Partners in a different time zone, bad weather and a diverse audience with varying taste for fun and food did not stumble Goche’s event planners.
OSRAM Opto Semiconductors wanted a grand launch of its new fabrication plant in Kulim Hi-Tech Park, Kedah, in November 2017. The plant produces LED chips for premium applications, such as automotive lighting and video projection.
OSRAM engaged Penang-based Goche Corporation to handle the three-day event. The latter arranged sightseeing tours in the heart of Penang’s George Town, followed by a welcome dinner at Suffolk House for more than 300 clients and staff from Europe and Asia.
The plant launch was held the next day and it included a tour, an elaborate product exhibition and a press conference led by OSRAM’s chief officers.
Taking advantage of the chief officers’ presence. OSRAM also decided to end the event with a worldwide sales meeting.
Goche Corporation’s MICE manager, Wilson Teoh, recalled that the time difference between Malaysia and Germany was one of the key challenges in the preparation of the event, where Goche Corporation was required to liaise closely with an event management company appointed in Germany.
Teoh said: “Germany is eight hours behind Malaysia. Much of our communication was done online, via emails and conference calls.”
Another challenge was the weather, as the event fell during the year-end monsoon season in Penang. The wet season also saw a massive flood hit Penang in the lead up to the event.
Teoh recalled: “We had to build marquee tents for the pre-launch dinner as well as an air-conditioned tent for the conference and meeting on site in Kulim.
“Building such tents usually takes about 1.5 weeks but we had to stop work a few times due to the heavy rain. What made it more challenging was having to ensure that in the construction process, the wooden platforms used for the flooring did not get wet.”
A third challenge was proposing entertainment and menu options for the dinner event that would appeal to both European and Asian guests.
Flexible work hours was the solution to the time difference. Teoh said: “We adjusted our working hours in order to better align with our partners in Germany.”
To get around the construction delays as a result of the wet weather, Goche Corporation worked doubly hard as soon as the sky cleared.
“Whenever we had the chance of good weather, we worked overtime and even late through the night using lighting from generators,” Teoh recalled. “To ensure that the wooden platforms remained dry, we had to build the canopy first, followed by the platform.”
For entertainment, the team proposed performances that showcased Penang’s multi-culture. “We had songs and dances by the Malay, Chinese, Indian and Peranakan communities. For the dinner menu, the creative chefs at Suffolk House prepared a Western fusion menu improvised with local spices,” he said.
Teoh believes that detailed planning is vital in ensuring a successful event. “Weather is unpredictable and you need a strong back-up plan which includes extra manpower to ensure that everything runs well,” he said.
Event: OSRAM Kulim Plant Launch
Organiser: Goche Corporation
Venue: OSRAM Kulim Plant and around Penang
Date: November 22-24, 2017
Number of participants: 400