Kuoni Tumlare brings virtual, hybrid event expertise to Asia

Destination management specialist Kuoni Tumlare has added a new feather in its cap, with the launch of a virtual and hybrid event solution for corporate clients here in Asia.

The solution, which is built upon OnAIR by EventsAIR event management platform, will draw on the expertise of its sister company, Kuoni Congress, in the initial launch phase, said Tim Martin, COO at Kuoni Tumlare. This will ensure that clients get the “best technical support” out of Europe as well as assistance from the Asia team.

Kuoni Tumlare’s Tim Martin and Reto Kaufmann will lead the launch of a new online and hybrid event solution to corporate clients in Asia

In the next three months, Kuoni Tumlare will take the virtual and hybrid event solution to Singapore, Hong Kong, Thailand and Shanghai. Martin expressed intentions to debut the service in the US after phase one, and expand it to even more markets in Asia some time in 2Q2021 when Kuoni Tumlare has established technical teams across its Asian network.

The new service offering will see Kuoni Tumlare enhancing its business model, from one where it used to deal only with large MICE or travel agencies to going direct to the corporate client today.

Martin said: “In this moment in time when it is critical to diversify to remain relevant, we find ourselves able to maintain our traditional partnerships on our core business while supporting corporates across Asia in their online and hybrid event needs.”

However, he explained that this was not a “surprising shift” since many of the corporate clients were already “familiar with us and are aware of our credibility in event management (in Europe)”.

Reto Kaufmann, vice president – sales & operations South East & South Asia, Kuoni Tumlare, told TTGmice that the initial response from the marketplace had exceeded expectations and most of the events enquired for were strategic meetings and business kick-offs happening soon.

“The type of event enquiries we are getting is in line with the time of the year when many corporates need to engage with staff, stakeholders and management teams. Many multi-level marketing companies are also gearing up now for multiple product launches in 2021,” said Kaufmann.

Kaufmann believes that Kuoni Tumlare’s point of differentiation from other event management agencies lies in the company’s physical presence across the world, allowing his teams to produce unique destination experiences and make them part of an online event.

For instance, a cultural performance pre-recorded or executed live in Spain or Russia could be broadcasted to the opening ceremony of a virtual or hybrid event. Clients could also weave an online paella cooking class conducted by a chef in Spain or wine tasting session by a sommelier in Italy into meetings.

While Martin and Kaufmann recognised a strong desire for online or hybrid meetings among corporate clients, they said that most were still unfamiliar with the process of producing a virtual event.

“Hence, our virtual and hybrid event solution also includes confidence building and having the client understand that we are here to hold their hand and get them through the process with our expertise,” said Kaufmann.

Meanwhile, Kuoni Tumlare is in the midst of establishing partnerships with select hotel chains in Asia to provide a one-stop hybrid event solution for corporate clients. This arrangement will allow hotel partners to rely on Kuoni Tumlare for hybrid event management expertise, while Kuoni Tumlare will position partner hotels as preferred venues.

“Our trump card in such an arrangement is that we have people in many of the key business cities in Asia, and they can be on the ground to support our hotel partners as well as clients,” said Kaufmann.

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