the general outlook is “fairly constructive” and cited some key findings:

  • Leisure is coming again beginning Q3 this yr — in smaller scale first, earlier than progressively opening up extra
  • Sponsors and types will begin investing extra from early subsequent yr
  • New merchandise will emerge, and among the many most outstanding shall be on-line occasions
  • Expertise will play a a lot greater function in the way forward for the business resembling knowledge assortment, contactless funds, health-screening expertise and phone tracing

With PouchNATION’s transfer in the direction of digital occasions and health-screening expertise, Stefan is assured that they’re heading in the right direction, however finds it a problem to “make everybody conscious of the benefits in a short while with a restricted funds.”

In step with the final survey discovering, Silver feels that the way forward for the occasions business will embody expertise by massive, such because the personalisation of individuals’ touchpoints and live-streaming in help of face-to-face occasions.

The rise of on-line occasions is obvious to see, however each Stefan and Silver really feel that it’s going to not find yourself cannibalising face-to-face occasions sooner or later.

Digital occasions do have deserves of scale, security and decrease prices, however I believe the necessity to meet and communicate face-to-face continues to be a human behaviour.

I do nevertheless assume {that a} digital occasion component shall be explored extra in-depth for organisers. For instance, if a speaker can’t fly in for the convention, (they will select to) stream it dwell through the occasion (as an alternative).

– Stefan Lim, nation head of PouchNATION Singapore

Silver agrees, including that digital occasions alone can’t replicate the sensory expertise of face-to-face occasions, as evoked by our human sense of contact, odor and style.

She added that digital occasions are merely an extension of face-to-face occasions — it’s a “hybrid mixture to amplify viewers attain.”

It’s overwhelming treading unknown waters on this interval, however we should be taught to pivot within the midst of disaster and assist each other to get via.

– Silver Adrienna Ng, managing director of Scenestealer

Featured Picture Credit score: Scenestealer


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