by Meetings & Conventions Asia | February 27, 2018

AdvertisementA successful meetings and incentive travel programme involves balancing different requirements and weaving different elements to create a memorable experience. Seamless planning begins with Singapore, with its reputation for efficiency, quality and excellent service delivery.

The city-state offers a few venues that are destinations in themselves that will allow planners with time-sensitive schedules to pack in more diverse elements into their programmes with ease and convenience. Planning a day's programme within the same vicinity keeps the energy up and more importantly, delegates engaged with a variety of experiences. 

Captions Above: Former Supreme Court Rooftop Terrace at National Gallery Singapore (Credits:National Gallery Singapore)

Where art and meetings converge

Once Singapore's Supreme Court and City Hall heritage buildings, the National Gallery Singapore, now houses the world's largest collection of modern Southeast Asian art.

The 212-seater Ngee Ann Kongsi Auditorium (Credits: National Gallery Singapore)

Its Ngee Ann Kongsi Auditorium provides a formal space for presentations and lectures for up to 212 pax, complemented by a spacious foyer for another 130 pax. The Gallery also boasts four rooftop studios that can be used for breakout sessions. Accommodating 22 to 28 pax each, the studios can be configured and outfitted to customised needs.

The Rotunda Dome (Credits: National Gallery Singapore)

When the day's sessions are done, delegates may embark on a private group tour of world-class exhibitions before enjoying a grand reception at the Former Supreme Court Terrace, which has been the setting for themed corporate evenings, product launches and glamorous receptions. The sleek glass and steel infrastructure of the interior combined with the Corinthian columns and stately former Supreme Court's Rotunda dome make for an elegant and classy space for 265 pax. The smaller 125-pax Glass Room is an attractive alternative.

Delegates from the Asia Business Meet 2017 tuck into local heritage fare at National Kitchen by Violet Oon (Credit: Violet Oon)

Odette serves up French cuisine at the Supreme Court Wing's foyer (Credits: Odette)

National Gallery Singapore impresses event organisers and delegates alike with its variety of exquisite dining options. Delight delegates with Chef Julien Royer's French sensibilities at his two-Michelin-starred Odette, or indulge in local heritage flavours at celebrity chef Violet Oon's National Kitchen, which serves traditional family-style Peranakan dishes, a cuisine that reflects the  Straits Chinese culture unique to the region blending Chinese and Malay/Indonesian influences. Alternatively, enjoy sophisticated Cantonese cuisine with an innovative twist at Yan, a modern restaurant helmed by a master chef with over 20 years' experience.  

Cocktails with a view at Smoke & Mirrors (Credits: Smoke & Mirrors)

The evening is best capped off by an alfresco experience that shows off Singapore's skyline across the Padang and Marina Bay. Smoke & Mirrors provides the ideal ambience to enjoy creative cocktails and the panoramic nightlights of the city. Italian restaurant Aura's trendy Sky Lounge offers the same sweet spots and mesmerising views from the rooftop.

Finding beauty in green agendas

Designated a UNESCO World Heritage site, the Singapore Botanic Gardens showcases more than 10,000 types of plants. (Credit: National Parks Board) (Credits: National Parks Board)

Planners with a sustainability and green agenda will find an ideal setting in the 158-year-old Singapore Botanic Gardens. It is the only tropical garden in the world to be listed as a UNESCO World Heritage Site. It is a hot spot with tourists, but beyond that, the Gardens emphasises education and research.

The newly-opened 10ha Learning Forest lets visitors walk above forest wetlands via elevated walkways. (Credits: National Parks Board)

The newly opened 10ha Learning Forest, home to 120,000 plant species, showcases a walking trail of discoveries across five themed sections. It will provide an immersive experience that potentially allows planners to combine education with team-building activities while delegates explore habitats such as a freshwater forest wetland and a lowland rainforest, all easily accessible via boardwalks and elevated walkways.

Engage delegates' senses with a taste of gastro-botanica cuisine at Corner House, a one-Michelin-starred restaurant housed in a colonial bungalow and helmed by home-grown chef Jason Tan. Delegates will get to appreciate French culinary techniques with global flavours, complemented by a choice of over 600 labels from its premium wine collection. VIPs will appreciate the elegant and intimate spaces of the restaurant, which are perfect for management discussions and meetings.

The Courtyard at Halia Restaurant and The Villa is perfect for intimate events. (Credit: The Halia)

Tucked away in the Ginger Garden is Halia Restaurant and The Villa, which serves European cuisine inspired by Asian ingredients. It also features a dedicated event space comprising the Batik Room, Drawing Room and Courtyard. Easily configured for board meetings, product launches, seminars or private luncheons of varying sizes, the rooms bring the outdoors in with their lush green walls and full-length glass sliding doors, while providing air-conditioned comfort. Contemporary bistro-style dining is also available at Botanico and Bee's Knees at the Garage. 

Burkill Hall (Credits: National Parks Board)

Other event venues include Burkill Hall (It is currently closed. Visit for updates on the re-opening date), which accommodates 180 pax across two levels; the Function Hall for 180 pax theatre-style; and the Function Room for 50 pax theatre-style.

The fun never ends for incentive travel

Resorts World Sentosa is Singapore's first integrated resort (Credits: Resorts World Sentosa)

Sentosa Island, aptly known as "The State of Fun", takes its MICE activities seriously. With a cast of award-winning accommodation, theme parks, attractions, restaurants and lifestyle venues in one island resort location, planners can be sure to wow and delight delegates at their events.

Singapore's first integrated resort, Resorts World Sentosa (RWS), continues to make headlines with its MICE facilities: it boasts Asia's largest column-less ballroom; one of the world's largest aquariums, S.E.A. Aquarium™; Southeast Asia's first and only Universal Studios Singapore™ theme park; and Singapore's largest destination spa, ESPA. Housing delegates is an easy task with six hotels offering about 11,600 rooms, while other hotels nearby on the island such as Sofitel Singapore Sentosa Resort & Spa, Capella Singapore, Le Meridien Singapore, Shangri-La's Rasa Sentosa Resort & Spa; and W Singapore, Sentosa Cove amongst others, provide ample supplementary options.

A New York themed dinner at Universal Studios Singapore (Credits: Resorts World Sentosa)

Tanjong Beach provides the perfect backdrop for laid-back events. (Credit: Sentosa Development Corporation)

An important staging ground for mega conferences and events is the RWS Convention Centre which seats 6,500 theatre-style or 3,000 classroom-style, or 4,000 pax for a banquet. Planners who require spacious grounds for both conferences and exhibitions will find a flexible space of 6,000sqm for booths and displays. Smaller conferences and exhibitions can opt for unique options from the various island hotel properties.

An event on Sentosa is incomplete without a beach experience. For social activities with party vibes, Siloso Beach is ideal especially in the evening. Tanjong Beach, on the other hand, offers a more tranquil and laid-back setting. Clubs on both beaches will work with planners to create their ideal beach party events. Mambo Beach Club on Siloso Beach will appeal to delegates who want an uptempo ambience that is accompanied by grilled BBQ specialties, classic cocktails and great music. Tanjong Beach Club slows it down while upping the sophistication level with fine coastal cuisine at its restaurant and fashionable cocktails that make mingling at its cabanas a slick affair. The events team also works with team-building companies to organise challenges such as survivor adventures, raft building, dragon boating and drumming.

Ramp up the adrenaline at AJ Hackett (Credits: AJ Hackett)

When it comes to action activities, Sentosa is all about the adrenalin rush. The latest attraction on the island is AJ Hackett Sentosa, Singapore's first bungy tower on Siloso Beach. Delegates can test their limits on the 42m Vertical Skywalk, Giant Swing or the 47m Bungy Jump. With function rooms on the premises, AJ Hackett is ideal for groups to combine team-building activities with brainstorming sessions. 

Take a dive in the world's tallest wind tunnel at iFly Singapore. (Credit: Sentosa Development Corporation)

After taking the plunge, head to iFly Singapore    for a taste of indoor skydiving at the world's largest wind tunnel at almost five storeys high. Delegates may next test their skills at Skyline Luge, which features two new tracks that weave through the rainforest. To complete the quest for action, hop onto the thrill rides at Universal Studios Singapore™ and hang on for the time of your lives. Up the ante with creative ideas for contests and challenges at these action-driven attractions for a thrilling time around the island. 

The three-Michelin-starred L'Atelier de Joel Robuchon serves up fine French cuisine (Credits: Resorts World Sentosa)

After all the heart-thumping action, indulge at Sentosa's wide range of Michelin-starred restaurants, bistros, cafes, beach bars and hawker stalls. For French fine dining at its best, there is none better than three-Michelin-starred restaurant L'Atelier de Joel Robuchon. Or immerse in the undersea world at Ocean Restaurant by Cat Cora. Or just chill with a drink at the idyllic FOC Sentosa, a new lifestyle Mediterranean beach bar and restaurant. 

The Ocean Restaurant at S.E.A. Aquarium offers a colourful window into aquatic life. (Credit: Resorts World Sentosa)

Designed to dine, wine and refine social agendas

The White Rabbit offers an unconventional dining experience in a restored 1930s Ebenezer chapel (Credits: The White Rabbit)

Tucked away on Dempsey Hill is an enclave of contemporary and classical art galleries; retail shops offering eclectic antique furniture, home furnishings and fashion apparel; and restaurants that engage the senses with their unique ambience as well as culinary refinement. 

Its location makes it a great stop for a social programme after a day's meetings and conference sessions. About a 10-minute drive from the premier shopping and lifestyle destination that is Orchard Road, Dempsey is a leafy oasis that also offers unique venues for small meetings, presentations and brainstorming sessions. Whether it's the charming chapel housing The White Rabbit, the rustic-industrial loft space at Open Farm Community, the traditional Thai house at Jim Thompson or the foliage-embraced glass house at PS Café, planners will be inspired by these creative settings. 

Get into Singapore's diverse cuisine heritage at COMO Cuisine (Credits: COMO Cuisine)

New to the enclave is COMO Dempsey, a cluster of restaurants and retail stores that blends fashion, food and design into a well-planned space spread over two colonial-style buildings. Here, you will find the world's only Michelin-starred Peranakan restaurant helmed by home-grown chef Malcolm Lee, accompanied by other creative chefs at COMO Cuisine, Ippoh Tempura Bar by Ginza Ippoh and The Dempsey Cookhouse & Bar. Gourmands will welcome the chance to browse Asian specialty foods and produce from artisanal suppliers at COMO Marketplace, while the fashion-forward will be enticed by exclusive collections of hip apparel and street wear at Dover Street Market Singapore.

The outdoor deck at Open Farm Community (Credits: Open Farm Community)

Delegates who wish to linger over drinks while networking may head to RedDot Brewhouse for craft beer; bespoke cocktails at The Disgruntled Chef; fruit- and herb-infused concoctions at The Green Door, a unique garden bar; or a glass of merlot at The Wine Company.

Incentives that matter

Planning made seamless with the Singapore MICE Advantage Programme (SMAP) (Credit: Singapore Tourism Board)

Whether it's a meeting, conference or incentive travel programme, the Singapore MICE Advantage Programme   (SMAP) provides the operational and marketing support as well as financial assistance that add value and stretch the budget, making it easier to plan a successful event.

Under SMAP, business event organisers can enjoy customised support through the Business Events in Singapore (BEiS) scheme offered by Singapore Exhibition and Convention Bureau™, (SECB) to offset a certain percentage of qualifying costs related to third-party professional services, content development or marketing.

Partners Changi Airport Group, Singapore Airlines, JetQuay and Uber are offering planners a suite of perks.

Planners will enjoy perks such as exceptional fares with Singapore Airlines and its subsidiaries Silkair and Scoot which fly from more than 130 destinations across 30 countries, as well as heavily discounted site inspection tickets and complimentary tickets based on minimum spend. Changi Airport, recently named Top Asia Megahub by Official Airline Guide with an extensive network to more than 400 cities around the world, will provide a welcome desk for delegates at Changi Airport as well as complimentary shopping and dining vouchers. VIPS may enjoy dedicated arrival clearance and personalised service at JetQuay, Singapore's premium airport terminal, and discounted rides on Uber for all attendees, up to a maximum of 2,500 rides per event.

Brought to you by SECB™, Singapore Airlines Group, Changi Airport Group, JetQuay and Uber, SMAP will ensure a smoother planning journey and endless possibilities for delegates.

For more information on SMAP, visit the website

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