WHEN you can’t hold your events in the real world as the COVID-19 pandemic rages, the virtual world beckons. The popular Hong Kong Wine & Dine Festival and Rustan’s Beauty Addict party both have gone online, adapting to the needs of the times.

In view of the uncertainties concerning the COVID-19 pandemic, the Hong Kong Tourism Board (HKTB) announced that its annual signature event, the “Hong Kong Wine & Dine Festival” will, for the first time, take on a virtual format.

HKTB Chairman Dr. YK Pang said, “The virtual Hong Kong Wine & Dine Festival will strive to recreate the festive, joie de vivre atmosphere the event is famous for, by offering access to exclusive wine and gourmet experiences curated by experts on the subject. Taking advantage of the virtual format, the event will be extended from the usual four days to several weeks so that more people can take part regardless of time and geographical constraints.”

To preserve as much original flavor of the physical event as possible, the HKTB is building an online hub where most of the Festival programs will take place. A variety of wine merchants will be providing special discounts and products tailored for the Festival, which participants can browse and purchase in a virtual exhibition space.

Meanwhile, renowned wine and food critics, chefs, and wine experts will be invited to speak on wine-pairing and culinary topics in virtual workshops and classes.

Meanwhile, Rustan’s Beauty Addict celebrates its 8th anniversary with its first ever online live party on Sept. 3.

Rustan’s The Beauty Source will bridge brands and consumers through an online live party on the Beauty Addict Portal. The event will bring together beauty gurus, influencers, and makeup aficionados for an afternoon filled with all things beauty.

Hosted by Tim Yap, the virtual experience will start with a Facebook live discussion at 4 p.m. with some of the well-known personalities from different fields — fashion icon Tessa Prieto-Valdes, entrepreneur and Miss Universe Philippines 2017 Rachel Peters, broadcast journalist Marie Lozano, businesswoman and model Mikaela Lagdameo-Martinez, and host and social media lifestyle content creator Janeena Chan. Guests will get the chance to win in a raffle with a P30,000 eGCs shopping spree at Rustan’s The Beauty Source, P20,000 worth of beauty products, P10,000 worth of beauty products as prizes. From tackling topics about mindful beauty to all-clusivity, to giving out special giveaways, the virtual event will serve as a countdown to open the Beauty Addict Portal at the end of the live discussion at 5 p.m.

Beauty Addict 2020 has prepared various activities for everyone to enjoy online. Face Forward will not only be a portal for patrons to shop but also play interactive games, much like the previous annual celebrations. The first 1,000 people to finish five games will win a Beauty-in-a-Bag with a P500 Rustan’s voucher and gifts from La Prairie, Clarins, Neal’s Yard Remedies, Murad, Sisley, L’Occitane, Phyto, Jane Iredale, Stila, Deborah Lippmann, Acca Kappa, among others. The P500 voucher can be availed for a minimum purchase of P5,000 at Rustan’s The Beauty Source or via Personal Shopper On Call from Sept. 3 until Nov. 30.

Sites within the Beauty Addict Portal include a Trends Capsule featuring different makeup tutorials and a Photo Room where attendees can take photos and create interactive GIFs. Exclusive #RustansBeautyAddictFaceForward beauty filters highlighting the three looks of the future are also available on Instagram.

Rustan’s Makati in-store shoppers will also get the chance to experience the future of beauty safely at carefully set-up beauty areas for customers. Special gifts and treats await Beauty Addict members as they shop on Sept. 3 in any Rustan’s Department Store or through Rustan’s Personal Shopper On Call! The first 200 members to purchase P10,000 worth of beauty products will receive a P1,000 digital voucher. Reach P20,000 and get an additional SORA multipurpose towel on top of the voucher. Beauty Addict members can also get the chance to win a luxurious shopping spree! For every P2,500 purchase from Sept. 1 to Oct. 31, a member is entitled to one e-raffle entry.