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Last-minute logistics
Required to deliver a successful event when pressed for time, a planner keeps it smart, simple and fun, writes Gigi Onag

30 Nov 2012

Working on tight timelines is no longer out of the ordinary for meeting planners who get requests for proposals (RFPs) very close to an event date. Such was the case for the events team at Meeting and Convention Planner Thailand when they had to design, plan and execute a conference and product launch for IBM’s new software called “Netezza Analytics”.

The afternoon event – that would run well into the dinner – was jointly spearheaded by IBM, IT services provider MFEC (Modernform Enterprise Computing) and A-Host. “Since the event was a collaboration of these companies, the challenge was incorporating the different ideas from these organisations in an effective way without sacrificing their main objectives,” recalls Marina Chinanurakchart, director of sales and marketing at Meeting and Convention Planner Thailand.

Attending the event, dubbed “Energising Analytic Insights”, were 70 senior executives from Thailand’s top banks. The format of the conference and product launch was pretty straightforward, with speakers from the three host companies delivering presentations on the different aspects of the new IBM software and building a business case for it to their audience.

The closed-door conference was held in the Social Room I of the stylish Sofitel So Bangkok. “The clients wanted a knowledge-sharing conference in a casual environment. The one thing that they emphasised was that we should create an interesting activity at the end of the sit-down sessions where they could simultaneously network and bond with the attendees,” Chinanurakchart notes.

Mixing business with pleasure

As planned, the half-day conference was held in a lighthearted atmosphere. After the last presentation, attendees were invited to a fun cocktail-making class. “The idea was that, at the end of the day, we were mixing business with pleasure. And the inspiration of having the delegates try their hand in ‘mixing’ their own drink fitted perfectly to the concept,” says Chinanurakchart.


Onsite demo by Sofitel So’s mixologists

The event organiser enlisted the help of the hotel’s professional mixologists to teach the group how to make their own Blue Mojito. After a demonstration, delegates were directed to tables where the ingredients were laid out, and they began making the blue concoction under the watchful eye of the mixologists, who stood ready to provide assistance.


Delegates mixed their own cocktail

Wine and dine treat

However, the fun didn’t end after the cocktail hour. As early evening set in, the delegates and their hosts were ushered up to Park Society, one of the hotel’s exclusive F&B outlets, located on the 29th floor.

The rooftop venue commands a fantastic view of the Thai capital. Surrounded by the city lights and with a spectacular view of Lumpini Park, all 70 of the delegates and their hosts enjoyed a five-course set dinner prepared by the restaurant’s award-winning Australian chef, who had served Queen Elizabeth II during his time in the UK.


Dinner at Park Society

To add a touch of corporate branding, the event organisers arranged for blue-hued lighting for the duration of the dinner. For those who had enough energy left to party, the group proceeded to the adjacent Hi-So (slang for “High Society”). The exclusive area features moonlit cabanas, which are perfect for an intimate networking session.

Before the goodbyes, each of the delegates was given a custom wine glass wrapped in an elegant Thai silk box – a perfect memento to cap the evening’s delightful experience.

 

EVENT IBM’s “Netezza” Conference and Product Launch

CLIENTS MFEC, IBM and A-Host

DATE July 6, 2012

NUMBER OF PARTICIPANTS 70 people

ORGANISER Meeting and Convention Planner Thailand

Gigi Onag

 



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