The Singapore Association of Convention and Exhibition Organisers and Suppliers (SACEOS), Singapore Tourism Board (STB), and WeChat announced the official launch of the MeetSG WeChat Mini Program (MeetSG) in Singapore yesterday (10 November), at the Suntec Convention & Exhibition Centre. This makes Singapore the first country destination in the world to introduce such an initiative targeting Chinese MICE (Meetings, Incentives, Conferences and Exhibitions) travellers. With MeetSG, a library of information about Singapore as a MICE destination, business events and meetings community, as well as the city’s offerings, will be made available to over 1 billion monthly active users on WeChat, in their native language.
Complementing the official launch of MeetSG is the WeChat Go Workshop, which will be held tomorrow (12 November), in partnership with Suntec and the Mini Program partner, WeMeet. The workshop aims to introduce the MeetSG WeChat Mini Program to stakeholders from Singapore’s business events industry, to demonstrate how business opportunities can be created through better engagement with Chinese MICE travellers.
About the MeetSG WeChat Mini Program
Developed in partnership with WeMeet, MeetSG will enable MICE event organisers to connect with their Chinese attendees in a more direct and immersive way, offering key information including event schedules and venue, news and push notifications. It also allows Chinese MICE travellers to access up-to-date leisure information and curated offers, such as suggested places to eat and shop, as well as options to purchase tickets to tours and entertainment at partner venues, including Gardens by the Bay, Sports Hub, Sentosa and Faber Peak Singapore. This will enhance their overall visitor experience in Singapore.
MeetSG, targeted at end-users attending business events, complements the first MICE WeChat Mini Program developed by STB’s Greater China office in 2018, which functions as a mobile planner guide for travel intermediaries and corporates. The MICE WeChat Mini Program allows quick and seamless access to Singapore’s MICE information such as MICE venues, itinerary ideas and suggestions, a directory of ground handlers, and information on STB’s MICE incentive schemes.
Enhancing the Chinese MICE traveller’s experience
In 2018, China was Singapore’s top Visitor Arrival (VA) market. It grew by +6% year-on-year to record more than 3.4 million Chinese arrivals into Singapore. In terms of Tourism Receipts (TR), Chinese visitors were also top spenders in Singapore in 2018, contributing over S$3.9 billion in TR (representing an increase of +1% year-on-year).
Ms Melissa Ow, Deputy Chief Executive, STB, said: “China is an important visitor market. STB is always looking for innovative and impactful ways to improve the visitor experience for Chinese MICE visitors, and make their journey in Singapore seamless and memorable. To this end, we are pleased to collaborate with SACEOS and WeChat to be the first country destination in the world to develop the MeetSG WeChat Mini Program for Chinese MICE travellers. We believe this initiative will also give us invaluable insights into the Chinese MICE visitors, which will in turn enable us to continually engage with them and enrich their consumer experience.”
WeChat, which enjoys a high degree of penetration and usage within China, recognises the opportunities for the app to benefit its users in various ways. For example, global adoption of WeChat-enabled services by the larger tourism industry will enhance the quality of experience for Chinese outbound business visitors.
Ms Juliet Zhu, General Manager and Head of WeChat Marketing, said: “This partnership that we have embarked on with SACEOS and STB empowers Singapore as the world’s first country destination to have a comprehensive digital solution not only for leisure tourists, but also business and MICE travellers on WeChat. Working with STB and SACEOS has created a unique way for WeChat to serve the fast growing business travel market and work more closely with the local partners to provide more versatile services to our users.”
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Wiring Singapore’s MICE stakeholders for the future
As the national trade association for business events, one of SACEOS’ objectives is to enable a digitally-ready and future-ready MICE industry. Driving the MeetSG WeChat Mini Program is one of SACEOS’ key initiatives to encourage digitalisation in Singapore’s MICE industry, and is a lever to catalyse local MICE stakeholders to be wired for the future.
Mr Aloysius Arlando, SACEOS President, said: “SACEOS aims to inspire our industry by taking the lead in technology adoption. Through this partnership with STB and WeChat, we can pool our strengths together with a longer term goal to enable a digitally- and future-ready MICE industry. We hope this will spur our industry partners to further leverage technologies to the benefit of our MICE visitors, and come on board with us to grow the MeetSG WeChat Mini Program together.”
As a start, the MeetSG WeChat Mini Program will be piloted with a few upcoming business events in Singapore which attract a significant proportion of Chinese MICE delegates to their shows. Some of them include:
· Singapore FinTech Festival x Singapore Week of Innovation and Technology (SFF x SWITCH), in Nov 2019
· Asia TV Forum & Market, in Dec 2019
· Singapore Airshow, in Feb 2020
· Asia Pacific Maritime, in Mar 2020
· Food & Hotel Asia – Hotel, Restaurant and Café (FHA-HoReCa) and Food & Beverage (FHA F&B), held in Mar and Apr 2020