A 4-Day Myanmar corporate retreat for 50 senior executives that went from Yangon (Rangoon) to Bagan. Titled “Vision” the agenda explored the theme at regional, country, company & personal levels and was piqued with learning, team bonding & a series of bespoke experiences.
The Vision Perspective
Myanmar Corporate Retreat | 50 Senior Executives | 4-Days in Yangon & Bagan.
A four day Myanmar corporate retreat for senior executives in Yangon & Bagan during Q4, 2017. The agenda included conferences & workshops, exclusive offsite dinners, visiting a remote rural village, a sunset cocktail cruise, a hot air balloon flight & more. With most delegates well travelled in Southeast Asia, the program and agenda had to omit any mainstream travel-style experiences that could be booked independently, instead focusing on a fast-paced mix of learning and actionable take homes, infused with team bonding opportunities & exclusive experiences.
Arrival times were staggered throughout the day and with arrival times in-hand, airport transfers were provided to all delegates. Check-in & Registration, an off-sites to Schwedagon Pagoda & the official welcome dinner were the main highlights of the day. For early arrivals we arranged a choice of opt-in off-site activities designed to furnish attendees with insights into the local industry & arts scene.
The event welcome dinner was preceded by a group off-site to Schwedagon Pagoda with photos before continuing to the restaurant where private arrangements had been made together with an especially designed Burmese cuisine menu that catered for all dietary restrictions & requirements present.
The morning was spent off-site with a guest speaker giving insights into the Vision for Yangon; how the city is being developed to be unique, liveable and a social and economic asset for the nation. A local restaurant hosted lunch with the young restaurateur also delivering his vision from an SME angle.
The afternoon took the group back to the host venue for a conference with a line-up of leaders & luminary guest speakers. Having experienced local Yangon cuisine the night before, dinner on Day 2 was again off-site but this time showcasing the fast-emerging fine dining scene in the city, once again with an exclusive area for private dining & a menu designed specifically for the group.
An early checkout from the Yangon hotel & exit to Yangon airport for the domestic flight to Bagan. Met on-arrival by a small fleet of mini vans, the group were given a private potted history of Bagan’s Temples before arriving at a restaurant for lunch with a difference. A guest speaker was also invited to present insights into Bagan’s development & vision for the future.
The afternoon featured a field trip to a local village well away from the tourist trail which set the scene for the event’s challenge as well. Journeying back from the village to the host Bagan hotel by river cruiser, delegates were treated to sundown cocktails aboard a boat to themselves. Arriving back at the hotel, dinner was riverside & alfresco with local cuisine & entertainment.
No visit to Bagan, corporate or otherwise, is complete without the infamous hot air balloon experience and that is exactly how we started the final day with pre-flight coffee and champagne upon landing. Following breakfast back at the host hotel, a short wrap-up meeting was held before shuttling the group to the airport for their Yangon flight and onwards to their respective countries.
Event Services Provided
ZiZ Asia provided full service event management for this Myanmar Corporate Retreat including program design, venue management in Yangon & Bagan, design & creation of all collateral, logistics & transport (domestic flights were included in the event program), activities, entertainment, corporate gifts & more.
Bangkok-based, pre-event site visits were arranged to meet with all shortlisted local venues, vendors & suppliers & to perform dry-runs of the entire program & agenda to ensure that it would be entirely seamless from the arrival of the delegates to their departure. We also used these site visits to add fine tailoring to the program that included exclusive elements impossible to arrange through the mainstream.
We provided full service event management for this 4-day Myanmar corporate retreat with the first site visit taking place 9 months ahead of time. This advanced planning is critical for Myanmar where demand still outstrips supply in the hospitality sector. A 2nd site visit and dry run was scheduled a month out from the event during which final briefings were given to all vendors & suppliers.
Our objective was to achieve the event’s objective with as many “home grown” elements as possible. Working with all venues, restaurants & vendors all meals featured local (in most cases organic) produce and we sourced goodie bags for daily room drops and corporate gifts locally too.
The program included host venues in both Yangon & Bagan. We also arranged private dining at off-site restaurants for lunch & dinner each night bar the final night which was alfresco riverside at the Bagan host venue.
A private charter sunset cocktail cruise on the Ayeyarwady River and exclusive off-site visits to local businesses & heritage properties in Yangon as well as access to a remote rural village in Bagan, completed the venue portfolio experienced during the retreat.
The venue management challenge for us was to guarantee private exclusivity for the group. It is never too early to start planning and this is especially true for Myanmar events where early planning is essential in a country where demand in the hospitality industry still outstrips supply. By preparing months ahead of time, and working closely with our local network, we were able to build in a level of exclusivity that cannot be achieved via normal channels.
The entire program & agenda was designed around the “Vision” theme. From arrival to departure, delegates were taken on a journey that explored “Vision” from a regional, country, business & personal perspective via a blend of guest speakers & experiences.
We also designed and created a portfolio of event collateral for the event including a hardcopy event program, banners & signage, name badges, T-Shirts, Caps & more. Moving quickly from insights into redesigning your own vision to the vision of local entrepreneurs in Myanmar, the Yangon city vision to a remote rural village, the group were taken on a helter skelter through the demographic strata, ending at bird’s eye level gliding above the temple-studded plain of Bagan.
For this particular Myanmar corporate retreat event apps were not used and the onus was on ensuring good quality audio, particularly for the conference element on Day 2. Local SIM cards are however readily available in Yangon and incorporating an event app is perfectly feasible.
Throughout Myanmar today, expectations as far as event tech & AV is concerned, have to be managed. Yangon is seeing an ever increasing inventory of good quality AV to rent. Upcountry availability of highend equipment is still quite sparse. Basic lighting & portable PA systems are generally quite accessible. Power outages are frequent. Yangon venues tend to have their own generators but attendees should be prepared for a fickle power supply which can disrupt events.
With 2 very early morning starts, our client was keen to preserve the evenings for unique offsite venues, to showcase cuisine in Yangon & Bagan (both Burmese and international gastronomy), and to encourage deep bonding among the group. Hence our focus was in developing and implementing highly memorable experiences during the day whilst also ensuring that the evening programs were par excellence in terms of venue choice, service standards, F&B and ambiance.
The final night of the event was in Bagan. Delegates returned to the host hotel aboard a private sunset cocktail charter on the Ayeyarwady River. With time allocated to freshen up and change, Delegates arrived at the riverside lawn for the alfresco event dinner where musicians played traditional Burmese instruments. Almost 100 waiting staff, all traditionally costumed, delivered dinner service to the delegates in a procession with burning torches; traditional Bagan cuisine, broth carried in a cauldron by two men.
We arranged a small team of event photographers & videographers to accompany the event from start to finish, documenting each session from morning through to late evening each day. Post event our client was presented with a large gallery of event photos and a highlights event video too.
A critical element of any event, our client shared the photos and video with all attendees and archived for marketing future events.
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