Conferences and corporate events in Asia offer a chance to immerse delegates in a whole new culture as well as a stimulating environment. And as Asian cities become increasingly dominant among world event destinations, a surprising array of activities are emerging that offer a chance to give delegates something they’ve never experienced before. There’s a lot more to the region than bargain shopping and night markets, so here are some examples that highlight Asia’s unexpected side.
Singapore tastes best in the dark
Singapore has long been one of the great food capitals of Asia and its array of markets and street foods are legendary. But groups can get a whole new perspective on Singapore’s dining scene at Nox — Dine in the Dark, where the sense of sight is stripped away and diners get to focus almost entirely on taste.
It’s the antithesis of other modern restaurants where a huge focus is on visual presentation. At Nox, guests are seated in a pitch-dark dining room and are served by blind or visually impaired staff who have been specially trained to offer guidance and reassurance to sighted diners. Putting their trust in the hosts, guests are able to explore the cuisine through taste, smell, touch and sound.
The concept is ideal for groups and the experience can be customised for specific needs or themes.
For info see www.noxdineinthedark.com
Disney’s not just for kids
Hong Kong Disneyland is among the city’s best known star attractions, but its corporate offering is less well known. This year the theme park introduced a new team-building activity that shows it’s not just an attraction for families.
With the help of an award-winning local chef, corporate groups can now indulge in a cooking class in which they learn the techniques behind classic Hong Kong dishes while creating dim sum inspired by Disney characters.
The two-hour activity provides an excuse to take delegates out of the city centre and into the greenery of Lantau Island where they can bond in a fun environment and take home new skills.
To mix business with pleasure, the park also offers a conference centre at the Hong Kong Disneyland Hotel, with 1,500m2 of flexible event space including 16 meeting rooms and an 876m2 pillar-free ballroom.
For info see www.disneymeetings.com/hongkong
Taipei’s fascinating military history
Taiwan is probably not top of mind when it comes to selecting an incentive or meeting destination, but it offers lots of options for organisers and is surprisingly affordable. A new venue on the scene in the capital, Taipei, is the Taiwan Army Club, which has a fascinating history having been built in 1907 during the island’s Japanese colonisation.
Later it became the residence of Sun Li-Jen – also known as the “Rommel of the East” who was one of the generals of the Chinese Revolutionary Army involved in the Sino-Japanese War, World War II and the Chinese Civil War.
Now a combined restaurant and art gallery, the Club features a collection of historic photographs, which only exist today because they were secreted during the so-called “White Terror” period when they were considered subversive.
The Taiwan Army Club (pictured) has capacity for about 150 at a seated dinner with room for presentations. Local DMC Golden Foundation Services Group can organise a range of performances such as traditional Taiwanese musicians or a more modern “techno-dancing” take on the island’s indigenous cultural practices.
More info [email protected].
Go on safari by night
Asia’s bustling cities don’t usually spring to mind when the topic of going on safari comes up, but a corporate activity in Singapore gives visitors a chance to combine an event with exotic wildlife encounters.
An Evening in the Wild is a group activity offered after dark at Night Safari, the world’s first safari park dedicated to nocturnal animals. The park spans 35 hectares of forest and is home to over 2,500 animals of more than 130 different species, including Malayan tigers, Asian elephants, and clouded leopards.
The night includes a tram journey through the safari park where guests can view animals in seven geographic regions, from the Himalayan foothills to the jungles of Southeast Asia, before joining a three-course dinner at a tented camp site. The night ends with reserved seats at a Creatures of the Night Show.
For info see eventsales.wrs.com.sg