​​Singapore, 25 November 2008 - Clearly-defined terms and measurement procedures will be a boon to the global exhibition industry, thanks to the completion of the International Organisation for Standardisation (ISO) 25639 – International Standard for Exhibition Terminology.

This first ISO standard for the global exhibition industry will help facilitate clearer communication among industry players and minimise ambiguity over the terms used. Auditors will also be able to use this standard to verify the statistics provided for each exhibition and trade show. With the ISO 25639 in place, companies can better determine which exhibitions and tradeshows around the world would be better able to showcase their products or services.

Advocating a common reference for the evaluation of exhibitions, the ISO 25639 allows for greater transparency. Exhibitors and visitors will have more confidence in the credibility of the show statistics and information presented in exhibition marketing brochures and media publicity. This will help raise the service standards and professionalism of the global exhibition industry (Please see Annex A).

Senior Minister of State for Foreign Affairs, Dr Balaji Sadasivan, who announced the completion of ISO 25639 at the Approved International Fair (AIF) Awards Gala Dinner, said, “This is indeed a significant milestone for Singapore, as it is not only the first ISO standard for the global exhibition industry but also the first time that a Singapore Standard has been accepted by the ISO as the basis for development of an international standard for the exhibition industry…the pivotal role that the Singapore exhibition industry played in initiating the development of the ISO 25639 is an example of the increasing influence that our companies have globally. These achievements will certainly help seal Singapore’s position as a frontrunner in the global MICE industry.”

In 2007, business and MICE (Meetings, Incentive Travel, Conventions and Exhibitions) visitors accounted for close to three million of total visitor arrivals, and contributed over S$5 billion or 40% of the total tourism receipts. Under the Tourism 2015 masterplan, the Singapore Tourism Board (STB) aims to raise the total tourism receipts from the business travel and MICE sector to S$10.5 billion.

“This is a milestone achievement for the global exhibitions community, a strong testament to the high standards of the exhibitions industry in Singapore and an affirmation of our standing as a leading exhibition hub in Asia. It also signifies the industry’s collective commitment to uphold a unified set of benchmarks, and help us surmount the challenges faced by the global exhibitions industry amidst the current economic uncertainties,” says Mr Lim Neo Chian, Deputy Chairman and Chief Executive of the STB.

Said Mr Png Cheong Boon, Chief Executive of SPRING Singapore, “Singapore developed the first national standard in the world for the exhibition industry, SS505, five years ago. We are pleased that this has contributed significantly to the development of the ISO 25639, the first international exhibition standard. It shows that our exhibition industry is of high quality and has good international standing. Hence, our industry players are well-equipped to implement the new ISO standard and meet the high demands of the global exhibition market.”

Said Mr Stephen Tan, Project Leader of ISO Project Committee on Exhibition Terminology, and Chief Executive of Singapore Exhibition Services Pte Ltd, “ISO 25639 will enable industry players in Singapore and around the world to better communicate our strengths, values and qualities to exhibitors, visitors and partners alike, in this increasingly global arena. Despite our relatively short history, our exhibition industry has played a significant role in this international initiative. Our contributions would have surely boosted Singapore’s standing as a premier MICE destination.”

Mr Edward Liu, President of SACEOS (Singapore Association of Convention & Exhibition Organisers & Suppliers, the trade association representing the MICE industry in Singapore) said, “SACEOS is delighted that our efforts in the development of the national standard for the exhibition industry in Singapore has resulted in its internationalisation and Singapore’s leadership in the development of ISO 25639. Going forward, SACEOS will implement the new ISO guidelines aggressively and will introduce training programmes to bring our members up to speed with the new terminology in the marketplace."

ISO 25639 provides definitions of 58 essential terms used by the industry as well as guidelines on measurement procedures for the defined terms. This ensures consistency in the understanding of the terms throughout the exhibition industry, which includes exhibition organisers, contractors, venue operators, freight forwarders, exhibitors and auditing firms.

SACEOS with its members, representatives from the Singapore exhibition industry, SPRING and the STB, collaborated closely to put forward Singapore’s position in the development of ISO 25639. The ISO Project Committee on Exhibition Terminology was also led and supported by Singapore. The ISO 25639 is the culmination of nearly four years of close collaboration by Singapore with sixteen other countries under the ISO umbrella.

SPRING has also supported and facilitated the development of Singapore Standard 539 on guidelines for the safety and operational management for indoor exhibitions, which was led by the Singapore exhibition industry partners. It provides recommendations on safety, health and environmental issues, and covers processes and procedures for indoor exhibitions, from building up to dismantling.

The completion of ISO 25639 was announced at the prestigious AIF Awards Gala Dinner, an event jointly organised by STB and SACEOS. Administered by the STB, the AIF Awards is a biennial award which is presented to select international exhibitions that enjoy wide international and commercial appeal, as well as command high foreign participation in terms of exhibitors and visitors (Please refer to the list of AIF Awards 2008 recipients at Annex B).

End of Media Release -

Issued jointly by the Singapore Tourism Board and SPRING Singapore


About Singapore Tourism Board

The Singapore Tourism Board (STB) is an economic development agency for one of Singapore’s key service sectors – tourism. The mission of the Board is to develop and champion tourism, so as to build the sector into a key driver of economic growth for Singapore. The STB aims to differentiate and market Singapore as a memorable destination through the proliferation of the destination brand “Uniquely Singapore”. For more information, please visit

About the Singapore Exhibition and Convention Bureau

The Singapore Exhibition and Convention Bureau (SECB), a group of the Singapore Tourism Board (STB), is the lead government agency for the business events sector in Singapore. Its mission is to champion business travel and business events as key drivers of the tourism sector and enablers for cluster growth in Singapore. It also assists business event organisers, corporations and associations by providing comprehensive and impartial information on Singapore’s MICE facilities, incentive venues and industry partners. The SECB is a member of the BestCities Global Alliance, the world’s first and only convention bureau alliance with eight partners in five continents.

About SPRING Singapore

SPRING Singapore is the enterprise development agency for growing innovative companies and fostering a competitive SME sector. We work with partners to help enterprises in financing, capabilities and management development, technology and innovation, and access to markets. As the national standards and accreditation body, SPRING also develops and promotes internationally-recognised standards and quality assurance to enhance competitiveness and facilitate trade.

Please visit for more information and news about SPRING Singapore.