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Zones of Activity at Playlah's Family-Friendly Chinese New Year Extravaganza

Discuss about the Event Planning and Operation.

Playlah is an extravaganza of thematic events organized in series by SingEx Venues Pte Ltd, a wholly-owned subsidiary of Temasek Holdings and venue manager for Singapore Expo and Max Atria. Playlah first made its appearance during SG50, where the 50th birthday of Singapore was celebrated with pomp and grandeur in 2015. A family carnival was arranged at Singapore Expo Hall, which marked the presence of the entire country. Owing to its massive success and popularity, Playlah Mid Autumn Festival followed it up rapidly in September 2015 with Playlah Chinese New Year 2016 and NDP 2016 and now Chinese New Year 2017 in succession, each festival soaring up higher and gaining grandiosity larger than before (Kusaini & Mansor, 2013).

This Chinese New Year began with one of the biggest family bash cordially inviting everyone to be a part of the joyous moment and celebrate to the brim. Subjected into 4 dedicated zones of activity – Play, Learn, Eat and Bond the entire event focused on the families residing in Singapore and offers them a whole range of enthralling activities, game and education booths, hands- on workshops and themed rides for ultimate fun and incitement. It ran through the weekends of 19th January to 22nd January 2017 lining up a bunch of riveting events for the biggest Playlah. This time it re-introduced some brand new concepts to induce a fresh feel among the audience like breathtaking stage-performances and family-oriented competitions on-site ("PlayLAH! Let’s Celebrate Chinese New Year 2017 at Singapore Expo!", 2017).

PLAY – Playlah embraced and welcomed everyone to indulge themselves into the grand fun of Chinese new year by participating in all the Playlah’s frantic and riveting arenas especially blended together to delight the entire family. One gets to bump his way with the bumper cars, voyage on the thrilling ship of the captain to obtain some frolicking moment on custom-made paddleboat exclusively devised for children. There was even chance to taste the ultimate experience of regalement by taking part in the carnival styled game booths, which included Ring Toss, Ping Pong Dart Challenge and Saber Tag Challenge hosted by Fun Empire, co-ordinate and set up by the students from Ngee Ann Polytechnic along with walking away with exciting prizes ("PlayLAH! Let's Celebrate!", 2017). To check out what were the other games that were in store one has to follow the below mentioned list:

Learning Booths and Family-Oriented Competitions

1.Rainbow Bouncy Challenger

2.Rooster Slide

3.Rooster Pong

4.Sharpshooter

5.Wheels In a lot

6.Knock it down

7.Tic Tac Toe


LEARN – Scrolling through a total of 11 learning booths one gets the scope of rediscovering the Chinese New Year by acquiring knowledge regarding traditional heritage, culture and pioneers of China who has immensely contributed to the development of Singapore. The visitors not only got the chance to experience the travel exhibited by Sun Yat Sen Nanyang Memorial Hall but also joined in the live demonstrations organized by VSA’s art booth’s visual artists with certain disabilities. To incorporate the future learning into the present scenario, demonstrations of flying drone, quad copter, hologram building and usage of 3D pen and printing were applied. The learning booth executed by NEWATER and Project Dignity was a distinctive attraction since it projected certain tips to save water at home and understood the challenges of specially-abled persons with the help of interactive games (PlayLAH! Let's Celebrate!. (2017). Playlah.sg. Retrieved 27 January 2017, from https://playlah.sg/visitor-info.php?id=MA==). Amidst all these interesting aspects two of the vital booths that needed worth a mention were The Yellow Ribbon Project and the National Addiction Management Service.

Yellow Ribbon Project – The main aim of this project was to cater to the basic demands of the community by reaching out to them through a series. The road show was targeted towards generating awareness among the masses about the campaign so that they accept the ex-offenders and their families wholeheartedly and motivate them to follow the right track of life. It also inspires action of the communities to rehabilitate and reintegrate the ex-offenders back to their normal course of a disciplined life. On the other hand, it also acted as a platform to raise funds for the Yellow Ribbon fund by selling the hand-made cookies prepared by the members of the Score Bakery, Yellow Ribbon Shoewings and their music CDs. The art work of the inmates was also displayed in the road show.

National Addiction Management Service – This booth was specifically set up to transmit the messages of social and psychological well-being of the individuals. It had the aim of combating against any sort of addictions be it alcohol, drugs, internet or gambling. An outpatient clinic was also run for three different segments of victims namely the adolescents, subsidized and private patients. They wanted to educate the population about the gruesome effects of any type of addictions. The booth assessed and offered remedies against addiction with the help of the multi disciplinary team consisting of psychiatrists, counselors, psychologists. Individual, group as well as family therapy was also provided. It talked about addiction awareness for the community as a whole. An extensive research on addictions was conducted and a separate training for healthcare and social service personnel were included under their service.

Ethnic Chinese Dining Options


EAT – One could savor from a variety of ethnic Chinese dishes from diverse dialect groups and achieve an in depth understanding of unique Singapore cuisines through their concept of presenting themed foods of more than 5 available culinary services. Its favorite past-time evolved a brand new meaning his year with this exclusive concept of themed based cuisines. This venture would not have reached the summit of appraisal without the efforts undertaken by Tunglok Catering Services, Juicy Licks Pastiche, Munchy Foods, Indian Curry House and the like.

BOND – Choosing from a wide range of painting, building and hands-on workshops for the complete family is something that is sure to entertain them at BOND. One can create their own personalized fan, learn recycling and bring home their own DIY Chinese zodiac bookmarks to decorate their own Chinese New Year celebrations at the various workshops booth organized by Bond. Heading over to the Fun Form Making Workshop with kids, exercised their creative skills and enticed them to build cars, animals, trucks and anything in the world one can think of ("PlayLAH! Lets Celebrate!", 2017).

Singapore EXPO is situated in the eastern part of Singapore and there lies just one Mass Rapid Transit stop or a drive of 15 minutes from the Central Business District and even a drive of only 5 minutes from Changi International Airport. Just adjacent to it is the Changi Business Park renowned for its business hub comprising of upgraded technology firms, knowledge-intensive mechanisms and various continental companies. To top that, easily accessible hotels and a large chain of finger-licking cuisines and beverages and retail outlets are the further icing on the cake. One can avail any of the three-transportation modes to reach the venue without hassle. Since it is located at the crossroads of 3 major expressways i.e. East Coast Parkway, Pan Island Expressway and Tampines Expressway, it makes Singapore EXPO an easy drive of 15 minutes from the CBD and a mere 5 minutes drive from the Changi International Airport ("PlayLAH! Let’s Celebrate Chinese New Year 2017 + FREE Ang Bao$ for You!", 2017). Hence travelling by car can be a suitable option. Apart from that, there are innumerable cabs available all around Singapore offering reliable services. The fare can range approximately about $ 15 from the airport to the venue of the event and about $ 20 to the city. Moreover, it also has a committed MRT station just next to Hall-6. Trains are very frequent from the airport and Tanah Meran station, which takes almost 25 minutes from the city. Interchange for the new Downtown line provided extra transport modes from the venue to CBD areas like Marina Bay, River Valley and Clarke Quay. The venue for the event was a gracious gift. The entire event was held in a well adorned and co-ordinate ambience. Not only the venue was situated in a great location but it also had a clientele of devoted customers. The rooms itself were split level rooms where the lower level was at the top of the staircase and the beverage and the food section was right there along with the tables set up for displaying the products (Antony et al., 2015). The upper section had tables and chairs where people could sit, relax, and enjoy their delicacy. It also had a stage for the brilliant performances including a well-built symphonic music system. It induced a very laid back and refreshing feel to the visitors. The soft lighting and opulent décor made it a wonderful spot for the people to pay a visit and spend a fun-filled evening instead of moving around in a crowded location.

Hands-On Workshops for Creating Memories with Loved Ones


The event required an ample amount of sponsorship for the fair execution of the entire project since the venue, the foodstuffs and the staffs or volunteers hired were all to be taken care of. Apart from that, the stalls set up for the refreshment of the visitors in terms of comestible and drinks were needed to be sponsored notwithstanding the ones, which were self-sponsored. Half of the costs were meted out through the budget prepared pre-event and the sponsorship group pursued the rest. The collaborative activity of the sponsors and the management proved more than enough to offer a fantastic location, all the required equipments and a confident and amiable staff who added to the pleasure of the evening through their amicable personality and circulation of the event with the lip smacking culinary. Adept selection of sponsors reinforced brand awareness and generated consumer preference for PlayLah and also fostered loyalty about the brand as a whole. It created a positive PR for them and provided an attractive display of the content for a wide range of services and events Playlah was providing to the guests. It rebuilt the brand positioning of Play Lah through exclusive imagery. It even supported their promotional sales campaign and established an intrinsic emotional commitment towards the brand. Moreover, it acted as a medium of corporate hospitality, which promoted an affable relation between PlayLah and its guests. But frankly speaking it was never a one sided affair as the sponsor teams too derived immense benefit from the brand in totality. Nowadays sponsors desire more than just television exposure and want to invent innovative ways to appeal to their potential and current customers. Playlah helped their sponsors to integrate the sponsorship into their marketing programs and customer relationship. The event planner clarified what type of naming rights the sponsor received. Appropriate placing of the logo of the sponsor, its trademark and signage offered them a broad exposure since there was perimeter signage as well as signage appeared inside the venue on various banners and even on clothing. It increased their merchandising power by permitting them to display or demonstrate their sample product. Playlah also enabled profitable promotion of the sponsors through their websites and press releases and made them a part of the scholarship program as a means of promotion. Along with that, the sponsor team were also administered with celebrity benefits, staff benefits, visitor benefits and oher miscellaneous benefits that needs special mention. For the educational segment, the exhibits by Nanyang Memorial Hall, National Library Board, Stag Match Pte Ltd, Sheng Hong Arts Institute and much more were more or less self-sponsored (Applications, 2017). Their official Radio Partner was UFM 100.3 were the media releases were delivered for promotion of the event. The other co-sponsors are listed below:

  1. Beautiful People
  2. Breeze
  3. Families For Life
  4. D’ Resort
  5. National Heritage Board
  6. Montfort Care

Convenient Amenities at Singapore Expo

 For the complete list of sponsors, we need to have a look at the Appendix.

Event participation was way beyond expectation since a majority of the visitors   took part in the events right from the very beginning. The student section got them involved in the various educational segments or stalls as per their criteria and preference and enjoyed hands-on experiments. Astoundingly all the members of the EXPO Hall including the management devoted a huge time and space for the event.

Each one of the participants played a huge role in the methodical execution of the venture. Kampung Senang, Red Sun, Stag Match and the Indian Curry House were the few names that needed a worth mention due to their immense contribution in helping their staff with the set up and take down of the location. They also had servers and volunteers work efficiently providing the guests with delicious treats. Families of the venue manager were also involved as guests as well as host for the event. They even contributed by purchasing tickets, buying certain products displayed for sale in the different sections of the event and offering scholarships to certain meritorious yet financially crippled students.

Overall, the venture carried out with expertise and finesse was a stupendous success. The guests purchased more than 70% of the products showcased and 90% of them were likeable to the visitors. Tickets were more or less sold out completely and the event witnessed visitors from diverse communities. The staffs were polished-mannered and courteous to the guests and satisfied their demands with a smiling face. They also maintained cleanliness by picking up the discarded napkins and glasses (Out, 2017). All the participants of the event mingled with the visitors at ease and enjoyed the fruits of their hard work by snacking on the edibles and enjoying the splendid performances. A minor drawback was that since a large number of students were engaged with the event and most of their activities took place before the event, they did not find much to do after the commencement of the event and remained confined to a particular area. This issue could have been fixed if they were allotted the task of active volunteering by means of guiding and encouraging the guests to throw a glance at the items and participate in the various games and workshops thereby adding a component of competition. The group in charge of tickets and posers did a praiseworthy job by designing and printing them. But it is a recommendation that they should have got the posters up a bit early and sell tickets in more convenient locations to increase the sale of tickets.

The media personnel acquired a lot of coverage for a gripping storyline to be published in their paper or telecasted in the media. The sponsorship team did more than what was expected from them and brought the total amount to a well-convinced position, which was beyond their specified goal. A compact assortment of the items displayed gave the visitors the chance to choose from a lot many options. Yet some of the items were projected in a way that lent them an over inflated value. The offer of winning the EXPO Robinson vouchers worth $200 was an ingenious tool of marketing which was further beguiling for the guests (Li, 2014).The venue was amazing as reviewed by each one of the guests and the hall looked incredible. It was an arduous team effort, which made the venture a grand success. Every issue was tackled with utmost care and sincerity.

The only flaw that needs a pinch of recommendation is that they could have maintained a much more healthy and eco friendly footprint by encouraging the usage of environmentally friendly modes of transport like carbon neutral aircraft (Jones, 2014). Preference for eco- labeled hotel is recommended. Use of plastic materials should have been avoided (Bathelt & Zeng, 2015) and they should have brought the local performers and speakers more than they actually did. That is how they could have thought globally and acted locally. Although the venue location, the ambience and the amenities provided were beyond the satisfaction level it could have been a more cost-effective decision. Being a cost conscious organizer, they could have restricted their cost on venue to allow more rooms in the budget for food and entertainment. They could have been flexible with the date and negotiate with the cost. They failed to keep a record of the food and beverage minimums, which should have been kept in notice. Another issue, which required a serious attention, was the availability of a convenient parking lot, which created a minor clutter when too many cars demanded for a suitable parking spot. There were also certain accessibility issues, which demanded urgent check, since guests with special needs found a little hindrance in accessing the building and its amenities.

Last but not the least they should not have depended solely on one particular F.M. station for their major coverage rather invited a higher percentage of audio-visual media for an enhanced coverage and TRP of the event. A bit more srategical approach was required for the utilization of the sponsorship team where certain loopholes maligned the actual taste of the event according to some visitors. Research conducted before selection of the sponsorship team was not upto the mark and the company failed to identify their assets and benefits to some extent. The engagement regarding the sponsorship should have been more focused and the thinking should have been long-term. Decision at short notice resulted in the sponsors acting as mere sponsors and they failed to raise upto the level of able partners during the event as the synchronization was missing in some cases. Yet, after all these lapses this event enabled one to attain a vast level of understanding as to what it needs to conduct an event like Play Lah, and we as guests also learnt that time should not be a constraint in accomplishing our desired goals.

Yet, after all these lapses this event enabled one to attain a vast level of understanding as to what it needs to conduct an event like Play Lah, and we as guests also learnt that time should not be a constraint in accomplishing our desired goals. Hence, it is time for us to latch our dates on the calendar and have a sneak-peek at the various events of the 4 zones. Let us go crazy with the exhilarating games, define our taste with the explicitly themed culinary culture of Singapore, and develop a congenial bond with our loved ones and rediscover Chinese New Year like never before.

References

Antony, J. M., Apostolescu, P., Srinivasan, P., Adusumilli, P., & Choudhary, U. (2015). U.S. Patent No. 8,966,392. Washington, DC: U.S. Patent and Trademark Office.

Applications, I. (2017). Playlah Wiki Reviews & Comments | APPLEZONA!. APPLEZONA.COM. Retrieved 27 January 2017, from https://applezona.com/wiki/1140378176/playlah

Bathelt, H., & Zeng, G. (2015). 8. Trade, knowledge circulation and diverse trade fair ecologies in China. Temporary Knowledge Ecologies: The Rise of Trade Fairs in the Asia-Pacific Region, 154.

Jones, M. (2014). Sustainable event management: A practical guide. Routledge.

Kusaini, R. B., & Mansor, N. H. B. (2013). A case study on event management.

Li, P. F. (2014). Global temporary networks of clusters: structures and dynamics of trade fairs in Asian economies. Journal of Economic Geography, lbu009.

Out, L. (2017). PlayLAH! Let’s Celebrate! - Little Day Out. Little Day Out. Retrieved 27 January 2017, from https://www.littledayout.com/event/playlah-lets-celebrate/

PlayLAH! Let’s Celebrate Chinese New Year 2017 + FREE Ang Bao$ for You!. (2017). The HOOting Post. Retrieved 27 January 2017, from https://thehootingpost.com/2017/01/13/playlah-chinese-new-year-2017-free-ang-bao-for-you/

PlayLAH! Let’s Celebrate Chinese New Year 2017 at Singapore Expo!. (2017). FamilyStaycationSg. Retrieved 27 January 2017, from https://www.familystaycationsg.com/playlah-celebrating-cny-at-expo-2017/

PlayLAH! Lets Celebrate!. (2017). Familiesforlife.sg. Retrieved 27 January 2017, from https://www.familiesforlife.sg/unite-at-an-event/Pages/PlayLAH-Lets-Celebrate.aspx

PlayLAH! Let's Celebrate!. (2017). Little Steps. Retrieved 27 January 2017, from https://www.littlestepsasia.com/singapore/events/playlah-lets-celebrate

PlayLAH! Let's Celebrate!. (2017). Playlah.sg. Retrieved 27 January 2017, from https://playlah.sg/visitor-info.php?id=MA

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