Once in a while, break out from enclosed spaces and stage a corporate affair or brand launch out in the open. Today's cities, with their growing concern for the environment, have been enhancing their green arsenal with more parks and gardens, and it's no different in Asia-Pacific. Here are five metropolises with fresh spaces to consider for your next event.
GARDENS BY THE BAY, SINGAPORE
What's it like? The 54-hectare attraction cements Singapore's enduring reputation as "Asia's Garden City" – with a twist. This unique green space, boasting both outdoor and covered areas, and marked by 18 "supertrees" opened last year to great acclaim and continues to be a crowd drawer. It provided the one aspect that local event planners thought was greatly needed – a facility to host enormous alfresco gatherings.
Where is it? The first phase of the project, Bay South Garden, forms part of the Marina Bay complex, which includes the Marina BaySands integrated resort.
What can be done there? Indoor events in the Flower Dome and outdoor events in The Meadow, Supertree Grove, Bay East Garden and Silver Leaf.
Group size? Between 500 standing and 1,000 standing within; between 1,000 standing and 30,000 standing outside.
Who to contact? tel +65 6420 6848, www.gardensbythebay.com.sg
GREENBELT 3 PARK, MAKATI CITY, THE PHILIPPINES
What's it like? Greenbelt Park is a green lung in the heart of the bustling Greenbelt Mall Complex. The area, which started up in the 1970s with a lagoon, zen-like gardens, a chapel and aviary (now gone), has undergone several expansions to reach its current of profile of five stylish shopping and dining precincts .
Where is it? The main access is along Makati Avenue, but visitors can also enter from Esperanza Street where the New World Hotel is located.
What can be done there? There are two spaces designated for events: Greenbelt Park 3 (above) and Greenbelt 5 Fashion Walk. Product launches, fashion shows, cooking demonstrations, concerts and National Day celebrations organised by the diplomatic community are the usual activities.
Group size? Any size can be accommodated with Greenbelt Park 3 costing PHP132,000 (US$3,225) to rent for the day and Fashion Walk costing PHP155,000 (US$3,787) to rent daily.
OLYMPIC PARK, SEOUL
What's it like? Built to commemorate the 1988 Seoul Olympics, this complex has facilities catering to sports, culture and leisure. Highlights include a relic from the Baekje Dynasty – Mongchon Fortress – as well as 1,421 sq km of greenery and a large musical fountain in a lake surrounded by 13 large sculptures.
Where is it? Located in Songapa-gu, Bangi-dong in the Gangnam district.
What can be done there? Large outdoor receptions and teambuilding activities.
Group size? Up to more than 10,000 participants for an alfresco party as was done for the 2011 World Congress of Dermatology.
Who to contact? Korean Sports Industry Co at www.kspo.or.kr/english/park/index.asp
TOKYO METROPOLITAN PARKS, JAPAN
What's it like? These include well frequented spots such as Wakasu Kaihin Park, Yoyogi Park, Hibiya Park (across from the Imperial Palace), Koishikawa Korakuen and Shinjuku Gyoen among several others.
Where is it? All parks are accessible through Tokyo's JR and Metro lines.
What can be done there? Barcecue parties are popular at Wakasu Kaihin, for example, and when Cherry Blossom Season arrives briefly in March, viewing sessions coupled with picnics are the popular thing to do.
Group size? Small and large groups are accommodated.
WELLINGTON'S PARKS AND GARDENS, NEW ZEALAND
What's it like? Wellington, New Zealand's capital, boasts over a hundred green spaces such as the famous Botanic Gardens, Waitangi Park (above) and Frank Kitts Park, which lend themselves to teambuilding like those organised by Clued Up Unique Events, a 14-year veteran of delivering such experiences.
Where is it? Waitangi Park that's pictured occupies six hectares or almost 30 percent of Wellington's attractive waterfront.
What can be done there? Nic Preddle, Clued Up's director, suggests the Ultimate Tribe, which pits teams against each other in a range of challenges inspired by communal activities from around the globe. These include "Potato Harvest" and "Sling Shot" among other fun games. They've worked with a client list that include Alcatel, Bank of New Zealand, IBM and Vodafone among others.
Group size Clued Up can cater handle between 10 to 300 participants.
Who to contact? Nick Preddle, tel +621 244 1616, www.cluedup.co.nz
Margie T Logarta