Workshop Events embraced oriental inspiration to produce three social events for a Singapore based conference attended by over 500 guests from Australia in April 2011.
Workshop Events was commissioned to produce the Welcome Reception, Family Evening and Gala Dinner for a financial conference held in Singapore in April. Over 300 delegates travelled from Australia with their partners and children for the 3-day ‘Explore, Expand and Evolve’ themed conference.
Working with the conference theme and overlaying oriental inspiration, Workshop Events sourced local suppliers and materials to design the events and style the venues to produce three separate unforgettable experiences that embraced the dynamic destination and entertained every age group.
The Sydney based event management team comprised a Project Manager, three Event Producers, Production Manager and Technical Director – all of whom embarked on a fact-finding mission to source the most appropriate venues and suppliers that would meet the logistic requirements of the events and compliment the conference themes. Facing the challenge of distance, the team employed a combination of local knowledge through a DMC, Internet searching and recommendations through Social Media (namely, LinkedIn and flickr) and latterly visited Singapore to complete site visits and build relationships with suppliers.
The choice of venues was immense and included possible new spaces being open months prior to the conference. Finally however, Workshop Events recommended the Billiard Room at Raffles, Singapore Zoo and the Marina Bay Sands Convention Centre ballroom partnered with the incredible KuDeTa situated atop the hotel.
Each venue required compromise and creative thinking in order to meet the event brief accurately. For instance, many event sites at Singapore Zoo were deemed unsuitable but the WE team recommended the Zoo’s AhMeng Restaurant, not previously used for an event on this scale, as the perfect solution. Negotiation with both venue and stakeholders secured the Restaurant as the best solution to meet the event brief.
Opening with the Welcome Reception at the world-renowned Raffles Hotel, Workshop Events produced an evening evocative of British Colonial Singapore as the backdrop for the ‘Explore’ component of the conference. Traditionally, the Welcome Reception had been a sit-down affair however, to suit the space and experience of Raffles, the event was designed as an indoor/outdoor cocktail reception thus encouraging guests to experience the theme and enjoy local culture and entertainment.
The evening began with colonial soldiers leading guests through the busy streets of Singapore to Raffles Hotel. On arrival Singapore Slings were served and guests were invited to explore their surroundings. In the Bar and Billiard Room the classic tunes of a pianist dressed in tails and an all-female pipe band performing ‘Tipperary’ echoed colonial times. Meanwhile, outside in the Palm Garden, guests discovered the treats of colonial traders including an impressive Indian tea pouring display and the delightful ‘ting ting’ of Chinese sugar candy being chipped and shared. Children and adults alike were mesmerised by the Indian snake charmer, listened to the truths of a fortune-telling parrot and tried their hand in Malay weaving and Chinese fan painting.
A family evening at Singapore Zoo set the scene for the second social event, themed ‘Evolve’. With a focus on the evolution of Singapore as a melting pot of cultures, the Zoo was the ultimate venue in which to showcase the many species and cultures that make up the sensational city. An endless buffet menu featured delicacies from India, Malaysia and China and complimented with ‘Tiger’ beer. A feast of entertainment was also provided with fire breathing drummers, a Chinese mask changing performer and a very agile Shaolin monk. Three elephants were even invited to the party for a feed (bananas of course)! But a visit to Singapore Zoo is not complete without a Night Safari – and so a tram ride around the Zoo to discover the many wondrous animals completed the night.
The final event, a Gala Dinner celebrating the client’s 25th anniversary, was held at the recently opened Marina Bay Sands Complex. Themed ‘Expand’, this event showcased Singapore as the modern hub of Asia. To evoke the importance of the night, the space was styled to include a stage featuring the bright city lights of Singapore and a modern chandelier of thousands of Singapore orchids. Soul Mystique enthralled the audience with their quick changing, slick performance.
After dinner, as a surprise for the guests, black and white dressed clowns on stilts presented guests with balloons and invited them to ‘parade’ with balloon in hand to the top of the Marina Bay Sands Hotel. Creating great excitement and intrigue, guests moved from one venue to the next in a river of pink and white balloons.
At their final destination, Ku De Ta, the balloons were released into the room and guests were met with breathtaking views of the Singapore city skyline. Dessert and cheese were served whilst guests enjoyed signature cocktails and contemporary tunes of a hip band. The club atmosphere of Ku De Ta and the views from the rooftop of the 58-storey hotel provided the ultimate lasting memory.
“At times, communicating with Singapore via email and phone was extremely frustrating with long delays in response times, constantly changing quotes and unclear messaging, on the ground however everything came together extremely well and all our local suppliers went to great lengths to get it right.” said Richard Breatnach, Managing Director for Workshop Events.
Workshop Events – Richard Breatnach, Annina Ferrand, Sarah Philips, Alexandra Cowie and John-Paul McCloon
Design 18 Venues (Raffles Hotel, Singapore Zoo, Marina Bay Sands, KuDeTa) – Keith Soh
Technical director – Iain Reed
Lighting and AV – 32Hundred (Iain Reed) and Showtec (Lionel Lee)
Radio hire – Radioquip Communications
Furniture Hire – Chuan Lam
Props – Mediacorp
Cupcakes – Baked Ideas
Florist – Peter Rose
Sing See So Soon Floral & Landscape – Gracelyn Lin
AMICO, Soul Mystique (Brisbane based), Martini Club (Sydney based), Bezballoons