The Singapore EXPO (Chinese: 新加坡博览中心) is the largest convention and exhibition venue in Singapore with over 100,000 square metres of column-free, indoor space spread over 10 halls. Built and managed by PSA Corporation, and funded by the Ministry of Trade and Industry, the S$220 million building (excluding the cost of the 40,000 m² expansion) was built in the east of Singapore near Simei and Tanah Merah. Currently managed by Temasek Holdings, Singex Venues Private Limited, the government-owned building was designed by Cox Richardson Rayner.
Singapore Expo is the largest Meetings, Incentives, Conferencing and Exhibitions venue in Singapore and is one of the largest and most completely equipped centre in the whole of Asia. There are ten large multipurpose halls, each being 10,000 sqm in size, giving a total floor space of over 100,000 sqm. All available space are interconnected and on ground level and column free.
Ten conference halls are also available, ranging in size from 89 to 844 sqm, suitable for 150 to 1,000 people. In addition, there are meeting rooms which can seat 15 to 125 members.
The original Singapore Expo building comprised six interconnected halls of 10,000 square metres each, with column free-spaces and ceiling heights of up to 16 metres. Each hall is self-contained and is linked to the other halls by air-conditioned walkways. An additional 40,000 sqm (four new halls) were completed in September 2005 and linked to the original building across Expo Drive via a sheltered walkway.
A carpark for 2,200 vehicles is also available, which can be converted into 25,000 sqm of outdoor exhibition space. It is accessible by MRT, by transferring to the train at the middle platform at Tanah Merah interchange.
Singex Venues, the management company of Singapore EXPO, is the only MICE company in the world to have dual certification in Business Continuity Management (awarded by the British and Singapore standards).
With the exhibition space at the World Trade Centre slated for demolition, a replacement venue which could exceed the 34,000 square metres of indoor space was greatly needed. Construction on the building's first phase therefore commenced in 1997, and was officially opened on March 4, 1999, even though the effects of the Asian financial crisis has started to bite on the economy during that period. Critics predict that the halls will be under-utilized, and further worsened by its relatively remote location compared to the old World Trade Centre, or the Singapore International Convention and Exhibition Centre (now known as the Suntec Singapore International Convention and Exhibition Centre) which had opened only a few years earlier in 1995.
The initial years almost proved the critics right, although the venue made a quick turnaround within a few years. The opening of the Expo MRT Station in January 10, 2001 was a boost to the venue, which was already experiencing increasing usage, helped in particular by the attempts to sell the venue for functions beyond exhibitions and conventions, which was to include rock concerts, New Year parties, beauty pageants, musicals, and even as examination halls for educational institutions.
By 2003, demand for ever bigger exhibition space prompted the Singapore Expo to proceed with its expansion plans, especially in response to the needs of IMTA Asia, which was slated to be held from October 17 to 21, 2005. With the inaugural show already occupying the full 60,000 square metres of space, pressure was on the venue to expand, or the prestigious event may have to move somewhere else since there is no other bigger venue available in Singapore. In response, a new 40,000 square metre expansion comprising a further four halls was constructed adjacent to the existing halls across Expo Drive in double quick time to meet the expected exhibition period, and was completed in June 2005. The extension includes a multi-purpose event hall and auditorium for large-scale meetings, seminars, conferences, congresses, concerts and other special events known as The MAX Pavilion. The original plan to build the second phase at the carpark is still on the cards.
Since 2001, the Bethesda Community church has been renting the Singapore EXPO Meeting Rooms for weekly services. Since December 2005, the largest church in Singapore, City Harvest Church, used Hall 8 of the Singapore Expo on a weekly basis, while the 10,000-member Faith Community Baptist Church used Hall 10 (The Max Pavilion) till the Urban Redevelopment Authority imposed their terms of religious organisations leasing venues of not more than Template:Convert on February 2011.
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