IFBA Roundtable Kickoff: Embracing Innovation and Leadership

The IFBA Roundtable Talk Show 2024, held at the esteemed Marina Bay Sands Expo & Convention Centre in Singapore, was a special event of the inaugural SIGEP Asia 2024 and the 5th edition of Restaurant Asia. This prestigious event brought together industry leaders, innovators, and stakeholders from around the globe to discuss the future of the foodservice and hospitality industries. Here are the highlights from this influential gathering:

Opening Remarks and Keynote

The IFBA Roundtable Talk Show 2024 kicked off with inspiring keynote addresses from Ms. Ilaria Cicero, CEO of IEG Asia, and Mr. Hai Poh Cheong, President of the International Food & Beverage Association. These addresses set the tone for a day filled with insightful discussions and forward-thinking strategies. Both speakers emphasized the critical need for innovation, sustainability, and leadership in navigating the ever-evolving landscape of the hospitality and foodservice sectors. Their visionary perspectives underscored the importance of embracing new technologies, sustainable practices, and strategic collaborations to drive the industry forward.

Insightful Discussions at the IFBA Roundtable Talk Show

The IFBA Roundtable Talk Show, hosted at SIGEP Asia 2024 at the impressive Marina Bay Sands Expo & Convention Centre, was an inspiring journey through the most pressing topics at the heart of the F&B industry—innovation, sustainability, and the invaluable role of human capital.

The Roundtable Talk Show brought together industry experts and thought leaders to delve into critical areas impacting the F&B sector. 


Insights from Distinguished Speakers

A massive thank you to our distinguished speakers who took the stage, sharing their profound insights and real-world experiences. These enriching conversations have not only provided us with a cornerstone for learning but are set to influence how we innovate and sustainably grow within this fast-paced industry.

Technology Innovation in Hospitality

One of the standout sessions was led by Mr. Maxim Tint, Founder and CEO of Gtrip. Tint delved into the transformative impact of technology on the hospitality industry. He explored how AI, IoT, blockchain, and virtual reality are no longer mere trends but essential tools in enhancing guest experiences, optimizing operations, and driving revenue growth. Tint also highlighted technology innovations that promote resource efficiency and environmental sustainability, urging industry professionals to embrace these advancements as core strategies for future success.


Regional Education Initiatives

 Ms. Jennifer Ong, CEO of HAPA, led a crucial discussion on the role of education in developing future leaders within the hospitality industry. Ong highlighted various regional educational initiatives that bring innovative partnerships and programs to the forefront. She emphasized the importance of professional growth and certification across coaching disciplines, showcasing how education can propel excellence and foster sustainable consumption trends within the hospitality sector.


Sustainable Practices and Corporate Social Responsibility

Dr. Han Bin, Chairman of the Asia Pacific Hotel Alliance, conducted an insightful session on the integration of sustainability and corporate social responsibility (CSR) in the modern hospitality industry. Dr. Han Bin discussed the industry’s shift towards embedding sustainable initiatives, policies, and practices that aim to reduce environmental impact while prioritizing social equity and community engagement. He stressed the significance of these integrated approaches in fulfilling the sector’s obligation to drive positive societal change and meet evolving business operations and customer expectations.


Customer Experience and Service Excellence

Mr. Lens Gwee, President of Food and Beverage Management of Singapore, provided his seasoned insights on the crucial nature of customer experience and service excellence. Gwee explored dynamic shifts in customer loyalty and illuminated how innovative service models and proactive engagement strategies can revolutionize customer interactions. He also discussed leveraging analytics and feedback mechanisms to anticipate customer preferences, thereby creating more meaningful and personalized customer encounters.


Collaboration and Innovation Ecosystems

Mr. Will Yeo, COO of YY Holding, underscored the importance of collaboration and innovation ecosystems in driving transformative change within the food and beverage industry. Yeo highlighted the pivotal impact of cross-sector partnerships, innovation hubs, and collective problem-solving as key drivers of creativity, growth, and sustainability. He advocated for unified strategies that not only champion innovation but also prioritize resource efficiency and environmental consciousness.


Emerging Markets and Growth Opportunities

A particularly engaging panel discussion featured a distinguished lineup of industry stalwarts, including Mr. Wu Honghua, Director of the Cultural and Tourism Working Committee of the China Association for Promotion of Ethnic Trade; Ms. Jennifer Ong, CEO of HAPA Group; Dr. Han Bin, Chairman of the Asia Pacific Hotel Alliance; Jocelyn Chng, Chairman and Group CEO of JR Group Holdings; and Mr. Cheong Hai Poh, President of the International Food & Beverage Association (IFBA). This session delved into the vast potential of emerging markets, outlining new avenues for growth and strategic approaches for market expansion. The panelists provided actionable strategies for adapting to consumer preferences and market dynamics, ensuring participants are well-positioned to leverage opportunities and drive significant growth in their operations.

Appreciation for the Organizers

Our appreciation extends to the organizers who made this event a resounding success. The teams at SIGEP and IEG Asia, alongside the International Food & Beverage Association (IFBA) and the Restaurant Association of Singapore (RAS), have seamlessly brought together diverse and thought-provoking content, demonstrating their vision and dedication to the industry’s advancement.

A Future of Unified Excellence: The Signing of a Significant MOU

Amidst the forward-thinking dialogue, a significant Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) was signed between the International Food & Beverage Association, the Cultural and Tourism Working Committee of the China Association for the Promotion of National Trade, the International HAPA® Awards Agency, and the Asia-Pacific Hotel Alliance, marking the inception of HAPA® China.

A Recognition Platform for the Industry

This collaboration has birthed a recognition platform designed to honor deserving individuals and establishments within the Hospitality, F&B, Culinary, and Tourism industries. A product of synergistic partnership across Malaysia, Singapore, and China, this agreement symbolizes a commitment to recognition and a pledge towards creating a unified, cross-border community that uplifts and celebrates the outstanding achievements within our industry.

With the launch of HAPA® China, we envision a future where excellence knows no borders, and the best within our industries are celebrated globally.

Networking and Collaboration

The event concluded with a networking session, offering attendees the invaluable chance to connect with peers, share insights, and lay the groundwork for future collaborations. Media interviews further enriched the dialogue, allowing leaders to share their visions and experiences. This collaborative environment fostered a sense of community and collective purpose among industry professionals.

Looking Ahead

Building on the success of the IFBA Roundtable Talk Show 2024, the International Food & Beverage Association (IFBA) is already planning for the next significant gathering in 2025. The upcoming event will continue to focus on fostering leadership, innovation, and collaboration within the global F&B sector. It promises to be a cornerstone for future collaborations and innovations, driving the industry towards a sustainable and prosperous future.

Transformative Milestones for the Future

SIGEP Asia 2024 stands as a transformative milestone in the ongoing journey towards innovation, sustainability, and excellence within the dynamic F&B industry, catalyzed by the impactful discussions at the IFBA Roundtable.

These discussions have set ambitious goals for the future, inspiring continuous improvement and adaptation to meet evolving consumer demands and global challenges. Together, we envision a future where the F&B industry thrives through innovation, sustainability, and a steadfast commitment to excellence.


Stay tuned to IFBA News & Events for more updates and insights from the world of food and beverage.

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