Landry & Kling received a Request for Proposal from a bowling company for their International Distributor Sales Meeting. Decision makers had 4 big concerns about meeting on a cruise ship…would our elegant solutions and recommended ship & itinerary “bowl” them over?
The Program Challenges
The marketing manager for Europe, the Middle East and Africa outlined the company’s specs for their distributor sales meeting, and put his 4 concerns on the table.
1) Perception Issues: Our client had to convince skeptical decision makers that a cruise meeting was a viable alternative to a land-based program. This was a distributor sales meeting – not an incentive program – with the focus on training, support, and business growth. Fun was not factored into the agenda, especially if it increased their meeting expenses.
2) International Attendees: Distributors from 18 countries throughout North America, Europe, the Middle East and Asia would be attending. With past meetings held in cities like Bangkok, Prague and Cape Town, a cruise ship sailing in the Caribbean would be an out-of-the-box choice. But would the attendees be pleased with the venue?
3) Single Accommodations: Attendees at the distributor meeting required solo accommodations. The meeting planner knew that cruise lines typically charge a single supplement fee of up to 200% for solo passengers – would this make the cruise option financially unfeasible?
4) Time and Space for Meetings: Our client needed appropriate facilities and enough hours to accommodate 13 business sessions for their distributor sales meeting. An itinerary that included multiple days at sea – in addition to alluring ports of call – was a critical requirement.
Landry & Kling’s Elegant Solutions
After listening to our client’s concerns and requirements for their distributor sales meeting, it was clear that there was one perfect cruise solution: Norwegian Epic, sailing seven nights in the Caribbean. Here’s why:
Greater Value at Sea
Remember those perception issues that a cruise was “too expensive”? The meeting planner went back to the senior decision makers with a venue option that was way more cost-effective (and more inclusive) than the five-star hotels they were accustomed to using. They were “bowled over” by the advantages of a meeting at sea!
Single Accommodations and Exclusive Lounge
Norwegian Cruise Line was the first cruise line to introduce ship accommodations for modern solo travelers – with no additional single supplement fee. Our client was able to book all 29 solo attendees in the “Studio Staterooms” on Norwegian Epic.
Another bonus – exclusive access to the Studio Lounge, a trendy spot where attendees could socialize, collaborate, share ideas, and grab a coffee or cocktail after meetings. They loved having a private lounge reserved just for them.
Meetings & Networking Opportunities
Norwegian Epic’s 7- night itinerary offered the ideal balance of land and sea for the group. Three full days at sea provided ample time for all 13 meetings, so attendees were free to enjoy optional excursions during port days in St. Martin, St. Thomas, and the Bahamas.
The ship provided excellent facilities and meeting space to support business objectives and group events. And the use of meeting rooms and Audio Visual equipment was included – a big cost-savings plus!
During the 7-night cruise, attendees loved having extra time after meetings to network, build relationships, and discuss the program content. Of course, visiting multiple tropical islands during the course of the meeting created an additional level of excitement.
As Joyce Landry observed:
“It was a really balanced event, with a lot of meeting content, camaraderie, and time off the ship. People had time to share ideas because they were together more than they would have been had they done a land program.”
Built-in Fun On Board and Ashore
Our client doesn’t have anything against fun – after all, their business model is based on fun and team spirit! They just didn’t want to pay for it. But on Norwegian Epic, the fun was built right in! Attendees had plenty of complimentary activities and recreational facilities to choose from on board the ship during their leisure time. Not to mention a variety of evening entertainment options including Blue Man Group, Second City Comedy, live music clubs, and South Beach-style dance parties on deck. And of course, a choice of adventures ashore!
And finally, there was one more feature that made Norwegian Epic the perfect ship for the Distributor Sales Meeting: 6 bowling lanes onboard. And what sealed the deal – one of the attendee’s companies had installed them. The group event at the Bliss Bowling Alley was a highlight of the program!