Taking Your Event on a Cultural Ride in Singapore

11th September 2023

Who said that conference organizing is a dry set of presentations and discussions? Learning through experiencing is the way to drive delegates’ curiosity and imagination leading to new ideas and creativity. Unique venues and experiences that highlight the culture and heritage of the host destination are easy to find in Singapore, a place where tradition, diversity and innovation go hand in hand.

Words Vicky Koffa


Networking events are an essential part of conferences. If done in a beautiful and meaningful setting, the connections made can reach a different level. The International Trademark Association (INTA)’s annual meeting Live+ took place for the first time in Singapore, on 16-20 May 2023, and welcomed more than 8,000 IP and business professionals from around the world at Marina Bay Sands.

Part of the program included diverse business development networking excursions like the Chinese tea appreciation workshop by Yixing Xuan Teahouse. The 2-hour tour showcased the therapeutic effects of the art of Chinese tea making in a traditional teahouse. Another favorite activity among the delegates was the local coffee workshop by Nanyang Old Coffee. 45 minutes of hands-on brewing and appreciation of kopi (as the locals call their coffee) took participants through the 100-year history of Singapore coffee culture and special way of ordering one. Both activities took place in the historical and vibrant district of Chinatown, Singapore’s blend of tradition and urban life.

INTA also held their president dessert reception at the Fullerton Bay Hotel which sits on the historic Clifford Pier – an architecture landmark that was built in 1933. The hotel’s upscale Clifford Pier restaurant offers Singapore’s hospitality and heritage on a platter, and can host up to 600 guests with amazing views of the Marina Bay waterfront.


The 60th International Young Lawyers’ Congress (AIJA) was held from 22 to 27 August 2022, with over 400 delegates from more than 55 countries getting together to discuss and shape the future of the profession while enjoying the best leisure experiences the city-state has to offer, from dining and nightlife to recreational activities.

On top of a run alongside amazing waterfront views including Gardens by the Bay and Helix bridge, which gave participants memorable sights of Singapore to remember the congress by, organizers had booked the entire Tanjong Beach Club in Sentosa for an exciting day out at Singapore’s premier island resort destination. Beach and water sports were planned while the memorable durian-eating challenge presented the region’s signature ‘infamous’ fruit.

Keeping the delegates energized and engaged during their stay contributed to the successful conclusion of the congress. In fact, Xavier Costa, co-chair of the 2022 congress, said: “The resourcefulness of the people, its location as a gateway to the region and the city’s state-of-art infrastructure is like a well-oiled machine. Things work well and we were taken care of. It is a city that really has pride in doing things well.


The 25th version of the major event took place on 3-8 July this year at the Suntec Singapore Convention & Exhibition Centre and the Pan Pacific Singapore. For the first time ever in Southeast Asia, more than 12,000 attendees discussed new developments in skin research and treatment.

Among the many scientific advancements, a highlight of the conference’s program was the Social Evening. Held at Gardens by the Bay (with its award-winning sustainably cooled conservatories and iconic Supertrees), the event included a solar-powered drone show at the supertree grove, portraying the beauty of the venue from above which ended WCD with a bang. It highlighted the successful conclusion of WCD as well as the far-reaching impact of such a huge medical conference. The memorable experience laid the ground for stronger connections and a deeper knowledge of Singapore.


The business events purpose-built infrastructure on offer in Singapore (with a wide range of capacity and diversity of spaces) is undoubtedly an attraction for all types of association events – big and small conferences to large scale congresses, such as WCD. But the nation has recognized the value of thinking out of the box when it comes to creative venues and conference organizing, as a response to the changing needs association event planners have in order to create a better experience for the attendees.

Placing emphasis on unique venues has gained Singapore a spot in the list of associations’ favourite destinations. An architectural icon with distinctive twin shells, Esplanade is one of the busiest arts centres in the world. Located by the iconic Marina Bay waterfront, it is Singapore’s national performing arts centre. Since opening in 2002, the venue has a range of venues from grand concert halls to flexible black box theatre spaces and can meet different event needs from opening ceremonies/galas to smaller meetings & social programs for associations.

The National Gallery Singapore is a leading visual arts institution which has the world’s largest collection of Southeast Asian modern art and reflects Singapore’s unique heritage and geographical location. The building is housed in two of Singapore’s national monuments, the former Supreme Court and City Hall, that have been restored and transformed to today’s National Gallery. The 64,000-square-metre venue boasts a variety of event spaces from the expansive Supreme Court Terrace suitable for gala dinners to the Padang Deck that offers spectacular views of the Singapore skyline. Event planners can also organize a unique art-meets- cocktails docent-guided tour of the museum for their delegates. And why not add to the list a dinner among majestic manta rays and 100,000 marine animals at the Ocean Gallery, located within the S.E.A. Aquarium? Enjoy stunning vistas of marine life through the floor-to-ceiling viewing panels while transforming the space into a private networking session with sumptuous food.

Singapore seizes all opportunities to cater for associations seeking variety and originality outside the conference room. With sustainability as a priority, the city-state can offer association delegates memorable networking opportunities through sustainable and cultural activities. Original set-ups in unique venues come to complete the picture of the diversity, tradition and innovation flowing in Singapore’s way of reimagining exceptional business events.

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