Integrated resorts are a wonderful convenience for event planners needing varied venues and experiences under one roof. Here are some innovative ones in Asia.
Macau is affirming its appeal as a business events destination with the unveiling of the upcoming Galaxy International Convention Center (GICC) and 16,000-seat Galaxy Arena, set for an opening in 1H2021.
Operated by the Galaxy Entertainment Group and part of the Galaxy Macau integrated resort, GICC will boast 40,000m2 of event space, including a 10,000m2 pillarless exhibition hall, an auditorium for some 600 guests, a banquet hall for up to 2,400 guests, a 4,000m2 conference hall comprising three dividable spaces, and a ballroom catering to more than 1,000 guests.
GICC is also touted to be able to elevate business events planning capabilities through its Event Studio â€“ a team of event professionals who can collaborate with organisers on venue selection, theme, dĂ©cor, entertainment, as well as visual and lighting effects.
One of the most innovative features planners can look forward to is the interactive wall displays around GICC. These digital screens can be synced to mobile devices, allowing attendees to interact with visuals on their smartphones. Organisers can also customise the sweeping 75m-long LED faĂ§ade wall for branding purposes.
Luxury lifestyle hotel Andaz Macau will be joining the precinct, with a similar targeted opening in 1H2021. The hotel will feature a dedicated check-in lounge catering to large corporate groups, over 700 rooms and suites, an Andaz lounge, a bar and restaurant, state-of-the-art fitness centre and an indoor pool.
Andaz Macau will be connected to Galaxy Macau, which offers more than one million square metres of entertainment, retail and leisure attractions as well as 120 dining options.
Galaxy Macau currently boasts the destinationâ€™s largest collection of luxury hotel brands under one roof, comprising The Ritz-Carlton, Macau; Banyan Tree Macau; JW Marriott Hotel Macau; Hotel Okura Macau; Galaxy Hotel and Broadway Hotel.
These facilities present event organisers with the freedom to mix and match accommodation types, venues and experiences.
To court event planners and strengthen its network in the pre-opening phase, GICC is working very closely with the Macau government and local stakeholders to promote both the precinct and Macau as an attractive business events destination. It has attended well-known business event tradeshows and is supporting bidding projects as well as reaching out to all of Galaxyâ€™ existing business partners to establish partnerships.
A spokesman added: â€śTo better connect with the event community, we are now part of key global MICE associations such as ICCA and UFI.â€ť â€“ Prudence Lui
Resorts World Genting (RWG) in Malaysia is ready to go all out to win a bigger market share of regional and international meetings and incentive groups once travel restrictions are lifted.
The integrated highland resort, popular for its cool weather, boasts over 10,000 rooms of different star categories. These hotels stand alongside the more than 37,000m2 Skytropolis Indoor Theme Park; two cable car systems; the SkyAvenue shopping mall; Genting Highlands Premium Outlets; and numerous speciality restaurants such as Burger & Lobster.
An outdoor theme park is also under construction, but the opening date and name of the park has yet to be decided.
For events, numerous unconventional venues including Zouk Genting are available for exclusive hire. More traditional meeting spaces, such as a ballroom for up to 4,000 pax in theatre-style, are available too. For massive gatherings, planners can consider the propertyâ€™s multiple performance halls where the largest, the Arena of Stars, has been retrofitted with concert standard audio and visual systems, and can hold over 5,000 guests.
Kevin Tann, vice president of MICE, entertainment & events at RWG, shared that the integrated resort is showcased as a â€śone-stop solution for business event organisersâ€ť and is suitable for a range of corporate gatherings, from business meetings to fun teambuilding programmes.
â€śAll resort events are produced by our in-house entertainment team, so clients who want something special for their events can leverage this expertise. We are able to service clients from the proposal stage right up to execution,â€ť he noted.
Some unique experiences the team can arrange include a meeting or teambuilding activity in the 100-million-year-old rainforest which surrounds the area; and a private golf tournament at the 18-hole course at Resorts World Awana.
â€śWe also have the resources and expertise to (make the experience even more personalised, such as) arranging for private cable car lines as part of an incentive experience; drinking cocktails at -6Â°C at SnowWorld; or accommodate a private buy out of our theme park after operating hours,â€ť he added.
Tann shared there was growing demand from organisers in Asian markets pre-pandemic. RWG has plans to host fam trips for event organisers â€“ from key markets such as South-east Asia, China, India, and the Middle East â€“ to visit and experience Genting Highlands for themselves.
It also helps that RWGâ€™s strength lies in its location, which is within an hourâ€™s drive from the nationâ€™s capital and 90 minutesâ€™ drive from its main gateways, KL International Airport and Kuala Lumpur International Airport 2. For quicker access or for VIP guests, helicopter rides from the airport can be arranged. â€“ S Puvaneswary
Ariyana Tourism Complex is home to Furama Resort Danang, Ariyana Convention Centre, Furama Villas Danang and the International Convention Palace.
Thanks to government efforts and infrastructure investments, the coastal Vietnamese city of Danang has been steadily gaining recognition as a business events destination.
Prior to the Covid-19 outbreak, the resort was welcoming business travellers from across the globe, with domestic and regional visitors making up the bulk.
Planners are able to house delegates in Furama Resort Danangâ€™s 198 rooms and 27 suites, while corporate functions can be hosted at the Furama Convention Palace, good for up to 1,000 people. Another 10 function rooms can cater for between 50 and 300 people. Next door, Ariyana Convention Centreâ€™s pillarless ballroom can take up to 2,500 guests, providing even more space for event planners.
These facilities have played host to a string of exhibitions, conferences, meetings and other business-related events. Value-added options and services that can be enjoyed include beachside banquets, cultural excursions and a variety of tailor-made programmes. Two 18-hole golf courses sitting nearby allow corporate groups to have friendly tournaments pre- or post-event.
Furama Danang Resort also has its own helipad, meaning VIP guests can arrive in style.
One of the most recent events Furama hosted was in March 2020, when economic ministers from the 10 ASEAN member countries gathered for the 26th ASEAN Economic Ministersâ€™ Retreat.
Truong Ngoc Thanh, Furamaâ€™s spokesperson, said that flights and international travel are key for corporate events but due to the current pandemic, there have been no guests.
He added: â€śNow is the hardest time for MICE as people are not yet ready to (travel).â€ť
However, he shared that the resort continues to support event planners as much as possible by providing flexible rates and innovative options.
During the downtime afforded by the pandemic, Furama Resort Danang has made use of the time to upgrade its facilities. This includes the refurbishment of walls, floors, doors, equipment of rooms and swimming pools. â€“ Marissa Carruthers