On 1 December 2020, Singapore Management University was announced the silver and bronze winner in three catergories at the ninth annual edition of the Marketing Events Awards. The awards was announced virtually, featuring nearly 300 entries from brands all across the region.
The Marketing Events Awards, organised by MARKETING-INTERACTIVE, honours and rewards excellence in event marketing across Southeast Asia, South Asia and ANZ regions. The award categories covered the full spectrum of event marketing and emphasised the hard work and sacrifice the events industry had made due to the impact of COVID-19, urging them to stay strong and continue to innovate and transform themselves. All entries were evaluated and judged by a panel of senior, client-side marketers and event experts who have vast experience in the event marketing. The full list of winners can be found here.
SMU’s win was for the inaugural SMU Virtual Graduation and Career Fair (VGF) held on 24 July 2020, which was organised for the Class of 2020 to mark the culmination of our graduates’ journey at SMU. The occasion enabled graduates to experience a virtual degree presentation, snap photos with their family friends at the Mobile-AR photo booth and submit their favourite photographs for a SMU Memories Contest to win prizes. In addition, job seekers could hear from potential employers and network with them; and participants at the panel session received guidance and insights from various industry professionals.
In line with SMU’s 2025 Vision of growing impact and cultivating change, the team leveraged on SMU’s “four ‘I’s” enablers to achieve success. We worked with various industry partners for the career fair, used innovation to create this novel and brand new experience for the Class of 2020, ensured integration by working with various departments/offices across the university to put the event together and involved internationalisation where we opened the event to SMU graduates located around the world who could not travel to Singapore.
For the achievement of conceptualising and executing this ambitious and innovative online event in-house, we took the honours in the following categories:
These awards are especially meaningful as our university’s submissions were pit against submissions from creative agencies employed by large corporates and organisations. Led by Mr Christopher Chew, Director of the Office of Corporate Communications and Marketing, a cross-functional team worked tirelessly behind the scenes to ensure that the SMU Virtual Graduation and Career Fair was enjoyable and left lasting and impactful memories for our graduates.
Said Mr Christopher Chew, “Due to the pandemic, physical events were cancelled and most initiatives pivoted to an online environment. With only two months lead time to organise the VGF from planning to execution, I must say it involved great team work across 12 internal departments and external vendors and 60 staff members that enabled the Class of 2020 to enjoy this memorable virtual graduation experience.”
Indeed, graduates were deeply appreciative of the University organising this event and found it to be a good idea. According to School of Social Sciences graduate Mohamad Raihan Mohamad Rafi, “VGF 2020 was to me a good idea at bringing the graduating class together virtually to celebrate graduation timely as we wait for the actual commencement event that will be held at a later date.”
As for Koh Zhi Rong who graduated from the School of Information Systems, he thought that “it's a great effort from the SMU team behind this. It is definitely a different experience from previous batches. The panel discussions were generally informative and the memories segment did trigger some of my memories which was quite important to me because it's an environment that has accompanied me for so many years. The virtual avatar walking on the stage was quite cool as well.”
Congratulations to SMU and the team who worked on the SMU Virtual Graduation and Career Fair!