BEST VALENTINE’S DAY CELEBRATION IDEAS- THINK OUTSIDE THE BOX

Love is in the air…!!!

It’s the time of the year, when we want to pamper our beloved the most. On Valentine’s Day , couples plan something special to make the day a memorable one. Be it showering our Valentine with gifts or going for an intimate dinner date. A romantic gesture on Valentine’s Day, is all it takes to create a strong bond in a relationship.

Everyone wants to spring the best surprise on their loved one. And these days it’s not about how much it costs, but how unique is your idea! So, we have come up with a list of fun and romantic, yet out of the box ideas on how to best celebrate this day. And yes, we have kept your budget in mind too!

Valentine’s Day Special (Under $100):

  1. Knock them Down:

Pump up the jam with glowing lights, luminous balls and pins together with some disco music. Yes, we are talking about cosmic bowling! Orchid bowl outlets have created a glow in the dark atmosphere for you to get romantic with your Valentine’s date.

ten pin bowling

 

  1. Get in the Groove:

Dance the night away to spicy Latin American tunes with your Valentine. Book a session of Salsa and get into the sensuous mood on the beat of bongos.

Salsa dancing

 

  1. Ride into the Sunset:

If you are into outdoor activity, why not try a horseback ride on Valentine’s Day. Situated at Pasir Ris, long trail provides ample opportunity for a romantic talk amidst nature.

Horse riding

 

  1. Go Green:

Why not plan a romantic picnic amidst the lush greenery of Botanic Gardens. Pack a picnic basket with a bottle of champagne, some cheese and crackers. Create a playlist with romantic songs and watch the starts lying on your picnic mat.

romantic picnic

 

  1. Celebrate Love by the Beach:

A breezy evening by the sea will add more romance to your dinner date. Celebrate your love by heading to S andBank. They have special 4-course meal for this Valentine’s Day, which includes oysters. And we all know, oysters are an aphrodisiac. For a perfect ending try or shall we say smear the chocolate paradise cake and lick it off each other.

Valentine’s dining

For Your Valentine (Between $100-$300):

 

  1. Dorn the Apron:

What can be better than cooking with your loved one by your side! This Valentine’s Day, Cori ander Leaf offers a 7-course cooking class. So, take this opportunity to enroll yourself for this class. As, they say “Couples who cook together stays together”.

 

  1. Scent of Attraction:

We all know there is a strong connection between scent and sexual attraction. So this Valentine’s Day created a special perfume unique for each other. At  Jetaime Perfumery, couples will be asked few questions. Then they will create an exclusive fragrance for you and your loved one. Each couple will get around 210 ml of their own personal fragrance with your own unique formula!

 

  1. Paint your Love:

If you like working with you”h ands” then why not showcase your artistic side on a canvas. Tea lounge Arteastiq offers this therapeutic experience while savouring a variety of teas . Bring out the inner Picasso out from you while sipping on some gourmet tea with your loved one. It is a quiet activity for couple looking to spend some quality time together.

 

  1. Dine with a View:

Take your loved one for a 5 course meal at 1919 WaterboatHouse. Soak into the panoramic view of MBS and the surrounding Heritage buildings. End the dinner date with Valentine’s Day special with a delicately plated Mon Cheri – a luxurious chocolate ganache served on a bed of Italian zabaglione and topped with caramelised banana, liquid passion fruit, and c andied ginger.

 

  1. Hire a Private Chef:

In the comforts of your own home, enjoy a private dinner for you and your loved one. So, hire a private chef this Valentine’s Day. Let the chef prepare dinner for you two, while you can gaze into each other’s eyes or simply enjoy a romantic movie at home. Club Vivre offers ample options from various cuisines for a 3-course meal. Depending on your favourite food, you can select your menu.

Indulge with your Valentine (Price No Bar):

  1. The Ultimate Relaxation:

Pamper you and your loved one at the six-times Forbes Five-Star Auriga Spa, Capella. Enjoy a rose scrub body massage, a romantic c andle-lit bath followed by cocktails at Bob’s Bar. Also, the packages offer an afternoon’s tea at Chef’s Table.

 

  1. Wind beneath your Wings:

One does not get to see the skyline of Singapore from helicopter every day. So, this Valentine’s Day book 30 min rides for you and your loved one. You will fly above the Bukit Timah Nature Reserve, CBD, Northern coastline, Southern Isl ands and much more, while the pilot gives you a live commentary via the stereo headsets.

 

  1. Top of the World:

Surprise your loved one by taking them to a sky-high dinning experience at the Equinox. Indulge into the five or six course dinner the restaurant offers. End the dinner with on a sweet note by savouring Elderflower Jelly with Peach Ice. You will also take home a box of pralines.

dine on top of world

 

  1. Romance by the Bay:

Pamper your loved one by a luxurious stay at the Fullerton Hotel. The room will have rose petals strewn across the bed and bubble bath for the tub. There will be a complimentary bottle of wine or sparkling juice to get the romance flowing. This offer also includes – an intimate in-room 4-course meal just for the two of you. Next morning, linger over a complimentary breakfast for two at Town restaurant for the perfect finish to your lovely little celebration.

 

  1. Eat-Swim-Drink-Repeat:

Away from the hustle and bustle of the city enjoy a luxurious stay at the W Hotels, Sentosa Cove. This Valentine’s Day the hotel offers an exclusive glamping option for just 8 couples. Enjoy the night by gazing into the stars with a meal prepared by the hotel’s chef. You can go for a dip at the iconic WET pool or go for a long romantic walk along the cove. Don’t miss enjoying some Instagram worthy cocktails at the Woo Bar.

Additionally…

  1. Why not kick start the day and pamper your loved one with a chauffeur driven limousine pickup to your favourite Valentine’s day spot. You can throw in a surprise with sparkling champagne and a bouquet of red roses to make Valentine’s Day truly memorable.

 

  1. You can also go for a movie night at Screening Room. The place is screening some romantic movies at their boutique theatre. So, cuddle with your loved one and enjoy an evening of romance.

 

Hope these suggestions help you add sparkle (without breaking your bank) to your Valentine’s Day celebrations . Do share, if you tried any of our ideas or if you have some interesting suggestions of your own, in the comment section below.

 

Author Bio:

Author Gauri

Gaurangi Verma is a freelance Content Writer residing in Singapore with her husb and. She is an avid reader and a Netflix junkie. Originally from Dehradun, India, she misses the cool and breezy mornings of her home-town.

TOP 3 WAYS SMEs CAN OPTIMISE THEIR EVENTS

Events are an important part of an organization’s activity; be it for internal stakeholders like employees/investors or for external stakeholders such as clients/general public.

So whether you are a Multinational Company (MNC), Small to Medium Enterprise (SME), Public Sector Agency or a Not-For-Profit, you need to show Return on Investment (ROI) for each and every activity that involves spending money. Especially if its related to soft dollar spend such as on events.

Whilst it is crucial for all organization to optimise events, it is especially necessary for SMEs  to conduct them in the most efficient and cost effective manner. And heres’ why:

Challenges faced by SMEs when organizing Meetings & Events:

startup-challenges

Challenge 1: Lack of Visibility in the area of Meetings & Events:

As an event manager when we asked companies, how many Meetings & Events they organized in a year and what was the overall spend, the companies were clueless. It was obvious, the reason for this lack of clear vision, was insufficient data tracking. What we found was different business units and departments within the organization were carrying out events. With little or no communication between them. Hence there was no formal process or place where this data was being captured.

Larger organizations have often implemented sophisticated programs to capture and track comprehensive data. But SME’s do not have enough budgets or resources. And given the smaller number of events and low overall spend they cannot justify splurging on such expensive and cumbersome programs. Additionally we found that SME’s don’t have a structure or calendar of events. Therefore they are unable to plan in advance. Hence losing the important benefits such as:

  • Getting the appropriate space to organize the event
  • Early bird discounts
  • Savings from consolidation of spend with a single vendor
  • Getting the right people for the event (entertainers, celebrities, VIPS, sponsors etc)

overshooting-target-reduces-online-visibility-for-local-business1

Challenge 2: Unavailability of Right Skill Set 

Larger organisations mostly have dedicated staff for organizing their Meetings & Events. But SMEs do not have that luxury as they cannot justify hiring a full time staff for the reasons mentioned above; low number of events and low overall spen d. Thus we noticed the responsibility was frequently falling upon EAs (executive assistants), marketing staff or the office manager.

Whilst they were delighted with this opportunity as it was probably the most exciting part of their job. They did not have the right skill set to organize an event. The staff more than often, lacked attention to details , which in our opinion is of utmost importance when it come to organizing events.

Therefore the quality of the events was being compromised. This lead to dissatisfaction of the stakeholders and attendees alike. In certain cases there were even issues related to non-compliance of policies which ended up being both expensive as well as embarrassing for the company.

people-skills

Challenge 3: Lack of relationship with suppliers/vendors:

Because the staff appointed for organizing events was not right, they did not have the right relationships with the vendors. This was crucial because the company was neither getting competitive pricing nor were they able to take advantage of savings from consolidated spend. They lacked negotiation skills and did not underst and contracts.

This was extremely important when it came to cancellations. Because when the company had to cancel an event, they would lose out most of their deposit. There were times the entire cost of the event had to be paid to the external vendor (hotel, airline, entertainment, logistics company).

Because of all these companies ended up spending anywhere between 15-40% extra on an event!

brumell-investigations-vendor-management-program1

 

STEPS TO OPTIMIZE YOUR MEETINGS & EVENTS MANAGEMENT

I would like to share with you few simple ways that SMEs can follow to combat the challenges related to their events.

Step 1: Analyze Spend & Create Budget

Organizations should budget and plan events annually if possible. By doing so companies can make the best use of their resources.

All costs associated with the events such as below, should be understood and analysed.

  • venue hire,
  • food & beverage,
  • guest rooms,
  • airlines,
  • ground transportation,
  • entertainment,
  • event set up and production costs,
  • invitation/collateral design and printing,
  • attendee management software,
  • corporate gifts/awards,
  • government & local council license fees,
  • security staff and ushers etc.

Moving forward, companies should reconcile any quotes received and save amounts spent for above services at a central place. This will ensure more accurate data can be produced and leveraged when the next event comes by. Allowing company to both budget the costs as well as keep them in check.

Pie chart on a stock chart with a budget

Step 2: Establish & Implement a Formal Planning Process

  A formal planning process starts with defining the company’s objective for hosting an event. These could be:

  • creating br and awareness,
  • generating sales,
  • team building,
  • product demonstration,
  • public announcements.

Once this has been identified, companies can work more effectively in selecting right vendors/agency that will underst and the priorities and offer the right scope of services.

It is important to have an appropriate lead time  when organising events. Best practice is to have 3-4 weeks for smaller meetings, 8-12 weeks for mid size events and at least 6 months for large scale events. Planning sufficiently in advance will guarantee effective coordination and optimization of costs.

It is equally crucial to establish a formal approval process by selecting a supervisor/team to reduce risk & create control.

Many organizations work with preferred event management agencies for larger events and sometimes even outsource smaller meetings to logistics partners. The benefit being, the agencies have tried and tested processes and specific expertise in managing events.

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Step 3: Select & Negotiate with Suppliers/Vendors

We cannot emphasise less on this. Working effectively with the right suppliers enables companies to leverage outside expertise while reducing costs . It’s even a good idea to get RFPs (Request for proposal) from 3-4 agencies. This will ensure selected vendor’s services fit with each unique event to create a right impact on attendees while offering competitive prices .

The agencies have preferred partners and pre negotiated rates which companies can take advantage off. Ask them to include some items complimentary , such as free breakfast and Wi-Fi in guest rooms, free airline tickets for organizers, upgrades on ground transportation etc. These would otherwise come at a cost to the company.

Besides negotiating on rates, agencies will negotiate on contractual T’s & C’s  which become even more important in case the event gets cancelled, so the monitory damage can be minimised.

Flat design style modern vector illustration concept of successful financial partnership, business people cooperation agreement, teamwork solution  and h and shaking of two businessman. Isolated on stylish background

 

SUMMARY:

For any company the key to organizing effective events is to ensure the business objectives are being met while satisfying all stakeholders. Now, it is up to them whether they decide to do this on their own or outsource it to experts . The aim should remain to improve the quality of the event and increase the return on investment.

images

 

neera-1

Blog written by Neera Gupta/ Founder of Kit Kat Events & Marketing.

Neera Gupta, is a published author and runs an event management company. She has lived in more than 10 countries and recently moved to Hong Kong with her husb and, 15 month old daughter and two dogs. She frequently gives talks on art of networking and supports expat communities locally.