Intralinks tasked us with planning their EMEA Sales Kick-off for 2016. They had not outsourced this event to an agency before and wanted help with all elements of the event from venue sourcing, online registration, print, branding, giveaways, transfers and onsite management. We could look across Europe for locations, but it had to be easily accessible from any of their European offices and be a hub for the senior team to fly in from the US.
The team did not get many occasions across the year to spend time together as a group, so we wanted to have a strong focus on networking and team building. The dinner venues and choice of activity for the team building therefore, were as important as the meeting space.
After researching various locations all over Europe, we narrowed it down to Berlin and Edinburgh for site visits and decided on Edinburgh. This location we felt offered better value for money and more variety for what we were looking for in Scotland. We chose the Waldorf Astoria, the Caledonian. Having recently completed a multimillion pound refurbishment, the hotel is stunning and offered all the meeting space we required, as well as the 200 bedrooms we needed across a whole week.
For the offsite dinners we reviewed a number of different options, deciding on The Caves for an informal welcome dinner. Being part of the sub structure of the 18th century South Bridge, and lit with candles and fairy lights, it provided the perfect welcome to Edinburgh. Finally, we decided on a Hog Roast for dinner that helped create the relaxed, informal environment we were after.
For the gala dinner, we went for the other end of the scale and decided on The Signet Library on the Royal Mile. This iconic and beautiful venue provided the opulence and truly set the tone for the closing night of the event. We hired in additional lighting and staging as well as a Ceilidh band and a traditional Scottish menu to add a touch of culture to the event.
The Ceilidh band topped off the end to a very Scottish day. We had bused the group out of Edinburgh to Dundas Castle to partake in some Highland Games. The groups were split into clans and activities included Scottish dancing, as well as whiskey tasting, pipe and drums workshop, tossing the caber, haggis rolling and putting the stone. We closed the day with the two top teams competing in a tug of war at the front of the castle, before returning to the Waldorf Astoria for an afternoon of presentations.
Post event feedback was exceptionally positive with the delegates all very appreciative of the different venues in the programme and the opportunity to explore some of the city. The use of an online platform for registration ensured a smooth arrival and departure process for everyone and we had an event app made to keep everyone updated on the agenda, offsite locations and contact details in case anyone got lost.
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