3 unique themes for engaging events

We share tips from Vogue, Dell and K-pop on transforming events into interactive playgrounds

In this final instalment of our four-part series, we spotlight unique themes to dress up your event experience. From the high-fashion world of Vogue to the energetic grooves of K-pop and Dell's playful water-based teambuilding, we find out how organisers have transformed their events into a themed playground.

In case you missed it, here are parts one, two and three of the series.

Vogue's glamorous playground

Planners: Vogue Hong Kong and Marc Brugger, managing director, Rosewood Hong Kong
Contact: events@rosewoodhotels.com 
Venue: Rosewood Hong Kong

Elements such as designer eyewear, photo booths over glitzy skylines and of course, a social media wall for the 'gram.

What was the aim of the event?
This event was co-organised by Rosewood and Vogue Hong Kong, and it was significant because it was the first ever event held at the hotel. For us it was the perfect mix of fashion, glamour and celebrities.

How did you execute it?
The theme "Culture Through the Lens of Fashion" centred on fashion and glamour, with decorations and lighting in sleek black and hot pink to match the colour of the launch issue's collectible cover. The skyline of Hong Kong provided a stunning backdrop.

The alfresco lawn area overlooking Victoria Harbour featured the Vogue logo for photos. In the pre-function area, aside from the Moet & Chandon Bar, booths were set up for guests to create their own personalised phone cover and pick up Reve by Renee limited edition eyewear for experiencing the party "through the lens of fashion". A digital wall flashed guests' social media posts. The main act in the ballroom was the DJ set by Korean celebrity singer and TV personality Kim Hyo-yeon, aka DJ Hyo.

What were the challenges and how did you overcome them?
This was the first launch of the magazine's first edition; everything had to be perfect. Logistics were key. Welcoming 1,200 guests in mostly private cars within a short period of time meant coordinating with police in terms of traffic lights and evaluating how many cars to valet. Two hours after the end of the event we had contractors going in and out setting up for the next day's high-profile wedding.

Dell's water playground

Planner: Pattraporn Nildam, assistant manager, Magnifique meetings
Contact: eventmgr@so-sofitel-huahin.com
Venue: SO Sofitel Hua Hin, Thailand

So Sofitel Hua Hin is the first and only hotel in Thailand to offer the Wibit Adventure float.

What was the aim of the event?
It was an incentives event for our client, Dell Technology, whose leaders sought to have a fun bonding time with their clients via ice breakers.

How did you execute it?
We are the first and only hotel in Thailand to offer the German-made Wibit Adventure float: an inflatable obstacle course in a pool. This privatised playground perfectly matched our client's needs. Everyone mixed into various teams to compete, challenge and, ultimately, communicate over a tag-team race.

There was plenty of laughter and photos snapped, then participants proceeded to a beachside barbeque with fresh seafood, accompanied with live music to end the evening.

What were the challenges and how did you overcome them?
The Wibit is in fact a public amenity for all hotel guests; the last thing they want is to be disturbed. This means we plan private events around 2pm to 3pm, so it doesn't clash with the pool's peak hours. It's important that it doesn't turn into a conference resort. Incentive groups might also have budget constraints, and using a third-party supplier can be costly. So, we trained our own ambassadors to do the job of conducting teambuilding activities to reduce group costs and attract more groups.

An interactive K-pop playground

Planner: Jin Myung Choi David, head of creative department, Winpluswin
Contact: jmchoi@winpluswin.com 
Venue: KINTEX, Gyeonggi Province, South Korea

The K-pop hype is still on fire, an events trend that typically includes singers, reality show elements and Korea's delectable food.

What was the aim of the event?
After Korean singer Psy and boyband BTS took the world by storm, our most requested themes became K-pop and K-drama. Our client wanted to experience K-culture in one place, something they couldn't experience in their group tours.

How did you execute it?
At the cocktail reception we created themed zones based on the popular reality show Running Man, with guests actively participating at photo booths paired with famous Korean character items, K-pop idol costumed models, as well as a Korean street-food zone, giving out tourist favourites such as tteok-bokki and col-pop (Cola and chicken popcorn).

For dinner proper, we transformed the stage to resemble an actual K-pop concert. We hired a Psy impersonator to perform the addictive "Gangnam Style" song, world-famous South Korean non-verbal comedy show NANTA, and to end things off on a high, we brought in our country's top multi-hyphenate and superstar, Rain, who performed three songs.

What were the challenges and how did you overcome them?
There aren't many venues that can hold over 1,000 delegates in South Korea, apart from COEX and aT Center in Seoul, Busan's BEXCO, and KINTEX.

We typically get two days for setup and system checks for previous KINTEX events of this size, but for Prudential's, we had just one day to deliver. Fortunately, professional staff and engineers from partner companies helped pull it off. Furthermore, we always study our client's corporate culture and previous events in order to provide event services that suit their demands and preferences.

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