In a first for the events industry, Marina Bay Sands has launched a hybrid event broadcast studio at the Sands Expo and Convention Centre as it paves the way to redefine the future of meetings and transform events into immersive visual experiences.

The studio’s centrepiece is a three-dimensional stage fitted with an immersive backdrop and floor.

Designed to accommodate a live studio audience with a maximum capacity of 50 persons at any one time, the hybrid broadcast studio, which offers broadcast-quality live-streaming capabilities and hologram functionalities, will act as the central hub for event planners looking to produce hybrid meetings.

“Hybrid meetings will help enable the return of large-scale events in a virtual manner amid the Covid-19 situation and we want to set the stage for these shows by providing planners with a suite of useful and innovative solutions that are relevant for the times.

Paul Town, Senior Vice President of Resort Operations, Marina Bay Sands.

“Our highly advanced hybrid broadcast studio is not only equipped with industry-grade broadcasting equipment and an interactive stage set-up, it will also be maintained with the highest sanitisation levels to ensure the well-being of our clients. Marina Bay Sands will continue enhancing the technical capabilities of our broadcast studio and drive greater demand and innovation in the hybrid events scene,” said Paul Town, Senior Vice President of Resort Operations, Marina Bay Sands.

An industry-first hybrid event solution

The studio’s centrepiece is a three-dimensional stage fitted with an immersive backdrop and floor that can be reconfigured to fit various event needs. Replacing the conventional green screen backdrop are two massive six-metre by four-metre right-angled LED walls, which can show high-resolution 360-degree visuals, while a plexiglass LED floor can display stunning floor projections.

Systems can be customised to fit an event’s specific needs.

The three-dimensional stage is designed to help presenters visualise and deliver their presentations in a more immersive environment, with stage lighting systems that can be customised, designed and operated to fit an event’s specific needs. The studio is also able to beam someone from a different part of the world ‘live’ into Singapore through a holographic presence.

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. Event planners can look forward to an enhanced suite of event tech capabilities incorporating Virtual Reality (VR), Augmented Reality (AR) and Extended Reality (XR) solutions as Marina Bay Sands continues to reimagine the future of meetings.

Ong Wee Min, Vice President of Conventions & Exhibitions, MICE, Marina Bay Sands.

“After months of collaboration and in-depth conversations with our in-house and external technical experts as well as industry peers, we are proud to present a media centre-grade hybrid broadcast studio that is set to be a showstopper for the industry,” said Ong Wee Min, Vice President of Conventions & Exhibitions, MICE, Marina Bay Sands.

“We want to provide a holistic ecosystem where we partner clients to co-create and deliver impactful and well-designed hybrid meetings that will not only spark conversations, but help drive engagements and greater attendance for the next edition of events.”

Collaboration with PCMA 

Aligning with the Professional Convention Management Association’s (PCMA) belief in the transformative power that business events can bring, Marina Bay Sands soft-launched the hybrid broadcast studio late in July through a collaboration with PCMA. Attendees of the inaugural PCMA Asia Pacific Community Conversations were given a sneak preview during the virtual event’s welcome address.

The integrated resort also partnered PCMA and the Singapore Tourism Board (STB) to launch PCMA’s Digital Event Strategist (DES) certification in mid-August. The virtual kick-off session’s welcome address demonstrated to the virtual attendees how holographic telepresence could be used in a hybrid event setting by beaming in one of the presenters onto the set.

Upskilling for the future

To prepare its MICE talent for the future of work, Marina Bay Sands is investing in upskilling its MICE workforce. Over 30 sales and MICE team members will be undergoing PCMA’s Digital Event Strategist (DES) certification. The course will arm the team with the requisite skills, knowledge and proficiency to help clients conceptualise, plan and co-create new hybrid meeting and event designs.

The studio was designed by an interdepartmental team of in-house technical experts.

“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 programme 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,” said Ong.

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El Kwang

Author El Kwang

Recognised in his global network as an ideas man who sees opportunities in every encounter. He looks for ways to connect dynamic people from across disciplines to unearth the potential for great ideas to become outstanding. With more than 20 years of experience in the hospitality, tourism and business events industry, both as a content strategist and a designer of immersive experiences around the globe, El established BEAM and built a team of Engagers committed to playing a vital part in ensuring that the world continues to move forward with innovation, growth and positivity.

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