2014 SITE Crystal Award Recipient
Exceptional Motivational Travel Program – Best in Class: North America
Fourth Wall Events
New York, NY, USA
A Fortune 500 technology company tasked Fourth Wall Events with creating and delivering an incentive program that motivated its employees to strive for success. Delegates from around the world were flown to beautiful Grand Cayman, Cayman Islands to enjoy a once-in-a-lifetime experience. The program was themed, “Starry Night,” inspired by Vincent van Gogh’s “Starry Night” masterpiece, and included a series of stimulating events, which ultimately led up to the final evening’s grand finale, a spectacular night of dining, dancing and fireworks on the beach.
Effectiveness and Results
The goal of the incentive program was to reward winners and their guests with a once-in-a-lifetime experience crafted to be intimate, sophisticated and exotic. The well-traveled program winners expect a stellar level of service, so living up to these high expectations proved to be very important. Winning this trip is a considered to be a pinnacle of success, which motivates a high level of performance and drive among the company’s staff. The program was designed to not only motivate this year’s winners, but to also inspire those who did not win to work even harder during the following year. The client does not measure return on investment in quantifiable terms of increased sales, but rather by the results of the extensive survey completed by attendees on the last day of the program. The client’s goal of creating an experience that far exceeded its winner’s most extravagant expectations were surpassed. The surveys recorded a new perfect average score of 4.97 out of 5.0, which was an increase over the previous year and the highest score ever recorded for this annual event.
The Creative Approach
The objective of “Starry Night” was to create a final night experience to cap off the entire program that would be memorable long after the program ended. 1,000 guests were split between two waves who traveled to Grand Cayman from all over the world with only one day to prepare for the second wave of guests. Fourth Wall Events was responsible for managing the arrival and departure lists with the host hotel, Ritz Carlton Grand Cayman. Since the company did not buy out the entire property, special consideration was taken in order to prevent inconveniencing other guests logistically and visually. Production equipment was hidden behind hotel foliage and structures or concealed with fabric or bamboo. Much preparatory work was done at night and in silence. The event commenced with guests being split into multi-national groupings for cocktail receptions held at seven beautiful locations throughout the hotel. Nine different vendors were involved in producing an outdoor event during the island’s rainy season, which required detailed attention to logistics. Fourth Wall Events ensured a seamless flow by instilling a culture of teamwork, problem solving, communication, creative collaboration and friendship.
Planning a program during the island’s rainy season also required a contingency plans so Fourth Wall Events created a detailed wet weather production schedule and an emergency labor crew plan delegated to each specific job. The plans truly paid off, as outdoor events were rained out five of the eight days. A 100 x 150 foot tent was put in place for breakfast and lunch as a wet weather backup. Onsite, the company effectively managed the challenge of anchoring the 500 floating flaming torches in the rough seas by creating cost effective floatation devices. Grand Cayman has one of the strictest short-term work visa policies in the world. Our Fourth Wall team consisted of 40 employees for logistics, décor and entertainment. To streamline the visa process they efficiently collected passport photos, police records and organized an immigration meeting and visa payments for all individuals.
Environmental and Social Responsibility Practices
In an effort to reduce waste and recycle, floral centerpieces from evening events were reused for the breakfast and lunch events by making slight additions and changes to appear as if it was a new arrangement. Battery-operated candles were reused for evening event décor items and pieces of scenery from previous events were used as well.