The organisers started planning the event 5 months prior. By January many of us were spending several hours a day on all sorts of details. We were quite exhausted, but very excited, together with the numerous volunteers, to bring this event to the community.
Although many of us have prior experience with smaller scale events, this event had a number of challenges and circumstances that stretched our ability to prepare for and react to. We knew that, and we wanted you to tell us exactly what you thought.
It is truly fulfilling to receive feedback from so many of you. We would like to, in the spirit of transparency and “open source”-ness that is prevalent in Silicon Valley, share the feedback with you and also our thoughts on some of the issues you brought up. We want to do this because we really believe that the Bay Area, can see more events of this nature. We ultimately want to encourage more of you to get involved, to make such events worthwhile, both for the organisers and the participants. To get you going, we want you to learn from the collective wisdom of our community, build on our experience, and make the next event even better. After all, the next event may very well be organised by you, the reader.
There are two main ways we have summarised the survey feedback:
The links on our web site summarises the various bits of data we have analysed from the survey, as well as from registration and accesses to the registration site.
Overall, a lot of people loved the event, but lamented the rain and wished the food queues could be shorter. They liked being able to meet people, play games, and feel “Singaporean”. Let’s dive into the categories.
Regarding Food Variety
Thanks for providing such a great variety of local hawker food and desserts. The selection is amazing.
While the food was great, it would be nice to see kids menu. There was big group of kids and most of the REAL food was spicy. Not ideal for kids.
There were generally more likes than dislikes over the variety and the large selection of kueh. The food committee spent months searching for food vendors and came up with a balanced list of food choices. They recognised that options for vegetarians and small children (especially if they preferred non-spicy) would be slim, but used past data to show that the percentage of vegetarians is small (about 2%). There was some thought for kid-friendly items, but it was felt that we could be over-pandering to "life in America" tastes by making all the food non-spicy, given much food in Singapore is.
Regarding Food Quality
The food was authentic, it was great to see so many Singaporeans at the event.
Everything. Hokkien mee is close to authentic. Want to know who is the Chef.
By far, much more comments were like the one on top (it’s Shiok Kitchen in Menlo Park, by the way), than the one below:
Food wasn't up to standard.
Regarding Food Quantity (Serving size)
There were only a few comments that the quantity was insufficient.
Regarding Food Distribution (Queues and tickets)
There was much dissatisfaction over the length of the food queues, which took up substantial waiting time and kept people away from other activities. There was also confusion over the surprising split of the main food queue to two sub-stations which meant one would have to join the queue twice for certain food choices.
Join all at one go vs. ad-hoc joining
This was a good learning experience for us, but we do want to highlight that we were aware of that if everyone tried to get the food at the same time, there would immediately be a long queue and subsequent delay for the very last person. There was actually a diversity of opinions amongst the organisers in the likely behaviour, based on how each of us would actually approach a queue:
The thought some of us had was that:
Not everyone would try to join the queue at the same time.
Some people would participate in the various activities, then join the queue, keeping the wait time reasonable. The assumption is they would know that there would be sufficient food due to the coupon-based rationing system and not worry about joining the queue later to find that the food (except for the more popular dishes) had run out.
People would space out their food consumption throughout the event.
Clearly this assumption was disproved by reality.
What we observed at the event was a beeline for the food queue, perhaps driven by a concern that food would run out, hunger, or shall we say, simple kiasuism. Although the event programme said that the food would start after the CG speech and National Anthem, more than half of the participants saw the queue start at the food stall and joined it. No amount of persuasion from the MCs could budge the collective crowd, and thus we reacted to the situation on the spot and started the food service as soon as it was ready, then allowed the CG speech and National Anthem to continue, despite our (and some of yours) misgivings about not giving the National Anthem it’s proper respect. We are aware some of you missed hearing the National Anthem announcement (which was made by the MCs), but clearly, the draw of joining a food line and getting seated to eat was more immense than gathering by the stage for the opening ceremony, then forming a line for food.
We don’t think it is realistic to expect that people will stop forming a line for food if they think they can, and will recommend next organisers to consider serving the food as the first part of the programme.
Amongst us organisers, we had varying opinions about the delay. In general we all agreed if everyone hit the food simultaneously, it would be a problem with our available number of servers. So some of us suggested we could pre-pack the food (grab and go) instead of serving it individually. However, this was also thought to be excessive on packaging costs and logistically difficult to prepare and store in advance.
Based on the numbers we saw, we were quite aware that the delays would be long, regardless. It was very, very, challenging to try close off the registration of additional guests. The waitlist stretched to 91 participants, and some were hugely frustrated that they could not register. Yet, we held firm, knowing the food lines would be challenged.
Many of you suggested a simple solution, more and multiple queues, all with all of the possible food choices. Or at least, more servers and/or separate queues for different choices, and certainly, faster servers. All of these would have required more space and people and we certainly would encourage the next set of organisers to consider how they can resource for that.
For our event, we were limited by the space available at our venue, the number of volunteers available as servers, the fact that these servers were volunteers not trained to serving “quickly”, and the costs we wanted to spend on tables/canopies/serving utensils. We had no paid servers - they were all volunteers too. In fact, we did not get enough volunteers who volunteered to serve as “servers”, so many of the servers were the food committee organisers who stepped in themselves.
Therefore, the suggestion for more stations or queues is simple, but simply getting more is going to be difficult unless we can encourage more volunteers to be servers or consider the cost of hiring paid servers. (Going for a pure buffet style without rationing the food has serious concerns with whether the food will run out).
Several commented unhappiness with the split of one queue to two queues. This was also a contentious decision amongst us. It was done in thought it would speed up the food queue, but your message is clear that we need to find a way to avoid that, for choice is paramount.
Signage and coupons
Clever idea using tickets for food.
The coupons were confusing, there should be some information on how to use the coupons.
It was clear to the organisers that food had to be fairly distributed, thus the coupon/ticket system. (there was a thought to use perforated punch cards but cost weighed against it).
Several commented that the signage on queues and ticket usage could be better. We agree about the instructions for ticket usage. There was discussion about this prior to the event on the amount of signage, with space for instructional content being limited, and cost being a factor. There was quite a bit of attraction to relieve this cost by having the programme describe the ticket usage and registration staff to explain this. We also thought of having tickets pre-printed with their usage or inserted in an envelope with the usage instructions on it but this was vetoed for cost reasons too.
From what we saw, very few read the programme or emails regarding ticket usage. The info counter volunteers were driven hoarse with repeating the directions. The next set of organisers are encouraged to up the level of signage and clarity of instruction, though cost will be a challenge.
Possibly one method is to enforce staggered queueing (these tickets can only join the queue at certain time).
Regarding Food Temperature
Since there is long line for the food, it would be better to keep heating up the food. The food we got is all cold in the end.
A number of you found that your food was cold by the time you were served it.
This is a challenge. Bear in mind that short of being able to prepare food on site, the next best thing is to maintain the food temperature all the way from preparation to serving. We obviously understand the concerns of those regarding food safety.
Many of the food vendors were not industrial operations, used to such large orders of food. They were individuals of one or two who had to specially start cooking early in the morning to be ready to deliver food to this event by 10 am. Despite the special requests, committee worked hard on costs as well, to give you a wide range of food choices for a very economical price (by Bay Area standards).
Clearly the food was hot just after being cooked, and the vendors had insulated means to keep it warm when delivered. Due to the distance from some of the vendors to the site, some of the food did cool down significantly during the delivery. The challenge was warming it back up to hot after delivery. We had thought of using the BBQ grills to keep them warm (with charcoal to heat), but changed this to warming ovens to store the trays until they were transferred to the serving racks. We considered getting chafing trays (the type with hot water beneath to keep warm) or those with burners, but they were costly to rent or buy.
The warming oven turned out to be insufficient to heat the food, and this was further exacerbated by the cold weather on that day.
We wholeheartedly agree that more effort should have been put in to keep the food warm at all times, such as having warming burners on each tray, and encourage the next organisers to consider a cost-effective means of doing this.
Food was also slightly disappointing. Considering the event was hosted and run by locals, I was expecting the food to taste more authentic.
We felt that for those of you who thought the food wasn’t good, it was most likely because it got cold and out in the open for too long. The "locals", you are correct, did spend a considerable amount of effort testing and procuring the food from a variety of specialised vendors. I’m sure you have wished for food to be cooked in front of you hawker centre style and served, but you’ll have to see if the next set of organisers can pull that off! Fortunately, such comments were very limited - by far most of you really found the food about as great as you can get in the Bay Area!
Food serve timing
Knowing the rainy weather, organizers should be flexible to start the food distribution early.
We did. There was no way the food distribution could have started at 10 am as some of you thought it could be. The event start time was 11.00 am. But we did start it by about 11.45 am, before the official food start time of 12.00 pm (which was supposed to have been after the National Anthem). Still, a good thought for future events, to let people who have already entered eat whilst others are still checking in.
To have 800 people in two lines waiting for food was unthinkable but it happened.
Actually, it ended up there were about 700 people there (and many were volunteers who did not manage to join the queue for food, so closer to 680, perhaps). (some people who purchased tickets did not show up).
Food vendor really messed up: food was not kept heated and was practically served cold, drinks were cold (and served in minuscule amounts), and food choices in the different queues could have been communicated better. In fact, when we asked where we could get a hot drink, they referred us to their store 20 minutes away!
There was a free flow of cold drinks (soft drinks and water) available from vending machines. In our original planning, we had anticipated that majority of the drinks would come from these vending machines, since the rental of the venue included these (it was not possible to not purchase these drinks). We did not want to add additional cost for purchasing even more drinks. We do acknowledge that very few of you were in the mood for cold soda on such a wet and cold day.
The Kopi and Teh came from a very generous offer of sponsorship from Kopitiam Cafe. They were not compensated in any way for this other than publicity. The quantity of drinks they could serve was limited by the amount they could carry to the venue and with the large turnout, they had to limit the quantity served per person to a “sample” size instead of a “full cup”. As it was an outdoors event, they thought it would be appropriate to serve cold drinks. It just turns out, on that cold day, it was not the sort of drink most wanted.
It will be a topic for the next set of organisers to consider how to budget in hot drinks, which, as we saw, were very much more desired on a cold day, than if it were a warmer day. We may also have to devise a way to make hot drinks on the spot, i.e. mixing water and ingredients, instead of carrying everything in.
The choice of venue was perfect. There was a great variety of local delights, and the myriad of activities made me miss home so much.
The organisers spent most of the early part of planning in finding a venue. Historically, finding a good venue for an event has been amongst the more difficult tasks because not many venues meet the criteria of sufficient space and privacy. Saratoga Springs was chosen early on, in part because:
We aimed for an outdoor venue, because past National Day events have been at a hotel ballroom, and we felt having it outdoors would be a nice change and enable more outdoor-type activities.
We would not need separate permits, insurance, or extra fees for serving our own food
The management was very friendly and easy to work with. For example, they provided storage area, suggested contacts for rental of equipment, and were extraordinarily responsive.
They have private parking and attendants
It can be closed off to outsiders and be exclusive to our use
The size is about right for our estimated group (600 to 800)
A single rental includes a number of children’s activities, such as all the inflatable stations.
It’s quite a pretty venue, set in nature, with lots of greenery
Too isolated, deserted and hard to drive on the curvy road and hard to find parking. East bay e.g. Dublin is flat, easy to get to and lots of great parks. There is also no heaters as it's so freaking cold!
My husband and I liked the venue, the location chosen for this particular event. Very private, peaceful with the sound of running water from the Creek. Plenty of parking spaces for over 800 registered attendees with stadium like staff in attendance directing traffic to parking with ease.
wooded area. one with nature. away from civilization.
There were more comments liking the venue than those who disliked it. Mainly, those who disliked it found it relatively far and inaccessible, too crowded (so clearly 700 would have been around the max), and would have preferred it indoors.
However, those who liked it found it scenic, exclusive, and set up in a most unique way to bring back a slice of Singapore, as we hoped. It appears the majority enjoyed that it was an outdoor venue, despite the rain that day.
We did recognise that the venue was not going to please everyone, especially in terms of being central and accessible by public transport. There are only so many places you can find that meets the other important criteria. Also, clearly, those who preferred an indoor venue, won’t be satisfied if the goal of the event is to have it outdoors. It was considered whether could arrange shuttles between a public transit point and the venue, but that did not meet our cost vs net value to attendee tradeoff.
In future, it will be good to garner suggestions for early enough to let them be considered.
Yup, if there is one day all of us I’m sure wished could have been changed, it would have been, for all the days we could have picked, we didn’t pick, possibly one of the wettest days of 2015. In fact, a day later, Mar 1, the weather was perfect. Or the weekend before, Feb 21.
A wet weather backup plan will be good
However, some of you also thought that we did not prepare at all for the rain. We may not have been adequate, but we did not omit the consideration.
The possibility of rain was something that we had been concerned with from the very beginning, however we rationalised that the event had to be survivable in the event of rain, not perfect. Thus, we opted for canopies for critical functions such as the food stations.
Wet weather plan
We also worked feverishly on a more aggressive wet weather plan starting 5 days prior to the event, when the forecasts firmed up. In fact, most of us were watching the forecasts daily from 2 weeks prior, where the long range forecasts actually showed good weather!
Rain, no place to sit or stand without getting wet.
What we did do, was to rent two extra 15x15 foot canopies, solely as rain shelters. The management of Saratoga Springs also provided additional umbrellas and used leaf blowers to blow the rain off the tables (didn’t help much, it rained again right after they did it). We also distributed umbrellas to those in the queue, and sent email messages advising all to bring rain gear such as ponchos and umbrellas. We also obtained a 10x10 canopy for the A/V equipment and had tarps ready for the piano on the stage.
Did we do enough? Clearly, there was no way we could have sheltered the entire grounds nor the entire stage. There were simply logistical limits to doing so and in part, choosing an outdoors venue did tie us to risk of rain.
Should we have been more aggressive to shift the event date despite the mess it could cause to all vendors and performers? Or get more warm drinks and heat lamps? Maybe.
Great atmosphere. People were very warm and friendly. Rain didn't cause much trouble.
But not everyone felt that the rain spoilt the event for them. We also had amongst some of us a thought that Singaporeans, being from an island used to rain, could accommodate. Some of suggestions like many canopies, have a high cost and aesthetic impact. Limiting such events to outdoors venues with adequate shelter will greatly limit the choice of venues especially in the Bay Area, where rain is regretfully not frequent enough. But it should be a hot (pardon the pun) topic for the next set of organisers.
Regarding Event Timing (February)
I recognize that the weather was just an extremely unlucky turn of events. However, chances of better weather would have been heightened had the even been planned for... well, not February.
Naturally, given that it almost never rains in summer, a few commented it would have been less risky to have held the event then, or even closer to summer, such as April, to balance heat and rain.
This is a good suggestion, however, due to a specific reason for this event, it had to be held before March 2015. So Feb 28 was the last day we could hold it.
We knew we would have the risk of rain, but we took the chance, since it was hold it, or not. For the next set of organisers, certainly, we would advocate not taking that chance.
Regarding Meeting People and Activities
Being able to meet fellow Singaporeans from a myriad of backgrounds in the states.
Met a lot of new Singaporeans, great networking opportunity. Desserts were good.
Location was great and I met other families that I had never met before
Good food, socializing with fellow Singaporeans, nice venue, good setup/organization, cool raffle prizes!
Would have been great if there was more emphasis on meeting new people. It seemed like people mostly kept to their own families or groups.
Most people came with their own friends and family. No created opportunity to get to know other people. Maybe, can allocate people from the same area/city to sit together for lunch or play some simple games with people in groupings from the same area/city.
There were mostly positive comments on meeting people, especially finding new faces and presumably forming new friendships. Our strongest goal of this event was to get people to meet up and bond as a community and we’re so glad it made an impact to so many.
However, a handful of people desired more help, perhaps in the form of structured activities, to help them break the ice with new faces more readily. Perhaps those of you who are already in groups of friends and family can try more to mingle with new faces or even people in the queue. It may be a worthwhile consideration to improve the opportunities for making social connections, without appearing coerced.
All the activities stations and many were great for children while the adults took the time to socialize.
Different stations using familiar Singapore names like lau pa sat etc. Helpful and friendly volunteers. The event is family friendly, with activities for kids which is very thoughtful.
The games! The kick thing. Captek? The friendly volunteers that teach us zero point.
The food was great and I (especially) loved the photo booth. Games were fun too--definitely very nostalgic.
Not enough variety of activities to keep people engaged. Unfortunately, it got a bit boring after a short while, so we didn't stay as long as we originally intended.
And seeing how the games were construed mostly for young families, the adults kinda got left behind. Maybe more booths at the next event?
Not enough events for non-family attendants. activities were geared too much towards kids. didn't feel like there were enough activities for adults to interact and get to know each other.
The goal of many of the activities was to harp back to our childhood days, thus the strong emphasis on bringing in many old-time kids’ games and toys. Many of these were actually intended for all adults, not just for children or parents. The Great Singapore Workout and Family Challenge are examples of activities that could be done by those of all ages. As organisers, we also felt that many of the available events in the Bay Area were aimed at working professionals or were of a food-and-chat-only nature. We wanted to use the outdoor venue to provide for a range of active (as in not sit down) activities.
From the comments, it is clear that the many were enthralled with the range of activities especially for kids and families. However, there were quite a few comments that there were insufficient activities for those who did not find the over dozen options available interesting on that day.
Those who did the surveys for activity ideas recall we had few more adult-oriented activities suggested, such as cooking demo, and startup-engagement booths. We were also keen to expand on the SG50 theme in any way, such as with more exhibits and interactive activities. We also wondered if we could get a speaker, etc.
In general, these were not as highly desired as the childhood-type activities. Moreover, we did not get volunteers coming forth to organise them. We can understand why: these are quite difficult to get set up. The core organising committee had to focus on the activities that were easier to get going. Perhaps with more time to find the right formula and level of resources, the next set of organisers can figure a way to cater to those desires.
Regarding Exclusivity and Pricing
SP50 being a very special event(only once in fifty years) I feel that should be free for Singaporeans and some fees for ex-Singaporeans.
Should also be able to include non singaporean guests!
very exclusive. Should allow prople to bring guests and friends of other nations. I dont thimk the price of the tickey mattered as much to whether i would have gone. sigaporean food and good company have been worthwhile.
The location, the activities, seeing such a big turnout of Singaporeans; Also that it is exclusively for Singaporeans and their immediate family. Appreciated the goody bags, free food samples and photo booth. Clever idea using tickets for food.
It is organised by Singapore people for Singapore people.
A lot of Singaporeans and things that reminded me of Singapore! Really felt at home
Good initiative to bring together Singaporeans in the Bay Area.
An event that is Singapore-centric, is naturally going to be of appeal to Singaporeans and their families. The question then extends to, how much of an appeal would it be to non-Singaporeans?
From both the comments, and the emails we got during registration (when some inquired with regards to registering non-Singaporean/PR guests who were not immediate family, i.e. friends, business partners), we clearly saw the immense appeal in our event.
While the interest is obvious, the need for exclusivity is more split. From the comments, we can discern there were those who appreciated gathering with Singaporeans exclusively, to make the venue special, for just that one day. They enjoyed the ability to hear and converse in Singlish at will and to see many of their countrymen all in one spot.
Then there were those who strongly wanted to bring in their non-Singaporean guests, or come in as a non-Singaporean family, because:
They wanted to be with their friends (close friends, boyfriends/girlfriends, that sort).
To expose them to Singapore and the Singaporean culture.
They had worked/lived in Singapore before and while not Singaporean/PR any more, enjoy being around Singaporeans.
The dilemma though arises in balancing these two camps. Clearly, having it open to all would add more guests and diminish the percentage of Singaporeans to the point where those who wanted that one day with Singaporeans, would find the Singaporean base out-numbered by foreigners. Since the camp for exclusivity appears stronger, we need to accept their wishes for an event that is billed as “Singapore Community Day”, to be “more Singaporean than less”. True, a selective acceptance of non-Singaporeans would be very desirable by those who want to be with their friends and connections. Yet, setting the line would be hard. Everyone allowed one guest? Then you could potentially get up to 50%. Up to 20% total non-Singaporean? But by accepting non-Singaporean immediate family members, we actually went past that already. No non-Singaporeans period? Then we would break up many families.
We were certainly aware of the angst caused by our strict enforcement of the policy, but felt more strongly to be fair for those who came for a promise of a day where they could feel like they were in Singapore and feel special to be a Singaporean. This type of event is ultimately meant to bring forth those feelings, and it doesn’t work well if there are too many ‘visitors’.
Finally, we need to blend any discussion of exclusivity with pricing. The event was subsidised by the Overseas Singaporean Unit, with prizes sponsored from a variety of private companies. The event was priced at $6/adult. The survey revealed that this price fell within the expectation of most people, with a sharp fall in those who felt they could go if the ticket price was greater than $25.
If the event were to be free of its Singaporean exclusivity, it would not be OSU-subsidised.
Without putting a precise cost for the event, we can say, though, it is in the $50-$75 range per person. Food and drink alone would have been about $30/person. Would we have had the turnout we had? Unless we get data showing willingness to pay $50-$75, or an acceptance of a much diminished event (i.e. no food), we don’t think so.
Need to determine target audience. "Singaporeans & PRs" are a large and diverse group. I think the event was ok for the large group of students in the area. However, not ideal for families and older folks.
The range of comments including these highlight the challenge in satisfying all. Demographic data shows that the majority of the participants were families and older folks, it was not majority students. Many respondents said that the event was great for families. 20% of the participants were children. Thanks to the data collected for this event, we hope future organisers will have a better idea of what will work well for not just the majority, but every niche audience.
Regarding Social Media and Publicity
Also, as part of the SSA in my school, we tried advertising this event to our peers, but they didnt feel like it was value for money/ large scaled, and this was probably because there was not much publicity for it. There is a lot more potential in the area of social media publicity, and this can even begin with something small, like having key motifs/ consistent banners/ logos circulate facebook pages and emails reminders etc, and regular posts leading up to the event to get people excited.
The program schedule could be sent out in the email
Provide information about the program early.
the venue is nice. many volunteers making great efforts to make it happen. Event send out couple of great communication emails, clear instruction and things to pay attention to
Overall, this was not a big pain for most people, but there were a few who wanted the event programme sent out in email. The main reason for not doing this was having the flexibility to modify the programme and schedule if needed. It kept changing up till the night before the event as we shuffled items to accommodate the predicted rain forecast. There was a lot of intense discussion over it and it is a tough balance to decide between posting things “in-progress” and when they are “final” because of the risk of those who take the “in-progress” as “final”. The programme, true, wasn’t posted on the web page. Instead, the programme was posted on the Facebook page where it could be updated if needed.
This Facebook page was mentioned in one of the emails sent, though the fact that the programme was there was not mentioned explicitly in any email.
We agree in today’s world of multiple information channels: email, web, Facebook, and everyone has a different preference to where they can best get the information. Yet, as an event organiser, all these channels need to be updated, which takes time. Still, there were plenty of updates, we feel. To that specific comment about the potential of social media, we feel that that commentator completely missed that we had a Facebook Page exclusively for the event, with regular posts. Sorry you didn’t find out about it in the emails. We are always up for more volunteers who can be the social media promoters!
the venue is nice. many volunteers making great efforts to make it happen. Event send out couple of great communication emails, clear instruction and things to pay attention to
Announce in email the schedule of when food is served. … but they failed to let us know that will only open at noon regardless.
Food stations only started at 12 noon. This wasn't informed on the programme.
It was on the programme.
The pre-event instructions were strangely paternalistic :)
This again highlights why we would like more volunteers to come help with event publicity. :)
A/V, Parking, Prizes, etc.
Most of these topics received only a few comments and we feel they were not major issues with the event.
The sound system is too soft.
This was a constraint of the venue. There is a noise limit imposed out of consideration for the neighbours, and the A/V system as setup was already right on the edge if not breaking the limit. The sound system would be good enough if people aren’t talking at the same time. This was known, but it wasn’t a big enough factor to shift the venue because of that. This was the same reason why the Lion Dance used a pre-recorded sound track instead of real drums and cymbals.
Parking was very difficult at this location.
The venue management advised us they would have space for at least 800 cars, though some of it would be at a distance from the event. Parking was a consideration and we feel it adequate.
Singapore Workout competition: 6 people were split into teams of 2 and the MC mentioned that the best team will win. However, only the lady won the prize. What about her team-mate? It does not appear fair. Suggest that for future team events, all members in the the winner team should have the same prize, unless they participate as a family.
There was a mis-understanding and our apologies. The pre-event plan, which the MCs used as a basis for their announcements, had:
Emcee announces the winner and hands them the prize- Razer Forged Headphones.
The remaining five will get
- Love for Food box (5 boxes)
- the men will get a batik shirt each (3 of them)
- women will get a Blossom Spa gift certificate (3 worth $30)
clearly stated there was only going to be one grand prize, and several team prizes for every participant. The other Razer Forged Headphone was meant to be raffled away and the signs and announcements to this effect were already made. The MCs may have misunderstood this when they made the announcement. But to be fair, everyone did get a prize, perhaps not “the prize”. It actually gets a little interesting to understand how this happened. Originally, we were going to give away 6 boxes of the Love for Food, and not the headphones. When the opportunity came up to give away an extra set of headphones, we decided to “sweeten” the prizes for the Singapore workout competition. But we do see the commentator’s point, it does change the dynamic of the game incentive. Still, we think these were all good prizes, and we thank our sponsors for them and all the contestants whom we hope enjoyed the participation more than just for the prizes!
We love everything! From the opportunity to meet old and make new friends. The food, the songs, the familiar sights- newton, kampung games etc... All of did a fabulous job in organizing the event!
Captured all essence of Singapore, the songs, the food etc.
That it was very Singaporean! Nice to be building community in this way, and to see some familiar faces.
First off, i want to thank the commitee and volunteers of this event. It was a feat to pull off. The Kuehs were the best. Prizes and door gift were good. Children enjoyed the games like the coloring contest and airplanes and things they've not seen before like 5 stones. I loved the patriotic Singapore songs that the singer and the orchestra played (count on me Singapore, chan Mali chan etc).
I didbr stay for long but enjoyed the lion and dragon dance and the Singish which I have not heard for long time. The Singaporeans were nice and polite - I am proud of all of us
The Sambal. And the generosity of the Singapore Government - Thank you!
It was very nicely done with lots of good food and great performances!
A big thank you to all that took the time and effort to organize and made the event so successful! Can't wait for the next event! Thank you very much :)
The comments say it best, we hope, and resoundingly, all of you wanted more events like this!
As organisers, we want to say it was a lot of hard work, but all of us felt heartened by the great people we met, the shared experience of feeling our Singaporean ties bring us closer together, and the terrific help and support we got from the volunteers.
Be thankful to the volunteers
Volunteers were polite, efficient in executing their specific tasks. Pulling over 50 volunteers to host this event is no easy task and Singapore Connect committee has met the challenge with success.
We should point out that some of the volunteers especially those at registration/admission and food station serving, did not get to participate much at the event as an attendee. During our volunteer allocation/sign-up process we encouraged volunteers to avoid signing up for more than 2 hours per person, so they would get to partake in the event as well. However, due to the challenges faced, some of the volunteers spent the bulk of the event at their stations. We really wish to thank all of them and want you to thank them to. Giving volunteers and their family/friends free admission was the least we could do.
It is obviously desirable to not over-burden a few key volunteers, so future event organisers should try very hard to help spread the tasks out.
Oh, we fear sounding paternalistic, but do lighten up and see how happy everyone else there was!