Timbre co-founder Danny Loong launches new events management course with SMU and discusses its significance after COVID-19

Timbre co-founder Danny Loong launches new events management course with SMU and discusses its significance after COVID-19

The Singapore Management University (SMU) and Timbre co-founder, Danny Loong, have launched a new course for individuals interested in event planning. 

This new course, Events Management and Entertainment, will spotlight the multitude of processes involved in pulling off a successful event, from effective content curation to event scheduling. Through practical experience and insights from veterans, participants will learn the various aspects of event planning, as well as how to prepare themselves for potential challenges. 

The next course starts on 17 June 2020, and participants will be required to complete the six modules offered in order to achieve the Advanced Certificate in the course. Singaporeans can receive up to 90% course fee subsidies with SkillsFuture Singapore (SSG) Funding. 

Prior to starting Timbre, Danny Loong was the bandleader of Ublues, which has played at Byron Bay Bluesfest. Today, under his leadership, Timbre has evolved into a live music venue, along with a host of other enterprises, including a music academy. Timbre has also been actively involved in lifestyle festivals such as Beerfest and Orchard Christmas Village, and has collaborated with Tiger Beer to create Tiger Street Lab, concept store at Jewel Changi Airport. 

We caught up with Danny Loong to find out more about the new course, its impact in a post-COVID-19 world, as well as the reasons behind his foray into teaching. 

Why start this particular course in a season where events are all cancelled?

As many companies at this current moment—especially events management and entertainment organisations—have come to a halt, it is the best time to upskill their employees. It is also a less busy period, so it's a time when the employees learn most efficiently and gain more knowledge and insight through our industry experienced trainers during training.

The course also touches on how technology and digitalization of content has influenced the industry within the events and production industries as well, as demonstrated how some companies had to innovate and pivot when the Covid-19 Circuit Breaker measures hit us, by using live stream technologies through the internet to organize online events, shows and conferences.

Experts are predicting concerts will not return till Fall 2021. Government has also said measures will not be lifted all at once, but gradually. Will things ever be the same for events & concerts?

I am sure. Let’s cite Timbre Group for example: Timbre launched a new series #KeepMusicAlive and we already had a combined viewership of 100,000 over 8 shows with many of our customers posting thousands of comments, dedications and messages on our FB page and enjoyed the performance of Timbre Group bands sets in their own homes.

We can definitely see a move towards going digital during this period as we are all confined to staying home and this brings about a new digital trend. For example, Timbre, which is bringing its experiences online. Event companies will potentially bring event experiences virtually with live sessions or VR/ AR experiences in the future. The key is to discover and work in systems where this content can be monetized for the producers, and when things get back to some normality, companies must know how to fuse both real concerts and streaming and other technologies together to get a greater impact.

Why is this course still relevant post-COVID-19?

This programme is definitely relevant post-COVID-19 because it is not just a programme with theory but it is something that the participants will take away with the actual hands-on activities and exposure they will get. These include creative concepts and new technology levers, event budgeting and profit strategy, events sales pitching, sponsorship and brand marketing to project management and scheduling, event production, operations and logistics management.

The industry session speakers are also all coping with the impact of COVID-19 in their own businesses hence they will be able to give a real world, real time insight and discussion on what strategies they have taken and how other companies are reacting to the situation. It will be a dynamic presentation and discussion which will probably churn out some refreshing and interesting ideas.

Personally for you, why the move into lecturing? 

It has always been something I wanted to do for some time so thanks to SMU Academy for making it a reality. Having been part of building the Timbre Group brands and businesses, and being involved in our key events like Beerfest Asia and Timbre Rock and Roots, I have seen how the right content, strategies and implementation reap results and how some ideas just collapse. The collective experience which fuses both entertainment and event management gives me a holistic view of both and I like to share those insights to the students.

More importantly, since these 2 industries also happen to be my passions, I love to be able to hear about and help work through some of the students' dream projects and really guide them through the processes on how to make their projects more financially viable and how to stand out. I am excited, as I actually believe that the students will inevitably inspire me as well with their energy and passion.

Who should sign up for this? 

Executives, Managers and Directors in the following areas:

  • Marketing
  • Sponsorship
  • Business Development
  • Event Management/ Sales/ Operations
  • Content and Experience Development
  • MICE
  • Production crew

What will success look like for your debut as a lecturer?

Success would be when the students be equipped and inspired to produces great shows, events, concerts and productions. The event and entertainment sector is a huge part of tourism for Singapore and I think will be a crucial factor for our recovery from Covid-19, to bring tourism traffic back to us and to also re-build and rejuvenate the tourism-related companies from production, sound, backline, lights, and graphic design firms to event management companies.

That essentially will lift up the whole industry again, so it will be very beneficial if we can get more people to start off their dream passion and bring about a renewed energy to the sector.

Find out more about the course here

The interview has been edited and condensed for clarity.