BK Magazine 500th Issue Party

Hansar Bangkok turned a conventional open-air function space into an elegant art gallery and throbbing party zone for BK Magazine’s milestone celebration. By Xinyi Liang-Pholsena

BK Magazine

Hansar Bangkok

August 1, 2013

No. of participants

To celebrate its 500th issue and conduct a charity fundraiser through the sale of art pieces

Constant changes to space layout to accommodate newly acquired event sponsors; complaints of noise level from nearby residents; short turnaround time for next event

Guests were impressed and Hansar Bangkok was able to showcase its best side to an audience of media, advertising and hospitality practitioners

Attracted by Hansar Bangkok’s sophisticated décor, intimate ambience and an event space that fitted with its party theme, English-language lifestyle publication BK Magazine decided to host its 500th issue celebration and inaugural charity fundraiser on August 1, 2013 at the boutique hotel.

While meetings and events are run-of-the-mill requests for Hansar Bangkok’s function space on the eighth floor, the magazine’s request to combine an art exhibition with its party posed “quite a challenge”, admitted the hotel’s director of sales, Mark Shrives.

Besides opting for the party to be hosted on the open-air deck next to the swimming pool on the eighth floor, BK had also requested for the art exhibition to be placed in the adjoining Suksan Room. Hansar Bangkok had to think out of the box to convert the 165m2 function room into an art gallery by building partitions to split the room and which double as “walls” for the artworks.

Featuring A2-sized illustrations by 10 Thai artists, these drawings were revealed at the party, during which guests could bid for their favourite artwork through a silent auction to raise money for the Home for the Multiple Handicapped Blind Children in Bangkok.

As the big day approached, more challenges started to crop up.

“Last-minute changes came when the number of drink sponsors kept changing, from the two originally planned to five just before the party, so we had to keep re-organising the space to ensure the sponsors were (accorded proper feature space) while guaranteeing the best locations for the main sponsors,” said Shrives.

On the event day, only 10 of 20 extra part-timers turned up, but the issue of staff shortage was swiftly resolved when one of the alcohol sponsors roped in its staff to help out. Furthermore, the outsourced set-up team accidentally dropped one of the paintings and broke the glass frame, so an emergency trip had to be made to the framemaker just two hours before the party.

The party finally kicked off by 18.30. The vibe was relaxed and chic, and partygoers were free to mingle on the alfresco deck, help themselves to drinks from the sponsor booths or snacks at the two canapés stations, and browse the art gallery.

However, shortly after 22.00, an unexpected complaint came from a resident of a nearby condominium about the noise emanating from the party. The hotel responded by asking the DJ to lower the volume before switching off all music at 23.00.

Although the party officially ended at midnight, work was not over for Hansar Bangkok. As the venue was booked for a traditional Thai wedding ceremony early next morning, the organisers had to quickly clean up the area so that planners for the next event could do the set-up.

All in all, despite the last-minute hitches that surfaced behind the scenes, the party was fun and well-received by guests, much to the client’s satisfaction.

Gregoire Glachant, managing editor of BK Magazine, commented: “Our guests were really impressed by the space. The exhibition was set up like a proper gallery, while the party area was an incredible terrace that was lined with a
pool and beneath a soaring ledge in case it rained.”

Shrives added: “Everyone enjoyed the event; it was a great experience for both teams. We had the opportunity to present our hotel to BK Magazine’s guests, many of whom hailed from the media, advertising and hospitality industries – profiles that match our key target groups.”

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