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by Cynthya Porter

With the world’s eye turned on Singapore as leaders from the United States and Korea held an historic meeting in the island nation/city, officials could not have chosen a more opportune time to announce that the MICE industry there has won yet another award in the department of innovation. The newest honor follows a string of other recognitions in recent years for Suntec Singapore Convention and Exhibition Centre, which, thanks to a $184 million modernization project in 2013, is considered to be one of the most technologically advanced venues in the world.

The facility recently rolled out HybriD – a 3D visualization tool that provides a 360-degree rendering of a room, hall or exhibition space fully arranged in the configuration of the user’s choosing. So cutting edge is the new technology that UFI, the Global Association of the Exhibition Industry, named Suntec the winner of its 2018 Digital Innovation Award, an honor bestowed annually on entities around the world introducing technologies that have the power to transform the exhibition industry.

HybriD may do just that, officials say, because it reduces the number of site visits by 50 percent and minimizes the amount of guesswork that goes into any particular room design. Event managers have the ability to explore seating arrangements, booth configurations, classroom space and more, allowing an event committee to fine tune the look and feel of a space and streamline the planning of its design before any moving carts are wheeled in.

Moreover, it allows planners to mock-arrange a room remotely, as the tool can be installed and used on any device. That feature is credited with the dramatic drop in the number of site visits as well as the duration of site visits, leading to significant cost savings for exhibition center clients.

The Innovation Award is one of several given by UFI each year in their effort to recognize outstanding initiatives within the industry. As part of the awards program, which is almost ten years old, the association also presents a Human Resources Award, a Marketing Award, an Operations and Services Award and a Sustainable Development Award. Winners are chosen by an international panel of judges Suntec officials will join other 2018  UFI winners to present their projects at the UFI Global Congress in Saint Petersburg, Russia, from Oct. 31-Nov. 3.

“I was impressed by Suntec’s submission as it demonstrates how Augmented Reality can be used to clearly enhance the service provided to exhibition organizers while also lowering the cost–a clear win for the industry,” says Matthias Tesi Baur, chair of the UFI Digital Innovation Committee.

Accepting the award for Suntec, Arun Madhok, CEO of Suntec Singapore said, “Suntec Singapore is honored to be selected as the winner of the UFI Digital Innovation Award 2018. Our HybriD solution augments the real world with virtual objects, providing a connection between what viewers see ‘live’ and what the venue space can be transformed into.”

Suntec Singapore, which is in the heart of the metropolitan area, has nearly half a million square feet of exhibition and function space and hosts events of up to 10,000 people.

Cynthya Porter is a 70-time award-winning journalist recognized by national and international associations for her journalistic expertise in tradeshow topics, travel writing, photography, and news. She has covered the exhibition industry for seven years and, though she makes her home in the Midwest, travels the world in search of interesting stories and photographs.

This column originally appeared in the July/August 2018 issue of Exhibit City News magazine, p. 52. For more pictures and original layout, visit http://issuu.com/exhibitcitynews/docs/ecnflipbook_julyaugust2018_web?e=16962537/62860459

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