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Mice Asia Net : July 2009
upfront briefs The RighT enTeRTainmenT foR YouR gRoup Right, you sit down to plan a gala awards night; an incentive group conference; the latest whatsit launch in a touring roadshow OR all of the above? Once you’ve picked your venue, matched the food and wine (and selected your tablecloths of course), it’s down to something to take the edge off, to break up the event’s formalities. Ah yes, the entertainment... Whether you have 500 salespeople, 200 managers or 50 VIP’s, of everything going on it is good entertainment that stands out and gets people involved. If you get that wrong you’ll most likely know about it from your client or your boss forthwith. Why? Because the entertainment is (or becomes) the focus of any event, the icebreaker, the galvaniser. While every factor is important, carefully planned and selected as each component may be, the performer or act you pick is the icing on the cake! Whether you are an event organiser or PA in charge of the annual awards night, here are some tips to help you get it right. • Decide on a “style” for an event rather than theming too specifically as it can limit your entertainment options. • Don’t throw something in at the last minute. Have entertainment in mind from the outset and do your homework to really know what’s out there – locally and internationally. Ask colleagues what they’ve seen and enjoyed. • We all know it is a trying time financially but don’t be too lean budget-wise in this area of your event. As we’ve established, this component is important after all! While there’s always a cheaper, dare we say B-version of the show you really want, don’t succumb to the temptation! • Contrary to popular opinion, in special events “bang-for-buck” actually translates to “keep it short”. Yes ladies and gentlemen, less is more. Go for high-impact and leave your guests wanting more. One last thought to bear in mind... Think of your suppliers as part of the team. Share all aspects of your event with your entertainment provider so they can find a way to create something unique for your event. In the end if your audience enjoys a seamless and exciting experience they’ll be back next year! Michael Falzon is a Director of SMA Productions – ‘Entertainment by Design’ (Sydney, London). He has also starred in many professional theatrical productions including ‘We Will Rock You’ and the international arena tour of ‘The War of the Worlds’. Ahead of its new 438-room Sofitel Dubai Jumeirah Beach set to open this September, French-based Sofitel Luxury Hotels has announced five additional properties that will strengthen the brand’s worldwide portfolio. In the United Arab Emirates, Sofitel is developing the Sofitel Dubai Sheikh Zayed Road and the Sofitel Abu Dhabi Capital Plaza. In China, three new contracts have been signed in the country’s eastern and southeastern regions - Sofitel Qingdao (Eastern China), Sofitel Dongguan (Southern China), and Sofitel Guangzhou (Southern China). These five new Sofitel properties are already under construction and scheduled to begin opening at the end of 2010. These openings will bring a total of 2000 additional rooms to the hotel’s presence in these regions. Centara Hotels & Resorts has the most popular hotel website in Thailand, recently securing the “Most Visited Hotel Site in Thailand” award under the 6th Truehits Web Awards. The award was presented by Dr 14 miceAsia.net Khunying Kalaya Sophonpanich, Minister at the Ministry of Science and Technology (MOST). Receiving the award during the ceremony held at the Century Park Hotel in Bangkok was Sarawut Tantichote, e-business manager of Centara Hotels & Resorts. Visits to Thai websites are monitored and analysed by Truehits.net, the leading web statistic organisation in Thailand, run by Internet Innovation Research Centre Co Ltd, which is supported and budgeted by the Thai government. An ice skating rink in the dunes of an Arabian desert or on a sandy beach in Thailand is no longer in the realm of imagination. Companies looking to give their events a different twist can host their next one on a custom-built ice rink in any place they choose. Bangkok based B-Concept Media Entertainment Group, one of Thailand’s leading entertainment and event management firms, recently added a 1000 square metre ice floor to its portfolio. “Imagine a product launch where the car is in the centre of the ice doing a pirouette in front of dealers and visitors,” said William Kuipers, the company’s managing director. “The potential is just limitless. The ice floor can be adjusted to any size and we can put boards and flag poles around the ice for branding.” If required, B-Concept’s production teams can build F&B outlets and other fixtures on and around the ice. Furthermore the company can stage a branded ice skating show for a truly out-of-the-box experience. Visit www.bconceptgroup.com for further details. Singapore Airlines will fly the world’s largest passenger aircraft, the Airbus A380, on the Singapore-Hong Kong route from July 9, 2009. Hong Kong will become the fifth international destination and second city in Asia to be serviced by the Singapore Airlines superjumbo, which commenced operations in October 2007 on the SydneySingapore route and has subsequently added services to London, Tokyo and Paris. The daily A380 flights will replace an existing daily B777-300ER service to Hong Kong.