Sales conference: Hong Kong

The Pacesetters program is an annual travel incentive/conference for various business units of a telecommunications leader. Participants are the top performers from the sales team and qualify for a place on this prestigious event by meeting stringent targets and KPIs .

The 2018 program took place over 4 nights in Hong Kong, including informative business sessions, inspiring speakers, Corporate Social Responsibility, themed gala dinner, delicious local dining and free time to explore the amazing city of Hong Kong.

Solterbeck Events has partnered with this client on the Pacesetters program for 20 years. In this time their delegates have been to some amazing places including Hawaii, Vietnam, Uluru, Fiji, and Shanghai… Just to name a few.

They’ve enjoyed world-class speakers, informative and fun conferencing, dined, wined, worked, and sometimes cried together. Every year, the challenge for Solterbeck Events is – how do we make this better?

Over the life of our work on Pacesetters we have always worked collaboratively, sharing ideas and researching ways to bring innovation and surprising highlights to the program.

2018 was no exception. Hong Kong was chosen as the destination, and the ideas started flowing.

The focus was to create a seamless, enjoyable and totally memorable experience for the participants – to reward, motivate and inspire them.

Here’s just some of the (big and little) things that helped achieve a rating of 91% of participants deeming 2018 ‘Very good/excellent’ (beating the 2014-2017 four-year average of 86.5%):

Full integration of the Pacesetters mobile app

The app acted as a communication tool between the Challenge Team and participants, and participants to each other. We facilitated live polling and feedback, allowing delegates to direct questions to the speakers; made any changes to program details or daily agendas easy and instant to communicate, and gave delegates all of that in the palm of their hand!

Introduced Catch Box

To create some fun during question time we introduced the use of Catch Boxes. These foam boxes, with microphones inside, are real crowd pleasers. They are novel, new, and made the sessions more interactive.

Continued the important work of the CSR program.

CSR is no longer a ‘component’ of Pacesetters, it is the anchor, and such an important salute to the Client’ commitment to giving back. It has earned them two global awards of excellence, and is an integral part of the Pacesetters’ experience.

While challenging to surpass the experience in Vietnam, we worked with Habitat for Humanity to bring to fruition the painting of murals at schools, cleaning out class rooms, and renovating small apartments in the housing estates. It’s impossible not to be moved by such an experience.

The CSR was the most mentioned activity on the feedback survey, and elicited responses such as:

“This whole trip has been super eye opening, you know first time in HK, first time on Pacesetters, and then this (CSR) – is unlike anything I’ve ever done – it’s pretty special”

“Incredible feeling, the main theme is contributing and giving to other people who are less fortunate than I am. To be able to see the smiles on the peoples’ faces – it’s unforgettable, and priceless. It put tears in my eyes”

Adding value for the client

Impact and outtake for delegates is of course key. However we take just as seriously our responsibility to return great value for money for our client.

For example we responded quickly in advising our client when the most beneficial worldwide market FX rates presented themselves.

We leveraged our supplier partnerships. The items below resulted in a 6% saving to the overall budget:

  • 4% cash back on the initial contracted spend at the hotel
  • Additional rooms free of cost
  • A 50% reduction in the Gala Dinner venue hire fee
  • A waiver of all charges for the 3-phase power required for the Gala Dinner and Conference Sessions
  • An extension of one hour beyond the normal hotel deadline for the Gala Dinner, giving delegates more time to network, party and appreciate the joy and camaraderie of being together

Partnering in building the Pacesetters program into the award-winning program that it is today is one of the highlights of our rich history.