Visa’s own playground

Visa Worldwide ups the game for its Asia Pacific Leadership Meeting by buying out a hotel and turning it into private party grounds.

Hot idea
Property buyout allows for corporate branding throughout the venue and privacy for event attendees

The Asia Pacific Leadership Meeting is held every year by Visa Worldwide to bring its associates from the region together. While the event has been held at the Marina Bay Sands integrated resorts for the past six years, the company decided to switch things up and hosted the 2018 edition at W Singapore – Sentosa Cove on Singapore’s resort island.

For the event from October 24 to November 3, Visa engaged Tricom Events to help deliver it.

The Asia Pacific Leadership Meeting enjoyed complete privacy in its venue of choice for the first time with a buyout of W Singapore – Sentosa Cove.

While the full event duration was from October 24 to November 3, including attendee check-ins and check-outs, the hotel was bought out for only three days – October 29 to November 1.

According to hotel spokesperson, Alicia Tan, Visa chose to take this route as the 2018 event involved Visa’s mid- to top-tier management team, and exclusivity was needed.

Tan added: “As this only happens once a year they wanted to take this opportunity to get together and celebrate.”

The hotel is no stranger to venue buyouts and has in place procedures to facilitate it. Customers who had booked its rooms ahead of time for the event period were re-accommodated – with their consent – at sister properties.

The buyout allowed Visa to implement corporate branding in various areas of the hotel, such as at the main entrance, ballroom, pool and lobby. It also made customised F&B offerings possible throughout the event.

Together with Tricom Events, the organising team at Visa and W Singapore – Sentosa Cove’s events, banquet and culinary teams, a myriad of unique dining concepts were created. Examples included a Halloween-themed dinner party aptly titled, Monster Ball, on October 30, and carefully curated menus for lunch at unconventional venues on-site.

The Monster Ball gala dinner featured Halloween-themed sweet treats such as ginger and pumpkin tarts, and Halloween trifles.

Bearing the tight event programme in mind, hotel chefs also customised daily Grab-and-Go lunches executed at a pop-up stall in the lobby.

“This was done to make it convenient (for the attendees) and (to ensure) a space large enough to accommodate the flow of more than 250 delegates,” explained Tan.

The Grab-and-Go lunches were a convenient alternative to sit-down lunch options at The Kitchen Table, SKIRT and WOOBAR.

For this event, the hotel faced an issue with limited restaurant capacity at The Kitchen Table and SKIRT.

“As there were more than 250 delegates, both our restaurants were unable to accommodate all of them,” said Tan.

The solution was to convert WOOBAR bar and lounge into a bistro with a buffet line similar to what was served at The Kitchen Table and SKIRT.

Another challenge came in the form of an overcast sky that threatened rain.

Tan said: “The initial plan was to have the Monster Ball gala dinner by the W Lawn, which would have been the perfect venue to culminate the meeting as delegates would be able to enjoy the sunset and a view of the marina. However, as the sky was overcast, the planning committee had to make a tough call to change the venue. The ballroom could not be considered as it would take about three hours for dinner set-up, and meetings only ended at about 18.00.”

The Monster Ball was thus moved to the hotel lobby, spilling into WOOBAR. To facilitate the change in plans, the hotel’s operations team sought help from other back-of-house departments to speed up the turnover. Precise teamwork allowed Visa to commence its gala dinner on time.

Event Asia Pacific Leadership Meeting 2018
Organiser Visa Worldwide
Event company Tricom Events
Venue W Singapore – Sentosa Cove
Date October 24 to November 3, 2018
Attendance 240 people

Sponsored Post