1. Executive summarySensation White is a unique dance event created by the Dutch promoter ID&T, incorporating music from different genres such as house, electro, techno and trance. The word “white” is referring to the dress code of the event, where crowds of up to 50.000 people gather to watch their favourite DJs while dancing the night away.
It first took place in Amsterdam in year 2000, but has now spread to 17 other countries in the world including Australia, where Melbourne got to host a Sensation party last New Years Eve. The aim of this report was to create a marketing plan for a Sensation White event in Singapore, the first in Asia ever, and determine whether it would be feasible or not.Singapore was found to have a prime macro-economic environment for investment due to its economic and political stability and good location in South East Asia. Potential problems by holding an event like this in Singapore was found to be the strict laws that applies to drug abuse and littering, things that are normally associated with dance events. Unless excessive care is taken, Sensation can be hold liable for the misbehaviour of their patrons.
There is very little direct competition to an event like Sensation in Singapore (and in the rest of the region), mainly due to its uniqueness. The target market to aim for is people aged between 18-35 in Singapore, including the many tourists, and to some extent also the neighbouring countries with Malaysia being the most important.As Sensation will be a one-off, or possibly an annual event, it is believed that the most convenient market entry strategy for ID&T is to directly export their event to Singapore by using local providers to manage the events operations. The Sensation White brand is thought to be strong enough to be successful in Asia, and because it is supposed to be a similar experience wherever it is held, it was decided not to change the concept it in any particular way to better suit the Singaporean market. The event is planned to take place on the 13th of July 2010 in the Singapore Indoor Stadium (SIS), who holds a maximum capacity of up to 30.
000 people.In order to promote an event like Sensation, a wide combination of advertising, sales promotion, PR, and personal selling will be employed. Tours featuring headlining DJs and street promotion by models are other innovative ways of increasing the hype that is needed to sell out the event.
The profit and costs estimation together with ticket prices are based on the Sensation event that took place in Melbourne last New Years Eve. If the costs do not exceed the amount of SGD 2.753.705, a profit of at least SGD 1.837.846 from ticket sales alone will be realised.2.
Introduction to Sensation WhiteThere are few events as widely well known as Sensation in the world. With events occurring on a near monthly basis across 17 different countries, it is apparent that this is a brand that is both established and successful. The company and product are both simple in concept, however masterful in design. With a goal of combining the world’s greatest DJs with the fantastic spectacle of a ‘Cirque du Soleil’ show, Sensation delivers a dance event like no other. As an event, Sensation incorporates techno, house, and trance music with fantastic stage design and performance, typically accompanied by complex laser showers and fireworks (Sensation 2009).Sensation is an event, which is organised by ID;T, the Dutch event promoter behind other mega dance festivals including BLACK, Mysteryland, Thunderdome, and TranceEnergy (ID;T 2009).
Currently, ID;T is the largest entertainment promoter in the Netherlands, and Sensation is their flagship event, attracting crowds of up to 50,000 people. Not only are this company’s productions nearly unparalleled in scale, but also in quality. Recently ID&T was named Best event Promoter at the Winter Music Conference, which is regarded as the flagship awards gathering for the dance music industry (Winter Music Conference 2009).As an overview, ID&T’s product Sensation is an established brand and event with a global following. The company itself is stable even in these turbulent economic times due to its multiple events and loyal consumer base. It is not uncommon to hear of people travelling from other countries in order to attend an event such as Sensation.
The event itself has a truly enviable reputation and as such it is safe to assume that regardless of world location, it will be successful.3. Macro-environment: SingaporeAccording to World Bank researchers Singapore has consistently been ranked as one of the best-run countries and best locations in the world to do business (PRlog 2007). Its conducive business environment is attributable to its ‘stability and good governance, a progressive trade policy inviting foreign investment, a good education system with a highly-skilled multi-lingual workforce, transparent and efficient authorities, one of the lowest crime rates in the world, an excellent infrastructure and global connectivity’ (Unger 2008).
Having a well developed, westernised and almost 100% urbanised culture has made Singapore City the location of choice for a plethora of international companies, especially European companies to set up their Asia-Pacific headquarters.Singapore’s relationship with other ASEAN member countries can also prove to be an advantage for Sensation since one of the association’s objectives is to promote tourism within the South East Asian region. The nightlife and music festival culture is quite similar amongst member countries (especially Thailand, Malaysia and even Indonesia) and intra-regional travelling is quite common and effortless nowadays. Therefore Sensation’s promotion and target market will inherently extend to neighbouring countries.Although the minimum requirement for setting up an event like Sensation involves a number of registrations and licences, there is additional support from trade associations like the Association of Asian Performing Arts Festivals (AAPAF).
The AAPAF is an international festival network that promotes the exchange, co-operation and collaboration between festival organisations, both regionally and internationally (Government of Singapore 2009). Their services can assist in the organisation and set up of Sensation.Sensation may also be eligible for the Concessionary Tax Rate for Approved Mega Events, a tax incentive administered by the Singapore Board of Tourism (SBT). It aims to invite event companies to hold world-class events, which attract tourism, generate tourist spending, and promote Singapore through media exposure. If Sensation can meet the revenue targets outlined by the SBT, the tax rate would be reduced to 10% as opposed to the current corporate tax rate of 18%. This tax incentive is only valid until the end of March 2010 however considering the global economic downturn it is likely the dates would be extended.In whole, Singapore is a prime environment to introduce Sensation to the Eastern world with the main potential roadblock which organisers face is the aggressive enforcement of strict laws. Since issues like littering, drug and alcohol abuse are normally associated with music festivals, organisers must take all possible precautions to avoid liability if any laws are breached.
4. Competitive analysis4.2 Direct competitionSensation finds itself in a very unique position in that it does not have many direct competitors. Due to its innovative nature and scale, there is hardly anything in Singapore that even comes close to the magnitude of this event.
Accordingly, the topic of direct competitors needs to be examined in the context of concurrent events, which are competing with Sensation in the elements of time and expendable income. If an event is running close to or at the same time as Sensation, there is a very real possibility that the other event may steal potential customers. Good examples of events which are within a close enough time frame for this argument to be valid include “Ready, Steady, Glo” featuring Steve Aoki, Super Band Singapore Concert and Worldwide Festival Club Invasion.
Another main rival is the Borneo Rainforest World Music Festival, which runs on the same day as planned for Sensation. Even though this is an existing concert, it is felt that this event and Sensation will draw two completely different crowds.4.3 Indirect competitionThere are no real indirect competitors to this event, aside from possibly the regular clubs that operate on weekends.
This is unlikely to be problematic however as it can be safely assumed that only the diehard club patrons will pass up a unique, one-off opportunity such as Sensation.5. Target market analysisSensation is mainly targeting people aged between 18-35 in Singapore. The festivals international success is likely to attract not only domestic residents but also international tourists.Singapore has a population of 5 million residents and 20% of the population is aged between 15 and 29 (CIA World Fact Book, 2009). That means 1 million of local Singaporeans are within the targeted aged group, not including the myriad of overseas tourist who visit Singapore. In 2008 there were 10.1 million visitors to Singapore and out of them 44.
3% were between the age of 20 and 29 (Singstat, 2009), this adds up to be a staggering 4.47 million tourists.With the large market at hand, Sensation can also target people who want to travel overseas but have yet to decide their destination. We want to offer them a different alternative to the typical travel package by bundling tickets to Sensation, back stage passes, after party passes, accommodation, return airfares and local transport to and from the venue. These packages will give the event more exposure internationally and allow Sensation to reach a wider target market.Many young adults already go clubbing and enjoy the vibrant nightlife Singapore has to offer, which play similar music to that played at Sensation and has a similar party atmosphere, but in a smaller scale.
Furthermore, affordability would not be an issue since the peak labour participation rate is within the 20-30 age group (see appendix 3) which means the targeted demographic will have greater disposable income.6. Market entry strategyID&T can be considered to be an exporting company as they organize music events that operate locally (in Amsterdam) as well as internationally. As Sensation will be a one-off or possibly an annual event, the most obvious and convenient market entry strategy for ID&T is to directly export their event to Singapore using local providers to manage the events operations.
Implementing the market entry strategy for Sensation involves two main parts:* Obtaining appropriate licenses and registrations associated with organizing the event* Liaising with venue organizers to plan and ensure the successful production of Sensation.Hosting entertainment events require obtaining the right licenses and registrations beforehand. The Arts Entertainment (AE) License requires that a Singaporean citizen or one with an employment pass must apply on behalf of the foreign company. A program schedule, stage layout plan and song titles and lyrics must be submitted and applications can take up to 8 weeks to process (Government of Singapore, 2009). Additionally, setting up a designated smoking area for the event requires approval from the National Environment Agency (NEA) and if successful only 20% of outdoor area may be designated for smokers (Government of Singapore, 2009).Sensation will be held in Singapore Indoor Stadium (SIS) as well as the Stadium Green and Stadium Waterfront. It is Singapore’s facility of choice when it comes to large-scale productions like concerts, exhibitions and, sports and entertainment events.
Venue organisers offer a full range of services to ensure the success of events held at the stadium including event coordination, marketing, corporate sales, production management, crowd management and technical liaison (Government of Singapore, 2008). Therefore ID;T need only to collaborate with management at SIS to plan the implementation and operation of the entire event instead of putting together the production by sourcing a number of contracts themselves. Using one main service provider like SIS will also have a number of advantages such as: local knowledge to gather best resources, time and cost savings, operational efficiency and effectiveness since venue organizers would be very experienced in organizing events.7.1 Marketing Mix – ProductSince Sensation White is a strong brand built on certain features such as the characteristic music, dress code and visual arts, that are intended to be uniform wherever the event is held, we have chosen not to change the product in any particular way to better suit the Singaporean market. Sensation White is meant to be a similar experience in whatever country you visit the event, may it be Russia, Denmark or Australia.
7.1.2 MusicAll DJs in the main room will play for 2 hours each and the line-up will consist of highly regarded international artists, representing a diverse selection of electronic dance music ranging from house and electro to trance and techno. The music will be dance floor friendly, without being too commercial or too underground. The both side rooms will host a mix of local established DJs and international up comers from other parts of the world. The VIP will also include some of the same names, but playing at different times.7.
1.3 Rules and Dress codeMinimum age for entry to Sensation is 18 years. The venue is non-smoking, but designated smoking areas will be available. The use of drugs at our premises is strongly prohibited and we will remind our guests that trafficking of drugs in Singapore may result in the capital punishment. The dress code for the event is white, but shoes, accessories and small prints in other colours are however allowed. By not adhering to the dress code, entry to the venue will be denied. A unique collection of Sensation shirts, pants and jackets will be available for sale at our on venue store and this will help the people who are not dressed in white to gain entry to the event, at the same time as it will give us a chance to further increase our venue. Doors open at 7.
30 PM and the venue closes after the last DJ have finished playing at around 6.30 AM.7.2 Marketing Mix – PlaceFor an event such as Sensation, it is not only a matter of place but specific timing. Through extensive evaluation of candidate venue sites, it was decided upon that the most feasible for Sensation would be the Singapore Indoor Stadium. Initially, it was thought that the ideal venue would be the Singapore National Stadium, due to its perfect size.
Unfortunately, due to a government decision in 2007 to demolish and rebuild this venue, it will not be available until 2013. Singapore indoor stadium is not without its own merits however. Through creative planning, the Indoor Stadium would be more than adequate to host Sensation.To its benefit, Singapore Indoor Stadium (SIS) is ideally located just outside of the CBD, near a variety of different modes of public transportation. SIS is also very much an iconic building. It highlights traditional Asian architecture in a very modern way. This would help create an excellent image to promote Sensation’s first foray into Asia.
The first issue encountered when evaluating SIS was its size. Having an estimated seating capacity of 13,000 was less than ideal for an event that has been known to attract over 50,000 people. Fortunately, the seating arrangement is extremely flexible, allowing for the majority of seating to be removed.
As Sensation is a dance event, there is little need for seating. Using the modified set-ups displayed below in figures 1.1 and 1.2, the new estimate of approximately 18,000 people can be formed.This figure still pales in comparison to the large numbers of people at other Sensations, however to this there is a solution. SIS also has access to 2 separate outdoor areas that are routinely used for outdoor concerts.
These are called the Stadium Green and Stadium Waterfront respectively. Combined together these two have a total capacity of about 9,000 – 10,000 people. If these two areas are used to house separate stages, then this brings the total event capacity to nearly 30,000 people; a number far more appropriate for this event. The disadvantage with this solution however is of course it will be more expensive to set up 2 outdoor stages as well.
This increase in overhead should not be dramatic however and would not raise overall ticket cost significantly.The other major issue to address is time. For this, it has been decided that ideally, Sensation would take place on the 13th of July 2010.
This date was chosen for several reasons. Firstly, there are no other major events occurring on this weekend in Singapore, thus removing any direct competition. Second, as the target market is clearly 18 – 35, it only makes sense to ensure the event is held at a time when university students are on break. Other contributing factors to this include the promotions of the ‘Great Singapore Sale’ and ‘Singapore Food Festival’, which run concurrently throughout July. These events attract tourists to Singapore from around the world, and accordingly this is a good way to expand Sensations overall consumer base.7.3 Marketing Mix – PromotionIn order to promote an event like Sensation, a wide combination of advertising, sales promotion, PR, and personal selling will be employed.
Print, radio, television, and both mobile and stationary billboards will be used in the advertising of Sensation. For print, ads will be entered into local magazines and newspapers across Singapore and possibly Malaysia. Posters such as show in figure 1.3 below can also be employed in places that allow for these to be put up. Radio advertising and short television adverts during prime time are essential due to their wide reaching abilities.
Lastly, utilising the massive electronic billboards on Orchard road would be an excellent way to reach the 18 – 35 demographic, both local residents and tourists alike. The use of mobile billboards is another method, which should be explored.Similar sales promotion techniques to those used for other Sensation events can be employed in Singapore. Early ticket purchase deals and pre-release promotional goods such as clothing as a good way to drum up ticket sales, and raise both overall awareness and hype. For early purchase tickets however the possibility of linking tickets to purchasing should be explored to prevent scalping of tickets.For PR, a media tour featuring one of the headlining DJ’s should be considered, as this will create considerable media hype. It is important to remember that this is Sensations first event in Asia, and accordingly people will be both eager to attend.
The key objective is to create and maintain the hype up until, and through the event. Also, the idea of trance/house music podcast sponsorship should be considered for popular channels in Singapore. This would create a direct link between Sensation and its target consumer.Lastly, in a means to control the hype, street promoters should be employed from a local modelling agency to spread the word of Sensation and build excitement. By creating an overall presence in Singapore, the level of general anticipation will be heightened.
By using this combination strategy, Sensation will benefit from this level of generated excitement and hype, which will be reflected by early ticket sales. Target consumers will flock to this event, and by starting these promotions early there will even be people who will travel across Asia to Singapore for the specific reason of attending this event.7.4 Marketing Mix – Price7.4.
2 Profit and costsWe have based our estimation of the total profit and costs for this event on the Sensation event that took place in Melbourne on New Years Eve last year. Please note that this only is a rough estimation that had to be done in order to support the insufficient information that exists on costs related to events like Sensation.From the estimation we established that a total of SGD 2.753.705 is available for us in order to cover our cost.
If this is sufficient, our profit from ticket sales (excluding money from merchandise and sponsors) will equal the estimated price mark up of SGD 1.837.846 (see appendix 1.a for full estimation and calculation).All costs have to be individually calculated, but since this report not is supposed go into too much detail, and has word limit of three thousand words, only one example is given.