The Peranakan Courtyard | Festivalisation at Singapore EXPO

Peranakan Courtyard by Singapore EXPO
Peranakan Courtyard by Singapore EXPO.
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Have you been to Singapore EXPO in recent months? Say, for shows such as Pet Expo 2024 and last week’s Food & Hotel Asia – Food & Beverage (FHA-Food & Beverage 2024)?

If you have, I’m sure you’ve noticed various changes at and about Singapore’s largest MICE facility. For example, MarketPlace @ Expo, a vibrant food park, just opened outside Hall 5. Singapore EXPO is also increasingly the exhibition venue of choice for lifestyle events like Artbox Singapore.

If you visited FHA-Food & Beverage 2024 last week, you probably would have also seen a cool, Peranakan-inspired pavilion outside Hall 4. Titled the Peranakan Courtyard and conceptualised in collaboration with The Intan, the pop-up ran from Apr 23 to 26 and was a highlight of Singapore EXPO’s festivalisation-as-a-service offering. The Peranakan Courtyard welcomed over 1,700 visitors across 3 days with a unique experience that included live music, fun activities, and mouth-watering Peranakan cuisine.

Khoo Yew Jin, VP, Brand & Customer Experience at Constellar,* said. “At Singapore EXPO, we are committed to elevating our customers’ event experiences with tailor-made activations that captivate, inspire, and enliven. As part of our festivalisation-as-a-service offering, we collaborate with partners to reimagine traditional tradeshows and usher in a new era of events that come with engaging and immersive experiences.”

As mentioned, the themed space was conceptualised together with EXPO Advantage Program partner, The Intan. The EXPO Advantage Program is a suite of exclusive privileges for Singapore EXPO exhibitors, curated to enhance delegate and visitor experience as well as facilitate easier marketing of events.

The Intan, on the other hand, is what travel sites would describe as a Singaporean “best-kept” travel secret—an award-winning home museum at Joo Chiat Terrace renowned for its extensive collection of Peranakan antiques. At the Peranakan Courtyard, visitors were able to enjoy a curated selection of Peranakan artifacts on display and learn more about Singaporean Peranakan history and culture.

“The Intan’s role as a partner within the EXPO Advantage Program gave us the opportunity to curate a multifaceted, memorable experience for all event attendees,” said Alvin Yapp, Founder of The Intan. “The integration of authentic Peranakan artifacts and cultural elements into the Peranakan Courtyard enabled us to curate a unique and unforgettable experience which served as a gateway for foreign delegates to deeply immerse themselves in the rich tapestry of Peranakan culture.”

Singapore EXPO x The Intan Collaboration
The Intan founder Alvin Yapp explaining Peranakan culture to FHA-Food & Beverage 2024 attendees at the Peranakan Courtyard
Peranakan Courtyard Experience at FHA-Food & Beverage 2024
Yummy Peranakan delights served at the Peranakan Courtyard experience. [Picture by Singapore EXPO]
Peranakan Culture at Singapore EXPO
Some of the Peranakan artifacts on showcase.

Leveraging Singapore EXPO’s Suite of Partners

Of note, the Peranakan Courtyard experience also leveraged Singapore EXPO’s extensive suite of lifestyle and event support partners such as District Brewers, a local brewery. Visitors were able to get a taste of the Gula Melaka Gateway Nitro, a beer specially crafted for Singapore EXPO’s 25th Year Anniversary – a milestone that the venue is celebrating this year. FHA-Food & Beverage 2024was the first time Singapore EXPO unveiled the Gula Melaka Gateway Nitro to the public and it will be exclusively served at Singapore EXPO’s future events.

Gula Melaka Gateway Nitro Beer by Singapore EXPO.
The Gula Melaka Gateway Nitro. The gula melaka taste in this smooth brew is wonderfully fragrant and “Asian.”

Said Janice Lee, Event Director of Hospitality, Food & Beverage – Singapore, Informa Markets.** “As an event organiser, FHA-Food & Beverage understands the networking needs of our participants. With exhibitors and buyers coming together for this event, our aim was to provide a dynamic platform for business opportunities – hence, the significance of a networking space.”

“This is the second time we are collaborating with Singapore EXPO on a similar activation, and their attentiveness to our requirements mirrors last year’s success. The Peranakan Courtyard was designed to elevate participants’ experiences, offering a space where they could network and have a good time simultaneously.”

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The Peranakan Courtyard follows the success of Beer Yard @ FHA-Food & Beverage in 2023, which saw over 1,000 delegates utilising the space for networking outside Singapore EXPO’s event halls. Singapore EXPO’s bespoke festivalisation-as-a-service offering also allows event organisers to craft a dynamic environment beyond traditional meeting rooms and event halls, thus enhancing the vibrancy of events and enriching the overall visitor experience.

* Constellar manages Singapore EXPO and is Asia’s preferred partner for convening businesses, curating ideas, and creating opportunities for sustainable business growth and global impact.

** FHA-Food & Beverage is organised by Informa Markets, a division of Informa plc. Informa is a global business intelligence and exhibitions group based in London, with products and services aimed at creating platforms for industries and specialist markets to trade, innovate, and grow. As the venue provider for FHA, Singapore EXPO worked with Informa to incorporate festivalisation into the tradeshow to curate the alternative, unique event venue experience at Peranakan Courtyard.

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The Peranakan Courtyard | Festivalisation at Singapore EXPO
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The Peranakan Courtyard | Festivalisation at Singapore EXPO
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Singapore EXPO integrates “festivalisation” into FHA-Food & Beverage 2024 with the Peranakan Courtyard experience.
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