With an intense schedule of meetings arranged for its 2013 planning conference, communications agency Golin Harris knew it would be difficult to incorporate any incentives into its group’s packed programme.
The agency’s three-day, two-night activity brought together 20 of the company’s senior-level management for a schedule that was so tight, every detail would need to be meticulously planned. Despite the pressure, a stimulating incentive would be a vital way to invigorate creativity and boost the effectiveness of the planning sessions.
As one of Macau’s most expansive facilities, the Galaxy Resort was the venue chosen by Golin Harris’s in-house event planner. With the expected time constraints, Galaxy made an ideal choice because it offered everything the group needed under a single roof.
Built to impress, the Galaxy resort positions itself as a modern palace of luxury. Among its many attractive features – it has one of the world’s largest rooftop pool complexes featuring a tidal swimming pool and an artificial beach – are three hotels, including a Banyan Tree, the Galaxy Hotel and the Hotel Okura Macau, the latter of which was where the Golin Harris group opted to stay.
The rooftop pool facility serves as Galaxy’s main entertainment deck, and business events groups regularly use this area for incentives and breakouts. Activities such as surf lessons in the tidal pool and even outdoor rock climbing on an artificial wall are available. During the main day of meetings, however, Golin Harris wanted to avoid any physical activity.
To accomodate the schedule, the Galaxy events team therefore proposed that, instead of holding activities that could eat into the group’s meeting schedule, the Golin Harris incentives should take place during dining time.
Paul Town, vice president, hotel operations Cotai, Galaxy Macau, explains that food-based incentives are a natural fit for any event taking place at the Galaxy Resort. “It’s an important time of day, especially in Asia, and during the break scenarios, that’s where most of the exciting conversation takes place,” he says.
After consideration, Golin Harris opted for a sushi-making workshop as its main incentive activity. The event took place at Yamazato, Okura’s signature restaurant and the group learned how to make Maki rolls and Nigiri sushi.
Normal training to become a sushi chef can take as long as two years. Thankfully, the skills required to become a communication professional, such as attention to detail, tenacity and passion are all transferable. The group reportedly crafted food that was, at least, edible.
Jeremy Walker, managing director of Golin Harris, says the activity was a genuine welcome break. “We had such a tight schedule that we weren’t even able to pop out for coffee or have a real rest at any time during the meeting. The service staff were always on hand for these small details, but it’s important to have a break.”
While the meeting sessions were long, the group praised the facilities at the Okura. Walker adds: “Although the meeting component was a fairly conventional run of discussions and presentations, the facility itself lent a very unique edge to proceedings. We were able to take advantage of the light space and high ceilings that define the venue. ”
While the sushi event was among the highlights of the group’s daytime activities, it wasn’t the only food-based function the Golin Harris directors attended. A welcome dinner was held at Terrazza, Galaxy’s Italian restaurant, and prior to eating the group took part in a wine-tasting event. The activity took place in the Macallan Whisky Bar & Lounge and was led by Jeannie Cho Lee, Asia’s very first Master of Wine.
Lee oversees the Galaxy’s entire wine selection and her involvement in the meal was welcomed by the group. Walker said: “As a bit of a wine buff, it was a real treat to be part of this event.”
Approx cost per person: HK$5,000 (US$645), including
Venue: Galaxy Macau
Accommodation: Hotel Okura, Macau
• Morning arrival in Macau
• Meeting before lunch
• Alfresco lunch at Terrace Restaurant, one of Hotel Okura Macau’s dining options
• 3-6pm: Meetings
• Welcome drinks at The Macallan Whisky Bar & Lounge
• Dinner at Terrazza
• 3D movie at Director’s Club, UA Galaxy Cinema
• Breakfast at the hotel
• 9-10am: Planning meeting
• 11am-1pm: Leadership training workshop
• Team-building lunch: Sushi roll making workshop at Yamazato, Hotel Okura Macau
• 3-6pm: Meetings
• Dinner at Festiva, Galaxy Hotel
• Drinks and entertainment at China Rouge
• Breakfast at the hotel
• 11am: Optional team-building activity – beach volleyball at the Grand Resort Deck
• Free time/departure
Organiser Galaxy Macau
PRICE HK$5,000 (US$645) per person
Contact Paul Town