Macau’s mega integrated resort developer Sands China doesn’t do things by halves, so when the 3,000-room The Parisian Macao opened its doors in September it was nothing short of spectacular. Uniplan Hong Kong designed and delivered the grand opening extravaganza, which featured a series of events across seven venues.

These included cocktails at the Rotunda, a large-scale press conference at the Parisian Theatre, a red carpet moment on the Porte Cochere, the official opening show beneath a half-size Eiffel Tower replica, a ballroom gala dinner with more than 150 tables and an after-party around the rooftop pool.

The evening’s theme was a romantic tour of Paris, with the brand story of The Parisian brought to life with a live performance. Storytelling dominated the immersive event as guests were guided through the love story of protagonists Paris and François. Here, live orchestral and dance performances were supplemented with customised animation and a spectacular fireworks display that would rival any New Year’s Eve celebration.

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Creativity

Uniplan transformed the base of the resort’s Eiffel Tower replica into one of the largest stages in the world. The team created a custom 30-minute show, with a tailor-made hot air balloon flying over guests to deliver the main characters on the stage. Then came the dramatic finale complete with a performance by award-winning Belgian singer Lara Fabian, choreographed fireworks and a stunning light show on the tower, which stands at around half the height of the 324-metre Paris original.

"With world-class choreography, stage design and performances from some of the most talented dancers and specialty acts from around the globe, we delivered an international experience,” says Uniplan Hong Kong managing director Daphne Choi.


More than 1,300 VIP guests then moved into the Parisian Ballroom as the story continued; with Paris and François exploring the streets of Paris while dinner was served. Chinese actor and pop star Karen Mok also made an appearance. The theatre continued at the poolside after-party, with a live performance by American party band Liquid Blue and roaming caricaturists and magicians.

The event has since been touted as one of the largest grand openings in Macau’s history. Gene Capuano, Sands China’s vice president of convention & exhibition operations, and the internal project manager for the event says: “For all of us on the ground who worked on making it happen, hearing [Sands China CEO and chairman] Sheldon Adelson say that this was the most spectacular opening in the company’s history was very gratifying.”


Challenges

Logistics and weather conditions proved a challenge. Designed to showcase the resort’s unique offerings, the opening show was held at the Eiffel Tower replica. An outdoor show in intense heat would make it difficult for the crew to build and rehearse, while rain would dampen the experience for guests. To cope with this, Uniplan had multiple contingency plans in place and monitored the weather forecast closely before making the decision between the outdoors or indoors at the Place Vendôme.


With close to 1,600 Sands China staff across six departments and 700 international cast and crew from 10 countries and regions—including Hong Kong, France, Australia, U.S.A., Italy, Singapore, Kenya and Russia—it proved quite a task to ensure everyone involved was aware of the latest event updates and effectively move forward with the schedule.

Uniplan held daily meetings right up to the day of the event and every form of communication, from WeChat to radio, was used to ensure all teams were kept in the loop.