To mark Secretary Day in early May, the Regent Taipei (formerly known as the Grand Formosa Regent Taipei) decided to throw a bash for some 300 secretaries, executive assistants and travel planners from the city’s leading companies as a “thank you” to the individuals, who are primarily responsible for booking corporate events at the 538-room property.
For the hotel’s events team, the occasion, dubbed "Regent Seven Seas Cruise Journey", provided an opportunity to produce some out-of-the-box ideas that could inspire their attendees when brainstorming a theme for their next gala function. The evening proved to be a quite a ladies’ night, with more than 70 per cent of the guests belonging to the fairer sex.
Not your typical venue
The event was held in basement 2 of Regent Galleria, the hotel’s shopping arcade. “We wanted something different… to take the event out of your typical ballroom,” says Beth Tsai, PR director at Regent Taipei. “We are the only hotel in Taiwan that has its own high-end shopping arcade. Since both businesses are owned and operated by the same management group, it was easy for us to secure permission to use the arcade as a special events venue.”
During the preparations, the hotel worked with the Galleria’s tenants, convincing them to offer special discounts and exclusive gifts to the attendees. Other perks included store tours, a personal stylist makeover and shopping butler service to round out the high-end retail therapy experience.
Above all, the two-and-a-half-hour gathering was meant to give guests an international gastronomic tour.
“In order to provide authentic dishes from around the world, our hotel chefs researched the best recipes and learned how to make them. Our F&B staff took a lot of time before the event to try out different dishes and selected the best ones to be served that evening,” Tsai says.
On the menu that night were dishes from Berlin, Zagreb, Turks and Caicos Islands, Beijing, Singapore, Bali and Phuket, among others. These included German sausage, Bejing roasted duck, Caribbean seafood platter, Singapore satay and Taiwan beef noodles.
In between bites, they enjoyed some casino games as well as other interesting activities from booths lining the hallways. “The event was very well organised, with plenty of activities such as the DIY (do-it-yourself) T-shirt and ?the magazine cover shooting,” says Ya-ting Fan of the French Institute.
Her colleague Hailun Chiang adds: “There was a lot of creativity injected into the event. It was an excellent mix of food, entertainment and shopping, allowing us to mingle with the hotel executives in a very congenial environment.”
The main highlight of the evening was a mini fashion show, where 10 staff from the Regent’s marketing and sales team and 10 corporate secretaries shared the catwalk during a 20-minute presentation.
Courtesy of the Galleria tenants, the “models” were dressed in brand-name fashion items, including Hervé Léger, Max Mara, True Religion, Zadig & Voltaire, Y-3, Maria Grachvogel, Anne Fontaine and Piazza Sempione. “The fashion show was a great and enjoyable experience,” says Jasmine Lee from Credit Suisse AG, Taipei Securities Branch. Chiang from the French Institute agrees: “For both Regent Taipei and some of their invited guests to carry out the fashion show together was such great fun to watch.”
Even with the event in full swing, the Regent Galleria was open for regular business. This was the organisers' toughest challenge, but the Regent Taipei was able to stage the entire event without a hitch. “Our staff had to identify the invited guests and not confuse them with regular shoppers,” Tsai says.
In the end, all the extra effort paid off as appreciative guests responded with positive feedback for a job well done.
EVENT Regent Seven Seas Cruise Journey
VENUE Regent Galleria, an upscale shopping centre located within Regent Taipei
DATE May 3, 2012
NUMBER OF PARTICIPANTS 300 people
ORGANISERS Regent Taipei