Temple of bloom

French beauty and skincare line Guerlain held a four-day incentive in Siem Reap, Cambodia, for 175 of the company’s beauty advisors from across Asia. Working with cievents, Guerlain wanted a training and incentive trip that would motivate teams to keep the company’s sales high and strengthen morale within the regional team.

Winning Pitch

The incentive, which had its base at Le Meridien Angkor in Siem Reap from March 17-20, required a day of training followed by teambuilding activities around the Unesco Heritage site of Angkor Wat and a gala dinner held at an outdoor space at Le Meridien. cievents worked closely with Le Meridien for the gala and with DMC Buffalo Tours on the teambuilding programme. 


The day after their arrival, delegates attended a full day of training to educate employees about the brand’s existing and new products according to the three “product pillars” within its beauty line. Each Guerlain region had its own room, where seminars, makeup and skincare demonstrations on the three product lines were held. 

“It was more cost-effective to split the groups by region and have additional meeting rooms where training was conducted in their mother tongue,” says general manager at cievents, Carly Lewis (above). “We had a Korean, Mandarin, English and Japanese-speaking rooms. With most of the attendees from China, we had over 80 attendees in the Mandarin-speaking room.” 

Teambuilding took place the next day, where delegates had to complete a series of photo challenges within the grounds of Angkor Wat. “Buffalo Tours helped us organise the teambuilding aspect of the trip because they had experience hosting activities inside Angkor Wat, and knew what sort of restrictions we would come up against,” says Lewis.

“In groups of 10, the delegates entered the temple where they had to find specific icons and decorative reliefs within the grounds. Led by a local guide, groups spent around an hour-and-a-half within the grounds before heading off for lunch in a local restaurant and some free time for shopping or more temple visits.”

The gala dinner was one of the incentive’s more challenging aspects, says Carlita Glode, senior event director at cievents. “Finding specific decorations for the gala’s gold theme was difficult in Siem Reap, because there simply aren’t as many suppliers as there would be in a destination like Bangkok or Hong Kong.” Language barriers were also difficult to manoeuvre, says Carly Lewis. “We spent a few hours with the AV crew getting standards up to scratch and working on the stage setup. A lot of time was spent on the details, and we needed translators.”

The evening’s entertainment was handed over to Guerlain’s delegates, who had prepared dramatic skits and musical performances that represented their region in the style of the Eurovision song contest. “We sent out teasers in the lead up to the event, one of which included an invitation for groups to perform for their region. There were around eight to 10 performances, each lasting around 3-5 minutes. Both the performers and audience loved it,” says Lewis.

The Upshot

Despite challenges, the incentive was a success, says Caroline Teichteil (left), regional director of travel retail for Guerlain Asia Pacific. “The Beauty Advisor seminar exceeded expectations, which was the direct feedback from our beauty advisors. The gala dinner was among the most successful parts of the trip, together with the hotel stay and Angkor Wat activities,” she says. “cievents took the time to listen to us and understand our brand’s DNA, meeting our expectations despite difficulties and budget restrictions.” 

Lewis agrees: “On the whole it went really well. We organised flights, ground transport, visas and everything went smoothly. The hotel was fantastic. If we had a question, weren’t sure where to go for something, they knew straight off. For the offsite meal, they had great, local recommendations. Staff were available 24 hours, and we had direct numbers for the main points of contact all the time.”

When holding events in emerging destinations such as Cambodia, Lewis recommends planners adopt even tighter risk assessment than when working in more established markets. Ensure participants drink plenty of water, hospitals are located and, in case of emergency, a car and first-aid is on standby. 

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