Singapore switch: It is what it is

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Martin Moodie
Martin Moodie is the Founder & Chairman of The Moodie Report.


I know just how the organisers of the 2013 TFWA Asia Pacific Conference & Exhibition are feeling, following the late venue change for their Singapore event in May. 

Long-established location, the Singapore Suntec Centre, informed TFWA just last week that a much-touted renovation will not be complete in time for this year’s event on 12-16 May. As a result, TFWA is moving to Marina Bay Sands Expo and Convention Center.

A similar fate befell us in the weeks leading up to The Trinity Forum in Abu Dhabi, when we had to move from the (still unfinished) Ritz Carlton Hotel to a new venue.  Thanks to the incredible efforts of Abu Dhabi Airports Company, we were able to secure the Yas Viceroy Abu Dhabi Hotel (below) and Yas Marina Formula One Circuit International Media Centre as an alternative.


Commenting on the Singapore change, TFWA President Erik Juul-Mortensen said: “We are acutely aware that a change of venue at such a late stage is very unsettling and we profoundly regret the inconvenience that this has and will cause.”

If it’s any consolation to the TFWA team, we found people totally and generously understanding about the late change and any inconvenience (in our case) over hotels. ‘It is what it is’ has become an adage of our times and that’s very much the case here.

The key to such moments is to communicate quickly and transparently. That’s what TFWA has done. People understand that such things can happen. It’s amazing how quickly crisis can turn into an opportunity and even acclaim.

In the end, our Trinity alternative was way, way better than the original choice. No hotel could have possibly matched the magnificent Yas Viceroy facilities (and staff) and it’s salient to note that Marina Bay Sands Expo and Convention Center (below) was recently crowned as Asia’ s Best MICE Hotel (no, don’t worry, not a favoured habitat of small rodents, but an acronym for Meetings, Incentive, Conferences & Events/Exhibitions) and was ranked second in Asia’ s Best Convention and Exhibition Center league.

Marina Bay1

I for one won’t mind a move away from the sterility of the Suntec Centre to what appears to be a dazzling new fully integrated venue. I’m pretty sure most people will feel the same. I also suspect going back to the Suntec Centre may be a whole lot more difficult than leaving it.

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