SINGAPORE

Lynda Obront's most requested event, The Hawker, revolves around Singapore cuisine. The Hawker is Singapore's answer to the dine-around.

The Hawker

Like market vendors, who aggressively peddle their wares to shoppers, food vendors “hawk” their culinary creations to the guests. Budgets determine the number of food vendors, dressed in ethnic costumes, who fan the coals of an open barbecue and serve up ethnic delights such as satay, chicken and beef on a skewer, barbecued and dipped in tangy peanut sauce.

Attendees wander from stall to stall, taste-testing in a festive atmosphere created by the vendors who good-naturedly compete for the attention of partygoers.

This event can be held in either a ballroom or a street setting and is often augmented with fortunetellers, watercolor painters, and calligraphy artists plying their trades. Music and traditional dances round out the evening.

Breakfast in the Wild

Imagine guests greeted by a baby elephant holding a corporate banner in its trunk and carrying the VIP or top producer of the group on its back.

This exciting event takes place at the Singapore Zoological Gardens, which is on the rim of the Seletar Reservoir and is surrounded by forest reserve. The zoo houses some 1,600 animals, many of which are free to roam, confined only by natural barriers such as water or shrubs.

The meal is held at a pavilion near the giraffe enclosure. Tables and chairs are covered in faux fur for a whimsical touch. After breakfast, guests hop a zoo tram and head for the amphitheater for a primate and reptile show.

This party can he held at evening mealtime as well, with the setting aglow with jungle torches and a backdrop of the Singapore sunset. During evening cocktails, guests mingle with the zoo keepers for a hands-on experience with an orangutan, a python, or a wild bird.

Lynda Ann Obront
Director of Sales & Marketing
North America Tour East Group Inc.

Phone: (888) 385-3777
lynaxelrod@aol.com

CHINA

According to Bob Franklin, a dining experience at The Great Wall, or a reception that makes guests feel as if they are being received by the Chinese government, is an unforgettable introduction to China.

Lunch on the Great Wall

The Great Wall is so breathtaking that there is no need to create a setting. The only manmade structure that can be seen from space, the Great Wall was created 5,000 years ago and is more than 7,000 miles long. A daylong tour leads participants to a private, catered luncheon. About 40 soldiers and girls in ancient uniforms line its perimeter as drummers lead participants to the dining area.

China Revolutionary Night

This party takes place at the Great Hall of the People on Tiananmen Square. Guests leave their hotel under a police escort and are greeted at the Great Hall by uniformed female honor guards. A 40-piece military brass band plays in the background during a welcoming champagne reception.

Then the China Children's Choir takes the stage, followed by a gala banquet with more cultural performances. Opera vocalists sing revolutionary songs, and between courses, acrobats in revolutionary costumes perform.

The night is capped by a production of Red & White by the Red Women's Army Ballet.

Bob Franklin
Senior Vice President Marketing
Networld Inc.

Phone: (973) 884-7474
Fax: (973) 884-1711
bfranklin@networldinc.com
www.networldinc.com

MALAYSIA

A day in the jungle or a night under the stars reflects Malaysia's beauty, says Gerard Bateman.

Jungle Theme Party

Go wild with the mystifying Malaysian tropical rain forest completely recreated at your venue. Participants dress in colonial outfits and jungle wear for the evening, one of the country's most popular theme parties.

The whimsical recreation is made complete by aboriginal warriors, armed with blowpipes and surrounding a boiling cauldron, who interact with guests. A tribal act is recreated with interactive guest participation. Guests will never forget the jungle sounds, sights and show — especially being eaten alive.

Malaysian Night Gala

Bateman's personal favorite is the Malaysian Night Gala, which is set amid the beautiful 240-acre Lake Gardens, the city's most popular park and a regular setting for musical concerts and cultural performances.

The gala is a fascinating night under the stars, complete with a marquee, exotic Malaysian dinner, and a colorful multicultural stage performance. Enhance this event by adding live lions to the show, as well as Chinese fortunetellers, Indian palm readers, caricature artists, calligraphers, and other craftsmen who create pewter, do Batik painting, and more.

Gerard Bateman
Managing Director
Incentive Solutions (Malaysia)

Phone: (603) 4149 3718
Fax: (603) 4142 9897
batemans@t.net.my

JAPAN

Transport guests to the heart of Japan. Let them experience the country's culture, customs, and traditions, Lucky Morimoto says.

Traditional Theme Party

Guests are greeted by a street performer who displays intricate tricks with a wave of his many chopsticks and a candy artist who fashions edible animal souvenirs, including birds, rabbits or cats, from steamed rice powder and sticky liquid sugar.

The meal consists of traditional Japanese fare such as yakitori, grilled chicken on bamboo sticks, or oden, a dish of boiled fish cake, fried bean curd and boiled egg flavored with soy sauce. The native Taiko drums offer a steady musical beat.

Tropical Paradise

A live band plays tropical music beneath a canopy of exotic plants, trees, and scenic backdrops. Wait staff in brightly colored outfits serve guests tropical drinks made with fresh fruit. Interactive games, such as Japanese style lottery, fan throwing, or arrow-shooting galleries, add excitement and get guests into the spirit of the evening.

Lucky Morimoto
President
Event Services Inc.

Phone: 81(0)3 3522 7515
Fax: 81(0)3 3522 7514/7512/7516
www.eventservices.co.jp/

MACAU

Whether created atop a fortress or ensconced in a wine cellar, Eric Chang's parties are made memorable by their unique settings:

Fortress Theme Party

Picture a party on the rooftop of the 500-year-old Monte Fort (The Fortress of Sao Paulo Do Monte). The fort can accommodate a large crowd — up to 1,800 for a standing buffet or 500 for a sit-down dinner — and houses a small observatory and a museum. It offers visitors a splendid vantage point from which to view Macau and the surrounding areas of China's Zhongshan District.

Entertainment for a fortress party varies: Chinese fortunetellers, artists rendering paper cutting portraits of clients, Chinese & Portuguese folk dancers, and local bands are among the popular options.

The Macau Wine Museum

“A great incentive destination should be the trip of a lifetime — not something that the winners can easily afford to do for themselves. Nothing says ‘Wow!’ like Asia does.”
Lynda Ann Obront, dir. of sales & marketing, North America Tour East Group Inc.



The Macau Wine Museum is the only one of its kind in Asia, and it is a major tourist attraction and an important trade office. The museum has become a platform for Portuguese wine imports into the region and a catalyst for the wine education of Macanese, Portuguese, and international tourists. This museum is open to the public during the day and can be specially configured for exclusive night dining.

Eric Chang
Spokesman
Air Cruise Travel Ltd, Macau

Phone: (853) 703858
Fax: (853) 703857
kadyeric@macau.ctm.net

THAILAND

Sumate Sudasna prefers a reenactment of a Thailand annual celebration:

Re-creation of Loy Krathong (The Floating Festival of Lights)

Thailand's most spectacular festival can be reborn as a colorful corporate affair. The venue is the Rose Garden Country Resort, west of Bangkok. Handicraft demonstrations occupy guests during the cocktail reception, which is followed by a barbecue dinner. More than 200 villagers recreate the festival, highlighted by folk dances and fireworks, while three bands entertain the crowd.

Lanna Night

This party takes place in north Thailand in a garden overlooking rice paddies. Six main hill tribes, dressed in traditional costumes, perform games and play music during the welcoming reception. A dinner of northern Thai specialties is enhanced by dances executed by the hill tribes. The party's finale features the release of dozens of Khoms, long, tubular waxpaper hot air balloons that hang high in the air for hours.

Sumate Sudasna
Managing Director,
Creative Destination Management

Phone:(66) 2-615 7301
Fax:(66) 2-615 7309
www.cdmthailand.com/

KOREA

For Miss Eun-Jung Kim, tradition, in the form of centuries-old palace gates, shrines, and priceless art, best illustrate Korea's illustrious past.

Ancient Palace Theme Party

This regal celebration of Korean tradition is set in the 1400s during the early Yi Dynasty. Party attendees personally experience Korean culture and architecture with a time tour to an ancient, royal Korean palace such as the pagoda-style Toksu Palace in Seoul.

Court guards are lined up to greet attendees at the main gate, and guests sit down to a reproduced period court banquet. After the meal, they take part in games in the beautiful, authentically reproduced palace garden.

Ancient Market Place

Vendored food and drink and a traditional mask dance delivered by costumed performers are all elements of the Ancient Market Place Party. The party is an elaborate recreation of a Yi Dynasty marketplace — a folkloric social event for the masses and the perfect setting for an outdoor theme party.

Miss Eun-Jung Kim
Convention Coordinator
Korea Convention Services Ltd.

Phone: (82) 2-3476-7700
Fax: (82) 2-3476-8800
pco@koconex.com

INDONESIA

Sandra Tomlin savors the arts, music, and dance that embody the Balinese philosophy of life:

Royal Temple Festival

Balinese culture has always been celebrated through dance, color, and music. Hundreds of local villagers, torch carriers, and Balinese maidens, balancing tall fruit and floral displays on their heads, lead a spectacular procession to the 17th-century Royal Temple in Bali for a feast. Candle flames reflect in the waters of the surrounding moat, and the Tek Tekan Troupe provides background music.

A parade of maidens, dressed in traditional royal costumes, serve each course. During the meal, guests are entertained by an array of cultural performances.

Jungle Fever

Guests at the Jungle Fever theme party are greeted by the pulsing percussion beats of a Baleganjur troupe adorned in styled batik wraps with banana-leaf headgear.

Wild animals lurk in the jungle, and their calls create a thrilling backdrop as guests are led to the reception. A special buffet, set in a real jungle, is served during tribal entertainment. Nocturnal birds and animals and the natural foliage decor satisfy guests' craving for an evening in the wilderness.

Sandra Tomlin
Director of Group, Meeting & Incentives
Pacific World
Nusantara

Phone: (62) 361 282474
Fax: (62) 361 281740
sandratomlin@pacificworld.com




Kelle Larkin is a freelance writer based in Portage, Mich., and a frequent contributor to CMI.