Exhibition Showcase Talks To Priscilla Leong, Honorary Secretary, SACEOS

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Q. What is SACEOS and what is its role?
A. SACEOS is the Singapore Association for Conventions Exhibitions Organisers and Suppliers – the trade association for meetings, incentives, conventions and exhibitions (MICE) industry. The association leads and represents member organisations to advance the capabilities and growth opportunities for its members and communities committed to the MICE industry, and serves through its mission to:

Empower Business – Through its business outreach and market opportunities platforms, SACEOS empowers and enables business growth, transformation and collaboration for its members and communities committed to the MICE industry.

Enrich Capabilities – SACEOS builds upon the people assets of the MICE industry to enrich the workforce with versatile skills, new knowledge, adaptable for the increased fluidity to perform in a hyperscale gig economy of the future.

Advocate for Industry – SACEOS serves as an active voice for the MICE industry by actively and responsibly advocating for advancement and a better business economy, while remaining a trusted and respected partner of the government and the agencies

Q. How does SACEOS position itself within the global associations market?
A. MICE-commerce is a global and borderless business world with distributed networks. In this super-connected global world of associations, SACEOS remains a key and committed player in this sphere of relationships, distinguishing itself as a thought leader for its focus on sustainable business growth and merits it brings to the community.

Q. What is the President vision for SACEOS? What, specifically, do he hope to achieve?
A. SACEOS President vision for SACEOS is to harness the power of communities and establish new levels of collaboration for the growth of the industry. In today’s world of digitally-enabled communities, cross-industry collaborations and global market connectedness, SACEOS will need to forge purpose-driven partnerships near and far to make our MICE industry future-ready and strengthen Singapore’s leading position in the global MICE space. It is therefore imperative for SACEOS to work with key local associations, institutions and global MICE associations to address the capability and capacity challenges head on and create new and exciting opportunities for the betterment of the business community, people it serves and the workforce it employs.

Q. What developments to expect to see in the short term?
A. SACEOS has dedicated its strategy to the education needs of the MICE industry and has been a great inspiration and envy for many associations around the world. The milestones and achievements are prime foundation which my executive committee will draw strength from and confidently enter to the next phase of growth towards the power of communities.

At the 2018 SMF, SACEOS championed the community and harness the strength of like-minded powers to create the Asia Pacific Community Building Manifesto, a bold and courageous mandate towards the future meeting industry in 2030. The Manifesto outlined seven key pillars including people, technology, business models and new ecosystem, to promote sustainable business progress in the Asia-Pacific region. On home-front, at our association level, SACEOS is aligned with this Manifesto and outlined our strategic focus along 5 key chapters for industry development and growth:

  • Professional Development
  • Community
  • Industry and Enterprise
  • Digital and Innovation
  • Advocacy and Communications

Q. How do these developments align with developments occurring in the wider associations sector?
A. Rising cities, smart future and connected communities are evolving the world we live in – and SACEOS is well-positioned and poised to ride the storm and sea of change.

Q. What are the challenges SACEOS faces?
A. SACEOS is raising awareness that standing still is not an option. We are driving the transformative change, fostering the collaborative wisdom of relevant stakeholders to create new business models.

a) To Be Generation Ready
The demographics and motivations of the four generations (Baby Boomers, Gen X, Millennials, Gen Z) are different and increasingly making an impact in the market. SACEOS views that the MICE industry needs to prepare for Gen Z entering the MICE workforce – in a very different way, even with the Millennials. SACEOS is gathering these understanding and provide a platform for members to prepare for generation readiness, tap on the wave of opportunities that the wave of change presents.
Studies have shown that Gen Z would rather be an entrepreneur than an employee SACEOS recognizes this change and has embarked on tools adoption to help the industry in redefining the concept of personnel from the traditional sense to “pools of talents” for this purpose.
b) Leverage Agile Membership
The way the Millennials and Gen Z consume information challenges the marketer to look at personas, experience and journey.
Based on the size of growing populations of these next generation, SACEOS should have every opportunity to grow membership and conference attendance in the coming years, all through non-traditional business models. SACEOS is scaling up to ensure we are engaged early with Gen Z through our key events such as MICE Challenge and Professional Development vision.

Q. What are SACEOS’ key events?
A. SACEOS creates a year-long calendar filled with meaningful moments-that-matter for our members and our communities. The month of July is especially impactful for SACEOS as we stage our trilogy of our flagship events : SMF (Singapore MICE Forum), ABM (Asia Business Meet), and SMC (Singapore MICE Challenge); to inspire, innovate and inculcate greater value and impactful opportunities for all involved and committed in the business meetings industry.

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