Delivering on the same promise with a different venue
Scope: During the pandemic, one of our incentive events was scheduled to take place at an isolated island location. The island in question had instituted restrictive measures against gatherings of more than 25 people at a time, but these measures were due to be relaxed well before our event was to take place. Unfortunately, the island experienced a surge in Covid cases over the summer and fall. Consequently, the restrictions remained in place. The client made the decision to move the event back to the continental United States for ease of travel. Additionally, a poll of the attendees indicated that more than 70% preferred an in-person event to a gifting program. With only three months to relocate the event, instead of the usual six to seven, our team would need to find and secure a suitable venue to deliver a comparable event on behalf of the client. Incentive events are meant as a premium experience to those who attend, so we had to ensure that the feeling of a reward was clearly front and center.
Approach: We threw ourselves into finding a new venue that was both in the lower 48 states and worthy of the luxurious incentive event our client had in mind. After an exhaustive search, we narrowed the roster of possible locations down to a few, while keeping in close communication with the client to make sure they were fully in the loop on the details of our search. After a few exploratory site visits to the final contenders, we settled on a beautiful resort hotel in Southern California that fit the bill perfectly. With that, our event team went into overdrive. In no time, they arrived on the scene and began the planning process. Aware that the new venue, while gorgeous, was perhaps not as glamorous as the island setting would have been, the team began exploring ways to make the event especially memorable, with one-of-a-kind experiences and a ramped-up gifting program. In particular, we found a special experience where each attendee would have the chance to design their own pair of custom Nike sneakers, down to the style, the color - even the laces!
Outcome: This was the first event for many of the attendees since the pandemic started. We could feel the energy and enthusiasm from everyone who came. They were just happy to be together. We received so many comments that this was their favorite trip to date. Many of them still wear their Nikes!
From signs to shirts – How our team overcame unexpected challenges to ensure a smooth meeting arrival experience
Scope: We were scheduled to host a meeting in Naples, Florida. Attendees would be flying in from all over the United States to the Fort Myers airport. Final confirmations went out to attendees with information about meeting their greeter for ground transfers when they arrived at the baggage claim. We let the attendees know that we would greet them with a sign bearing the name of the meeting on goldenrod-colored paper.
Unexpected Complication: The morning prior to the meeting's arrival date, our ground company told us that the town of Fort Myers dictated that greeter signs were not allowed inside the terminal anymore, thinking they would clean up the look of the airport. We had no time to ensure this new information would reach all incoming attendees.
Outcome: Thinking quickly, we went to a local T-shirt store and bought shirts in the goldenrod color with the name of the meeting printed on the front. We then sent the shirts overnight to arrive by 8 a.m. so that all greeters could wear them. As a result, with a meeting of over 200 attendees, we did not miss a single arrival.
Meeting client expectations through innovative thinking
Scope: After originally choosing a Miami site for a national sales meeting, the client asked us to find a more remote setting in the mountains for their event. After an extensive exploration of venues that would fit the bill, the team found a willing partner in the Deer Valley Ski Resort in Park City, Utah. It had the close, intimate atmosphere the client was looking for, mixed with stunning landscapes, and world-class dining. It ticked all the boxes on the client's wish list.
Unexpected Challenge: The event was scheduled to host around 800 attendees. The main lodgings at the resort could not accommodate that many visitors all at once, either in terms of meeting space or available rooms. Our team had to find a way to resolve the size of the client's dream venue with the sheer number of attendees without diminishing the individual experience for each person.
Approach: We identified the challenge before us as threefold: First, they would need to find a place for all the attendees to comfortably stay during their trip; second, organize the meeting space to accommodate the attendees during the event's programming; and third, devise a way to get the attendees from their lodgings to the event space and back again. Our team of event experts solved the first challenge by utilizing three separate hotels as well as a significant number of high-end condo unit rentals just down the mountain to house all the attendees. Lodgings, check. Next, they needed a meeting space. If there wasn't one available, they would need to create one. Just after ski season ended, and the travelers had all left, construction began on a massive tent in the hotel's parking lot, measuring some 10,000 square feet in size! Additionally, the main ski lodge was transformed to make room for meals and breakouts. Meeting space, check. Lastly, there was the matter of getting the event attendees back and forth from their lodgings to the event, and vice versa. To do that, the team had to build a complete shuttle schedule out of whole cloth to ensure that everyone could comfortably move back and forth between the various different spaces. An incredible amount of thought and effort went into how to make this brand-new shuttle route run as smoothly and efficiently as possible. Transportation, check. Now the event was primed and ready to move forward, all with a scope and level of experience to match or exceed what it would have been if the event had remained in Miami.
Outcome: The event was such a success that the client still talks about what a one-of-a-kind event it was. It remains the largest non-Olympic event to ever take place at Deer Valley. As the final cherry on top, the last day of the event (at the client's request), we printed over 1,000 T-shirts to send home with attendees and event staff as a memento of this famously successful event.
Navigating a last-minute acquisition – how we delivered a successful sales meeting in record time
Scope: Infinix Global Meetings & Events was assigned a Global Sales Meeting that would take place in the United States with five weeks lead time and approximately 200 attendees. There was speculation that the scope of the meeting would need to include a "relaunch" as there was a possibility of being acquired by another company just weeks before the meeting. The pending acquisition weighed heavily on the future outlook of the company and the sales team. The goal of the meeting was to keep the sales force united and inspired while merging with another firm through team building projects, award recognition, and informative breakout sessions. Additionally, flexibility was necessary to allow the introduction of the new management team and leadership of the company if the acquisition was completed before the meeting date.
Approach: We immediately put our expert team on the task of creating a meeting theme that would work for both scenarios. Because of the short time frame, status calls were scheduled twice weekly. Within the first week, the meeting theme and graphics were created and approved. The meeting materials were set to print by week two. The awards list was finalized, and we expedited the selection and procurement of the awards, which we hand-carried to the meeting. The next step was to create the stage for the event. There were only two large spaces available at the hotel for the opening reception: the General Session and the Awards Banquet. We developed a plan to transform the spaces seamlessly within the theme of the meeting so they would stand out. The final week before the event, our client called to inform us that the acquisition had taken place, and we needed to adjust the general session schedule to include the introduction of the new leadership and outline the future of the company. Three days before the event, the client requested an inspirational video/animation to announce the new leadership and inspire the sales team. Within 24 hours, our creative department developed an animation set to music that would become the opening for the general session. We had to print the final meeting materials, including name badges, with customized schedules for each of the attendees, table place cards, team building materials, and the final program schedule after arriving on-site, all within the time frame given.
Outcome: We worked around the clock while onsite to execute all requests from the new management team, developing presentations and making necessary adjustments to scheduling and staging to get ready for the event. Our efforts were noted by senior management. We received a message from the CEO that it was the best organized meeting he had ever attended.