The inaugural Aon Risk Symposium is an expansion of the brand’s annual Asia Leadership Team Meeting, designed to help the company connect more deeply with its stakeholders through off-site events. The three-day event gathered clients and prospective clients, insurer partners, employees and leaders—with a customised agenda for each group.

“As most guests were senior level executives, Grand Hyatt Singapore was chosen for its upscale reputation, central location, adequate business facilities and, more importantly, its ability to accommodate a large number of guests in its grand ballroom,” says Andrina Yeo, account director, The Events Artery. An additional five meeting rooms were also used for breakouts.

The first day’s theme centred around the event’s tag line, ‘Volatility: opportunity or cost?’, with Aon’s clients invited as guest speakers to discuss the sector’s most pressing issues. The second day involved team-building activities followed by interactive breakout sessions. The symposium concluded with Aon’s Asia Leadership Team Meeting on the final morning, followed by workshops in the afternoon.

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Networking events brought participants together each evening, and a mentoring programme between senior executives and their junior colleagues was also introduced. This required strategically planning the delegate experience—from the seating arrangements to the workshop group pairings—months in advance.

Creativity

For the workshop on day two, The Events Artery deployed a virtual mountaineering adventure. “The programme, entitled ‘Scaling heights’, used interactive games and activities to immerse delegates in real-life scenarios to re-iterate the importance of business leadership concepts,” says Yeo. “An idea-visualisation artist captured the learning points in real time, relating back to the symposium’s ‘Volatility’ tag line.”


The evening events were designed to incorporate unique elements of local culture, beginning with an intimate dinner at Flutes, an elegant restaurant within the National Museum. “The service was exceptional at Flutes,” says Yeo. “The team was a real partner to us—they kept an eagle-eye on the proceedings, were incredibly responsive, initiative-driven and accommodated last-minute changes and requests very smoothly.”

The following evening was more relaxed with cocktails, canapes and live stations at Aura at National Gallery Singapore, overlooking both the historical Padang and the ultra-modern Marina Bay skyline. A live band playing soft lounge and jazz beats completed the mood.


The gala dinner was held in Grand Hyatt’s ballroom (pictured above) and Singapore’s national flower—the Vanda ‘Miss Joaquim’ orchid—served as inspiration for the purple-and-gold decor.

This dinner was set up in a round-table configuration and saw the addition of fringe activities and the engagement of a live band, but this time, with a more upbeat genre of music. Guests also received TWG Tea’s Singapore Breakfast Tea as a souvenir.

“As guests were seated at round tables in a banquet style, a panoramic screen with both front and back projectors ensured all guests were able to view the presentations clearly,” says Yeo. “The ballroom projection system stretches its screen across the
full width of the ballroom, creating dazzling visual displays. This means you can do away with standard backdrops and create customised, dynamic content for a unique backdrop experience.”

Challenges

“The display is a blend of three projector screens and is not immediately plug-and-play like most projectors,” says Yeo. “It’s best to allow more time during set up for AV testing and troubleshooting. Work closely with the hotel’s AV manager, get your own AV team involved from the start so that all technical aspects are understood on both sides, and there won’t be any trouble integrating their system with your own AV equipment.”


The historic venue (above) also presented several logistical challenges ahead of the event, due to restricted timings for set-up and lack of direct service access via lift to Aura. “Ensure you work out the path and timing during your site recces and communicate this to all your vendors—carpenters, logistics partners, bands with musical equipment and so on,” she advises, adding that the team also needed to carefully think through wayfinding for guests. “The use of event signage within the National Gallery is limited so you might need to post ushers at strategic points to ensure guests don’t get lost.”

Technology also helped ensure a smooth event.
“A specially developed Aon Events app offered customised agendas via the Gather Digital app platform,” says Yeo. “Prezi—a cloud-based presentation platform—also injected an element of freshness for multiple business leaders on day three.”


Snapshot

What Aon Risk Symposium 2016—Asia
Where Grand Hyatt Singapore; Flutes at National Museum; Aura at National Gallery
Who The Events Artery
How many 250

When August 30 to September 1, 2016