CEO Corporate Retreat Chiang Mai 2016

Projects: Event Projects

Event Title / Theme: "Play" - Playing drives Creativity which is essential for Innovation
Event Date: February 2016
Venue: Four Seasons Resort Chiang Mai
Location: Chiang Mai, Thailand (Rose of the North)
Number of Attendees: 50
Attendee Profile: CEO's & Business Owners

Executive Retreat in Northern Thailand

50 CEO’s PLAY in Chiang Mai.

Arriving on a Thursday and departing the following Sunday afternoon, this event brought together 50 regional CEO’s of multinational companies to explore “Play”. The theme was inspired by the notion that Play is essential to develop creativity which, in turn, is essential to innovate.

This executive retreat in northern Thailand was hosted at Four Seasons Resort Chiang Mai with relevant off-sites to Chiang Mai city and surrounding areas included in the package.

Outline Agenda

  • Thursday
    • Dinner: Welcome Dinner at a private dinner within the host venue.
    • After Dinner: Alfresco fireside group chats with hampers.
  • Friday
    • Friday Early Morning: Muay Thai & Yoga (Optional)
    • Friday Daytime: Private Meetings & Innovation Think Tanks
    • Friday Evening: Farm-t0-Table Offsite Dinner with Celebrity Chef, Live Band & Entertainment
  • Saturday
    • Morning: Innovation Workshop & Practical Exercise @ Makerspace
    • Lunch: Gourmet buffet lunch created by talented caterers and served in the warehouse
    • Afternoon: CEO’s split into working groups and sent out into the city to do market research about “the issue” before coming together to present workable solutions.
    • Evening: Private Themed Cocktail Reception & BBQ Dinner with interactive traditional northern Thai craft market arranged at the venue. After dinner talk presented by regional airline CEO.
  • Sunday
    • Early Morning: Optional morning Bike ride
    • Morning: Group Presentations & Wrap up
    • Lunch: A buffet lunch was served in a private venue at Four Seasons Resort Chiang Mai.
    • Afternoon: Private airport transfers were arranged according to the flight schedules of all attendees.

Corporate Retreat Event Planning

Planning got underway with assessing:

  1. Expectations & Objectives of all stakeholders involved in the event
  2. Desired Outcomes & Takehomes (What will be learned and what can attendees take home & implement in their day-to-day professional, family & personal lives)
  3. Draft Agenda
  4. Host Venue shortlist
  5. Shortlist of suitable Guest Speakers

Spouses were also invited to this event so a separate spouse program needed to be planned & implemented. This track also had to be in keeping with the overall event theme.

F&B had to be exceptional with pre-planned and approved menus. We also needed to cater for dietary requirements given the cultural diversity of the group. With wine connoisseurs in attendance, beverage was also in the spotlight.

Event Services Provided

This retreat was a full service event management project to take the delegates on a memorable journey to explore “Play” in Chiang Mai. Success depended on meticulous pre event planning, working closely with all partners to ensure that moving parts would be in sync.

Event Management

ZiZ Asia provided full service event management for this Chiang Mai corporate retreat including Venue Management, Logistics & Transport, Production, Event Entertainment, Collateral, Event Photography & Video Production (including drone), Corporate Gifts, Off-site Activities & Bleisure arrangements. A Spouse also needed to be implemented.

  • Theme Development – The chosen theme for the event was “Play” and the focus “Creativity & Innovation”.
  • Venue Management – Host resort, off-site “Farm-to-Table” alfresco dinner, warehouse workshop, spouse program visits. All equipment & catering required within each.
  • Transport – Arrival & departure airport transfers as required. Ground transport throughout the event for off-sites and spouse program.
  • Event Staff – The event was executed with just 3 event staff members on-site. We managed a variety of local teams who helped where and when required.
  • Equipment Logistics – We dispatched one van from Bangkok packed with equipment & supplies that could not be sourced in Chiang Mai.
  • Production & AV – We appointed a local production house to work with us for all production and AV requirements.
  • Event Entertainment – All sourced in Chiang Mai including live bands, a “Nang Wat” (Thai “Temple Fair”), and Lanna dinner which featured an interactive, traditional Thai craft market where attendees could get involved and make things.
  • Event Collateral – Included digital flyer graphic design, banners & signage, digital backdrops, themed T-Shirts & baseball caps, unbleached linen reusable & branded tote bags, themed name badges & branded lanyards. A daily room drop delivered a bespoke gift & branded agenda to each guest room.
  • Photography & Videography – Working with local partners, we delivered a complete photo documentary of the retreat and a highlights video with drone footage.

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50 CEO's of multinational companies with offices in Southeast Asia descended on Chiang Mai, northern Thailand, for a 3-night executive retreat. We were tasked with end-to-end event management including theme & agenda development and an off-site alfresco dinner party. For the attendees, the objective was that they leave the retreat with actionable take-homes that they could implement in the business, family or personal lives. Time needed to be allocated for networking and fun as well as learning.


Potential venues were shortlisted at our offices in Bangkok before scheduling site visits. We completed two site visits prior to the event to finalize venues, off-site excursions, evening parties & entertainment, transport schedules (the agenda had to be seamless from arrival in Chiang Mai to departure), locally produced promotional goods that were sustainable and wouldn't be thrown away, and local visionary & luminary speakers who would be championing the "Play > Creativity > Innovation" theme.

Dietary requirements also needed to be managed with a diversity of dietary requirements to be attended to. These needed to be clearly communicated to all catering teams featured in the agenda (hotel, evening caterers for the party, local caterers for the play seminar etc". We also created picnic hampers and curated a beverage list to reflect the theme.


We were commissioned to produce this event by an Organisation that represents global CEO's and all their events are graded by each attendee with the highest score being "10". With both local and regional business leaders invited to speak and a theme that invited fun whilst learning, the event achieved a score of 9/10.

We worked very closely with all venues & local vendors involved in the event, going through all aspects of the agenda in minute detail to ensure the agenda unraveled seamlessly.

This was a fun event to work on as the location instilled a sense of calm & relaxation among all attendees and the learning was particularly poignant by focusing on a very real issue facing Chiang Mai on an annual basis and asking top level attendees to join forces and work on presenting a real-world solution.

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