The sky’s the limit

Despite challenges, the Crystal Dragon showcase is a testament to MBS' resilience, creativity, and unwavering commitment to reinvent events at Sands Expo & Convention Centre

Event brief
Sands Expo & Convention Centre is constantly exploring how we can reimagine experiences, according to Ong Wee Min, vice president of sales and MICE, Marina Bay Sands (MBS), and the Crystal Dragon showcase is one such example.

“First conceptualised in July 2023 using event design methodology, we recognised the untapped potential of Expo Halls over the Lunar New Year period. This led to the creative transformation of Expo Halls A, B and C into a stunning showcase of delectable cuisine and show-stopping performances, setting the stage to usher in the Year of the Dragon,” he said.

Available until February 23, the Crystal Dragon showcase was booked for various internal and external events. Key events include Marina Bay Sands’ Lunar New Year Gala Dinner on February 2, and PropNex’s and AIA’s Lunar New Year festivities on February 15 and 22 respectively.

MBS’ Lunar New Year Gala Dinner served multiple purposes – first, it utilised the Expo Halls during a typically overlooked period; second, it showcased the transformative potential of these spaces; and third, it built closer ties with clients and partners.

The Crystal Dragon also redefines innovative event design, encouraging planners to explore unconventional spaces for their celebrations.

Event highlights
For Crystal Dragon, MBS sought to redefine event experiences, showcasing innovation and transformation in every detail.

The multipurpose venue was divided into multiple zones – a foyer, main dining area and dessert zone. Guests gathered in the foyer for canapés and cocktails before the start of the event and snapped candid photographs at the instant photo booth.

They then moved to the main dining area, which featured a long table winding through the hall, seating 88 guests in a dragon-inspired formation. Guests were entertained through the night by modern and traditional music and dance, including an aerial pianist.

After the last course, guests were invited to enter the Dessert Palace, where they could select their preferred sweet treats and network around cocktail tables.

The highlight of the event was the majestic 4.4-metre-long animatronic dragon that emerged from behind the stage suspended in the air, reminiscent of a dragon soaring through the air.

Crafted over three weeks with meticulous hand-carving and delicate painting, the dragon’s vibrant teal scales and golden horns befit a majestic mythical creature to welcome the Year of the Wood Dragon.

Transported in sections and assembled by a dedicated team, this spectacular sculpture underscored MBS’ dedication to creating unforgettable experiences at Sands Expo & Convention Centre.

When the working team first pitched the idea of Crystal Dragon, there were concerns that the Expo Halls may lack the grandeur of other spaces such as the Sands Grand Ballroom.

However, the team pushed forward with the idea and brainstormed ways to elevate the Expo Halls through spectacular design and captivating programming.

One hurdle was the lack of kitchen facilities at the Expo Halls as MBS’ cooking areas are located on the meeting room floors. Leveraging its strengths from the newly-launched offsite catering services, MBS ensured the culinary experience remained exceptional.

The Dessert Palace, a pivotal element of the event, demanded extensive effort. Over six hours were dedicated to assembling desserts on the day of the Lunar New Year gala dinner, followed by another six hours for the setup, where the team delivered a visually stunning and delectable experience.

Event Crystal Dragon Lunar New Year Gala Dinner
Organiser Marina Bay Sands
​Venue Sands Expo & Convention Centre Halls A, B and C
​Date February 2, 2024
No. of attendees More than 700 sales clients and partners

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