A leader in wireless communications wanted to share best practices among cross-departmental teams selected from 11 countries during their global business meeting at sea. Could they really get down to business with 12 hours of meetings on a 3-night cruise?
Our client needed space for 100 tabletop exhibits, private dining for a group of 400, and a high tech/youthful environment. Team members were traveling without guests—but the company budget couldn’t afford single occupancy rates. Our client emphasized the need for spacious cabins that employees could comfortably share.
There was a limited choice of ships scheduled for 3-night sailings, and none had ever staged an event with table top displays set up over several consecutive days. The technology company also required state of the art equipment during 12-hours of meetings.
Most important, our client was not optimistic about the viability of using a cruise ship as a venue for their global business meeting, and had a hotel choice ready to go. We had only 2 weeks from the initial call to site inspection and contract.
Landry & Kling’s Elegant Solutions
We went to Disney Cruise Lines for the 3-night cruise, based on our experience with their deluxe service, advanced technology capabilities and reputation for stellar entertainment. Equally important, their cabins were designed for families, with 1 ½ baths and curtained off sleep-sofas that allowed more privacy for attendees.
Each of the 3 dining venues on the Disney ship were right-sized for our group. We negotiated exclusive use of one of the restaurants for evening dinners, and made special arrangements to reconfigure the entire room during the day.
Between breakfast and dinner, half the tables in the restaurant were re-arranged to accommodate 100 table-top displays, while the rest of the tables were stacked and concealed out of the way to allow walking space in the “exhibit hall”.
Meeting sessions ran concurrently in lounges throughout the ship each day, and attendees enjoyed free time in afternoon for shore excursions and team-building events in Disney’s private island. Participants also appreciated the high-speed WiFi available throughout the ship.
The allure of a Disney cruise motivated individual participants, and the self-contained environment of a ship created camaraderie and networking opportunities. Our client accomplished their business goals and reported breakthrough problem solving and knowledge sharing among divisions. The meeting planner considered this program to be a “highlight of his career” and became a strong cruise advocate based on the success of the global business meeting at sea.