Executive Group Travel Blog

Sales Kickoff & the Value of All-Inclusive Properties


Annual Sales Kickoff:

Many tech companies host an annual sales kickoff every January or February to help recap the previous year, set goals for the upcoming year, and announce new product launches.  These kickoffs have evolved from traditional Webex meetings with content delivered to live, hands on sales trainings and/or simulation tests. With the shift in these kickoffs comes many added costs.  Webex/Zoom is the low cost non personalized solution that allows companies to share their updates and changes in a concise meeting format up to 3 hours. Anything over the battery life of a computer and you start losing attendees on the other side of the screen.  And to be honest after 70 minutes you lose the focus of a majority of dial-in participants. The more popular solution today is getting employees together for a 3-4 day intensive kickoff event. An important part of these events and the shift towards in person events is the positive effect on company culture.  What better way to boost employee morale and get your employees to "drink the Kool aid" than put them together for 3 days in a sales training environment during the day and at night social networking events. Most kickoffs only include 4-8 hours of content and the rest has moved to a more hands-on experience. So this all leads to the most common asked question of meeting planners.  Where should we go next year?

And unfortunately for most growing tech companies this comes 6-9 months before their 300-600 person event!  The tech market is constantly changing with IPO's, funding, and acquisitions so meeting planning time-frames have continued to shrink while cash is watched more closely.

How to Negotiate Force Majeure in your Next Contract


Force Majeure Clause:

Force Majeure Clauses have continued to evolve over the past decade and is currently one of the most negotiated clauses in hotel contracts.  The reason for this is the recent surge in natural disasters such as floods and hurricanes, along with an increased amount of terrorist attacks.  Also there has been a recent surge in travel warnings for risks such as Zika Virus and civil unrest in the past 18 months.

Let’s start with a definition of Force Majeure before we jump into further detail.

Jonathan T. Howe, Esq is an expert on this subject and has published a great industry resource on the Meetings & Conventions site:

http://www.meetings-conventions.com/Resources/Planner-Basics/The-Law-and-The-Planner/What-Does-Force-Majeur-Really-Mean-/

In this piece he defines Force Majeure as:

“The legal concept of force majeure (French for “greater force”) means impossible to perform.  Thus, if a force majeure circumstance makes it impossible for the parties to fulfill their contracted duties, they are relieved of any liability for failing to perform because of the intervention of the superior force.  But the inability to fulfill contract terms is excused only for the duration of the force majeure circumstance.”

Park City & Deer Valley, Utah Hotel Reviews - MICE Travel

Due to the improved airlift into Salt Lake City from the East Coast, Park City, Utah has become a top choice for both winter ski vacations and spring/summer outdoor adventures.  Park City, Utah is just a quick 35 minutes from the Salt Lake City airport and has both Park City Mountain Resort and Deer Valley Resort, as well as the Utah Olympic Park.  Guests can enjoy a bucket list experience of a Bobsled ride or explore Park City from above through hot air balloon rides.  Historic Main Street has been revived with restaurants, bars, shops, and art galleries.  It's one of the top upcoming destinations in the US for year round adventure options!

Hotel Reviews for MICE Travel in Jamaica

 

Overall Jamaica is a somewhat disappointing location in terms of hotel products for MICE travel.  The hotel product is a step down from Cancun and Punta Cana and unfortunately the service is a further step down.  The beaches lack the beauty of Punta Cana and the hotels lack the elegance of the 5 star Cancun/Riviera Maya properties. The one benefit is the water/food is a step up from the two other locations.  Guests are less likely to get sick but still encouraged to only drink bottled water. The airlift is also a little quicker from most East coast cities.

How to Successfully Conquer your First IMEX America

The Worldwide Exhibition for Incentive Travel, Meetings, and Events (IMEX) is the largest trade show and hosted buyer program in the country.  IMEX America just concluded its 7th year in Las Vegas this October and it was how I began my career in Incentive Travel.  With over 3,200 exhibitors, 130 countries represented, and 180 education sessions available IMEX was the perfect platform for me to dive into this new world.

Has technology replaced printed agendas?

In 2017, you would assume the answer to this question is yes.  And for the most part that is right.  Technology in the meetings and events industry has transformed over the last 3-5 years with smartphone apps, websites and on site displays.  However, despite providing attendees all of this technology, from event websites, to on site agenda apps and even agenda screens displaying through the property, there is still feedback that certain guests miss the hard copy agendas.  With that said the days of printing one agenda on hard stock for every attendee is over, we recommend printing 20% of the attendee number and if you run out you can always print on site.

Los Cabos MICE All-Inclusive Hotel Reviews

Los Cabos and Cabo San Lucas has been recovering from the 2014 Hurricane for the last few seasons and hotels are finally reopened and travelers are returning!  It is currently one of our top 10 Hotel Destinations for Incentive Travel in 2018 and the all-inclusive properties can be a great fit for most MICE travel.  As we mentioned in our April blog growth is the story for Cabo currently so it will be very interesting to see what it will look like in 2020 once the hotel surge is completed.  The Hard Rock Los Cabos will compete in the incentive space with approx 600 rooms and 26,000 square feet of meeting space expected.  And don't forget for those looking for 5 star non-all inclusive options, the Ritz Reserve, the Four Seasons, Nobu, and Montage are all opening in Cabo sooner rather than later! 

New England Company Retreat Options


New England Resorts :

For companies that are looking to hold corporate events, events in off season months at New England resorts are a tremendous opportunity for a top flight corporate event at a bargain rate. Events booked in either the fall or spring benefit from the drop in occupancy in the form of reduced block room rates, the full attention of a recreation department to plan activities and still pleasantly warm temperatures of the late spring or early fall season. For those looking for a little more than a company picnic at Thompson Island, here are four impressive options within two hours of the Boston area.

Four Seasons Dallas at Las Colinas


A Rating:

"Checks all the boxes," "Constantly investing in improvements," "No is not in their vocabulary," "Surfset class was an amazing start to a day full of meetings" 

Overall I would give this resort an A rating which is rare given my high expectations.  From the minute you enter the lobby you are impressed by the staff welcoming, cleanliness, and overall Texas charm.  Each day the resort provides a tasty complimentary drink by the check-in counter, throughout the spa and in the sports club (Arnold Palmer, peach iced tea, etc).   The lobby has a great seating area with views of the pool and golf course which also doubles as a great spot to enjoy lunch, snacks throughout the day or drinks in the evening.  Many guests enjoyed the comfort of the lobby lounge and were found escaping their rooms and working from this area.

Spotlight location:  Boca Raton Resort & Club


Unique:

This location is definitely unique given its breakup over two resorts but it has a few great features that make it a good option for your next sales meeting.  Many companies are using it as an alternate to the Breakers given the Breakers availability is limited over the next two years for group meetings.