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Singapore Joint Leadership Summit Signals Relaunch of Business Events

Frances Ferrante, Senior Editor

Joint Leadership Summit SingaporeSINGAPORE — ASEAN government ministers, major event organizers, trade association leaders and tourism bureau chiefs came together Oct. 5–7 for the first time in person since the start of COVID for the Joint Leadership Summit (JLS). Their goal? To restart the region’s business events industry.

Supported by Singapore Tourism Board (STB) and co-organized by the Singapore Association for Convention & Exhibition Organizers & Suppliers (SACEOS), the Association of Event Organizers (AEO), the Society for Independent Show Organizers (SISO) and UFI, the Global Association of the Exhibition Industry, the Joint Leadership Summit at the Fullerton Hotel is the first international business event with fully vaccinated participants to be held in Singapore.

The 32 attendees at the Joint Leadership Summit read like a Who’s Who of the exhibition industry, including the leadership of SACEOS, AEO, SISO and UFI, as well as regional economies representatives from Indonesia, Thailand, Singapore, Malaysia and The Philippines and representatives from all the independent show organizers. They discussed the critical need to reopen inter- and intra-regional travel routes while ensuring the health and safety of travelers as core policy measures. Accordingly, the leaders are also calling on the authorities to put into place clear policy initiatives and common operating protocols across the region to be calibrated for a COVID-endemic environment.

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Carina Bauer, AEO Chair and CEO of IMEX Group, sees the Joint Leadership Summit as a valuable opportunity to share best practices with partners in the APAC region. “We very much hope to assist our friends in the region in their efforts to reopen business events and advocate for the opening of travel routes and standardization of protocols,” Bauer said. “These are all vital steps in leading the recovery of the business events sector and the industries that our events represent.”

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The meeting is also the launchpad for the Asia CEO Summit @ Singapore, an annual dialogue for the regional exhibition industry, which will take place over three years, from 2022 to 2024, in Singapore. “We have been working on putting this event together for over three years, and the global leaders in attendance at the Joint Association Leadership Summit this week in Singapore, along with others who were not able to join, have put in a substantial effort into making this happen — this is a significant moment,” Hervé Sedky, SISO Chair and President & CEO of Emerald, said.

“We have always recognized the importance of the Asia event market, and how we need a forum to bring together global leaders in the industry, to share and exchange ideas about opportunities in the ASEAN market. AEO, SISO, and UFI all run annual CEO summits, and these are key meeting places for us as an industry, and a fixture in all of our calendars, but we were missing a critical gathering in Asia,” he continued. “We now are planning to replicate this leading event for an Asia-Pacific region focused event. The partnership of AEO, SACEOS, SISO and UFI, together with the support of Singapore and the STB, will guarantee that the Asia CEO Summit will quickly become an important event in the region bringing the industry’s leaders together.”

Reach Carina Bauer at; Hervé Sedky at



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