Meeting News - March 1, 2010 - (Page 16)

Event Profile Months before the Olympic torch reached Vancouver, franchise owners of the Five Guys burger chain had a chance to participate in their own winter games as part of a sales gathering in a former Olympics host city. Five Guys, which in recent years has grown from just a handful of locations to several hundred, needed to bring its franchisees together for the first time for a sales meeting in order to boost the sale of Coca-Cola products at their eateries. They decided to conduct the meeting in Lake Placid, N.Y., the site of the 1932 and 1980 Winter Olympics, which now regularly welcomes corporate groups seeking to capitalize on that Olympic history for teambuilding purposes. “Last year, we had 128 event days out of the year,” said Stuart Hemsley, corporate development programs manager for New York’s Olympic Regional Development Authority. “Sometimes we’re saying goodbye to one group at a venue while we’re making way for another.” Housed at the centrally located High Peaks Resort, where the company conducted its morning business meetings, the franchisees were able to compete in several Olympic events: bobsledding, the biathlon, hockey, curling and speed By Michael B. Baker Olympic Dreams Fuel Five Guys’ Motivational Sales Event No Soviets this time, but attendees practiced hockey skills on Lake Placid’s miraculous ice. tos of their competition, such as hockey jerseys and photos with their bobsled driver. Hemsley said all the events generally were hits with the franchisees, but said the hockey game always has a strong impact, given the history of the arena, the site of the United States’ 1980 “Miracle on Ice” defeat of the Soviet Union’s team. “Anyone who can remember the 4 to 3 defeat of Russia and comes into that arena with the curtain dropping while Aerosmith is playing, that’s quite an experience,” he said. While this was Five Guys’ first Olympic meeting, many corporate customers, such as Verizon, have made regular revisits to Lake Placid, Hemsley said. Corporations can tailor events to include their preferred competitions, and the venues have flexibility to handle inclement weather, he said. With Olympic hopefuls regularly training and competing in Lake Placid, corporate groups who prefer the sidelines have options as well. “We are an event-driven community and have world-class events even if corporate groups want to just come and watch them,” he said. “We can teach you to ski jump, have a hockey skills test, do the luge, skeleton and bobsled sports and bring their families to watch.” ❍ skating. All events are held at the actual venues from the Olympics and use the actual equipment, not imitations, Hemsley said. “Everything we do is authentic,” he said. “We don’t really get gimmicky.” An opening ceremony, including a torch run and cauldron lighting, kicked off the event, and the games culminated with a medals ceremony on the final evening. Olympic athletes— including Justin Olsen and Steven Holcomb, who were on the U.S. bobsled team in Vancouver, and 1984 GrecoRoman wrestling gold medalist Jeff Blatnick—also were on hand to speak to attendees. Many attendees flew in from warm climates such as California and Florida and had never even seen a hockey puck, much less fired a rifle on skis or ridden a bobsled, Hemsley said. The staff is on site to work with various skill levels, and particiFive Guys looked to light a fire under franchise sales efforts. pants left with several memenMarch 1, 2010 16 MeetingNews

Table of Contents for the Digital Edition of Meeting News - March 1, 2010

Meeting News - March 1, 2010
Meetings Spotlight
Event Profile
Meeting People
Travel Dashboard
Construction Cites
MeetingNews Research
Citywide Meetings
Dateline: Florida
Mid-America Regional
Dateline: Tennessee

Meeting News - March 1, 2010