More than 2,800 young leaders from more than 90 countries descended on the Lion City last month (March) for the YPO Global Leadership Conference (GLC) and its flagship event, YPO EDGE.
The three-day annual event convenes business leaders and chief executives from across the globe and members of the prestigious organisation run companies that employ more than 15 million people and generate USD6 trillion in annual revenues.
Accommodating close to 3,000 power players is no mean feat, but after hosting YPO back in 2012, Marina Bay Sands took it one with full gusto. Singapore is also the only Asian city to host YPO more than once.
YPO EDGE 2018 host city chair Terry O’Connor, said Singapore was a “natural choice” for the organisation when choosing a location for their 2018 conference.
“I think Singapore is a global city but with exciting features, and YPO had a great experience here at Marina Bay Sands in 2012. Our members gave it a very good rating, and part of that was due to the facilities, flexible space and the convenience of the venue. It’s really one of few places globally where we can get all of our members in one location,” he said.
Themed ‘Defy Convention’, YPO EDGE featured a series of plenary sessions, discussions and networking around topics of economic opportunity, sustainable environmental change and compassionate leadership. This year’s conference also boasted an impressive line-up of high profile speakers, including Singapore’s Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong and Founder of the Billie Jean King Leadership Initiative and former World No. 1 tennis player, Billie Jean King.
The flexible meeting spaces at Marina Bay Sands, along with its extensive room inventory, meant the integrated resort was an easy choice for organisers to make when searching for a venue. “I think YPO needs a location where you’ve got a hospitality venue that is big enough, but also offers quality and intimacy, “ O’Connor said. “Marina Bay Sands has a leading facility – not just in terms of its size and scale, but also the availability of smaller, intimate venues within a single location. These factors are important for the modern CEO.”
Altogether, the YPO group occupied a total of 7,736 room nights and utilised nearly 360,000 sq. ft. of event space. Throughout the event, the Roselle-Simpor ballroom was transformed into a dynamic Venture Marketplace, which featured an experiential showcase of businesses, products and services, while smaller meeting rooms and a selection of celebrity restaurants were used to host networking events, private gatherings and breakout sessions.
Each day, the venue’s catering and conference management team served between 900 and 1,600 delegates per meal, with separate counters and buffet lines set up for those with specific dietary requirements.
Mike Lee, vice president of Sales at Marina Bay Sands, said: “Our partnership with YPO was formed years ago, and to have the group return to our integrated resort for their 2018 event is akin to welcoming an old friend home. For that reason, some of Marina Bay Sands’ senior management – including myself — were personally involved in the planning process with YPO. We were excited to work together again to push the event’s boundaries of creativity and build on the success of its 2012 edition.”
During the event, the integrated resort was transformed into the home of YPO, with the organisation’s branding displayed across nearly all digital signage and advertising panels around the hotel lobby, The Shoppes at Marina Bay Sands and Sands Expo and Convention Centre.
A YPO-branded pagoda was also placed in the centre of the iconic hotel’s Tower 1 lobby and served as a photo-worthy backdrop for the organisation’s international delegates to snap up selfies.
Delegates (and partners) were also given the opportunity to attend a private brand showcase at The Shoppes’ Louis Vuitton Island Maison. A hosted visit to the luxury shopping mall also featured canapes at TWG Tea and a dedicated buggy service to transport VIPs around the mall.
O’Connor added: “I think YPO members had a sensational week. The event has been seamless, and I’m overwhelmed by the gratitude that they’ve expressed for the experience that they’ve had at Marina Bay Sands.”