21st annual meeting of top sales leaders for a global communications company.
Our client thought a private cruise ship charter was the only way to make a cruise extraordinary enough for his top sales leaders. But his group size turned out to be too big for the ship he wanted, and too small for a cost-efficient charter of a larger vessel. What creative solution turned out to be just right?
The Requirements: A global communications company wanted to charter a cruise ship for their 21st annual meeting for top sales leaders so they could control the entire experience and provide exclusivity for their group of 380 (including spouses). Their program had to be in April, and the itinerary would have to incorporate an intense business schedule, including 2 morning meetings, breakouts, a board meeting, nightly receptions, induction of new members and their annual golf tournament – all during a 3-night cruise.
The Challenge: The ship we initially recommended was too small for the number of people who were to be invited. Unlike an incentive or recognition program, this was a prestigious annual meeting by “invitation” that no one declined, so a group allotment on a larger ship was proposed. The company was doubtful that this important meeting would work on a ship because there were major A/V needs. Moreover, their normal agenda had to be coordinated with the ship’s availability of function rooms – unlike a hotel, there are no function rooms available for 24 hour hold. Most important, the ship’s itinerary didn’t seem to allow enough time to fit in the golf tournament plus the full meeting agenda.
The Solution: Landry & Kling identified the necessary function space and negotiated their client’s requirements into the cruise contract, securing exclusive use of all public rooms as needed. Royal Caribbean International understands corporate needs and was able to respond to the requests for exclusivity for 380, even though it was a 1,600-passenger ship. Their meetings, receptions, investiture of new members, photo session, beach bar, team building, and golf tournament with lunch were all private events. We also negotiated a delayed ship departure from Nassau to facilitate a full 18-hole tournament.
There was no cost for meeting breaks or use of the ship’s sophisticated A/V equipment. And there were other significant savings because there was no need to cost in ballroom decor, floral arrangements, entertainment, freight or A/V technicians. A carefully timed agenda and transportation for the tournament players as well as the clubs to/from the golf course resulted in a full and productive agenda.
The Results: The company said this first cruise was their best meeting in 21 years. The cost — about $1,270 pp including air. This was $220,000 less than their previous resort program.