Site Crystal Awards Recognition Program

2014 SITE Crystal Award Recipient

Exceptional Motivational Travel Program – Best in Class: Africa/Middle East 

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Crystal Events & Incentives 

Cape Town, South Africa

“Victoria Falls, Livingstone Zambia”

Sightseeing group.jpgProgram Overview

When the European Staffing Division of recruitment agency Volt approached Crystal Events & Incentives, they were tasked with creating an impactful program with a limited budget and time constraints. Thanks to the brilliant efforts of their UK agent and Zambia suppliers, Crystal Events & Incentives proposed a program offering a unique destination with one of the world’s seven natural wonders, an African safari, a CSR event at a local orphanage and an extraordinary awards dinner on a vintage steam train.  The group, which was primarily comprised of younger individuals from the UK, France, Belgium, Germany and Switzerland, had the opportunity to make a notable social impact, while also partaking in optional activities such as bungi jumping and white water rafting. The CSR component was without a doubt, the highlight of the trip, but the exciting activities left the group with memories that will last for a lifetime. Prior to the trip, participants went to great lengths to approach friends, colleagues and suppliers to collect a wide array of goods to distribute to needy individuals in impoverished regions in Zambia.  

Bunjeejumping.jpgEffectiveness and Results 

The goal of the program was to drive performance behavior by recognizing exceptional contributors, and to create connections and team bonding between qualifiers from a range of offices and countries. Staff from the management, sales and administration divisions of the company had the opportunity to qualify for the program if they exceeded their target goals by 5% or more. The program fit in perfectly with the client’s mission of exceeding the expectations of stakeholders through understanding their needs and providing them solutions, services and benefits that deliver measurable value. This was effectively reflected through the group’s CSR efforts that were highly beneficial to those who were helped. The spirit of giving did not stop when the program concluded. The company has continued to provide aid to Ebenezer Orphanage and School and is exploring new opportunities to help and the program has fostered an essence of social responsibility and charity throughout the entire company.

The Creative Approach

Upon arrival in Zambia, delegates were transported to the David Livingstone Hotel, located on the banks of the Zambezi River, within walking distance from Victoria Falls, one of the world’s seven greatest natural wonders. None of the delegates had ever visited Zambia before, so excitement was apparent as they realized how up-close-and-personal they would be to this amazing natural wonder. Each guest was treated to a river-front room adorned with surprise gifts, wine, fruit platters and welcome letters, invoking a sense of VIP status that was intended to be a part of the experience. Since the group was comprised mostly of younger delegates, activities were selected with this in mind. Adrenaline inducing activities, such as bungi jumping off the Livingstone bridge and helicopter flips over Victoria Falls were presented as options. For those looking for more tranquil activities, several options were available including walking with lions, spa tratments, a gentle canoe safari or a guided tour of the local Chief Mukuni’s cultural village.  
 
The CSR activity at Ebenezer Orphanage and School was the pinnacle of the trip and left the greatest impact on the participants. The group donated PC’s and learning materials to help the children become more computer literate and better prepared for their future. The program successfully integrated entertainment and social responsibility that made a real difference in the lives of the delegates, as they realized what a huge impact they had made on Zambian children and the community. 
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Program Execution

The group started their journey together at London Heathrow Airport and flew together to Jonannesburg, South Africa. Upon landing in Johannesburg, the group was met at the plane in a special meet and greet facility, where they were fast-tracked through customs. While awaiting their connecting flight to Zambia, the group enjoyed refreshments while getting to know their fellow delegates, many of whom worked in different offices. Although tired from the journey, the group was excited when they arrived in Zambia. 
 
The client had never included a CSR component in prior incentive programs, so finding and developing the right program involved a great deal of research. Once Ebenezer Orphanage and School was identified as the partner, it was decided to support the orphanage in different ways. The client donated 20 personal computers. In order to house the equipment, the delegates built a special room when they arrived at the premises. Delegates were asked to bring along needed items in their personal luggage in order to save shipping costs. The support from the participants was overwhelming with donations of educational toys, baby bottles, nappies, clothing, coloring books and crayons, among many other things. 
 
Orphanage1.jpgThe grand finale was the awards dinner on the vintage train. Delegates were booked and confirmed dinner on a luxury train, to stop on the Livingstone Bridge and have sundowners overlooking the Victoria Falls, followed by a fine dining experience in the luxurious dining cars afterwards. A week before the event, it was advised that the authorities declined our special request for the bridge run.  Alternatively, the train was taken into the game park. The group had an extended trip into the park and they were permitted to participate in the shunting process. The owner of the train made a personal appearance at the siding to meet the group. During their last dinner together, many tears were shed. The tears were those of sadness for the plight of the children with whom they interacted, mixed with tears of pride for the incredible impact made through their efforts. 

Environmental and Social Responsibility Practices 

The impact of the CSR event was far bigger on the participants than everyone had expected. The donation of PC’s will have a great impact on the students’ learning and  will provide vital skills development and  better opportunities for future employment. Work with the school has continued long after the trip with the client is providing ongoing learning materials for the children to become computer literate. The entire event was built around the concept of corporate social responsibility. The program changed the lives of everyone involved and continues to have a lasting impact. 

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