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Gala Dinner Event Activities and Entertainment Ideas to Engage Your Guests

By Gala

Gala dinners are an essential part of Singapore’s corporate and social landscape and are most popular for fundraising events, awards ceremonies and company celebrations. Planning such an event involves sourcing gala dinner entertainment ideas and activities which can be daunting!

I, Adrian Ang, with experience in the events and entertainment industry since 1999, am sharing wonderful insights into how to keep your gala dinner guests fully engaged. Keep reading to find out more!

Gala Activities and Games

Arrival Drinks Reception Entertainment

Most gala dinners start with an arrival drinks reception held in a separate room from the main function hall. This is the ideal opportunity for creating first impressions and setting the tone for the rest of the event. Picking the right entertainment from the beginning is vital!

Elegant soloists or duos playing music in the background works well for smaller gala dinner events while a low-key band could make a welcoming introduction to larger functions. Research shows that event background music elevates mood and unites people, encouraging a networking opportunity and guest interaction.

When incorporating background music at your arrival drinks reception, consider your gala dinner theme. Jazz bands are great for classical events while acoustic acts prepare your guests for a contemporary evening.

If you need more convincing about including entertainment at your arrival drinks reception, consider these statistics. According to a study done with 7,581 participants, listening to music:

  • Relaxed and made people feel happy within 13 minutes.
  • Boosts energy and mood levels within 9 minutes.

The power of background music is that it helps your guests to feel comfortable enough to interact with each other while creating an inviting ambience for the event from the start.

bands or instruments in Singapore, Alison Gabrielle

Dinner Entertainment Ideas

As your guests transition from the reception area to the gala dinner hall, you need to think about entertainment ideas that welcome them to the main event. While guests are being seated at their tables, you could have instrumental acts such as a pianist, string quartets or a harpist playing in the background.

When matching entertainment with dinner themes, consider the following:

  • Audio and visual equipment: Items such as microphones, sound systems and visual equipment ensure that your entertainment runs smoothly.
  • Lighting: Creating the right atmosphere is important, especially if you want to create a themed ambience. Lighting plays a big role here so make sure you get the experts to help you.
  • Staging: If you’re planning to use live acts for gala dinner themes such as masquerade or carnival events, staging is vital. Performers can do their job properly while guests won’t miss out on anything.

Opening acts can make or break your gala dinner and hiring the services of corporate live events experts can take the angst out of doing the abovementioned steps yourself!

Interactive entertainment is another excellent and fun way of engaging guests during the meal. Table-side magicians, interactive circus performers and drummers can all help to break the ice and encourage attendees to engage and enjoy the event.

Integrating entertainment and dining has been proven to create a memorable experience, embrace fun and laughter and build an upbeat and lively atmosphere. By successfully blending entertainment with the dining experience, you can rest assured your guests will remember your event for years to come!

3 Dec 2016 Dairyfarm 134

Evening Entertainment

Having post-dinner activities gives your guests the cue to get into party mode! Not only do these activities entertain your guests further but it energises the atmosphere for the rest of the event. Now is the time to bring out the dance band or DJs for lively entertainment while your guests spend the rest of the evening dancing the night away!

With over 1.5 billion people worldwide preferring to listen to dance music, you can’t go wrong with playing this genre after dinner. Consider using a live band or singer to keep the atmosphere alive!

Customised performances tailored to match the company’s values or event theme make for wonderful evening entertainment once dinner is done. Themed or bespoke shows are winners for such occasions.

Use the following steps to help you select and customise your gala dinner entertainment:

  • Stick with the theme: Tailor the acts to match with your gala dinner theme. If your theme is the carnival, consider hiring acrobat contortionists or aerial hoop performers.
  • Match entertainment with the gala dinner occasion: Rousing speakers work well for awards ceremonies while a stand-up comedian could keep guests entertained during fundraising dinners.
  • Consider the event’s budget: When planning customisable entertainment for a gala dinner event, discuss budget constraints with your event management team before booking an act.
  • Consult with an events management team: Hiring the services of events and entertainment experts can help you coordinate and customise your gala dinner entertainment.

Corporate Dinner and Dance

Specialised Activities and Games

Hosting the perfect gala dinner involves considering various factors such as the cultural background of your attendees. Choosing specialised activities and games that are traditional or culturally themed for the Singaporean audience would be well-appreciated by both young and old guests.

How about culturally-themed quizzes to get a bit of competitive spirit going while encouraging guests to interact with each other? Showcase the past by playing traditional Singaporean games such as Five Stones, using virtual reality to captivate the younger audience.

Cultural activities help to unify people from various backgrounds and a multinational company could find this a useful form of entertainment to bring their employees together.

Team building activities can foster teamwork and networking at a gala dinner event, allowing guests to engage with other attendees in a fun and interactive way. Activities that involve group challenges or collaborative games are ideal.

The following steps will help you to organise team-building games for the gala dinner:

  • Define objectives: Knowing the purpose of the game will help you identify appropriate activities for team-building without compromising on the gala dinner experience.
  • Choose fun and inclusive activities: Make sure everyone can participate regardless of age, background, gender or physical abilities. Fun activities make it easier for everyone to have a good time!
  • Consider the time: Keep activities short and sweet by playing games that require little physical or mental input. Allow for downtime so guests can socialise and enjoy the event’s entertainment and dinner.
  • Hire an event emcee: A professional event emcee can ensure the team-building activities don’t get too heated and that the event runs on schedule.

Technology-Driven Entertainment

With innovative technology solutions and a skilled team of technicians, you can keep your gala dinner guests entertained and engaged for hours on end! Virtual reality experiences or interactive digital games can be used to take your gala dinner to a whole new level.

Virtual events became big during the COVID pandemic, andthe trend hasn’t slowed down since the end of lockdown. Tech-driven entertainment at physical and virtual corporate events continue to be as popular as ever as artificial intelligence and metaverse innovation grows.

Immersive technology lets your guests engage and absorb with it while exceeding expectations at your gala dinner. Booking virtual events allows multinational organisations to include a broader audience worldwide without having everyone physically present at the gala dinner.

Awards and Recognition Segment

Gala dinners are often held to celebrate achievements within the company. When incorporating an awards ceremony, consider creative presentations or including guests’ recognition segments. To plan an awards and recognition segment for your gala dinner, consider the following steps:

  • Seat winners or keynote guests close to the front: To avoid delays or too much scuffling to get to the front, make sure prize recipients are seated close to the podium.
  • Prep the awards announcer: Ensure the awards announcer knows how to pronounce the winners’ names properly and the sequence of handing out certificates so the ceremony runs smoothly.
  • Hand out false certificates: Use false certificates to avoid the real deal getting damaged during the ceremony!
  • Use live music between different segments: Transition from one awards or guest recognition segment to another with a band playing lively music between each one. This enlivens the occasion and keeps the atmosphere upbeat.

The most important key to a successful awards ceremony is keeping the process streamlined and moving steadily. This way, guests can appreciate the segment before heading to the dance floor!

event-company-singapore-event-organizer-UOB-CNY-Cenlebration-Lou-hei-RWS-Ballroom-11

Conclusion

Choosing the right activities and games for your gala dinner in Singapore is important if you want your guests to enjoy a spectacular evening. I encourage hiring a one-stop experienced events and entertainment company to create a memorable and engaging corporate gala dinner. This way, you can expect high standards, cultural relevance and multilingual needs to be fully met! And you only need one vendor to help with it all.

Consider these entertainment ideas and activities for your corporate gala dinner and contact our team at That’s Innovative Pte Ltd. for support and advice when organising your next event. We’re well-equipped to give you a gala dinner you and your guests won’t forget!

What is Gala Dinner Event & How to Plan For It (Checklist Included)

By Gala

Have you been tasked to plan your company’s gala dinner and not quite sure how to go about doing it? When planning gala dinner events, the first step is to identify the purpose of the occasion. This will set a foundation and guide decision making. For best results you can use our gala dinner checklist which we’re sharing in this article.

Keep reading for more information about gala dinners and how to go about creating an event to remember!

What is Gala Dinner and Its Purpose?

A gala dinner is a big formal or semi-formal function that starts with a drink reception before guests move into the main function hall for a sit-down dinner. Dancing and sometimes entertainment are part of the event.

Its purpose can vary from an awards ceremony to being a fundraiser and more.

20 Points Gala Dinner Planning Checklist

1. What is the Purpose and Goal of Gala Dinner?

A gala dinner can be held for the following reasons:

  • To celebrate a company’s major achievements or many years in the industry.
  • As a formal awards ceremony function to acknowledge staff’s achievements.
  • To promote the company’s brand.
  • As a fundraising event for a chosen charity.

Identifying the purpose will help you list the primary goal and desired outcomes for the event as well as your target audience.

2. Establish the Gala Dinner Budget

Expenses such as venue hire, entertainment, live music, catering and administration all need to be factored into your gala dinner budget. If you’re hosting a fundraising event, include marketing costs in your budget.

Create a spreadsheet to add the costs as you receive quotes and invoices, and continuously monitor expenses to make sure the event is financially viable for the company.

3. Submit the Budget to Directors or Senior Management for Approval

When tasked with planning a gala dinner, the leadership should have agreed on the purpose and goal of the function. This can be presented to the Board of Directors or senior management together with the budget for approval.

Before submitting the expenses outline for approval, make sure you’ve covered all cost expectations to avoid overextending the budget once you start planning details.

4. Pick a Date and Venue for Gala Dinner

event management orchard hotel singapore meeting room

Pick a date well in advance so you have ample time to plan the event design and for invitees to accept your invitation. Consider factors such as cultural holidays that could impact key stakeholders and prevent guests from attending your gala dinner.

Consider the following when identifying a venue:

  • Capacity (including dancing and entertainment space)
  • Amenities
  • Environment and atmosphere
  • Costs

Booking a hotel ballroom venue is a popular option for companies who expect high standards and prestige to be associated with their corporate gala event.

5. Book the Gala Dinner Venue

When you’ve identified the venue for your gala dinner, contact the functions management team and request a meeting. This gives you the opportunity to finalise the date of the event as well as negotiate costs and the rental contract.

Find out about venue deposit arrangements, cancellation notice periods and any add-ons that could support, affect and enhance your gala dinner function.

6. Set Up a Gala Dinner Planning Committee

Now is the time to source reliable individuals from within the company to support you with planning and coordinating the gala dinner event. When setting up the committee, pick people with different skills such as financial, marketing, administration, design and communication.

Assign roles and responsibilities to committee individuals and communicate and meet regularly to ensure the planning process is running smoothly and everything is on track to be ready by the big day.

7. List Corporate Sponsors and Donors for Fundraising Gala Dinners

If you’re planning a fundraising gala dinner, you’ll need to identify and list potential corporate sponsors and donors to ensure the event is a success. This will require engaging with organisations and individuals who may be interested in supporting your cause.

Keep updating the list as more prospects are identified.

8. Send Out Sponsorship Proposals (for Fundraising Events)

Draft and finalise a sponsorship proposal or letter that can be sent to potential funders. Personalise each letter to appeal to the specific interests of your possible sponsors while highlighting the benefits of supporting and raising money for your event.

Emphasise how much their contribution would make a difference to your cause and the gala event.

9. Decide on Entertainment for the Function

Consider the potential cultural preferences of your target audience before picking entertainment for the gala dinner event. Align performers and entertainment activities with the theme of the event (if you have one) and consider having a professional event emcee for the evening.

Entertainment can include:

event management event entertainment singapore magician illusionist iPad magician

10. Prepare Invites, Banners and Other Promotional Materials

Prepare and design invites and promotional materials such as banners, using the company’s brand and colours. It’s important to make these attractive and appealing to potential invitees, especially if you’re hosting a fundraising gala event.

Consider using design software and tools for a professional look and check that all information is correct including dates, times, contact details, the venue and directions.

11. Submit Invites and Promotional Materials for Approval

It’s important to get approval from the appropriate company representative such as the marketing manager before printing and sending out invites and promotional materials. When planning this stage, factor in the time it will take to get this approval as to not fall behind on the process.

Once approval has been obtained, finalise the printing process.

12. Organise the Catering Requirements

Planning the catering includes deciding on the cuisine and menus for the gala dinner. Consider the different dietary needs of your attendees and make a list of potential catering companies to contact.

A formal sit-down dinner often entails a four-or three-course meal and a professional catering vendor can assist you here plus organise essentials such as crockery, cutlery and glassware.

13. Manage Logistics for Parking, Security and Transportation

Logistics such as parking and security at the venue need to be handled so your event’s attendees’ safety & convenience needs are met. Traffic control, transportation to and from the event venue and signage need to be considered to ensure everything runs smoothly on the night.

Emergency procedures must be put in place to ensure the safety of everyone attending the gala dinner.

14. Recruit Event Staff and Volunteers

Develop a recruitment strategy to take on event staff and volunteers who can handle various tasks on the night of the event. These people will ensure all gala dinner activities run smoothly so you and your guests have a good time.

Hiring a gala dinner event management company could fulfill this role for you, saving you a lot of worries the day of the event!

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15. Final Approval of the Guest List

Before sending out the invitations, make sure the guest list has been approved by the gala dinner event manager. The planning process should include the time it will take to finalise the guest list and for the event manager to approve it so you’re not delayed in sending out the invitations.

Give your potential guests ample time to accept the invitation, especially if you’re targeting a corporate sponsor that often has many events to attend throughout a year.

16.  Send Out the Invitations

By now, you should be ready to send out the invitations to your target audience. Double-check email addresses or other forms of delivery to ensure your potential attendees receive your gala dinner invite.

Include an RSVP date and make sure to follow up with potential attendees who haven’t responded closer to the deadline.

17. Promote Fundraising Gala Events Through Different Media Platforms

If you’re planning gala corporate events for fundraising purposes, you need to promote the event through different media platforms to create awareness and excitement. The following marketing approaches can be used:

  • Social media
  • Email campaigns
  • Radio and television
  • The company’s website

Social media marketing is one of the most popular platforms when you want to reach a wider audience and leverage more opportunities to raise funds before the event takes place.

18. Streamline Registration and Ticket Sales

Registration and ticket sales are particularly relevant to fundraising gala dinners and need to be streamlined to avoid costly pitfalls! Use an online platform to handle this process and ensure that it collects useful information such as names and contact details.

Test the platform to ensure it offers a user-friendly experience, especially the payment process.

19. Prepare Speeches and Presentations

Speeches and presentations need to be well-prepared before the actual event. Designated speakers must be allocated and informed of the gala theme to ensure they align their speeches or presentations accordingly.

Visual and sound aids such as microphones and other presentation hardware must be organised before the event takes place.

20. Do Final Checks One Week Before the Gala Dinner

Final checks need to be done one week before the gala dinner takes place. This includes:

  • Confirming key stakeholders such as venue and catering management teams are on track.
  • Checking that keynote speakers, entertainment and event emcees are on board.
  • Finalising logistics and making last-minute adjustments where necessary.

Addressing hitches in the last week leading up to the gala function will guarantee a successful event on the night.

Conclusion

If you need help organising a gala dinner for your company, contact our team at That’s Innovative. We’ve been in the event business since 1999 – you won’t be the first nor the last client to use our gala dinner management services!

We know the best venues, and have excellent entertainment to engage your guests, and our specialised sound and media team is ready to assist you. What’s more, we have a wide range of experienced emcees most suitable for your gala dinner.

Simply click the “Contact Us/WhatsApp” link below, fill in your contact details, and we’ll get back to you within one business day.

Gala Dinner Event Dress Tips, & 6 Places To Get Them

By Gala

Are you looking for a gala dinner dress for your next function? Do you find these special occasions fun to attend but often struggle to find the right evening wear for the occasion? If you’ve answered yes to even just one of these two questions, then we have the answers you’re looking for.

In this article, we take a look at some of the best evening gown dress places in Singapore that offer options to rent or buy. Finding the perfect gala dress for your next hotel ballroom event just got a whole lot easier!

To Buy or to Rent?

When it comes to choosing evening wear, the number one question people often ask is, ‘Should I buy or rent’? Some of the challenges you may face when trying to answer this question include:

  • Buying evening wear can be expensive while renting can be time-consuming.
  • Choosing to buy evening wear means you will have one outfit, which might not be ideal to wear to consecutive gala events if many of the same people are attending. (You don’t want it to be obvious that you only own one gala dinner outfit!)
  • Renting may require you to have the outfit dry-cleaned before you return it the next day. This can be challenging if you’re already facing time constraints.
  • It can be difficult to find the right style and size if you’re not sure where to look.

How do you know if you should buy or rent?

Buy Evening Wear If:

  • You attend many gala dinner functions – buying allows you to build up a collection, making it easy to choose an outfit.
  • The evening gowns are not theme-specific which means you can wear them to a variety of different functions.

Rent Evening Wear If:

  • You require gala dresses or evening gowns in specific themes or colours.
  • The gala dinner you’re attending is a once-off and you’ll have no purpose for the dress or outfit afterwards.

Best Evening Grown Dress Places (Online and Singapore Based) To Buy or Rent

Whether you opt to buy or rent your outfit may depend on the type of function you’re attending. For instance, choosing to buy an elegant, but simple, black Oscar de la Renta gown will allow you to use the outfit more than once.

By changing accessories such as scarves, belts, jackets and even jewellery, you’ll easily be able to change your look for different functions. With that said, let’s look at some of the more popular places to rent and buy the perfect evening wear.

For Rent

#1. The Gown Warehouse

thegownwarehouse website

If you’re looking for evening wear that’s both elegant and romantic, the Gown Warehouse is the place to visit. Although it’s primarily a bridal shop, this store features an extensive range of full-length evening dresses in a wide range of designs and colours.

Website: https://www.thegownwarehouse.com/
Address:
25 Lichfield Road, Singapore, 556845
Opening day & hours:
Monday to Friday: 11 am – 8 pm. Saturday & Sunday: 11 am – 7 pm.
Contact Email:
N.A
Contact phone:
+65 6734 3998

#2: Rentadella

rentadella website

If you don’t have the time to go to an actual store to rent a dress, you can simply arrange to rent one online from Rentadella! With a wide range of colours, styles and sizes, renting your dream dress has never been easier, and all from the comfort of your couch or office chair!

Website: https://rentadella.com/
Address:
201 Henderson Road, Singapore, 159545
Opening day & hours: 
Mon – Fri 12 pm – 3 pm, 4 pm – 8 pm. Sat – Sun 10 am – 1 pm, 2 pm – 6 pm.
Contact Email:
hello@rentadella.com
Contact phone:
+65 8339 5669

For Sale

#3. Zalora

One of the more popular online sites to choose a simple, yet elegant evening gown is Zalora. With a wide range of colours, sizes and styles on offer, you’re sure to find the perfect dress for your gala dinner with just a few clicks.

Website: https://www.zalora.sg/
Address:
Online
Opening day & hours:
Monday – Sunday: 9 am – 6 pm
Contact Email:
customer@sg.zalora.com
Contact phone:
Live chat on the website

#4. Love FIOYO

lovefioyo website

Looking for a dress with a ball gown feel? Going to a special occasion where you want to look like a princess? Then Love FIOYO is the place to get your dress. With options to buy and rent, getting a couture gown is quick and easy.

Website: https://lovefioyo.com/
Address:
91 Bencoolen Street, Sunshine Plaza, Singapore
Opening day & hours:
By appointment only
Contact Email:
Online appointment request
Contact phone:
Online appointment request

#5. Zion Creation

Zion Creation specializes in cocktail dresses, evening gowns as well as plus size options. If you don’t find a piece you like, the team will help you create a beautiful custom piece for your gala dinner.

Website: https://www.zioncreation.com.sg/
Address:
1 Irving Place, The Commerze, Singapore
Opening day & hours:
By appointment
Contact Email:
sales@zioncreation.com.sg
Contact phone:
+65 6384 4337

#6. Carousell

carousell evening dresses grown online

Carousell is an online marketplace for buying, selling, and renting new and preloved items. Users can find various options at various prices, catering to different styles and occasions. The platform allows individuals to sell items they no longer need, making it a resource for great deals on evening dresses and gowns. Do your due diligence and check the item before purchasing.

Website: https://www.carousell.sg/
Address:
Online
Opening day & hours:
Submit request via website
Contact Email:
Submit request via website
Contact phone:
Submit request via website

Conclusion

Finding the perfect evening wear is a common hurdle many people face, but now you have a few possible solutions. However, if you’re not a guest, but the host of the event, you may find organising can be quite stressful too. Does any of the following seem familiar?

  • Time constraints: Event planning can be time-consuming and finding the time to get everything done can be challenging. Especially if you have other things to do!
  • Experience and expertise: If you’re new to arranging events and functions, you may lack the industry experience required.
  • Budget constraints: It can be challenging to find cost-effective solutions to host a high-quality event.

Fortunately, That’s Innovative are expert at hosting gala dinner events. As an event management company, we have all the answers you need. Want to get solutions in place soon? Contact us for enquiries.

And don’t forget that others are sitting with the same challenges you face. So, if you found this article helpful, please share it with your social circle! You should all look fabulous at the next stylish event.