Singapore's Marina Bay Sands has launched a state-of-the-art hybrid event broadcast studio at Sands Expo and Convention Centre. Designed to accommodate a live studio audience with a maximum capacity of 50 persons at any one time, the hybrid broadcast studio offers broadcast-quality, live-streaming capabilities and hologram functionalities.
Speaking to Northstar Meetings Group's M&C Asia, Ong Wee Min, vice president of conventions and exhibitions, MICE for Marina Bay Sands, said the studio was co-created and conceptualized together with the industry as a way to reimagine the future of meetings and events.
"We firmly believe that live events will return, but every successful live event in the future will have to include a virtual element to allow planners to engage a wider audience," he said.
Once the concept was developed, the team took just one week to build the studio, which has Virtual Reality (VR), Augmented Reality (AR) and Extended Reality (XR) and holographic telepresence embedded. So, if a keynote speaker can't travel to Singapore,
MBS will work with tech partners around the world in order to "beam" a hologram on to the stage live, alongside on-site speakers.
The studio’s centerpiece is a three-dimensional stage fitted with an immersive backdrop and floor that can be customized. Replacing the conventional
green screen backdrop are two massive 19.6-foot-by-13-foot, right-angled LED walls which can show high resolution 360-degree visuals, while a plexiglass LED floor can display stunning projections.
Marina Bay Sands currently offers three virtual conferencing options — full virtual webcasting and live streaming events; hybrid events with in-person and online audiences; and hybrid events with holographic telepresence.
As far as pricing is concerned, Ong says MBS doesn't take a "cookie-cutter approach" and will work with clients to create an experience that meets their needs and budgets.
"Customer centricity is at the core of whatever we do, so conversations [with clients] need to change. It's no longer about asking how many square meters, or room nights, or catering pax. For us to be really successful we need to engage ourselves in
the business of our clients and share advice on how to create memorable experiences," he said.
New Digital Skills
To aid these conversations and help prepare his team for the future, Ong has more than 30 sales and MICE staff currently undergoing PCMA’s Digital Event Strategist certification. Ong says the course will arm the team with the requisite
skills, knowledge and proficiency to help clients conceptualize, plan and co-create new hybrid meeting and event designs.
“As the event landscape continues to evolve, event planners will place greater emphasis on building digital events into their next meeting strategy. Future conversations will revolve around effective program augmentation to drive the client’s brand
value and online presence. We aim to future-proof our MICE team to better navigate this ever-evolving landscape, together with our clients and partners,” he said.
Lauren Arena is editor ofM&C Asia.