2015 SITE Crystal Award Recipient
Excellence in Incentive Travel: Europe
“On Top of the World”
When an international financial company chose Iceland as the location of their incentive travel program, Iceland Congress embraced the opportunity to showcase the country as an extraordinary incentive destination. Over 400 people from more than 25 countries experienced Iceland’s incredible landscape, challenging activities, cuisine prepared by award-winning chefs and unique culture. Participants left the experience with new-found relationships and memories that will last a lifetime.
Effectiveness and Results
The program, designed to recognize high performing agents, produced a surge in sales production. Although the company initially expected 200-250 participants, the program’s success resulted in a much higher number of qualifiers. The strong program in Iceland has already had direct impact on the qualification numbers for the 2016 program with an increase in sales figures immediately following the program. In a post-event survey, participants rated the program 4.73 out of 5.
The Creative Approach
With the theme, “On Top of the World,” Iceland Congress knew that the event had to be extraordinary and set out to create a once-in-a-lifetime experience. From the moment guests arrived in Reykjavik, they had the sense that the program was created especially for them, adding to the exclusive nature of the event. The experience began with a Welcome Reception themed with ice and a glacier and guests were greeted by Vikings dressed in full costume, similar to those worn by the country’s 9th century settlers. An ice carver sculpted a Viking ship and guests were treated to culinary delicacies similar to what the Viking settlers ate.
The following day, guests traveled in 55, 4x4 Super Jeeps to Thorsmork Valley National Park where they were surrounded by volcanoes. In order to reach this treacherous area, the vehicles had to cross over glacier rivers and rocky roads. Upon arrival at the valley, the group was greeted by live music and a bonfire, followed by optional activities including horseback riding, ATV quad bikes, archery and mountain hiking. On the final evening of the program, guests gathered for a farewell dinner in the Silfurberg Room of Harpa. Lights were projected in order to mimic the Northern Lights on the walls and ceiling and ice sculptures and dry ice smoke added special effects as a band played and guests hit the dance floor.
Iceland Congress had to pay specific attention to detail in order to ensure a flawless program execution with many moving components. Participants came from 25 countries arriving over a span of two days. Meet and greet services included multilingual, uniformed staff and guests always had someone who spoke their language that they could go to with questions and directions.
With the increase in the number of participants, special coordination had to take place at each venue in order to accommodate the much larger group. For the excursion to Thorsmork Valley, detailed planning was required to make sure that there were enough vehicles to transport the guests and that adequate medical and security personnel were on hand to ensure the safety of the group.
In order to provide an exclusive experience, Iceland Congress worked with the Hilton Hotel to buy out the property, the first time in the hotel’s history that they have agreed to a buy out. On short notice, Iceland Congress also negotiated a buy out for the same night on three of the best and most popular restaurants in Reykjavik. These are evidence of the magnitude that the program had on the region and has helped to set a higher standard for future incentive trips to Iceland.