Monday, February 22, 2016

EMRS Team 2 & 3 - Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) to integrate the Enhanced Internship with the SkillsFuture Earn and Learn Programme

Date: 26 January 2016
Venue: Marriott Hotel Singapore
Time: 745am - 11am

About the Event: The five polytechnics, Institute of Technical Education (ITE) and five retailers signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) to integrate Enhanced Internship with SkillsFuture Earn and Learn Programme. An additional 11 companies signed the MOU to offer Enhanced Internships for retail students. The MOU signing ceremony was held at an Industry Practitioner Seminar at Marriott Hotel which is organised by the Singapore Institute of Retail Studies (SIRS), witnessed by Mr Ong Ye Kung (Guest-Of-Honor), Acting Minister for Education (Higher Education and Skills).

The MOU Signing ceremony was coordinated by Nanyang Polytechnic (NYP) (the Retail Sector Coordinator Team (SCT)) in support of national SkillsFuture movement.

- Rehearsals @ TFA
Team 2 & 3 rehearsed twice at Theatre For the Arts. The first rehearsal took place on 15th January 2016 while the second TFA rehearsal took place on 25th January 2016.

Rehearsals were conducted to ensure that everyone familiarized themselves with the floor plan and transitioning of guests during intermissions. All the supervisors assisted with the rehearsal. Everyone chipped in in providing constructive suggestions as to how the flow of movement should be like. The setting at TFA was not to scale and it was pretty difficult to visualize how it would be on the actual day of the event.

Additionally, Team 4 helped out during the rehearsals as acting MOU Signatories. It took some time for the teams to get adjusted to the programme flow, however, everyone managed to grasp onto it quickly. When the time came to rehearse for the last time (the day before event execution), it was to fine tune the minor issues.

Setup of the layout for MOU rehearsal (All teams were involved with the setup and logistics)

Team 4 act as Signatories 

   Layout of each signatory on the stage

Actual rehearsal with Mr Edwin as the Emcee & Abitha acting as GOH

- Rehearsal @ Marriott Hotel
Rehearsal took place at Marriott Hotel Singapore on 19th January 2016. All teams were to be involved on that day as well. This time with more prominent figures to further guide us. From there, things became clearer since we were at the actual venue. Some changes were made to make the event more efficient and effective in the way they were carried out. 

Having already ran through the event flow, our crew was able to carry out our responsibilities with finesse.

After rehearsal at Marriott Hotel with the EMRS crew

Prior to the event, certain things had to be established first. Firstly, we had to see to the seating arrangement for the MOU Signatories and the VIPs. It took a few rounds for the seating arrangements to be finalized. We had to put careful thought into the seating arrangement bearing in mind that the MOU Signatories had to be hosted by the SCTs. The changes in seating arrangements kept changing as the guests took some time to revert. The registration list took a long time to finalize because up till the day before the event there were still pending changes. There were changes to the RSVP list on average every two days. We had to tally the guest particulars to ensure there were no mistakes regarding their identities. Additionally, we had to prepare a list of items required for the event – one provided by the hotel while the other items were brought from NYP to Marriott Hotel Singapore.

The logistics list was well organized and we collected all the required logistics from the different area OICs. The preparation of the logistics was not an easy task as we needed to bring more than required, hence, we needed to triple check the items and ensure that nothing is left behind.

We had to prepare tent cards for guests who had allocated seats. Regardless of whether invited guests had allocated seats, tent cards were also prepared for them. Team 2 and 3 worked together to make the process much faster. We pretty much had to cut, tape, and paste and then pack them into different bags that represented each table.

Furthermore, tent cards had to be double checked every so often because the RSVP list changes as the days went by. The process was tedious but we managed to pull through.

Event Day:
Team 2 and 3 had to report at Marriott Hotel Singapore by 7:45AM.

Everyone was to report at the registration booth, and breakfast was provided. After having a light breakfast, everyone was broken up to their individual areas. The registration crew had five people, ushers had four people excluding teacher ushers, Terigu room had six people and the stage had nine people.

The ushers were also briefed on the floorplan, each given a set for them to guide guests to their allocated seats. There was also an A3 sized map which showed where the tables were located in the ballroom. There were also ushers positioned near the escalator on level 2 and 3 to guide the 16 signatories to the Terigu room and the ballroom.

There were two students and teachers in the Terigu room. The students had to guide them through the documents and had to made sure that the signatories signed at the correct area. The teachers also briefed the signatories about the sequence of the ceremony.

The registration staff on the other hand were each handed a set of registration list with all the names of the guests invited by NYP. Pearlyn had the master copy of the registration list so that she can update with Ms Quek on the guest attendance when needed.

The registration staff were required to request the guests to do a manual registration if they have not done it online. If the guests have already done it online, a representative from SIRS will scan their QR code to confirm their attendance. The registration staff will have to inform the guests their table number and an usher will guide them to their designated table. 

 Registration girls tabulating attendance with WDA forms

The Stage crew had to setup the stage. They placed the table name holder, one placed the document for signing, others placed the NYP folders and pens, witness footprints while the rest cleaned the plagues. 

 Stage crew – Raymond, TengChong, ZhiBao and Michelle in position to have a feel of where the GOH and the witnesses will be positioned

Boon Wee had the final check of the layout and adjusting the minor changes 

Mr Sudesh had the final check of the whole layout

At 8:30AM the MOU Signatories started to arrive to sign the documents. Ushers were stationed near the escalators to usher them to the Signatory room. Then when it got near 9AM more guests started to flow in and the area started to get more crowded.

Everyone got to the venue earlier to help out with the event setup to make sure that the logistics were in place. Things went just as planned. There were briefings given to us such as getting the guests to fill up a form in exchange for their door gift at the end of the event.

The registration crew received the guests politely. There was an instance whereby a guest turned up for the event on behalf of an invited guest. It caused a little confusion for the ushers but it was settled very quickly.

Before the ceremony commenced, the stage crew were all prepared and on standby for the event to start. We greeted the VIPs and guests with a smile and kept our image professional.


In conclusion, the MOU event was successful as everything went smoothly. The registration crew were able to cope with unexpected situations and attending to guests politely concurrently. The ushers knew where to guide the guests to their destined table. Teammates who were stationed in the Pre-signing room (Terigu room) were able to get the signatories to sign on all the documents. Furthermore, they were able to handle the issue of a couple signatories coming in late to sign the documents. Stage crew were 100 percent alert and always on standby to react to any issues that could have happened. Importantly, both teams gave the guests their lovely smile and greet to keep a professional image with our NYP shirt on. On top of that, we were praised by our Principal and CEO of NYP, Ms Jeanne Liew.

We felt this event experience helped us to gain real-time knowledge of event planning and it also gave us the necessary skills in the future. We were grateful to have nice supervisors to guide us along the way of the event.

With love,
EMRS Team 2 & 3