Making tradition new again

Tasked to host the inaugural Skift Forum Asia, Resorts World Sentosa channelled Singapore’s charms through tailored dining and thematic décor.

Hot idea
A thematic concept revolving around local flavour allows guests a chance to experience the host destination

Event brief
Commonly dubbed “the TED of travel”, the Skift Forum debuted its Asia edition in Resorts World Sentosa’s (RWS) Equarius Hotel on May 27, 2019. The event gathered more than 400 travel executives – almost half of whom were vice president-level and above, hailing from more than 40 countries – for a day of TED-style talks and deep-dive discussions.

Its opening ceremony was a more intimate affair, held on the evening of May 26 in the resort’s S.E.A. Aquarium for invited partners.

Event highlights
The Ocean Gallery in S.E.A. Aquarium was an awe-inspiring venue that set the tone for a memorable event. The opening ceremony treated attendees to a show of resplendence, as marine animals swam gracefully before the guests amid dinner and conversation.

Notable features of the reception included sashimi and shaved-ice live stations, and dishes specially curated by RWS’ three celebrity chef restaurants: Syun, Forest and Feng Shui Inn. The most memorable scene of the night was the two divers that emerged in the aquarium flourishing a Skift Forum Asia banner.

Meanwhile, the main forum set tongues wagging with its eye-catching set designs that recreated traditional scenes of Singapore. The RWS team placed a tuk-tuk at the event foyer, where delegates could help themselves to ice popsicles; as well as a seating area resembling a neighbourhood coffee shop stocked with local snacks of yesteryears. This area also doubled up as a unique spot for networking, hot-desking, refreshments and photo opportunities.

For lunch, RWS’ specialists developed a thematic concept, Flavours of Asia. On top of specialities from Syun, Forest, and Feng Shui Inn, the buffet line-up also featured quintessential Singaporean dishes like kueh pie tee, bak kut teh, claypot rice and teh tarik, served from live stations dressed like rustic ‘kampung’ huts.

“As most of the forum’s attendees were from abroad, RWS mapped and planned customised appetising menus to showcase our award-winning dining experiences and exciting cuisines from around the world,” explained an RWS spokesperson. On top of this culinary experience, the resort also ensured its commitment to sustainability by avoiding the use of disposable tableware and cutlery, replacing these with tableware and glassware.

One of the key challenges that the venue faced was turning around the S.E.A. Aquarium’s Ocean Gallery in time for the opening ceremony, as the attraction was still receiving guests on the day.

“With the team’s strong on-ground coordination, extra effort was taken to ensure guests were aware of the attraction’s early closure, so that there was adequate time to prepare the Ocean Gallery for the opening event,” said the spokesperson.

Additionally, installation of the forum’s unique decorations at the Equarius Hotel Ballroom proved to be a massive undertaking. In particular, an eight-man team was needed to transport and position the 700kg tuk-tuk.

To ensure a smooth event from start to finish, RWS’ MICE specialists began video conference calls across time zones with the organiser from as early as October 2018.

Discussions with the Skift team, based in New York, were crucial in providing comprehensive concept decks encompassing strategic event direction right down to minute details.

Event Skift Forum Asia
Organiser Skift
Event company Resorts World Sentosa in-house team
Venue Resorts World Sentosa Equarius Hotel
Date May 26-27, 2019
Attendance 400 people

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