Professionals and business people with children often complain of the forced separation of work and family. It can take the form of long business trips away from loved ones or simply long hours at the office. Today more and more companies and professional associations are seeking ways of involving family members in their events and functions to bridge that gap.
So when the Hong Kong-based Young Presidents Organisation (YPO) of influential business people wanted to throw a Christmas party with a difference, it brought in specialist EventClicks to handle the event.
The YPO’s membership is made up of more than 9,500 young global business leaders from over 75 nations. The YPO encourages networking and promotes strong business ethics, and membership is restricted to the highest echelons of company operations, with only those holding the position of president, chairman of the board, chief executive officer, managing director, managing partner, publisher or similar posts being allowed to join. The YPO’s Hong Kong chapter includes entrepreneurs and key business figures from across the commercial spectrum and they chose the Victoria Recreation Club (VRC) in Sai Kung as the venue for their celebration.
With a December 9 dateline, EventClicks was able to count on mild weather before the cold winter snap set in. But as an antidote to the dropping temperatures, the theme was a hot Caribbean Christmas.
The VRC’s clubhouse was decorated with shells and colourful fabrics to give a flavour of a Caribbean beachfront paradise. On arrival, partygoers were issued with a passport that had to be stamped on completion of each activity.
Ame Lai from EventClicks, which managed the event, said: “Our involvement with the YPO was through the general manager of Sunday, the telecoms company, which is one of our clients. We handled the YPO Christmas event two years ago.
“The client wanted to get every detail perfect. We had to spend a lot of time liaising with the YPO committee to get everything just right.”
EventClicks had a core team of five working on the project and brought in a larger team of casual staff to assist on the day.
“With so many kids running about and all sorts of activities going on simultaneously, we had to have enough people to monitor and oversee everything for safety reasons.”
The afternoon programme belonged exclusively to the children. There were six designated areas, each named after a Caribbean destination: Busy Barbados, Aqua Aruba, Mystery Martinique, Colourful Cayman and Chic Curacao.
Young and Old
Each destination had its own activity theme, such as scavenger hunts, water-balloon games, coconut bowling, a rope course and a dressing-up area.
As the day moved on, the adults began to enjoy entertainment directed at them too. The evening programme began with Caribbean cocktails for the adults and workshops and activities for the children. After drinks, the crowd was treated to a barbecue dinner accompanied by a sizzling live salsa band and a fire-juggler. Santa made an appearance, not on his usual reindeer sledge but on a jet-ski, with presents and gifts.
The evening closed with games such as Sumo Santa wrestling and limbo dancing, rounded off by Christmas carols round the bonfire. Lai says: “The aim was to give a party with a difference, one that could involve all members of the family in having fun and still reflect the values and aims of the YPO. The feedback suggests we succeeded.”