Associations want to hold their events at locations that are flexible enough to suit their events' needs. In the middle of this year, the integrated resort demonstrated its appeal as a venue for niche association events targeting the nursing and materials science community. Its MICE venue played host to two association events – the 10th International Conference on Materials for Advanced Technologies (ICMAT) (23 - 28 June) and the International Council of Nurses (ICN) Congress 2019 (27 June – 1 July).  


International Conference on Materials for Advanced Technologies (ICMAT)

Organised by the Materials Research Society of Singapore (MRS-S), ICMAT is the premier scientific platform for both local and international materials scientists, engineers and technologists to share their expertise and knowledge. For the past nine years, ICMAT has attracted over 23,000 participants including 25 Nobel Laureates and hundreds of distinguished plenary & keynote speakers, in addition to thousands of invited speakers.

MRS-S faced several challenges that they wanted to overcome in the 2019 edition of their conference. The first challenge was a growing attendance rate, with approximately 3,500 international delegates expected to attend. The second challenge was an expanded programme line-up for their 10th anniversary. This included a series of 45 technical symposia, 10 plenary lectures and several presentations. Our expertise in hosting association events allowed us to turn their challenges into opportunities.

Beyond the plenary sessions held at the Roselle-Simpor ballroom on level four, over 40 individual breakout rooms on level three were used for a series of technical symposium sessions. Moreover, space was creatively used to provide more opportunities for academics to present their work. For the first time, the foyer on level three was converted into a space for poster sessions and an exhibition. This gave academics from more than 80 research institutions the opportunity to share their research and network with other delegates in a more intimate setting.

The team’s dedication to understanding ICMAT’s needs also helped them to execute an excellent event. For instance, the integrated resort’s sales team started engaging with MRS-S as early as 2014 to understand the needs of their event. The team also gained greater insights into the requirements of ICMAT’s event when MRS-S moved their conference’s banquet to Marina Bay Sands in 2017.

“We (were able to) have a lot of flexibility, in choosing the availability of the space. It could be large, it could be small, or it could be medium, so that kind of opportunity is important for choosing the conference (venue). And that influenced our decision to make the move to Marina Bay Sands," said Professor Bvr Chowdari, President, Materials Research Society Singapore and Organising Chairman, ICMAT. 


International Council of Nurses (ICN) Congress 2019

Over 5,000 nurses from 140 countries attended the ICN Congress this year. The congress is organised every two years to give nurses the opportunity to network and receive key industry updates in the field of nursing.

With ICN marking its 120th anniversary this year, it was crucial for its official opening ceremony to be a grand affair. The Sands Grand Ballroom provided ICN with the perfect venue for this. The scale of the ballroom allowed ICN to comfortably host their ‘Parade of Nations’. This involved nurses from 140 countries parading into the Sands Grand Ballroom proudly dressed in their national costumes. The Sands Grand Ballroom was also chosen as the main venue for ICN 2019’s four plenary sessions and eight main sessions. The foyer outside the Sands Grand Ballroom was used to display ICN’s 120th anniversary exhibition, providing delegates with the opportunity to learn more about ICN’s many milestones.

Marina Bay Sands reconfigured the space to create 10 breakout rooms, which allowed concurrent sessions to take place. The foyer was used for a poster exhibition, giving delegates more opportunities to present their work. In the meantime, six country association meetings were held at the level four ballrooms and the MICE business centre.

“We've got a very full, concurrent programme. We've got somewhere in the region of 600 oral presentations on the fringe of the congress. (Therefore we required) a venue which can accommodate that, where the flow of people between and through sessions is easy,” said Howard Catton, Chief Executive Officer, International Council of Nurses.