SINGAPORE - Life Matters, organised by Singapore Press Holdings' (SPH) CATS Classified, proved to be even more popular with exhibitors and visitors than last year. With more than 100 booths this year, the two-day event attracted close to 80,000 visitors.
The popularity of the event was largely attributed to the relevance of the programmes and comprehensive exhibitor mix targeted at the right crowd. On display were health food, wellness products, financial planning and holiday packages. Funeral directors were present to give advice to those who were open-minded enough to consider end-of-life matters.
Ms Tan Su-Lin, Vice President, CATS Classified, said: "CATS Classified products go beyond helping our readers with what they currently need. In this aspect, Life Matters has succeeded in raising awareness and meeting the needs of what our readers might need in a later stage of their lives. As people in Singapore are more educated and sophisticated, attitudes about ageing and end-of-life matters are changing, and more people want to be in full control of every aspect of their lives. This is where Life Matters becomes relevant to them."
Ms Jenny, 60, a visitor who made her way to the event after reading about it in the advertisements, found the seminar topics on investments in old age and dementia interesting.
Ms Goh Wee Leng, CEO of Singapore Casket, who was also the sponsor and an exhibitor of the event, commented that she has got potential leads from her target audience who were interested in the pre-planning services that her company offered. These people were aged between 60 to 70.
Besides the exhibition, there were also three contests that show-cased talented singers, celebrated family ties and promoted open-mindedness about end-of-life matters.
Mr Gerard Kevin Keasberry, 50, was crowned the winner of the Golden Voices singing competition that was open to those 50 years old and above. He won $2,000 in cash and a trophy.
Mr Keasberry, who works for the Singapore Enrich Group, said: "This is the first time I am taking part in a singing contest, and I did not expect to win. My purpose was to see how far I can go." He wowed the judges and the crowd with his rendition of Journey's song, "Faithfully".
Ms Lock Wai Mung, 45, took top spot in the Shoot For Life photography competition for pairs of grandparent-grandchild/parent-child who resembled each other. She submitted a photo of her husband, Arthur Law, 50, and son, Keith Law, 14. She beat 49 other contestants and won $1,000 in cash.
She said: "I composed the picture in a contrasting way to bring out the resemblance between my husband and son."
Twenty-eight contestants took up the unusual creative challenge of personalising a coffin in a colourful, quirky, yet respectful manner in the Fill This Space coffin art competition. Ms Koh Yi Ling emerged the winner with her masterpiece that had images of koi swimming.
The 19-year-old student said: "I believe in resurrection, and the flight to heaven. The water represents purity and kindness, and the fish, good luck and love for the deceased. Death means a person is not with us physically, but spiritually around - and I wanted to show that."
She took home a cash prize of $2,000. Singapore Casket will reproduce the winning entries on actual coffins and donate them to charitable organisations.