Singapore Food Festival 2021

If there’s one thing the Covid-19 Pandemic cannot stifle, it’s Singapore’s inherent penchant for food.  

This year, the Singapore Food Festival 2021 (SFF 2021) aims to feed into this love with a virtual smorgasbord of educational, masterclasses and a virtual tour.  First conceptualised in 1994, the Singapore Food Festival is going online for its second year in a row, and aims to push boundaries by allowing Singaporeans to share in all kinds of culinary experiences from home.

The virtual tour, for example, is an interactive “choose your adventure” style experience hosted by Nikki Muller.  Viewers can select the trajectory of their experience in either Little India or Tiong Bahru and learn about iconic local dishes like chwee kueh or experimental new meals like vegetarian nasi lemak.  The tour provides viewers with an in-depth look at how the food scene in Singapore boasts a huge variety of traditional and novel options even in the same neighbourhood.

Those who are interested in cooking as well as eating can head over to the “masterclass” tab and learn how to make dishes like devilled prawn curry from chef Rishi Naleendra or the unusual buah keluak babka loaf from patissier Maxine Ngooi.  

The SFF 2021 has also partnered with Klook to bring us Secret Suppers where participants can sample secret menus in restaurants around Singapore on special dine-in dates along with other culinary experiences!

Continue to indulge your gastronomic desires amid the pandemic and head over to to enjoy the Singapore Food Festival 2021 from 27 Aug – 12 Sept 2021.

Photo credit: Singapore Food Festival  

New This Fortnight News

New This Fortnight: 16/8/21

Photo: Samuel Pereira/Unsplash

This month, despite the dampening effects of Covid, we continue to see innovation and new initiatives in the event industry.

In optimistic Covid news, Rail Technology Magazine affirms the reduced environmental impact of virtual events: where a live 1,000-person conference produces 145,000 kg of CO2, the equivalent of driving 364,414 miles, the same conference held online would reduce C02 emissions by over 95%, to just 682kg.  Full story here.

Photo: PR Week

Creative agency Ogilvy came up with a viral idea to celebrate the 10-year-anniversary of Swedish furniture retailer Ikea’s loyalty programme.  They’ve bottled the scent of Ikea so that US members of the programme can win a “Store in a Box” hamper containing a limited edition candle that will make their house smell, no, not like new furniture, but like Swedish meatballs!  Read more here.

Photo: TTRWeekly

On the other side of the globe, Centara Hotels & Resorts, Thailand’s leading hotel operator,  has launched an introductory events package for Centara Mirage Resort Mui Ne – an entertainment resort and MICE destination in South Central Vietnam.  The resort’s facilities allow companies to host corporate events and team building activities on its well-appointed grounds including a ballroom that can fit 720 attendees and an outdoor space with a 220 guest capacity.  Find out more.

Photo: Noriko Hayashi/Bloomberg

And finally, event technology breathed some new life into the 2021 Olympic Games with a huge 55-meter wide display floating in Sagami Bay to provide a real-time video feed of Olympic sailing races.  The opening ceremony also boasted a now popular gimmick: a light show performed by 1,824 LED-equipped Intel drones.  Read more here.


How virtual author events proved to be both a boon and a brain teaser for a New York bookstore

While book sales spiked during Covid lockdowns in the state of New York, not every independent bookstore reported similar sales figures. Positive sales figures could be attributed to an increase in readership during a time when most were stuck at home but with most purchases of books going online, readers tended to choose the easiest and cheapest option – dare we say it – Amazon. 

Like many independent booksellers, New York’s Strand Bookstore turned to virtual meet-the-author events to keep its customers engaged, reported Business Insider in August. Despite the benefits of the format, Sabir Sultan, Events Director of the bookstore told Insider, “At the end of the day, virtual events are great but they lack the excitement of an in-person event.”

As the state reopens Mr Sultan has resumed planning in-house events with attendees required to provide proof of vaccination, but is also quick to point out that they remain flexible and are ready to pivot to virtual events should the need arise.

Such news suggests that in-house events are crucial to an independent bookseller’s sales strategy and the value of an in-store event cannot be underestimated because it allows customers to purchase a signed copy of a book and meet the author and fellow fans.

It seems the true challenge is how they can leverage on the reach a virtual event provides while creating a truly intimate experience that results in the same kinship we feel in a physical space, as well as, of course, purchases.

Adapted from:

Photo credit: Hatice Yardım on Unsplash

Event Service Professional

Space Objekt

“Each installation comes with its own set of challenges. 

When working with light, we usually create a scaled mock up to ensure everything is working the way I envision. We are always building prototypes, but this is not always a guarantee that our research will work for the actual installation. Usually we go with past experiences and instincts on what we feel will work. 

I like clean lines and repetition of form: they create a sense of unity throughout the work. I enjoy working with materials like mirrors and light as they’re both great mediums that have the ability to disrupt our perception of our environment. I love being able to expand space through form and finishes.

I’m really drawn to the audiences’ reactions and what I find the most rewarding about this is seeing how they perceive and feel the space!  

The pandemic affected our work in the sense that we were not able to work with our typical production processes. On the flip side, however, the pandemic has taught me how to work remotely which we have done successfully and will continue with some exciting  projects we have upcoming in Dubai, Los Angeles and Romania.

We are beyond excited to have the opportunity to have two permanent installations at the Aquarium at the Boardwalk in Branson, Missouri.  We were commissioned to create two mirrored art installations that give the sense of infinite ocean life.

One of my most memorable experiences was being able to talk about my personal journey and ideas at a TedX about the importance of shareable art through social media. I want to see art thrive. When art thrives, art grows. When art grows, it inspires, making it relevant to today.”

Tina Fung

Space Objekt

Services provided: Installation artist, Set Designer, Spatial designer


3rd photo by: Irving Neil Kwok


National Day 2021

Happy National Day to all those in Singapore!  This year, if you would like to catch some of the festivities, you can enjoy a ceremonial parade that will stream on the official NDPeeps Facebook and Youtube accounts from 9am to 9:45am.

If you’re lucky, you may even catch the two Chinook helicopters carrying the Singapore flag as they fly across the island following the ceremony.  

In the evening, enjoy National Day activities at the Singapore Discovery Centre in Joo Koon or a National Day concert commencing at Gardens by the Bay at 8pm!  You can also watch the show on Channel 5 or meWatch.

Looking for some stunning evening sights?  You can enjoy a light-up of seven historic buildings for the rest of this month from 7:30pm to midnight.  Buildings include the National Museum of Singapore, National Design Centre and The Cathay.  

And of course, on 21st August, we’ll all be treated to the National Day Parade 2021.

Most of all, stay safe and enjoy the public holiday and better days to come!


Tips for the Virtual Stage

There have been many differing opinions on virtual events but one thing everyone seems to agree on is that the digital stage will remain commonplace.

Here are some pointers:

Provide a range of topics

Variety is the spice of life. With a mix of topics and storytelling formats you are more likely to keep the attendee who’s sitting on his couch from dozing off. Event planners should ask themselves: am I going to use a more visuals-centric presentation, a discussion-based approach or a mix of both?

Keeping things concise.

The very devices that make virtual events possible work against us when event sessions seem endless. Your audience is mobile, unlike the captive kind in a ballroom. Keep sessions to about 30 mins and limit the entire event to 2hrs.

The moderator aka the host.

Emcees are great at keeping audiences engaged and making the event feel more cohesive. Sometimes event organizers may pick someone from within the organization. Ultimately, the individual should be well-spoken and well versed on the topics of the event. It would not hurt if the camera loves the person too.

Plan for transitions

Don’t keep your audience guessing. Guide them through the segments of your event through visuals or use the skills of your host to keep them engaged while you prepare for the next session.

Graphics and visuals

Drop the text heavy PowerPoint slides. Use a good combination of visual storytelling, graphics and the entertainment value of a good host.

Online interaction

While it is impossible to replace physical presence and interaction using online quizzes, polls and Live Q&A can help you and your audience get to know each other. Ensure you have someone filtering questions and try to keep your click-based interactions simple.

The closing segment

You have kept their attention; don’t just cut them loose at the end. Provide a quick recap of the event to reinforce your message. Also consider sending a thank you message to your participants as this can help continue conversations.

Adapted from:

Photo credit: Chris Montgomery on Unsplash

Event Service Professional

Kyle Ravin

“I was hosting a three day conference with delegates from across Asia Pacific. Spending three days on stage with a crowd of 1000 builds massive rapport – the crowd was pumped, energised and the most responsive crowd I had ever worked.

At the end of the event, I was set to do my mass participative finale and one of the bosses took over the mic and gave credit to me, the emcee for the event.  The crowd started chanting my name over and over again. I felt so thankful that I started crying on stage. 

I spoke into the microphone and told them how lucky I was to be able to entertain such an amazing crowd and broke down even more. At that moment, the universe told me… THIS IS IT! THIS IS THE CALLING. I love what I do!

That show was one of the most memorable events and will go down with my team as “The show Kyle cried at”.

My journey in showbiz started when I was 7. I was actively starring in school productions, picked up magic as a hobby and enjoyed the rare opportunity I had to get on TV. I realise now that I was an awkward kid who faced bullying in my lower Primary days. Performance art became my outlet and tool to express myself.  

Eventually I started doing magic professionally and landed my first breakthrough TV gig when I was 17.  I continued as a magician for a few more years until an event organiser offered me the chance to host a show. Naturally I weaved in my magic and it clicked! There was no turning back… I started hosting more gigs and finding my approach to officiating events with magic subtly weaved in. 

I love that for that brief moment, you’re able to take your audience on a journey. They forget their problems and inhibitions and experience true joy with laughter and entertainment. Seeing happy faces invigorates the performer and just makes them want to give more. It’s a cycle of positive vibes being exchanged!”

Name: Kyle Ravin – The People’s Emcee

Services provided: Hosting/Emcee Services


Euro 2020 – The Planning

It has been 5 days since the kick off of the 2021 edition of the Euro football tournament and this has given live football fans a reason to cheer. The tournament spells the return of live spectators to major sporting events. Here’s a look at how the organisers are pulling it off. 

  • It is the first major sporting event hosted by cities in 11 countries. 
  • Hosting the tournament in multiple countries has allowed fans to be closer to the action without having to travel to one particular destination.
  • This has spread the cost of hosting the event over different economies while allowing them a shot in the arm because of local tourism spend.
  • Fixtures had to be planned carefully to prevent players from having to travel extensively.
  • Bio-secure bubbles in all 11 cities had to be created.
  • All but one stadium is operating at a reduced seating capacity ranging from 22-50%.
  • Teams of 26 players were allowed to be registered instead of the usual 23 in case of any COVID infection.
  • Press conferences are conducted via online mediums.
  • Fans accessing stadiums must have had a negative COVID test or proof of vaccination.

This is a great experiment on how a large-scale sporting event can be safely managed in this pandemic and the future because it allows for maximum participation and attendance. And for some of us who have already planned events using the Spoke-and-Hub method, where one main event is connected with smaller satelite events held elsewhere, the EURO 2020 is quite similar but to the tune of US$400 million. Faint!

For a more detailed read visit:


Covid-19 Antigen Rapid Test

What used to be pre-event cocktails may now become pre-cocktail Covid testing with the advent of several antigen rapid test (ART) kits for consumers on the Singapore market.  

We testdrove the Panbio Covid-19 Antigen Self-Test made by Abbott to see how suitable it would be for use before events.  The kit, sold at selected pharmacies (we got ours from Guardian) has 10 swab tests in it.  

The pharmacist ran through the process briefly with us pre-purchase and reminded us to put aside about half an hour for the process, as well as not to carry it out in strong sunlight.

The process was fairly basic:

  • Prepare a swab and fill a test tube with a buffer liquid
  • The swab must be inserted about 2cm into each nostril (until resistance is felt) and swirled 5 times on each side
  • Then the swab is swirled in the buffer liquid in the test tube and the tip of the swab is broken off and left in the tube
  • At this point, one can open the test kit.  Ensuring no bubbles in the test tube, one can open the bottom cap of the test tube and drip 5 drops of the liquid into the test kit well.
  • The dye will proceed to spread across the test window but 15 minutes (and not more than 20 minutes) must elapse before the test can be read.
  • The control line (C) shows that the test is working.  If there is a pink test line (T) the result must be considered positive, even if the line is faint.  The tester should proceed to seek medical attention immediately.

Our tester reported that the test was fairly convenient and quick.  Owing to his sensitive nose he sneezed a couple of times after withdrawing the swab, but apart from that, found the process painless.  

At the relatively more reasonable cost of $10 – $13 a test, such ARTs may be the way to go for quick pre-event testing in the future!


Arts Outreach: Into Softer Worlds

We may be alone in P2HA but there are still ways we can create community art.

In May this year, the fourth edition of Art Encounters arrived at the Marina Central district with an array of activities showcasing textile art and allowing the public to add their own creations.

Art Outreach, an education non-profit organisation that aims to promote art appreciation in Singapore, launched Art Encounters in 2020 in partnership with the Singapore Tourism Board.  The initiative comprises a mobile artist’s studio and gallery housed within three repurposed shipping containers – this way, the exhibits can travel around Singapore, allowing people to come into contact with art even as they go about their daily lives.

In this vein, Into Softer Worlds, which celebrates textiles created through various methods including weaving, knitting and crochet, is held across four locations: Marina Square, Millenia Singapore, South Beach and Suntec City.

At Millenia Walk, the public can view a rotation of textile works, observe an artist at work in a popup free-weaving studio and even try weaving for themselves on a Japanese floor loom.  The textiles produced will be added to the exhibition as part of a collective tapestry – there have already been over 25 metres of brand new textile art added!

There is also a welcome gallery in Marina Square and other specially commissioned outdoor art installations around South Beach and Suntec City.

Said a spokesman for Art Outreach, “We loved the idea of having the public not only learn about the techniques through hands-on experience but also having them express themselves and connect with others by contributing to a community tapestry.  We hope that Into Softer Worlds allows visitors to experience a sense of community in a time when we have to isolate ourselves.”

Into Softer Worlds will run daily from 11am to 8pm until 27 June 2021.