The hubbub surrounding Crazy Rich Asians—which was filmed in Malaysia and Singapore and is enriched with the region’s cultural diversity—got us thinking...

Event planners can take inspiration from the vibrant landscape of the area. Here’s how to put on a great meeting by taking cues from this diverse and beautiful region of Southeast Asia.

Incredible Food

Singapore is home to some of the cheapest Michelin-starred food on the planet. The food culture of the area takes you on a culinary adventure that’s difficult to forget. The Singapore Food Festival is a great source of inspiration—and your guests would miss out if you didn’t give them a taste of local cuisine. Malaysia is renowned for unique domestic specialties but is also known for incorporating flavors from across the globe—Indian, African, Malay and European cuisine are all blended throughout the region. Kuala Lumpur is well-known as the home of scrumptious street food, so take a page out of their book and experiment with dishes like roti canai, nasi lemak, chicken satay, beef rendang, nasi kandar or laksa Penang.

Traditions and Festivals

Both Singapore and Malaysia have incredible heritage that’s highlighted with regional festivals. There are many festivals to learn from, including Deepavali, Chinese New Year and Hari Raya Aidilfitri. There are celebrations for every occasion, most of which are commemorated with incredible feasts. For example, why not toss a Yee Sang salad at your event for prosperity and well wishes? It’s particularly apt at Chinese New Year, a two-day nationwide holiday in Malaysia and Singapore that’s celebrated with traditional red dragons for warding off evil spirits. Incorporating a dragon lantern at your event—or even going so far as to launch fireworks—makes for a visually stunning aesthetic. Chinese New Year isn’t the only way to bring in Chinese flair, of course. Taking a cue from Chinatowns—in Malaysia and elsewhere around the world—is another way to bring a touch of magic to proceedings.

The Arts

Wondrous art fills these countries, adding to the sense of joy and bounty. Grand concert halls, art collections at museums, sculptures and murals fill the public landscape. The Civic District of Singapore is the cultural hub of the region; reading up on this rich area can prompt ideas for ways to bring some art to your next event.  

Hawker Centers

Singapore is the home of many hawker centers, where you can get a delicious meal for under $10. These are larger versions of mall food courts, with multiple offerings of delicious local favorites. Create a similar setup at your event to capture the feel of hawker centers (don’t forget the fresh fruit and local-style desserts!). If you have to charge for food at your event, prioritize affordability for guests. When you need a particularly large space to mimic the setup of a hawker center, you can use a venue like the Courtyard Bandung Dago in Indonesia.

Gardens by the Bay and Haw Par Villa

Gardens by the Bay is an incredible outdoor attraction with unique opportunities for experiencing a collection of giant vertical gardens, and Haw Par Villa is a park full of life-sized sculptures from Chinese mythology, with folk stories that teach children about morality. Incorporating elements of these landscapes is a recipe for success. Or why not go all out with both? A Gardens by the Bay–Haw Par Villa-themed event would incorporate the lush flora of the former and the fantastic sculptures of the latter—a feast for the eyes indeed.