A 500-guest gala dinner was held in the Chinese capital by a major global conglomerate, a company whose wide range of products includes personal care, household cleaning, laundry detergents, prescription drugs and disposable nappies, to name a few.
Dressing up in style was the order of the evening as the hosts celebrated their popular beauty and cosmetics brands. The VIP event, held at the luxurious China World Summit Wing, welcomed senior company officials who were joined by top clients and dealers as well as local and international celebrities – many of the guests having been flown into Beijing.
Taking up residence in the hotel before the event, this corporate group occupied about 100 guestrooms – more than a third of the 278-room inventory. While airport pick-ups were handled by a PR company, tight coordination with the hotel was ensured by the drivers calling in twice – first when they left the airport with the guest, then again 15 minutes before arrival – so that guests could be given a personalised welcome. Upon check-in, each guest was handed a specially designed room key embossed with the host company’s logo.
A massive set-up
For the gala dinner the company booked the entire 2,340 sqm Summit Ballroom. As the stage took up the whole of Summit Ballroom A and half of Summit Ballroom B, it took three days to build it and do the whole set-up. “The design of the stage was elaborate and technically complicated. Hence, the fire and safety bureau was informed of the event. They were onsite to check the electricity consumption,” a spokesperson at China World Summit Wing explained.
She added that efficient time management and careful planning was important at this juncture of the event preparation, and these two things were also critical for post-event work. “The event planners had only six hours for the teardown before the next party moved in. We had to work closely with them to ensure that the ‘move in’ and ‘move out’ was seamless. Otherwise, it would have clashed with the next move in at the loading bay,” she said.
A multi-pronged event
While the gala dinner was the crowning glory of the programme, a number of other events were held during the day to place the spotlight on the host company’s beauty line.
The 772 sqm China Ballroom was also booked to house an exhibition of the company’s cosmetics line. The venue was divided into four sections, each devoted to a specific brand. Meanwhile, all the smaller meeting rooms were converted into media rooms for interviews, as well as changing rooms for the performers of the evening’s entertainment.
In the media rooms, mostly on Level 3, the hotel’s F&B department was kept busy during the day providing refreshments during breaks between interview sessions. They also had their hands full with ad-hoc requests. A media lunch was also held at Grill 79, attended by 60 guests.
While the media sessions were ongoing, the company also organised a full-day meeting between company executives and their clients and dealers. This group of 160 people congregated at the hotel’s auditorium. On gala day at the Summit Ballroom, rehearsals for the evening’s dinner were held between 9am and 5pm.
As the sun set, the main event was unveiled. The evening started with two hours of pre-dinner drinks in the Summit Ballroom Foyer. While the cocktails were being sipped, rehearsals and sound checks were still being conducted in the room next door.
By 7pm, all 500 guests were ushered into the elegantly arranged ballroom for a sumptuous sit-down dinner. “With the celebrities in-house, we mobilised our security to ensure the site was in order,” the hotel spokesperson recalled. But all the complicated preparations were rewarded when the programme ran its course without a hitch.
At the end of the evening, there was an unexpected scene-stealer. Guests raved about the custom-made dessert designed exclusively for the event. It was shaped like an eye-shadow box and it contained three shades: red, purple and orange. The box and brush were made from a chocolate sponge cake and the cover was made of chocolate. Said the spokesperson:
“It was so tastefully done that some guests said it was too nice to eat.”
China World Summit Wing, Beijing
TEL +86 10 6505 2299