Challenges: Delivering excellence in a relatively new destination working with onsite suppliers and vendors; developing a solution to an airline strike
MFactor has worked with this global leader in software security for three years on their user conferences, sales meetings and incentives. We partner closely with the executives, understand their expectations and mesh well with the company’s culture. We have managed all aspects of their programs and they were confident in our expertise.
Knowing that their President’s Club members…a group of 325 international top sellers…were a young and adventurous group, we felt confident that the relatively new incentive destination of Dubrovnik, Croatia- with its Old World experiences- would be a terrific match.
Challenge: Operation of an incentive in the relatively “new” destination of Croatia
One of the initial challenges in working in Dubrovnik was the destination’s inexperience in operating top level incentive programs. As recently as the 1990s, the country was at war and in just 20 years has begun to welcome visitors and corporate business. That said, they didn’t yet grasp the how to provide concierge-style service. We wasted no time, setting expectations with the hotel, offsite venue, ground operators, caterers and every entity that touched the program. Just “Good enough”… did not suffice!
Challenge: Setting expectations for excellence with onsite suppliers and vendors
When we initially asked about the type of evening events the onsite suppliers could create we were disappointed at their all-too-basic ideas. MFactor has a reputation for delivering incredible experiences from start to finish and could we simply not settle for the type of events they had done for other groups.
Our in-house brainstorm sessions focused on the Croatian culture and heritage, traditional entertainment and cuisine as well as the “personality” of the people. We then detailed the framework for each evening event and coached our onsite suppliers and vendors on how, we as a team, would work together to bring these events to life. They were delighted to have a hand in creating such amazing celebrations and learning how today’s corporations expect to recognize and fete their sales leaders.
Challenge: Creating the vision for all special events from scratch and working with local suppliers to bring them to life
A perfect example of how we challenged the ground operators to “think outside the box” was the group activity. During our operational site visit, we knew we wanted to take the group to several of the islands off the coast so they could experience this side of local life. Rather than just take the group to an island and let them explore on their own we created a day of memories. Guests boarded a private yacht for an exhilarating cruise to one of the islands dotting the Adriatic Sea. This island was home to a fascinating medieval castle. Half of the group hiked, while the other half biked the trails to exploring the castle and then continued on to the other side of the island where the yacht awaited. They were greeted with refreshments and local musicians, as they reboarded the yacht and sailed to another secluded island where a gourmet feast awaited. This type of activity had never been executed in Dubrovnik so we developed it from A to Z. It was an incredible experience that was truly a “first ever” for not only the President’s Club members but also for the local operators who were amazed at how smoothly the event went from initial planning to the last guest leaving the yacht at the end of the day!
Challenge: Airline strike on arrival day
Most President’s Club members were scheduled to travel to and from Dubrovnik using the two main carriers…Croatia Airlines and Lufthansa. Shortly before arrival day, both airlines went on strike and we had to act quickly to remedy the problem. Kim Kondo, president and founder of MFactor, met directly with the General Manager of Croatia Airlines to discuss the situation and identify solutions. After lengthy discussions, and with their assistance, we chartered a plane to fly almost two-thirds of the attendees to Dubrovnik. Amazingly, the other attendees who were on commercial flights experienced no delays. Croatia Airlines’ personnel were not accustomed to providing concierge-level service, so again, this was a situation where MFactor coached and educated the local providers on our expectations. We solved the problem rather than take the traditional approach of “it is what it is.” Disappointment and settling for anything other than excellence is not an option, we always go the extra mile to deliver on our promise of “our best…always.”