Prevue March-April 2017 - 32
Architecting the Gift Experience
Incentive gifts are reminders of a job well done, and
Adrienne Forrest, VP of corporate sales for Bulova,
says the popular watch company "wants to be
part of that memory." They frequently are. Bulova
works with planners to ascertain the demographics
of gift recipients and then delivers an impactful
presentation that is "more like walking into a jewelry
store" rather than walking up to a display table.
"When I look at our most successful experiences
they have to do with rewarding top performers
and allowing them to participate in the selection
of their reward," Forrest explains. "They see six
to eight ladies watches or six to eight gentleman's
watches and they are going to remember their
achievement when they wear one of them."
Customized gift boxes or Bulova shopping bags
are yet another reminder of their accomplishment.
These are touches that capture the aforementioned
feeling of walking out of a jewelry store-that, and
a personal fitting of the watch with a jeweler.
"They don't usually know they're getting gifts.
And so when the planner sets the agenda and the
presentation is complete, they are all extras that
attendees want to take home with them."
Forrest says architecting the gifting agenda, i.e.,
knowing where the event is going to take place-
at an outdoor cocktail reception, registration,
gala, etc.-is crucial to making the fitting the VIP
moment it is meant to be. She suggests handing
out voucher cards to reward recipients that
designates a time for their fitting so the moment
isn't rushed. And when all else fails go with a
theme. "Maybe outdoors or sports related. It just
depends on the attendee."
Bragging rights are plentiful. Groups can don Stark family
character costumes, bows and arrows to fight off White Walkers on
the exact same spot where Jon Snow and Robb Stark taught Bran
the art of archery. They can even interact with the real direwolf dogs
or reenact and film scenes of the show. And even though "the night
is dark and full of terrors," many choose to top all of this off with
overnight stays in glamping pods deep in the Winterfell forest.
"Incentive groups love the 'time warp' when they arrive to
Winterfell, its sprawling 15th century buildings and ancient walls,"
Porter adds. "They 'get it' right away why HBO chose this location
to film the iconic Winterfell Castle in the show."
No less exciting, Experience Gaelic Games in Dublin plunges
groups of 10 to 300 into tailor-made cultural yet traditional Gaelic
games like hurling and Gaelic football. This experience can be as
laid-back or downright competitive as it needs to be-whether
performance-driven challenges or Irish dance lessons. Mellow groups
can try a Vintage Tea Tour, which mixes Dublin's top attractions
(courtesy of a vintage double-decker bus) with Afternoon Tea, while the
Jameson Distillery Bow has reopened with three new immersive and
story-rich whiskey experiences: the Bow St. Experience, The Whiskey
Makers and The Whiskey Shakers for groups of 40 to 180.
Dublin overflows in traditional and unconventional venues. The
Croke Park amphitheater is an interesting option with 112 meeting
rooms, an on-site 4-star hotel and rooftop tours. Christchurch
Cathedral offers dining in 12th-century crypts for up to 120 seated
and 200 reception-style, and VIP dinners-complete with a grand
piano, projection and more than 20 bookable singers for choir
recitals-are regularly held in the Music Room. In Limerick, Adare
Manor, a popular 5-star castle resort situated on 800 acres, is
reopening this fall following a restoration and expansion. There are
loads of interesting experiences for groups here-from fairy trails and
falconry to historical tours via Segway.
Some of the most enticing incentive opps in DC are anchored by a
vibrant and sophisticated arts scene and the history (and mystery)
of the US government. VIP tours of DC's most notable attractions
abound-from monuments by moonlight on a private bus to tours
of the National Archives Building, where the original Bill of Rights,
Declaration of Independence and the United States Constitution are
located, and the US Capitol Building's Crypt, Rotunda and National
Statuary Hall. Rare opportunities for watching Congress in session or
touring senator offices are also possible by contacting individual state
representatives in advance. Six blocks from the White House, The
Darcy Washington DC, a trendy 226-room Curio property debuting
this fall in the heart of downtown DC, is sure to keep the vibe going.
It's hard to walk DC without at least one eyebrow raise. The
shadowy world of espionage-ancient to modern-day-caters to
this at the International Spy Museum, which is set to move to
a new 140,000-sf building with more than double the floor space
next year. The new building will still include trademark interactive
spy experiences. In "Operation Spy" groups travel to an exotic
32 | prevuemeetings.com
3/14/17 3:43 PM