By Kristie Thong

NAME OF EVENT National Electrical and Communications Association Conference
CLIENT National Electrical and Communications Association
VENUE The Westin Langkawi Resort & Spa, Malaysia
WHEN April 15-19, 2013
PAX 120
ORGANISER Flight Centre
BUDGET Undisclosed

Event overview

National Electrical and Communications Association (NECA), an Australia-wide association representing the interests of electro-technology industry contractors, held a five-day conference for its members to network and acquire knowledge of the latest trends in the field. Attendees arrived on April 15-16 and were given free rein to explore Langkawi and the resort. The conference kicked off on the 17th, consisting of two different conference schedules depending on the preference of the attendees, and the day ended with a welcome dinner. The conference officially ended on the 18th with a jungle-themed dinner organised by the resort. Attendees were able to further explore the island on the last day, and depart from Langkawi.

Execution

The Westin Langkawi Resort & Spa used all of its MICE facilities for the NECA Conference. The pool side was beautifully arranged for the welcome barbeque dinner, but the plan had to be scraped due to bad weather conditions and it was moved to the Lower Lobby instead.

The conference also involved a cooking workshop for a Master Chef Challenge, which the resort hosted at the Lower Lobby.
NECA requested for a health talk to be conducted at the Heavenly Spa, located on the beachfront. The event included the making of facial masks with natural ingredients, which was provided by the resort’s spa experts and concocted by the delegates, who were provided with recipes depending on their skin type. The Heavenly Spa was closed specially for this event, with only in-room spa treatments offered to other guests during the time.
Previously having discontinued its Jungle Fever Theme Gala dinner due to logistical reasons, The Westin Langkawi Resort & Spa reinstated it for NECA on the second evening of the conference as the theme brought out the true essence of Langkawi as a nature park.

Challenges & triumphs

The conference involved set-ups by third party vendors such as décor and floral arrangement supplier Darling Florist, sound and lighting company Low Frequency, and local entertainment company Gema Sari. A spokesperson for The Westin Langkawi Resort & Spa said working with several external parties showed the team’s capability to handle and communicate with not only the client but also other vendors involved.

One challenge the team at the resort faced was to convince NECA to host the welcome dinner on the sheltered Lower Lobby on account of bad weather. The initial preferred plan was to have the dinner by the pool side, which would boast a spectacular view of the Andaman Sea, but the team managed to convince them to take up the alternative.

Event feedback

NECA felt the team at the resort did an amazing job, particularly with the Jungle Fever Theme Gala Dinner, which was a highlight of the conference.
Among some lessons learnt, the resort’s spokesperson said it was imperative to always ask for the full itinerary and also if there are any third parties involved, and to always have a back-up plan available.

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