Industry Update
External Article27 November 2020

Could I Have Attended This Virtually? Events In The Age Of New Protocols, Cool Tech And Changed Expectations

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I had my first ART yesterday. I wished I could say this involved me splashing blobs of paint on a blank canvas like Pollock or Picasso; rather it was having cotton buds stuck up my nostrils. Honestly, the Antigen Rapid Test wasn't as bad as I had feared, it felt more like the tingling you get from overdosing on good wasabi.


I did ask the tester the "what if" question and he said, "You will be evacuated and taken to hospital." Thankfully, I tested negative and so was allowed entry into the event I was attending, Singapore's first hybrid trade show, TravelRevive, on its second day which focused on the conferences and exhibitions industry.

I was curious to experience what an event about events would be like in the new circumstances and this was Singapore's biggest event since COVID shut us down and thus, the biggest symbolism of the revival of the multi-billion dollar industry on which the fortunes of Singapore, and so many other Asian countries, are reliant.

For those attending physically, it did feel like a revival of spirits - to see bigger crowds together in one space, to say hello to old friends, and to have honest conversations about the tough times we've all been through together. Through the masks, it was hard to recognize faces but we have now become astute at reading eyes.

In fact, while I was waiting for my result in a holding room in my designated Zone A, I had an interesting conversation with two exhibition professionals - one in cybersecurity and the other, a mega exhibition organizer - and we bonded instantly.

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