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One stop for nibble, tipple, gadget - Nov 13, 2008 (ST)

BackNov 13, 2008

The Straits Times / The Business Times News On SPH

One stop for nibble, tipple, gadget

Singapore Press Holdings subsidiary Sphere holds the first-of-its-kind Food Safari and Home Electronics Fair.

By Tessa Wong
Nov 13, 2008
The Straits Times

PUB-GOERS in the downtown area this weekend can head to an unlikely place for drink deals: a food fair at Suntec City.
The first-of-its-kind Food Safari and Home Electronics Fair, which will offer nibbles and gadgets under the same roof, is hoping to draw visitors by creating a dedicated bar area.

The all-day Watering Hole section will occupy about an eighth of the show's 8,000 sq m floor space, and can hold more than 500 people. It will feature eight bar counters serving Japanese, German and local beers, premium liqueurs like sake and shochu, and exotic wines from Greece, Georgia and South Korea. There will also be cheep beer deals.

At night, the lights will dim and sizzling salsa music will ring out, as the section transforms into a buzzing nightspot.

The organiser, Singapore Press Holdings subsidiary Sphere, is also hoping to attract tourists. It has given coupons to six hotels in Marina Bay and guests can redeem them for free beer at the show, which is free and runs from tomorrow to Sunday.

Mr Chua Wee Phong, executive director of Sphere, said the show is looking to recreate a complete dining experience under one roof, 'from appetisers to dessert, and then post-dinner drinks at a bar'.

The devotion of a significant amount of floor space to a drinking area in a consumer show is unusual within the events industry, according to industry players.

Mr Edward Liu, president of the Singapore Association of Convention and Exhibition Organisers and Suppliers, commended Sphere for its innovation, saying: 'Such concepts can eventually bring events to a higher level, and we welcome such initiative.'

Besides stalls showcasing cuisines from 15 countries, including Turkey, Spain, France and Thailand, there will be live cooking demonstrations and workshops.

The home electronics section will also offer deals on television sets, kitchen appliances, fans and more.

Stalls are promising up to 90 per cent discount for some small appliances, and a 60 per cent discount on some LCD TV sets.