Friday, November 21, 2008


The objective of this report is to identify how various components of the event marketing mix has been used in this event I visited and evaluate how effective those components had been used to contribute towards the success of the event. In this case, I have chosen to take a look at the Christmas light-up this year. I have done most of my research through the internet and have walked along Orchard Road myself taking a look at the lightings.

Every year, during Christmas, lightings will be put up for all to see. There will be decorations and monuments in front of the shopping malls and some might win prizes for having the nicest decoration. This community event attracts locals to drive down to have look and also provide a lovely sight for all the tourists to see. You can see it from all of Orchard Road, Bras Basah Road and Marina Bay. It is held by Singapore Tourism Board (STB) and is sponsored by Hitachi. Other than lightings, STB has decided to come up with a theme “Sweet Shoppe” whereby all the events from before Christmas till New Year come under. In this report, the main topic would be the light-up along Orchard Road. However, I will be mentioning other events as well as all of them play a part this Christmas season.

Evaluation of the effective use of marketing mix

Firstly, the goal of holding this event is to attract the visitors, especially those around Singapore, to spend their Christmas here and to make it more attractive to tourists who wish to avoid the cold European or Russian winters. As quoted from STB “tropical Singapore does have a year-end appeal for tourists, especially to those looking for an escape from the European or Russian winters.” This will increase our tourism arrivals and receipts which will boost our economy. “PROMOTIONS and special events have been lined up for the year-end Christmas and New Year festive period as the Singapore Tourism Board (STB) tries to shore up tourism numbers”
Situation analysis

Before implementing the marketing mix, the organisers had to first do a situation analysis such as PESTEL and SWOT. Under PESTEL, the factors are political, environmental, socio-cultural, technological, economical and legal. The government produces and sponsor some of these events and is necessary as the light-up takes up space along Orchard Road and if the government refuses to give permission, then there would be trouble as the event would not be able to carry on. There will be socio-cultural impacts such as there will be more entertainment along with these Christmas events, such as Christmas events, mall events and year end events. This can be found on the website created by Singapore Tourism Board,

One of the strengths of this Christmas light-up is that Singapore is tropical and has no snow. So for those Westerners who experience winter season all the time will find the weather in Singapore to be a fresh change during Christmas. The opportunities in this event will be the tourists arriving, guests avoiding winter and the locals. However, there are threats as well, such as terrorism and the recent recession across the world. As quoted from a speech made by STB “The board has conceded it would fall short of its tourist-arrival and spending targets this year as a result of the global downturn”
After having done the situation analysis, the organisers have to do market segmenting and targeting before moving on to the marketing mixes. Here we have 8ps, namely partnerships, promotions (communications), price, packaging and distribution, product, place, programming and people.

Partnership and people
As host organisations, the major stakeholders are Singapore Tourism Board, Orchard Road Business Association and Hitachi. STB is the main coordinator and organiser while the Orchard Road Business Association holds events around this year’s Sweet Family theme. Hitachi’s role would be the major sponsor for the light-up this year. Their concerns would be the turn up for the light-up and other events, the profit earned for the period of time and more sponsorship. As for host community, the stakeholders are the businesses taking part in these events around Orchard and the shopping centres. The stakeholders for participants and spectators would be Singaporeans and tourists. Some of their concerns would be monetary issue, if some of the events are value for money, for the tourists, which way to walk to see the lights in Orchard and security. The stakeholders of co-workers are the lighting and logistic companies and the construction and renovation companies. For the Christmas decorations and lightings along Orchard, it is necessary for these companies to provide the necessary goods and services for these events.

Promotion (communications)
Promotion mix is the advertising done, the public relations and sales promotion, all regarding the event’s image. It is using the media and messages to build relationships with the event markets and audiences. Here, the promotion tool used would be the internet, the newspapers and the television. They have a website for the event this year, and also uniquely Singapore’s website. As most tourists will tend to look at the website to find out about the happenings in Singapore, they will no doubt see this light-up and other events as well.

Packaging and programming
Packaging and distribution mix would be a mix of opportunities within the event or marketing of the event with other external attractions, accommodation and transport. Since the main event here is the Christmas light-up, under packaging, other events together with the light-up are the external attractions, such as mall events, other Christmas events and the year end events. This is similar to programming, whereby they have to plan each event carefully, to accommodate other events.


As for price, the exchange of value to experience the event, the light-up is free of charge for all to see. It is out in the open and anyone can look at it anytime. However, they have admission charges for other events. For example, musicals and plays have admission charges. For this period, some clubs have promotions such as free entry or free drinks to attract customers.

Place and product
The product here would be the light-up, where tourists and locals can enjoy the view. It has to be of good quality and unique as if it is the same every year, the audience will get bored of it and it will lose its attractiveness. Hence, the organiser must have a plan every year to make the lights look better than before. For such an event, location is an issue as it has to be somewhere where it will draw crowds, where there is a definite crowd. Imagine having the light-up at Pasir Ris, for starters, especially tourists, they will not know where the place is. Also, there is nothing else there for them to enjoy. Having the lights at Orchard is most suitable as there is always a huge crowd there and there are many other opportunities for the audience, such as shopping or dropping by the pubs nearby. Also, traffic is high over there. Cars go through Orchard Road many times a day, be it before or after work or going home from shopping. Therefore, they will definitely get to see the lights. It will defeat the purpose if they have the light-up at a place where nobody will go. Now, when tourists know that there is something special happening there, they will definitely want to have a look, which brings them to Orchard. Since they are at Orchard Road, they will want to spend more time walking around there, shopping or eating, either ways increasing tourists’ receipts. Also, with the human traffic there, the atmosphere definitely goes up a few notches.

Economic and tourism roles

Place marketing
The light-up creates a positive image of Singapore. It shows that Singapore is a very vibrant city, full of life and enthusiasm. There is this sense of joy and giving when you step into Orchard and immerse yourself in the lights. I could literally feel the festive mood of Christmas. Also, investors will want to invest seeing what a success this event is.
Other Christmas events such as the float parade and Zoukout will also attract the tourists and locals. It is quite rare to have a float parade in Singapore. Currently, the only parades are during National day and the Chingay. Zoukout is a dance music festival at Siloso Beach in Sentosa whereby people will dance under the stars and party all night. This will attract the tourists who are currently in Singapore to go and more locals as well. It is an annual event that has started since year 2000.

Tourist attraction

The light-up will increase tourist spending as they will feel tired and thirsty after having walked along Orchard and will drop by any stall to buy food or drinks. Other events together with the light-up will increase visitor spending when they collect the admission fees. The tourists will be interested to see what else tropical Singapore can offer during their winter season over here. When they go back to their country, they will help advertise for Singapore through word of mouth. Therefore, we can expect an increase in visitors’ arrival during the same period next year.

Image maker
The decorations together with the lights will brighten up the whole stretch of Orchard, from a dull, monotonous city into a lively and bustling one. The Christmas decorations further enhance the light-up and add on to the Christmas mood. All these events will show the tourists that even without a winter season, we can have the same amount of joy during Christmas as well.

Catalyst and animator
The light-up is a catalyst as it stimulates infrastructure. The organisers have changed the structures along Orchard quite a bit. Hence, most of the tourists and locals can drop by and have a look to see what STB has done for us. It supports other attractions such as Sentosa or other Christmas events such as concerts and musicals. Trade and business play a huge role here.
In this case, the animator would be the light-up as it is the most tangible product in Singapore. Also, through word of mouth and through the tourists’ own experience for their stay during this period, they will want to come back next year during Christmas season again as well.


This field trip has helped me greatly in understanding this module as I can put what I have learnt to use. By using the 8ps, I realised what STB has done to make Christmas season this year merry. By strategically holding the light-up at Orchard, STB knows that that will bring more crowds to Orchard adding on to the already busy streets. Also, it is where the shopping malls are and people will tend to walk into the shopping malls after viewing the decorations and lights. It will then increase tourism receipts and tax revenue which will boost Singapore’s economy. Viewing the light-up is free as it would be difficult to charge everyone for such an open event. However, other events held this season requires admission tickets. Plays, musicals and even clubs will earn more compared to the usual due to the influx of tourists and due to good promotion mix. Together with other companies, STB managed to programme these events such that people get to see or go to most of them. For the light-up, they have free bus tour around Orchard and the float parade along Orchard. Also, they have events in conjunction with this season, such as the Nutcracker and the Tooth Fairy musicals. Last but not least, Hitachi has been their main sponsor for many years, gaining more recognition in the process.
I feel that the marketing mix has been used effectively as with all the efforts made, we as the locals already know that such an event is happening. Also, the tourists will definitely enjoy themselves this Christmas season.