Group incentive travel and points based programs are the bread and butter of the incentive industry, but what many people don’t realize is that meetings and events can be educational, rewarding, and exciting all at the same time. With the right combination of speakers, vendor and supplier participation, and entertainment, national sales meetings and corporate events can be transformed from “boring” requirements into a great opportunity to interact with colleagues and experience once in a lifetime opportunities.
A few months ago, HMI planned a meeting that brought together about 1600 people for training, education, and the opportunity to interact with some of the vendors that service their industry. Though the purpose of the meeting was professional, the budget (and creativity of the client) allowed for a few surprises that tied some of the important aspects of the company’s core values into a hilarious and inspirational presentation by Richard Simmons.
On the second day of the trainings, one of the general sessions focused on healthy habits and highlighted the incredible weight loss that some employees had accomplished over the past year. Attendees had prepared themselves for an hour of instruction on how to make healthier choices in their lives, when all of a sudden the music started blasting and Richard Simmons ran onto the stage dancing in his traditionally skimpy workout suit. The entire auditorium jumped to its feet, cell phones snapping pictures, and danced along with Richard as he pulled people on stage.
Over the course of the next few days, we received feedback from dozens of people who told us how exciting it was for them to see and meet Richard Simmons in person, but what really made a difference for our client was hearing how inspired people were to make positive changes in their lives. In addition to dancing and “sweating to the oldies,” Simmons also addressed the audience, telling them about his own struggles with weight loss and encouraging them to exercise and eat healthy not just for them, but for their families as well.
Everyone has gone to a meeting that seemed to last forever, but by adding exciting entertainment or motivational speakers to an event, attendees can leave with great memories and the inspiration to make positive changes in their lives. You don’t necessarily need to sweat it out at your next conference to be successful, but with the right planning, your next meeting or event can be an exciting opportunity to leave a lasting impression.