Singapore: by popular acclaim

Dermatological societies across the region were happy for Singapore to make South-East Asia’s first ever bid for the highly prized World Congress of Dermatology. Angela Antrobus reports

The World Congress of Dermatology (WCD), organised under the auspices of the International League of Dermatological Societies (ILDS), is held only every four years so competition is always hot to win the event which can bring around 15,000 delegates to the host destination.

Just three months ago, Singapore was up against big meetings industry players Sydney, Beijing, Dubai, Rio de Janeiro and Guadalajara when it was chosen to host the congress in 2023. The 25th WCD will be the largest medical convention ever held in the city.

The bid, backed by dermatological societies in South-East Asia and the League of ASEAN Dermatological Societies, was spearheaded by the Dermatological Society of Singapore (DSS) with the support of public agencies and industry stakeholders such as Singapore Tourism Board (STB).

Congress president Professor Roy Chan, a senior consultant at the National Skin Centre, says, “We think we presented a very complete and attractive proposal that won the approval of the majority of voting members of the ILDS. STB provided valuable assistance with respect to resources, publicity, coordination and advice for the process. We look forward to working closely with them to make the 25th WCD a great success.”

There’s no denying that Singapore is a very popular business events destination. With its world-class venues and network of experienced, reliable suppliers, it’s often the preferred choice of international associations considering South-East Asia for a major conference even though it might appear more expensive than other cities in the region.

Professor Chan commends it for many reasons: “It’s a global centre of travel, finance, commerce and science. It’s a democratic and secular state and a melting pot of several Eastern and Western cultures, with an ethnically diverse population of 5.6 million people living in racial and religious harmony. We are recognised for world-leading standards of governance, transparency, efficiency, security and safety. English is spoken everywhere.

“Travelling to the city is hassle-free through our extensive air connections made pleasant with our stunning and efficient award-winning Changi airport. Only a few nationalities require a visa for entry into Singapore and, for the minority who do, visa processing takes only one to three working days.

“The internet is freely accessible and connectivity speeds are among the highest in the world. Visitor attractions are plentiful and include superb museums, modern architectural wonders, beautiful parks, exciting shopping, cultural performances and recreational activities. Our food culture is world famous, drawing from its multicultural roots, rich local cuisine and international influences.”

Singapore Exhibition & Convention Bureau (SECB), part of the STB, has been in operation for over 40 years and engages with international associations through its regional offices, at trade shows and by organising fam trips and regularly meets with local associations to discuss bringing congresses to Singapore. It has run a Conference Ambassador Programme since 2006, recruiting notable local professionals in areas such as healthcare, education and engineering and offering them a high level of support in bidding for an international congress in their field.

Once the event has been won, SECB can help with many of the logistical arrangements. It also offers funding support which helps organisers enhance their marketing and attendance-building initiatives and customised support such as introductions with leading government agencies, local associations and business partners.


Emelia Loy

Assistant Director, Conventions

Singapore Exhibition & Convention Bureau

T: +65 6831 3395


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