Event Production by Make Happen

Our client was a Japanese global tech firm, looking to design a leadership retreat in a location within Europe, where its EMEA directors from 12 different countries could enjoy a 3 day leadership retreat.

The brief for the retreat was to find a good destination, with great flights & transfers, and excellent hotels/restaurants/activities. Importantly, to help the leadership team bond and spend quality time together, our client wanted a destination that had good outdoor activities (for day 2), and an excellent hotel that had a very specific meeting room, in terms of size/windows/daylight/food (for day 3).

Approach

Considering our client wanted a 3 day leadership retreat, and the EMEA directors where flying in from 12 different countries, we worked with our client to propose 3 destination options that had great flight & transfer options from the 12 different countries, with outbound flights early Monday morning, and return flights late Wednesday evening.

Our proposal suggested 3 destination options – Barcelona (Spain), Nice (France) and Montreux (Switzerland). We helped our client select Montreux because of Montreux’s excellent rail-links to Geneva airport, hotels, restaurants, transport, activities and scenery. After day 1 arrivals, transfers and a social dinner, on day 2 the group enjoyed a refreshing outdoor ‘leadership team-building’ day in the mountains surrounding Lake Geneva. Working with our client, we carefully designed day 2 to help the group enjoy themselves as individuals and as a team, whilst catching up in a relaxed and informal environment, as well as bonding over fun activities and lunch al fresco. Day 2 activities included mountain biking through sweeping hill trails, guided walks through the Swiss mountains, and a private barbecue lunch in the hills (set inside their very own teepee tent). On the evening of day 2, we also organised a special leadership dinner, at a fabulous restaurant in Montreux called ‘Le Baron Tavernier’. The 3rd day was a business focused strategy day, using one of the hotels excellent meeting rooms – which we helped plan & produce in terms of important details like room size, location, windows, lighting, temperature, food, service, etc.

 

Results

From 12 different countries, the group flew to Geneva on Monday, and took a 1hr train transfer straight from the airport to Montreux. After arriving in Montreaux, our chosen hotel – The Fairmont Hotel & Spa – was only a 3 min walk from the train station, where the group was welcomed by one of our event producers for a swift check-in.

On day 2, after an early breakfast, the group met in the hotel reception, to transfer by executive mini-bus to a nearby village up in the mountains, where our guides welcomed the group. After a short gondola lift higher up the mountain, our group collected their mountain bikes and protective clothing, for a leisurely biking experience through the Swiss Alps, which would lead them onto a pop up yurt, with archery, drinks and an authentic Swiss style barbecue. After a relaxing lunch in their own private yurt, the team enjoyed a nice hike downhill, with stunning views and further opportunities to catch up. The walk finished back in the gondolas, with transfers waiting to take the group back to the hotel. After a bit of free time to freshen up, the team met again in the hotel reception and headed out for dinner at Le Deck by Le Baron Tavernier, with stunning views of Lake Geneva.

On day 3, after breakfast, the leadership team where shown to their meeting room for the day within the hotel. It was important for the client that this room had natural light and a U-shape layout, as well as the appropriate screens, laptops, connectors, pens and pads. The meetings ran swiftly, lunch was arranged at the hotel’s Jazz Cafe and everything concluded later on the 3rd day, with guests taking enjoyable 1 hour train transfers back to Geneva airport (whilst enjoying the lakeside views of Lake Geneva).

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