Overall experience, cost, and location are the key factors that impact event destination decisions. One of the most robust regions in terms of event spaces and services, Asia-Pacific has capabilities for creating a lucrative value offer for both local and global event organisers. But while choosing the perfect destination isn’t a problem, you might encounter some turbulence during event organisation. In this blog post, we discuss the Asia-style trends, knowledge of which will help ensure smooth sailing through your event.
Just as the Western world, Asia is a mix of diverse cultures, nationalities, and traditions. Although each country has its own unique meetings industry shaped by its business infrastructure, history, and expertise, you can clearly identify some Asia-specific features that won’t be found in the West:
- Hierarchical relationships. When you look at the way Western organisations function, you’ll notice that the idea of superior-subordinate communication is becoming an archaic structure. Asia doesn’t work that way. Due to the strong impact of the Chinese hierarchical tradition, it’s critical to understand that work relationships in Asia are more about respect than friendship.
- Teamwork. Individual achievement is clearly a buzzword in the U.S., but Asian organisations are still very attached to collectivism and working in a team.
- Patience is a must. Compared to the West, where all business challenges and tasks have to be solved immediately, Asians like to go slowly. Business people in Asia tend to make very thoughtful decisions and are also very likely to delegate their decisions or discuss them with managers before saying a final “yes”. So if you’re setting up an event in Asia-Pacific, you should be prepared to begin far in advance.
The first impression starts with a proper invitation. So how do you make it “proper” if you’re powering an event in Asia? First of all, we recommend finding a local partner who’ll guide you through the invitation etiquette. While the traditions of inviting speakers and attendees in Singapore are pretty much the same as in the West, there might be some local differences in Vietnam and China. Here are several rules you should follow:
- 89% of organisations in Asia use email to communicate with their clients, which is why it’s perfectly reasonable to choose email as a channel for sending event invitations.
- Apart from the key details like date, location, and event theme, it’s a good idea to mention the guest of honour (if you have one) in your event invitation.
- Specify the dress code. In countries like Vietnam, people may prefer to sit on the floor to eat lunch. This is why it’s very important to align local traditions with the attire your guests should wear at the event.
While your communication with invitees will most likely happen online, it’s critical to think about the data protection aspect. Study the local regulations so your event management software can comply with them. For example, if you’re holding an event in Singapore, you’ll have to follow the PDPA framework for online data protection.
Choosing a venue
If there’s one reason why you should choose Asia-Pacific as your event destination, it is the stunning selection of venues. From high-tech conference spaces in Hong Kong to heavenly spots in Bali, the landscape is huge and diverse. To pick the right space that resonates with your budget and event vision, consider the following trends:
- Go to popular online platforms to search for venues. Web platforms like Venuerific and Venue Spaces let you check out the best selection of venues and filter them by categories and locations. This will help you build your custom list of venue options.
- Use the power of emerging economies. If affordability is a critical aspect, check out the markets of Cambodia and Vietnam. While the governments of both countries are making heavy investments into M&T, you’ll find a range of excellent low-cost hotels and exhibition centres here.
- Pick business hubs to plan a luxurious event. Adding some glamour and extravagance through a luxurious venue is always a great way to make an event special. Tokyo, Hong Kong, and Singapore are the best choices for conference and business event organisers who are ready to spend big.
Food services are an important part of cultural idiosyncrasies specific to event management in Asia. Especially if it’s your first visit, diving deep into the local restaurant culture is a must. If you’re catering to a local audience, making food choices should be less of a challenge. But how do you decide what culinary tradition to stick to when planning an international event?
Tom Aikens, the British chef of The Pawn, a renowned Hong Kong restaurant, is a living example of how one can align any food culture with Asian traditions. Through numerous experiments, the chef crafted a unique British-Asian menu which draws crowds in Hong Kong. This idea is the perfect “safe option” for catering at global events – there’s a local touch, but the culinary variety is as wide as possible.
There’s one secret weapon you can utilise in Asian event management – local entertainment activities. From Cirque Shanghai to contemporary Japanese dance, there is a huge range of amazing traditions that can be aligned with your events in Asia-Pacific.
Partner with local entertainment companies to capture the feel of the industry. For instance, if you are planning an active corporate event in Singapore, check out the portfolio of Archery Attack. This popular local agency will help you plan a fun and engaging programme that transforms your team members into Robin Hoods.
Any event is a message tailored to a specific audience. But not every event professional knows how to make good use of this statement. In addition to being a passive consumer, your audience can also actively participate in Asian event management. If people are passionate about the message of your event, they will be passionate about helping you to communicate it. Hiring volunteers to support your event in Asia is a casual practice, especially at large-scale conferences where onsite support is needed.
Cut workforce costs and engage people in your event through lucrative volunteering offers. It’s critical to offer worthwhile value for your volunteers – certain benefits they might derive from helping you out onsite. For instance, the organisers of DigiMarCon Asia Pacific 2018 provide free access to all conference sessions and networking events to those willing to become volunteers.
Organising events in Asia is based on a mix of cultural, geographical, and technological features. Whether choosing a luxurious event venue or building an engaging entertainment programme, event professionals should cooperate with local partners to know the intricacies of Asian event management.