Welcome to the Meeting and Event Planning Guide for Singapore, written with meeting planners in mind. A global hub for both business and leisure, Singapore is a natural choice for meetings and events. With several, first-class convention centers and 40,000 hotel rooms, it's not surprising that Singapore has earned a lengthy list of accolades for hosting meetings. That said, Singapore continues to reinvent itself with new event venues and attractions, such as the Marina Bay Sands Singapore, a hotel, museum, retail, dining, entertainment and casino destination that has 250 meeting rooms and Southeast Asia's largest ballroom.
Headlining Singapore's large-scale facilities is the impressive Singapore Expo. With 123,000 square meters of exhibition area, the Singapore Expo is well suited to hosting presentations for over 9,000 people in its largest theater; seminars for over 4,500 people in its largest classroom; and receptions for up to 6,760 guests in its largest banquet venue. Located five minutes from the airport and within walking distance of five hotels, the Singapore Expo is understandably a favorite choice for business events of all kinds.
Meanwhile, the Suntec Singapore International Convention & Exhibition Centre offers 100,000 square meters of exhibition space in the heart of downtown and the marina area. Located near 35 hotels, the center has 26 function rooms, professional staff and world-class amenities. From luxury resorts to historic properties, most hotels offer fully equipped business centers, meeting rooms, Internet access and more. The legendary Raffles Hotel, a national monument since 1987, offers more than five venues suited to events ranging in type and size. Dominating Singapore's Marina Square are the Mandarin Oriental, Hotel Pan Pacific and Meritus Mandarin, each offering extensive facilities for meetings and conventions and boasting a collective room count of nearly 2,000 rooms. Singapore's latest development, the 2,561-room Marina Bay Sands Singapore opened in 2011 with the capacity to accommodate 2,000 exhibition booths, 45,000 delegates and up to 6,000 guests banquet-style (7,000 for a staged performance or 11,000 theater-style).
Supported by a wealth of unique venues, Singapore proves that business and pleasure can in fact be mixed. Host an unforgettable gala at the Asian Civilisations Museum, where a backdrop of Chinese ceramics and Buddha statues captivate guests. The glass restaurant Lodge on Flamingo Lake at Jurong BirdPark is a stunning setting for receptions and dinners. Or, take luncheons of up to 500 people outdoors at the pavilions at Orchidville, the largest orchid farms in Singapore.
Luckily for international travelers, Singapore makes it easy for guests to reach any and all meeting venues and attractions with its clean, inexpensive transportation system. An extensive network of trains, buses and taxis connect travelers to nearly any point in the city, with public transportation fares often averaging under S$2. Getting to the city itself is also hassle-free, thanks the Changi Airport, located about 30 minutes from downtown. Operating flights to over 180 cities in more than 50 countries, Changi is consistently ranked as one of the best in the world.
The first mention of Singapore can be found in a Chinese written record dating to the 3rd century, when it was described as "Pu Luo Chung," or "island at the end." Though modest, the description centers on what would hold great importance for the nation in years to come. Its location at the tip of Malay Peninsula made Singapore a hub for sea routes and trade throughout the centuries. In 1819, Sir Stamford Raffles first established what is now modern Singapore as a British trading post, spurring population growth from 150 to 10,000 people in just five years.
Today Singapore continues to thrive with over 4.8 million residents. Though it is the smallest nation in Southeast Asia at 710.2 square kilometers, it remains the largest of the three remaining sovereign city-states in the world. It also holds the impressive title as the 5th wealthiest country in the world in terms of GDP per capita, thanks to a solid economy based heavily on manufacturing. It is also the busiest port in the world with over 600 shipping lines that coordinate the tankers, container ships and passenger liners filling the surrounding waters.
For visitors, Singapore's bustling waterside has many advantages as well. Actually made up of a main island with 63 surrounding islets, Singapore has plenty of scenic recreation options that groups can enjoy in the year-round warm climate: pond fishing, biking or kayaking at the increasingly-popular Pasir Ris Park, which is also home to a large mangrove forest. Groups can also play golf or tennis at the popular East Coast Park; or inhale the sweet aroma of the 20,000 orchid plants on display at the Singapore Botanic Gardens.
In addition, groups may delve into the vibrant culture and heritage of Singapore at the National Museum of Singapore, the largest and oldest museum in the country; or explore over 7,500 20th-century Singapore and Southeast Asian art pieces, including those by pioneer artists Liu Kang and Georgette Chen. At the Asian Civilisations Museum, guests can see batik, embroidery and beadwork collections along with silver and porcelain artifacts representing the rich tapestry of Asian cultures.
Visitors can easily explore these diverse cultures on the streets of Singapore as well. Shop for silk saris and wood carvings on the streets of Little India, or enjoy Peking duck and dim sum in Chinatown. The neighborhood of Kampong Glam was once the seat of Malay royalty in Singapore. Today, guests can explore its many historic attractions, including the Malay Heritage Centre and Sultan Mosque, the largest mosque in Singapore.
When the sun sets, the streets of Singapore take an entirely different character. Savor satay at the 24-hour Lau Pa Sat Festival Market, or hit the dance floor at the Ministry of Sound. Chill out at Wala Wala bar, where a laidback atmosphere attracts visitors of all kinds to enjoy live music nightly. Guests can even shop at any hour of the day, thanks to the 24-hour, six-story Mustafa Centre, which boasts some of the lowest fixed prices in Singapore. Day and night, Singapore's varied attractions keep guests making memories.
All average costs based on U.S. Government Per Diem rates as published by the U.S. General Services Administration.
Singapore's tropical rainforest climate has no distinctive seasons, but it does create high humidty and abundant rainfall. Temperatures average 22°C to 34°C with only slight variations throughout the year; temperatures are generally highest in June and July.
Monsoon season runs from November to January, during which sudden, heavy showers can occur. Because of its consistent climate, any time of year is a great time to visit Singapore. To avoid the heaviest rains, visitors should plan a trip between February and October.
With more than 123,000 square meters of meeting, convention and exhibit space, Singapore Expo is the largest convention and exhibition venue in Singapore. Over the years, the Expo has hosted conferences, meetings, conventions, banquets, concerts and special events of all kinds.The Singapore Expo boasts 10 convention and exhibition halls, each measuring 10,000 square meters. Totaling 100,000 square meters of column-free space, the halls offer room for up to 19,000 people. The MAX pavilion, an events hall with auditorium-style seating, provides state-of-the-art lighting and video systems for events of up to 7,000 people. Other event spaces include 10 conference halls, nine meeting rooms, eight mobile conference rooms, and a 10,000-square-meter open-air outdoor events area.
The Expo's group of restaurants and bars, named Flavours East, offer a selection of 16 food outlets ranging from North Indian to traditional Chinese to Western favorites. Guests can grab a quick bite, sit down for a relaxing meal or even sip a cocktail or two at one of the varied establishments; the laidback Jazz Pub even offers nightly karaoke.
Located on the east side of Singapore, the Expo is only five minutes from the Changi Airport and is served by its own MRT station; it also has its own parking lot for 22,000 vehicles. The Expo's 3.5G wireless broadband service is the fastest in the world. Its fiber optics backbone, wireless wifi facilities, Internet kiosks, state-of-the-art audio-visual sound and lighting systems, and broadcast and satellite capabilities make it more than capable of meeting the technological needs of any event.
Recognized as one of Asia's leading such facilities, the Suntec Singapore International Convention & Exhibition Centre is a one-stop venue for events of any size or type. With 100,000 square meters of floor space, it can accommodate groups of 10 to 10,000 people.
Its Convention Halls, spanning 12,000 square meters, feature the largest column-free meeting space in Asia, while its Exhibition Halls, also covering 12,000 square meters, can be divided into four sections. Popular for corporate banquets, the 3,700-square-meter Gallery can accommodate up to 3,000 people, theater-style. A 2,150-square-meter Ballroom, 596-seat Theatre, 300-square-meter Concourse and 31 meeting rooms round out Suntec's seemingly endless array of versatile spaces.
Suntec Singapore's courteous and professional staff and personalized service complement its first-class facilities. Its banquet kitchen is the largest in the country, and the in-house food outlets and restaurants offer additional meal options. The contemporary Pearl River Palace's culinary team has won awards in the 2008 Food & Hotel Imperial Challenge, while the lively Joaquin serves over 30 Thai specialties in its popular buffet dinner. At Food Republic, guests can sample local favorites such as bak kut teh, roti prata and dim sum at one of 14 food stalls.
Beyond food service, guests enjoy top-quality, professional audio-visual equipment, teleconferencing and videoconferencing facilities, simultaneous interpretation systems, broadband Internet connectivity and more to make their events a success. Easily accessible by the MRT and buses, Suntec Singapore has 3,200 parking spaces in its car park. Guests can also directly reach 5,200 hotel rooms, 1,000 shops, 300 restaurants and a performing arts center thanks to air-conditioned tunnels and covered walkways.
With all it has to offer, it's no surprise that Suntec Singapore is garnering praise such as the Best Convention & Exhibition Centre in the 2008 TTG Travel Awards and Asia's Leading Conference Centre 2008 by the World Travel Awards. It has hosted group such as the Tax Free World Association and events such as the World Cities Summit 2008.
Grand Copthorne Waterfront Hotel
391 Havelock Road
Total Meeting Space - 65,000 Sq. Ft.
Changi Airport (SIN)
Approximate taxi fare: $54.60 SGD
The main flight hub for the Asia Pacific region, Changi Airport is also recognized as one of the best airports in the worldChangi operates flights to over 180 cities in more than 50 countries and has a capacity of 70 million passengers per year. Hosting 80 airlines, the airport has four terminals, one of which is designated as the Budget Terminal.
Changi Airport is not only a travel hub, it is a retail and dining experience. The airport's Shopping City has more than 300 retail outlets, offering everything from fashion and accessories to wine and tobacco to state-of-the-art electronics. The dining options are equally varied, as travelers can enjoy everything from fast food restaurants to cafes to bars, each serving up something for all tastes, including vegetarian and Halal choices. The ever-popular McDonald's and Subway serve classic American fare, while Lerk Thai, Crystal Jade Shanghai Restaurant and Tong Shui Cafe offer a taste of the Asian region.
For a luxury experience that encompasses it all, travelers head to JetQuay, the self-described first luxury terminal in Asia, offered at a membership or ad-hoc basis. Here, passengers on any airline at any level can make use of a personal concierge, a five-star lounge with tabletop PCs, Wi-Fi access, a business center, a mini-gym, a spa, a bistro and several private lounges. Travelers that plan to spend more time at the airport can enjoy 320 guest rooms at the Crowne Plaza Changi Airport, connected to Terminal 3 via covered walkways.
Free Wi-Fi is available throughout the airport, and free Internet kiosks are located in Terminals 1 and 2. Two business centers offering mailing and faxing services are also on-site.
Aside from rental cars and taxis, travelers without cars can also make use of the 5-seat and 7-seat Limousine Taxis, operating at the Arrivals hall. These luxury vehicles operate at $45 per vehicle per trip.
SMRT is Singapore's premier transportation provider with an extensive network of trains, buses and taxis. Instead of paying in cash, travelers may choose to purchase stored value EZ-Link cards from any TransitLink Sales Office. Adult cards are sold with a minimum stored value of S$10 plus an S$5 deposit fee. Maximum card values are S$100.
Mass Rapid Transit (MRT)
Forming the backbone of Singapore's railway system, the MRT is the 2nd oldest metro system in Southeast Asia, seeing an average daily ridership of 1.5 million people. These air-conditioned passenger trains serve stations located all over the island and run on three main lines. The North-South line runs from Marina Bay to Jurong East; the East-West line runs from Changi Airport to Boon Lay; and the North-East line runs from Harbour Front to Punggol.
MRT trains run daily between every two and a half and eight minutes from 5:30 to 12:30 AM. Fares range from S$0.80 to S$1.70.
SMRT buses comprise a fleet over 800 vehicles traveling 74 routes, including Singapore's first night service known as SMRT NightRider. Buses cover any areas not reached by MRT, and bus stops can be found at all MRT stations.
Bus schedules vary based on route. The seven NightRider services run Friday, Saturday and on the eve of public holidays from 11:30 PM to 4:30 AM. Fares range from S$0.80 to S$1.70.
SMRT Link is a free shuttle service for guests traveling to Chinatown, Dhoby Ghaut and Little India. Pick-up locations include Tekka Mall and People's Park Complex. Shuttle buses run weekends and public holidays every eight to 15 minutes from 11 AM to 10 PM.
SBS Transit owns 75 percent of the scheduled bus market in Singapore. With over 257 services, including express services and Chinatown direct services, SBS operates a fleet of over 2,800 vehicles, most of which have air conditioning.
Bus schedules vary based on route and service type. Except for Townlink and flat fare services, adult fares are based on stages traveled. Each stage is about 0.8 kilometers. Fares range from S$1 to S$1.90 for air-conditioned buses and from S$0.90 to S$1.60 for non-air-conditioned buses. EZ-Link cards may be used on SBS buses.
Avis and Hertz rental companies operate at Changi Airport. Located in the Arrivals hall, counters are open daily from 7 AM to 11 PM.
Singapore boasts over 15,00 taxis that can be flagged down 24 hours a day throughout the city or found at taxi stands outside major hotels and shopping centers. The taxi stand at Changi Airport is located outside arrivals on Level 1 in Terminal 1 and at the end of the arrivals area on Level 1 in Terminal 2. Guests can also reach a cab from any taxi company with one number, 6-DIAL-CAB.
Basic flag down fare is S$2.80 to S$3. Rates follow as S$0.20 for every 385 meters up to 10 kilometers; S$0.20 every 330 meters after 10 kilometers; and S$0.20 for every 45 seconds of waiting or less. Additional surcharges may apply. The cost to travel to the city from Changi Airport ranges from S$18 to S$32.
Photo Credit : MICA
Marina Bay Sands Singapore
Global in scope, intimate in detail, with decades of Las Vegas Sands meeting experience, it is easy to understand why Marina Bay Sands has set the benchmark for business travel and MICE events in Singapore.
Sands Expo and Convention Center boasts 1.2 million square feet of almost infinitely configurable space and is home to Southeast Asia’s largest ballroom. It also has 250 meeting rooms and the capacity for 2,000 exhibition booths, accommodating up to 45,000 delegates comfortably.
Conveniently located within Singapore’s Central Business District, yet worlds away from the ordinary business setting, Marina Bay Sands® combines first-rate business and meeting facilities with world-class hospitality and entertainment options.
With 2,561 well-appointed rooms and suites housed in three iconic swooping towers, most with sweeping views of the city and the bay, Marina Bay Sands is the largest hotel in Singapore. The property is also home to other unique venues to host special events like Sands SkyPark® and ArtScience Museum. Big or small, these extraordinary facets of Marina Bay Sands present truly remarkable settings to any occasion.
As part of Las Vegas Sands Corp., which operates the world’s premier Meeting, Incentive, Conference and Exhibition venues, Marina Bay Sands has a proven track record in hosting major international and regional events. Sands Expo and Convention Center has been the preferred venue for hugely successful events like Art Stage, CommunicAsia, Men’s Fashion Week and the Singapore International Water Week.
From business to recreation, the destination offers unlimited excitement in shopping, dining and entertainment options. Shop in luxurious comfort at over 300 stores in The Shoppes at Marina Bay Sands®; satisfy any craving at a myriad of dining experiences, featuring 6 celebrity chef restaurants and other tantalizing offerings; be drawn into award-winning performances at our two state-of-the-art theaters, and party the night away at nightspots housed in one-of-a-kind settings.
With complimentary airport shuttles, complimentary high-speed wireless internet, private car or limousine rental service making traveling a breeze, Marina Bay Sands is the executive’s top choice for business travel in Singapore.
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