Watch the full recording of our Global Roundtable: Learning from Pandemic Recovery Across Asia
Although many of the world’s event hubs are still in quarantine, some places are starting to show hints of what to expect afterwards. For this panel, we chatted with event industry leaders from Hong Kong, Tokyo, Singapore, and Shanghai as they shared insights on how to prepare for live experiences after lockdown, and how they are approaching virtual events in the interim.
Key takeaways from each panelist’s view on the ground:
China: At the moment there is a lot of hope. Shanghai is getting back to normal. There is a big sense of being responsible for our guests and audiences. The digital landscape here has strong actors so it is clear where virtual events are going, and new platforms aren’t needed. But technology is complementary to the actual experience. The raw emotion you only get live. Live events will come back stronger.
Singapore: The challenge for event organizers is finding new ways to create online experiences and make virtual guests feel comfortable. Different industries are starting virtual activities (social clubs, theatre companies, etc.), and streaming platforms like YouTube and Facebook are being used for mass distribution. Michelin restaurants are starting to curate home dining experiences. Going forward, brands need to understand that synchronized global launches are going to be difficult, as countries are going to have varying levels of restrictions. Customers may realize that they don’t need to go out when this is over. We need to make sure that the experiences we create are unique enough that they want to come out.
Tokyo: For most of the work we already did, there are secondary audiences (press and social media) who are hungrier than ever before. But now we’re competing with television, Netflix and TikTok which are all incredibly addictive. We need to be completely agnostic to technologies. The objective is the experience and how we deliver. The technology needs to follow that. This is an incredibly opportune moment to prepare and take care of secondary priorities, like improving databases and processes, that can normally get pushed down the list.
Hong Kong: We have been through crises here, and are experts on cancelling, postponing, and rethinking. People don’t blame brands for trying. It’s better to try. Go for something on a smaller scale, hybrid in-person and physical; give people a choice. A period of disruption takes trial and error, but sentiment is forgiving right now. The more we use this time now to learn what can work, even if there are bumps along the way, the more effectively we can transition into the future.
Kitch Lum | Managing Partner, Events, Directions Group Inc | Singapore
With close to 30 years of experience, Kitch is an experienced marketing and events management professional with a strong background in the luxury and society segment. Prior to joining Directions, Kitch led the circulation and promotions team for two leading society titles where she oversaw the creation of luxury events for the publications, and served as key liaison for the high net worth segment. Kitch’s events are renowned for transforming ordinary spaces into exquisite and unexpected environments.
Ted Miller | President & CEO, Empire Japan | Tokyo
Theodore is President and Representative Director of Empire Entertainment Japan, managing the company’s growing operations in Asia. He has over 20 years of experience working in Asia in the areas of creative media, marketing communications, information technology and general management. Theodore launched Empire Japan in 2003, and over the last decade has had the pleasure of working with many of the world’s top brands.
Kiri Sinclair | Founder & CEO, Sinclair | Hong Kong
A highly regarded thought leader and regular commentator for the PR and communications industry in Asia, Kiri is Founder and CEO of integrated communications agency Sinclair, Board member of both The Marketing Society and PRHK, Hong Kong’s public relations association, and an active member of AMEC. She is a strong advocate for the value of PR-led integrated communications in Greater China and across the APAC region.
Aladin Hardy | Executive Director Asia, Luxury Makers by AUDITOIRE| Shanghai
After working for more than 10 years with Hermes, in different levels of PR & Communication and on several markets worldwide, Aladin brings all his expertise in branding and events to AUDITOIRE Asia to position Luxury Makers as the top of mind for high-end luxury brands, placing service and creativity as the core of his job.