Restrictions across Asia

The ASEAN region has seen various restrictions put in place to curb transmission of the Covid-19 virus. We take a look at how some countries are coping.


  • Social gatherings have been reduced to two
  • Event attendees cut from 250 – 100 with pre-event testing
  • Group sizes will be capped at 2 except for wedding receptions where 5 pax per table are allowed
  • Events without pre-testing are capped at 50 pax
  • No dine-in at F&B outlets


  • Plans to ease restrictions have been made for those who have been fully vaccinated
  • Travel beyond the 10km radius limit and dine-in at restaurants remain banned under the full movement order in most states


  • Nationwide ban on public gatherings
  • Fully vaccinated tourists are allowed to visit Phuket where most residents have been vaccinated
  • Islands of Samui, Tao and Phangan have also been opened to visitors


  • Curbs of movement still are in place
  • Malls have been shut and dining in is banned
  • Wedding receptions can be held with a max of 30 people without dining in
  • Public transport may operate with a maximum of 70% capacity


  • Travel bans to and from Malaysia, Thailand, Indonesia and South Asia
  • Shelter-at-home and movement curbs are in place in Metro Manila till July 31st
  • Gyms, salons, barbershops, tourist attractions and meeting venues will be shut
  • Social gatherings in homes are banned

Sources: Al-Jazeera, Channel News Asia, South China Morning Post, The Straits Times

Image credit: Jeffrey Czum

Event Service Professional

First Dance Studio

“Dance is such a good addition to events because the attention is most caught when one is entertained.  

These days, if you look at company events or small events like weddings, product launches or even seminars, most of them are accompanied by some sort of entertainment that is customised to the company’s value, vision or message.

One of the best ways to do so is by having a dynamic, energetic team on stage to warm up the audience and deliver the message to them before the event starts.  

One of our most memorable experiences was taking part in AIA’s corporate client’s appreciation event as it was our first commercial show in early 2019 when the company was expanding.  We performed the martini cup dance, which is inspired by Dita Von Teese.  We were extremely blessed as it caught the attention of Zouk Singapore who then also became one of our working clients. 

Because of Covid, we are not able to open for business as our main clientele in events and shows cannot open either. However, we are now able to brand and market our company and have the time to explore, experiment and structure digital content and services.

With 5G technology almost available to consumers, we also foresee a huge overhaul for events in the near future. Covid-19 has forced many in the creative, fitness and entertainment industry to adapt to creative ways to engage their audience. While live events are still best experienced “live”, future technology will definitely bring forth new ways!

Moving forward, we will continue to pivot and roll out new services in the digital world with our core vision and mission in mind. That is, to help people with little to no background in performing have a memorable experience for their special event or day.”

Sherman Foo and Desirie Zhao
First Dance Studio

Event Service Professional


“When Covid hit our shores, there were several opportunities to pivot to online events. My last event with a physical crowd was in mid March. By the end March, I was already doing online hosting which has carried on through the circuit breaker and even today. 

I’m very blessed. My radio training days back then taught me well – to have endless creativity and the ability to create a theatre of imagination. These skills engage listeners with little more than words and sounds. So, online “LIVE” visual events are even easier for me – I can elicit the desired response from my audience with visual cues and body language!

My interest in hosting came about when I was with FM 100.3 radio training during my university days. I became a banker for five years after graduation but out of passion, I was hosting friends and relatives wedding celebrations on weekends. When more and more hosting jobs referrals came flooding in, my business mind knew that this was a sunrise industry. I decided to take a leap of faith and stepped into full-time hosting.  

The events and entertainment industry is very fast-paced. We have to be in tune with the latest trends, news and even fashion sense. 

There are 3 important factors that I work on to improve and practise my craft.  Firstly, sustainability – a skill or idea that worked several years back might not work now. We need to be always thinking, then producing and turning new, imaginative ideas into reality on stage.

Next, wellness. As hosts, we dictate the mood of the event and have to look good and healthy on stage. A professional host is about the whole package.

Finally, branding.  Keep working on creating your own brand. Maintaining your uniqueness is important!” 

Emcee Sylvia

Event Service Professional

Kelly Loh

“My favourite part of my job is seeing how my voice and body language can interact with, move, entertain and bring joy and comfort to the audience while contributing to the success of an event. It pushes me to learn new things across various topics and industries so that I can best present the information given to me; I’m always learning something new!

In my first job as a community engagement executive in the Restroom Association (Singapore), I had to conduct assembly talks about 3 times a week to schools all around Singapore, encouraging them to practise good toilet etiquette. 

I must have done hundreds of such talks in my two years there! I started to seek out hosting opportunities and would do so as a volunteer for other non-profit organisations, in small scale community events and for friends’ weddings.

Covid-19 has made it challenging for everyone in the events industry. As emcees, we have to adapt to presenting in virtual/hybrid events, working the camera and interacting with the online audience when we cannot see their physical response. 

As a new mum, I definitely appreciate online events more during this period as I have the opportunity to work from home where I am nearer to my baby. 

However, as with everyone else’s WFH situation, it is challenging to manage the needs of individual family members (especially a baby!) while working when all of us are in the same space. I too, need the help of my spouse and family members to attend to my baby so that I can be undisturbed when hosting from home.  

My advice to those interested in this industry would be: listen, to understand first, before giving any reply; know that your words have power and be empathetic to your audience and client. Enrich yourself by reading and listening widely; write, so that you can learn to have clarity in thought. When preparing for shows and during hosting, take your time, but don’t waste your time.”

Kelly Loh

“My mother noticed that I was very expressive since kindergarten – I could memorise the entire Lion King script and had my toys re-enact the movie while voice acting for each character – and sent me for speech and drama lessons during my primary school years.”

Event Service Professional

Jeremy Yeo TM

“During the beginning days of my emcee career, I experienced a great sense of insecurity.  I’d question my self-worth when a client picked another emcee, or I’d be jealous that someone else got a job which I wasn’t available for. 

However over the years, I’ve met many big-hearted and generous industry peers who’d share their shows with me, give me tips on how to improve my craft and even support me at my shows. That was how I had a mindset shift to share the love too. Even right now, when a client picks another emcee, I’d be genuinely happy for them, because the ultimate importance is having them get the most suitable candidate for the project. 

I reckon some best moments are when I get to share the stage with celebrities.  Actually the best moments are when we are backstage, seeing the human side of being a celeb. And I can vouch for them, many of these celebs, DJs, singers, artists are VERY PLEASANT and FRIENDLY off stage. 

My worst moment though: once I had a pimple on my chin. I applied concealer and another layer of foundation right before hosting a corporate team-building dinner.  However, minutes before I had to go on the mic, the pimple popped and the blood couldn’t stop flowing! Thankfully one of the part timers had a plaster on him. And yes, I had to keep the plaster on throughout the entire show. 

I cannot pinpoint one particular event that I’m proudest of, but generally, being able to pull off a massive event – backed by an amazing team of Event Organisers, AV Crew, Stage Hands, etc will spark an incredible sense of achievement. The best reward to that would be to get the job again the next year!” 

Jeremy Yeo TM

“Be nice to everyone. You may be the one on stage and in the limelight, but it takes a TEAM off stage to run the show WITH you.”

We were moved by Emcee Jeremy’s story on our newest post today!

Event Service Professional

Jackie Lin

“When I left my job as a financial planner to be an emcee, one of the seniors in the industry asked me: what kind of emcee do you want to be? 

I pictured a successful event: I saw people gathered in a crowd, drinking, laughing, cheering and most importantly, smiling genuinely.  I saw the participants thank me for helping them make it happen. So I told myself that THAT would be the crowd I wanted to create. However, I forgot about that until I hosted a friend’s company’s D&D later that year. 

It was a tough crowd to manage and quite a rough evening. However, as the night went on, I was able to rally them into high spirits, merrymaking and having fun with each other. My worries were eased as the CEO said it was “the most energetic and enthusiastic participation” she had seen from her staff. After I closed the show, the committee members came up to me excitedly and thanked me for hosting their event. 

It was then that I recalled my early aim. The feelings and emotions were exactly the ones I had imagined and I felt I had achieved a milestone in my fledgling career.

I’ve been very fortunate to have parents who do not worry about my career and leave me to build one for myself. My girlfriend has been most supportive and encouraging, even though I was making next to nothing in the early days.

Aside from the tight wallet before I had a steady stream of jobs, one of the struggles was to establish a presence in the industry.  As a greenhorn, it was tough to find opportunities as I had no showreel. Most jobs came by because the first and second choices were unavailable, so they became extra valuable as I had to set a good first impression and collect footage to promote myself. 

There are 2 aspects to any endeavour: skills and business.  With skills, I would encourage an enthusiast to find or create a role model so they have an ideal to strive towards, instead of growing aimlessly. We must know our purpose so we can deliver excellence and more!

As for business, I tell my mentees to take any opportunity possible to make new friends and connections, even if it’s just a hi-and-bye relationship. As the cliché goes: Your network is your net worth.”

Jackie Lin (Emcee Jacks)

“The best moments I love are the moments when I come up with a clever joke that gets my audience to burst out laughing”.  Check out the rest of @emceejack ‘s story in our newest post!

Event Service Professional

Rizal K

“My love for music and entertainment led me into the nightlife industry. It has since been 20 years of DJ-ing! Eventually, being a perfectionist led me into backstage work as I like to make sure everything runs smoothly. 

4 years ago, I founded Pandemic. At Pandemic, we have a collective of DJs for hire, sound system and lights for rental and a 24 hours jamming studio for DJs to have a space to practice when they have a creative spark. 

My proudest moment is sharing the console with US DJ Cashmoney at Zouk Singapore. When l was taking over from DJ Cashmoney, we were using 2 different consoles and 2 different mixers. He and l had to be very careful when mixing my music onto his. When l fully turned up my volume, he cut his. From our booth, it sounded perfect! We were so happy, we cheered and high-fived each other. Suddenly we realized the whole dance floor was just standing around and the crowd was booing at us. We stood there in shock, not knowing what went wrong.

Then, the tech guys rushed in, did a quick check and found out that the master volume was completely turned down. Only then did we realize that DJ Cashmoney’s headphone cable had gotten caught with the master volume knob by accident! We both had a very good laugh.

Music is always evolving. And as a DJ, l need to follow what’s current to cater to the crowd even though it might not be to my liking. 

As with any other trade, there are bound to be market spoilers. Throughout my 20 years, I have been affected many times by these people be it in DJ-ing or events set up. However, it is with hard work, dedication and always performing at my best that l’ve managed to make it through without having to bring my value down.”

Rizal K aka DJ Raw

Event Service Professional

Jane Woon

“One of my big struggles has been being a woman in the entertainment industry. In particular, there’s a lot of misjudgement of female DJs – often, female DJs are judged by their looks rather than their quality or skill set. To counter it, I always try to keep myself updated with the latest news and knowledge. Also, I love to patch my own equipment because it enables me to be independent and troubleshoot any issues on my own even if there aren’t any sound assistants on-site.

I love what I do because every event is a brand new adventure! I’ve had amazing moments like getting to be one of the music directors of the SEA Games in 2015 and the 8th ASEAN Para Games and I’ve also had experiences at the other end of the spectrum – once I played in a venue which had a power failure almost every ten minutes!”

Jane Woon / DJ Cherish

1) What kind of misjudgment of Females DJs would you like to highlight?
Often, female DJs have been judged by their looks rather than their quality and skillset.

2) what have you done to counter it, or how have you stay positive in the face of it?
I would always try to keep myself updated with the latest news and knowledge. Personally, I love to patch my own equipments. This enables me to troubleshoot any occurring  issues and at the same time, be independent on my own even if there isn’t any sound assistants on site available.

For 8th ASEAN PARA GAMES (Hockey) & 28th SEA Games 2015 (Squash). Each dj was in-charge of different games


Finding What’s Next Exhibition

Photographer Bob Lee’s photo exhibition, Finding What’s Next, is an intimate and important look at autistic youth who have left the santuary of education.  Through portraits of 12 young individuals with autism, Mr Lee explores the future and how individuals and their families struggle without a national support system.  The exhibit is also bolstered by stories produced by Lim Hwee Hwee and Sun Meilan.

The photos are dynamic, personal and often moving – in Mr Lee’s portrayal of 20-year-old Marcus who requires constant movement, there are touching pictures of Marcus and his father involved in activities together.  Many of the individuals are also depicted at work – showing how purpose and routine can help.  Alongside the photos, personal effects like notebooks or artwork are sometimes displayed.

Mr Lee not only worked on taking the photos but also came up with the overall look of the exhibition – with dark-blue painted walls and mood lighting to make the photographs pop.  He even closely monitored the set-up of the exhibition, saying, “I was there every day during the set-up and the installation guy thought I was a contractor!”

Perhaps most essential is what we do *after* viewing the exhibition.  In the video playing alongside the exhibit, Mr Lee explains why he created Finding What’s Next – not only does he want to urge family members of autistic youth to plan ahead so that they are able to support special needs family member in the future but also, crucially, raise awareness among neighbours and community members so that we can care, and take action.

Finding What’s Next is open all day at the Esplanade tunnel until 4 July 2021.

Event Service Professional

Derrick Tay

“Performing keeps me going!  I started when I was in school – initially I would perform for free and school is a good place to safely experiment and express oneself.  At about 15 years old, I had my first public performances and at 19 I had regular gigs at cafes and I also did emceeing!

When I was younger, my parents weren’t fully supportive because it didn’t seem practical. After NS, I went to LASALLE College of the Arts and studied Technical and Production Management for 5 weeks only; because I was still very much drawn to the performing arts, I transferred to a performing arts course in LaSalle instead.

Event performances are always on-going – I worked on mental health week recently, for instance, and though I’m a solo artist, I also have a pool of friends I can come together and work with.  

Performing keeps me going and before the circuit breaker, a partner and I decided to work together to put together a space that would be a safe space for like-minded creatives to inhabit.  Owning @sainouspace is not just about performing anymore but also about curation – I’m still learning how best to work with it but most importantly, it’s aligned to what we want to do.”

Derrick Tay
Performing Artiste

Look out for our upcoming feature on this one-of-a-kind arts space!