Digital and Music Matters 2012

Despite having to handle 1,200 delegates, staff at Branded Asia and The Ritz-Carlton, Millenia Singapore pull off the Herculean event through sheer teamwork, reports Linda Haden

Bob Lefsetz and Kenneth Parks at Digital and Music Matters 2012

The Ritz-Carlton, Millenia Singapore hosted Digital and Music Matters, a regional digital media and entertainment industry event, for the second consecutive time from May 22 to 25.

Organised by Branded Asia, a media and entertainment brand marketing agency, this edition saw a line-up of 175 speakers, including Lady Gaga’s manager Troy Carter; Bob Ezrin, the music and entertainment producer for Pink Floyd, Nine Inch Nails and Alice Cooper; and Adam Smith, head of Asia Pacific, YouTube.

Over 1,200 participants from 497 companies across 30 countries attended the four-day conference, which comprised of 40 panels, including 17 keynote presentations and interviews, as well as six roundtables and workshops focused on digital publishing, gaming, music publishing, copyright, video and live music.

Branded’s president, Jasper Donat, stated that The Ritz-Carlton, Millenia Singapore was selected to host Digital and Music Matters again as it met the organiser’s requirements. “We wanted a venue that was large enough for our event yet still retained a sense of intimacy.”

The conferences were staged in the hotel’s various function places including the Grand Ballroom for keynote presentations. The foyer was transformed into an exhibition space while the Grand Gallery hosted a standing buffet luncheon and two evening cocktail receptions for 300 guests each time. On the second night, guests were treated to a poolside reception.

Communication was the crux to pulling off the event. The Ritz-Carlton and Branded teams consistently shared updates in the months before the event, and stepped up communications closer to the date. When Branded’s event planner arrived in Singapore, the hotel gave her a mobile phone loaded with complimentary local calls as well as a pre-saved contact list comprising key hotel staff members.

Despite the substantial number of delegates, there were no major logistical or operational hurdles. “There were no major hiccups per se as we had a good understanding of what expectations and results were to be, given that this is the second year that Digital and Music Matters has taken place at The Ritz-Carlton,” said the hotel’s general manager, Peter Mainguy.

He added: “With any event on this scale, last-minute changes were anticipated and the hotel team was able to react quickly to facilitate these changes… The schedule was rigorous and demanding however, with careful planning, close communication and tracking of event take-up numbers up to the very last hour.”

The Ritz-Carlton, Millenia Singapore drew invaluable lessons from hosting the event the second time round, with “mutual understanding, trust and strong timely communication” being the key learning points, said Mainguy.
Donat said he was highly pleased with how the conference turned out. “The (hotel) was a terrific partner to work with because they were happy to go the extra mile, resulting in an absolutely flawless event. We did not get any complaints from attendees.

“For one session we had 400 delegates registered, but 600 showed up. The hotel staff responded really well and brought chairs from all over. Overall, this was an extremely great team effort between Branded, The Ritz-Carlton, Millenia Singapore and Singapore’s government bodies.”

Branded Asia’s efforts paid off when the agency won Trade Show of the Year at the Singapore Experience Awards 2012.

The close partnership between Branded Asia and The Ritz-Carlton, Millenia Singapore will continue in 2013, when the latter plays host to Digital and Music Matters for a third outing in May 21 to 25.

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