First conference at Marina Bay Sands

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First conference at Marina Bay Sands

Postby DM101 » Tue Apr 20, 2010 5:26 am

SINGAPORE : Singapore's second Integrated resort, Marina Bay Sands is set to host guests taking part in a multi-million dollar conference in less than two weeks.

It is the very first event taking place there. But with some parts of the resort still being under construction, organisers of the event have raised some concerns.

About 1,000 delegates are expected to attend the Inter-Pacific Bar Association 20th Annual Conference that will begin on April 30.

The conference will seek to address climate change and legal practice. The former US vice-president Al Gore and Singapore's Minister Mentor Lee Kuan Yew will be among the distinguished speakers.

Organisers said they had decided to host guests at Marina Bay Sands to offer a different and unique experience to them.

Plans were firmed up more than a year ago and organisers were told that the integrated resort will open by September last year or latest, by the start of this year.

The integrated resort is opening in phases, starting on April 27.

And as it's just days before the conference kicks off, the conference organisers have raised concerns about the delegates' experience.

"Our comfort when we originally signed with MBS (Marina Bay Sands) was that they will give us a full five months at the least for the run-in to take place. Right now it has been reduced to a matter of days. And this is of course a very delicate management issue - to make sure that whatever training and staff experience that they have, will be impacting our guests," said Yap Wai Ming, chairman of Organising Committee, IPBA 2010 Singapore.

"There are a lot of things that are not complete but as the day progresses, they have actually put in three shifts - it's a 24-hour schedule that they are putting in. So far, I think they are able to show us some of the progress that they have made. But of course, it is nothing compared to the real thing," he added.

Still, organisers are not leaving anything to chance and they are monitoring developments closely.

"We have been given site visits... We have seen the actual rooms. They look quite fantastic... a class of its own by Singapore standards. (As for) the convention hall, at this point in time, they are still making the finishing touches relating to the decoration. I think it should come up reasonably well," said Yap.

"We are constantly in touch with the management. They told us most of the things are done properly and they have contingency plans in place, in case certain parts are not ready. They have actually given us all those assurances. So fingers crossed, it should turn out as a fantastic conference as they have promised us," he added.

Organisers said another site visit is being scheduled some time this week.

Yap said Marina Bay Sands has also promised that all construction activities near the hotel and conference hall will stop completely during the course of the conference.

Responding to media queries, Marina Bay Sands said its staff are going through extensive simulation exercises to put them through the paces.

It said it is also working closely with the IPBA's organising committee to ensure a smooth and memorable stay for all delegates and VIPs. - CNA /ls

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