SG hotels offer creative twist to draw corporate crowd

Group staycation packages and home-delivered team lunches entice event planners.

Bento sets are included as part of Crowne Plaza Changi Airport’s ‘SG55 Meet from Home’ package.
Bento sets are included as part of Crowne Plaza Changi Airport’s ‘SG55 Meet from Home’ package.

SINGAPORE — Beyond targeting locals for staycations in phase two of Singapore’s reopening, hotels are also setting their sights on the corporate crowd.

While most businesses are still taking a “wait and see approach” due to the ongoing uncertainty, Crowne Plaza Changi Airport’s general manager, Bruno Cristol, shared that the hotel has received corporate enquiries for group staycations for the latter part of 2020.

“Business travellers will be back eventually when travel gets the all-clear, but at a different pace. The independent traveller is likely to be the first to check back in, before group business picks up. Corporate travel might change with safety as the top priority and organisations will likely not travel as much as some business travel may be replaced by today’s advanced teleconferencing technology,” Cristol said.

With work-from-home arrangements continuing to be the default mode mandated by the government in phase two of Singapore’s reopening, Crowne Plaza Changi Airport launched a “SG55 Meet from Home” package that provides complimentary delivery to delegates. The bundle includes a breakfast sandwich, bento and dessert set lunch, afternoon snack, bottled juice and hotel-branded meeting amenities such as writing pad, pens and mints.

Cristol added: “We are thinking creatively to adapt to the evolving situation. As we head towards a restart, we will be ready with new virtual technology capabilities to cater to hybrid events when meetings and events return.”

Similarly, InterContinental Singapore’s director of sales & marketing, Gerrit Chng-Luchau, revealed that they have received “tentative enquiries” for smaller meetings and events, although these are mainly for early-2021 from companies within Asia Pacific.

“InterContinental Singapore has been receiving enquiries mostly for our Virtual Meetings package, with the hotel already having hosted small local groups for this package. We are looking into attracting corporate travel from first-to-recover geo-markets which allow essential business travel,” Chng-Luchau said.

As part of the “Go Virtual” meeting package, corporate guests can make use of a private space within the hotel for 12 hours, such as a meeting room, and enjoy complimentary all-day coffee and tea, a morning and afternoon snack as well as bento lunch and drink (minimum of two guests required). They can also enjoy free high-speed internet, screen and LCD projector for their meeting needs, and turn to the on-site support team for any help with troubleshooting.

Off-site meeting delegates are not forgotten, as there is an option for snack boxes and bento lunches to be delivered on the day of the meeting.

Meanwhile, at Fairmont Singapore and Swissotel The Stamford, general manager, sales & marketing, Rob McIntyre, says he and team are already preparing for "what will be the new normal in the many months ahead".

"Given the current social distancing requirements, the luxury of space in our meetings and events venue has allowed us to get very creative with options and offerings for corporate groups. We are currently putting together programmes where the large open spaces of the convention centre can become the indoor battle ground for a corporate Nerf Gun war or Large-Scale Ballroom Dodge Ball as some examples," he said.

McIntyre also shared with M&C Asia that they are making tweaks to their current practices, such as amending menus from buffet service to single-serve portions, and using technology to host larger groups that are split into different rooms and connected virtually.

"The overriding concept is to continue to meet locally but connect globally," he remarked.