MICE coLAB 2014

The MICE coLAB 2014 was a 3 day hackathon organised by the Singapore Tourism Board and UP Singapore. More than 150 participants came together over 21st-23rd February 2014 to create solutions that utilise technology to enhance connectivity and improves visitor experience, while driving MICE productivity and overall profitability of the industry.

Many of us may not be familiar with the MICE (Meetings Incentives, Conventions and Exhibitions) industry, but it is big business. Together with Business Travel (BT), MICE is a key contributor to Singapore tourism receipts. Singapore received 3.35 million BTMICE visitors, who spent an estimated $5.73 billion (excluding sightseeing and entertainment expenditure) in 2012.

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The MICE industry acronym refers to the Meetings, Incentives, Conventions and Exhibitions industry. The industry comprises of: Professional Exhibition Organisers (PEOs), Professional Conference Organisers (PCOs), Meeting and Incentives Organisers, Venues, Stand Contractors, and a myriad of companies that supply facilities and services to the industry such as hotel audio-visual equipment suppliers, travel agents and many other ancillary service providers. While the industry includes a number of international companies, the majority of the industry is made up of smaller players, often less than five employees. Such disparity in size in turn drives differences in capabilities and resources to serve the industry. The utilisation of affordable technology will enable smaller operators to be productive and offer a quality product.

Then and Now

Attending an event, conference or exhibition today is not that much different to attending one in the 1980s. It still involves sitting in a venue listening to a speaker, networking over coffee, walking up and down aisles of exhibitions collecting brochures and talking to and exchanging cards with exhibitors. It’s true that stands have become more sophisticated with high definition monitors and displays, screens in the conference venues have become bigger and there are more innovative technology to provide audience interaction. But given the vast influence information technology and in particular, the Internet and all things digital has had on the rest of businesses, the MICE industry has been a relatively slow adopter. At the core of MICE is connectivity – connectivity to people, information and business opportunities. This connectivity drives the visitor experience and overall satisfaction with the event. How we connect has changed dramatically in the last 10 years – think smartphones, tablets, apps, Facebook, LinkedIn and that’s what we control – what about geolocation tracking, wearable technology and the fast emerging Internet of Things, like sensors? It is likely that the use of apps and devices to enhance connectivity, augmented reality capabilities and other trends in digital technology will bring about more change in the next five years than it has in the last thirty years.

Big business for Singapore

In 2012, tourism receipts increased 3 per cent in 2012 to S$23 billion. The Business Travel and Meetings, Incentives, Conventions and Exhibitions (BTMICE) sector is a key contributor of tourism receipts. In 2012, the number of business visitors rose to 3.35 million, an increase of 4 per cent from 2011. Expenditure by these business visitors also rose by 2 per cent to an estimated S$5.73 billion. They account for about 23 per cent of total visitor arrivals and 25 per cent of tourism receipts (excluding sightseeing and entertainment expenditure). It’s big business for Singapore, and Singapore does it like no one else, earning numerous awards as the most popular business and MICE destination, such as Asia’s Top Convention City for the 11th year in a row (ICCA Global Ranking 2012), Top International Meeting City for the 6th consecutive year and Top International Meeting Country for the second consecutive year (UIA Global Rankings 2012), Best BT MICE City 2012 (TTG Travel Awards 2012), Best Business City in South East Asia 2012 (Business Travellers Asia Pacific Travel Awards 2012) and many more prestigious awards.

Opportunity and challenges

The industry is healthy and growing. But such opportunity of course brings competition. Competition from other destinations in Asia is on the rise, with investments in upgrading of technology and infrastructure. Technology, while presenting a threat to the industry, can also be embraced to not only reduce costs, but continue to enhance and leverage the connectivity that is fundamental to the MICE industry. Connectivity begins well before the event starts with the first pre-event awareness campaign all the way to post-event interaction when contacts are made. Each touch point with a visitor impacts satisfaction. Creating superior visitor connectivity provides the platform on which to build a dynamic community that facilitate the exchange of views, information and opportunities, so that the next event is just part of the on-going conversation amongst delegates and MICE practitioners. Building such strong communities will position the MICE industry for a successful and sustainable future. In addition, public and private sector organisations globally need ways to connect with Singapore MICE partners to host and manage events. Each component of the MICE eco-system can be enhanced to ensure Singapore’s position as a world-leading MICE destination.


To maintain Singapore’s position as the top MICE destination, we have to ensure visitor experience at both the event itself and in Singapore is maximised, by leveraging on analytics to assess experiences. The key to both the experiences and analytics is connectivity.

1. Enhance YourSingapore experience

Develop a Singapore app or city guide to connect and enable a seamless and memorable experience for MICE travellers.
Imagine yourself as a first-time business / MICE visitor to Singapore. You could have done a bit of research on Singapore but might not know much about what else is happening in Singapore outside the MICE event and what’s near to where you are staying or the event venue. Your hotel concierge might not be very up-to-speed on what you can check out on your way to the exhibition hall; or the wifi hotspots, where you can catch up on some work. Or even where you can find the style of breakfast you want outside the standard hotel buffet. A location-based app that can query extensive databases of information and provide intelligent recommendations, transport options, downloaded maps, etc. and send reminders or nudges to you near selected venues could help you get most out of Singapore within your busy schedule. In fact, even frequent business visitors to Singapore can benefit from such an app!
This app could:
• Incorporate existing content on top experiences in Singapore, outside of the event (e.g. top ten dishes to try). • Allow for customisation to visitor profiles and individual events, e.g. event specific branding • Ideally be flexible enough to work both as an add-on to other apps (for the bigger events) and as a base for others (smaller events) to build on.

2. Improve your MICE event experience

Develop a technology-enabled solution – whether a mobile app, software application or process – to maximise the experience for visitors to MICE events. There are many touch points between an event visitor and the MICE company organising that event. Each of these touch points can be a moment of truth with positive or negative impact on the overall experience, thus affecting word-of-mouth, return visits and overall ROI for the event.
It starts when the prospective visitor first hears about an event, say through an email, followed by registering online, and receipt of pre-reading material.Once at the event, there is onsite registration, receipt of event collaterals, continual updates of information and content during event. Of course, there is also the all-important networking aspect of the event and socialising with other delegates post-event – hopefully with business generated! The solution can provide insights and suggestions for post-event networking and socialising. If there is no networking / meet-up app provided as part of the event package, then such an app could provide a matching service – not just with fellow delegates, but other business people in Singapore, by generating requests not unlike LinkedIn. This is ‘dating’ for business people!
Potential solutions could:
• Consider a system infrastructure that enables multiple applications to communicate with one another to avoid duplication, and double handling of information and management of multiple database systems*. • Enable digital development and / or distribution of event information and content, developed for use on different devices, including mobile and tablets; and be convenient in a way that encourages visitors to access, download and utilise. • Support the development of a MICE visitor community by providing a real-time platform for virtual networking, meet ups and business matching.
* Industry feedback indicates that while there are a number of mobile apps and software applications available, they are not easily integrated with one another disallowing claimed benefits of the offerings. Also, visitors don’t always download multiple apps and use more than one (if at all).

3. Know more about our visitors

Develop technology to track and collect the visitor’s preferences, movement and transactions real-time. This data collection and / or analytics solution should:
• Be affordable for the Singapore MICE industry, especially the smaller players, and be easily applicable to different companies. • Help MICE companies make sense of the visitor research data, to understand the visitor’s decision-making journey and consumer behaviour, in order to implement changes in business processes in a timely manner. • Ensure that the analytic tools are built in seamlessly to (1) help MICE companies measure the impact on its bottom line and (2) ensure that all touch points pushing out info are tracked to collect data, to follow up with potential return visitors. • Ultimately allow STB to better understand business visitors to Singapore and react faster to their diverse interests and changing needs.

4.SergeSearch Challenge

The MICE industry draws millions of attendees to Singapore each year and drives revenue to local retailer. We are looking for new and innovative solutions to help improve the quality for these travelers and to make their experience within Singapore more relevant Our mobile platform provides you with access to a great many technologies – vision, video recognition, voice recognition, Augmented Reality and Geo-location. Create an app that demonstrates how you can improve the Singapore experience during their stay for a Convention for a foreign visitor.. The API will be available on the website www.sergesdk.com under the developer section..

5.SACEOS Challenge

Any clients who wish to request for RFP can upload their request on this platform, which is accessible to all in the MICE industry Clients are able to track who has submitted, while bidders for the projects are able to track if they have been successful.

6.DEXTRA Data Innovation Challenge

Sponsored by DEXTRA, this award of $500 cash will go to the the team that showcases the best use of the datasets that will released at the hackathon.


Participants will be able to access our Data Sandbox and have the chance to play with interesting datasets including:

Geospatial data

SLA(Singapore Land Authority) and LTA(Land Transport Authority) are providing data on points of interest including Address points, Bus stop locations and SMRT Routes.

Demographic data

You will be able to play with extensive demographic datasets containing data on visitor arrival by Country of Residence, Mode of travel, gender, age and length of stay spanning the past 10 years.

Other relevant data

•Hotel occupancy statistics spanning the past 10 years •Historical exchange rates from 2009 to 2012


  • John Gregory Conceicao, Executive Director, Capability & Innovation and Visitor Information & Feedback, STB
  • Tara Hirebet, Futurist
  • Arun Madhok, Chief Executive Officer of Suntec Singapore International Convention & Exhibition Services
  • Hew Joon Yeng, Co-Founder, PigeonLab
  • Samantha Yuen, UX lead, PropertyGuru
  • Rich Jenkins, Aluminaid
  • Yap Chin Siang, Assistant Chief Executive, STB
  • Daniel Daboczy, Co-Founder, CEO, FundedByMe
  • Janet Tan Collis, Chief Executive of East West Planners
  • Karen Ann Leong, STB
  • Yeoh Siew Hoon, Founder, Web In Travel
  • Fredrick Stenbeck, Co-Founder, CEO, Great Simians
  • Angela Ognev, Strikingly
  • Rendy Tan, Scrum Master and Technology Evangelist at Human Network Labs


Check out the winning presentations below!

Team MICEapps created one of the most comprehensive and integrated event management applications in the MICE community for local SMEs and beyond. It’s features include efficiency of experience for delegates, seamless platform/application and productivity for partners and organisers, Indoor and out door connectivity, ROI for exhibitors


Hackathon Category - Winner

Team Average built an event based social network which is a service to create a temporary social network around an event or party. That network allows connecting people, interacting on topics as well as discovering the environment.


Hackathon Category - Runner-up

Team App Sec created a a one-click digital business scheduler that magically fills your schedule with highly recommended and personalised activities to do in Singapore. It also connects you to other meeting attendees, providing you with handy background information needed during a networking session.


Hackathon Category - Second Runner-up

MelonWave is a device that detects the location and behaviour of visitors and then pushes customised content to their mobile devices. Self check in and registration, connect on the spot.


Startup Category - Winner

Jublia has developed an application for exhibition delegates, that solves the problem of finding the right exhibitors and content. Fortified with their proprietary relevance algorithm – RevRank, Jublia brings you only the most relevant meetings, locations and activities to your mobile device. Best of all, you don’t have to download a thing.


Startup Category - Runner-up

Team Beeve mashed various datasets to drive analysis, creating a valuable tool to help people schedule their MICE events.


DEXTRA Data Innovation Challenge Winner

WeareSpaces provided a simple RFP lodgment solution in answer of the SACEOS challenge. We are Spaces is already a player in this market in terms of venue location and enhanced their offering to provide an elegant RFP submission tool organizers looking to appoint a local vendor.

We Are Spaces

SACEOS Challenge Winner

Babelview utilizes SeargeSearch’s image recognition software to provide image recognition and translation services to viewers native language.

Babel View

SergeSearch Challenge Winner

Team Netsplor created a solution that allows MICE tourists to maximize both their Singapore experience and their networks by utilizing free times in their itinerary recommending activities and attractions based on their locations, length of free time, and number of people from the same event interested in the same activity.


People's Choice Award Winner



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