The experience of working hard, followed by indulging in a post-work tipple while enjoying the sunset is exactly what Deloitte wanted to recreate when it took its management team out of the conference halls and onto the sunny seaside of Lazarus Island for its annual management meeting.
“One of the key criteria for Deloitte is making sure that we have our management meetings in iconic locations,” Mr Eugene Wee, Regional Managing Director, Deloitte Consulting SEA, shared. He added that with remote working keeping employees at home for the past year, it was all the more important to find a unique location to rejuvenate the staff.
With its beautiful beaches and idyllic waterfronts, Lazarus Island, which is located amongst the Southern Islands, was the perfect choice as it offered attendees the feel of being overseas, while still remaining in Singapore.
In late March 2021, 40 Deloitte partners attended in person, and 20 more in the region tuned in virtually. Attendees worked from a comfortable glass house in full view of the ocean, dined on the Royal Albatross ship on a sail around the Southern Islands, and wrapped up the day having drinks by the sunset.
It was no mean feat to turn the private island — one with limited F&B options and meeting facilities like audiovisual equipment — into a functioning business event destination. Sentosa Development Corporation rose to the challenge, and through an intensive event planning process, successfully staged the offshore event.
Securing safety both on and off shore
”The event organisers were very rigorous in the safety management aspect,” Mr Pua Wee Meng, Consumer Industry Leader, Deloitte Consulting SEA, said.
Indeed, safety was paramount, and safe distancing measures were implemented throughout the event. For example, in addition to using TraceTogether to check in, attendees were also split into two separate cohorts to board the ferry, Ms Jacqueline Low, Assistant Chief Executive, Sentosa Development Corporation, explained.
“At the meeting itself, the venue was laid out to ensure distance between the attendees and limit inter-mingling. Hand sanitisers were provided and microphones were cleaned regularly after each person spoke,” she added.
A collaborative effort between leisure partners
The transformation of the island to event space was achievable thanks to the successful collaboration between various leisure partners. Lunch and a tour of the Southern Islands were provided by the Royal Albatross, while evening drinks and snacks were catered by the Far East Hospitality Group. Island bicycle-operators, Go Green, also stepped in to provide attendees with after-work recreational options.
Reimagining the future of events
The smooth execution of this event led to a memorable day for all attendees. For Mr Pua, the soothing sounds of the birds and waves offered a sense of serenity, which when coupled with activities like cycling around the island and sunset drinks on the beach, completed the experience of “travelling out of Singapore”.
Noting that the participants all gave positive feedback, Mr Wee said: “It was an excellent event that went beyond my expectations".
“Despite all the restrictions and all the challenges around holding events during the pandemic, I’m confident that the Singapore MICE industry is able to reimagine and reinvent the way that meetings are being conducted,” he declared.
Deloitte’s event may be the first of its kind, but it is definitely not the last, as the country continues to reimagine the future of events and travel.