RSA rewards with Platinum Club

Insurance giant RSA chose Brazil, Paris and Prague to repay top performers in its annual incentive programme

FACTFILE
Client: RSA Group
Event: Platinum Club Awards Programme
Group size: 34 and 168
Agency: DBMT
Date: 16-21 March 2010 and 7-19 May 2010
Venue: Copacabana Palace Hotel, Rio de Janeiro; Hotel Das Cataratas, Iguassu Falls; Augustine Hotel, Prague; Orient Express; Hilton Arc de Triomphe, Paris
Budget: Undisclosed

Pre-event planning
"RSA is committed to creating an environment where high performance is rewarded and success is openly celebrated," says group HR director Orlagh Hunt. The insurance firm rewards employees for going the extra mile with recognition vouchers that can be spent at hundreds of retail outlets across the UK. "But the ultimate incentive, for those who demonstrate consistent, outstanding performance throughout the year is an invitation to join our prestigious global awards programme - the Platinum Club. As winners of the Platinum Award, our high performers win the trip of a lifetime with their partner and fellow winners," says Hunt.
The Platinum Club is a worldwide programme with each country in which the group operates given the opportunity to participate. It is not exclusively linked to sales performance so people from across the whole company have the chance to be nominated for outstanding performance in all areas of the business.
Last year, RSA put the Platinum Club incentive programme out to tender. There were 12 agencies contacted during the initial stages of the tender, ten of which were asked to submit an RFP, with four invited to present at the final stage. DBMT was selected and awarded the contract to organise the Platinum Club trips.
"We felt DBMT excelled at creating unique itineraries and was able to capture a fun, yet meaningful way of introducing a CSR element, which is a new, but significant addition to the programme this year," says Hunt.
The agency was briefed to organise two trips for 2010, the first for a group of 34 senior leaders and their partners, and the second a larger group of 168 staff from all levels of the business and their partners.
Brazil was selected as the destination for the senior leaders' trip, with Prague, a trip on the Orient Express and Paris, chosen for the second trip.

Objectives
"The objectives of the Platinum Club are to give RSA the opportunity to appreciate and reward colleagues for going the extra mile and delivering outstanding work," says Hunt. "It could be very easy to cut programmes like this in the current economic state, but we believe keeping the Platinum Club is a key part of how we recognise our people and it goes towards helping ensure that people think that RSA is a great place to work."
DBMT managing director David Bottrill adds: "The RSA Platinum Club is well respected throughout the company. It's an incentive in its traditional form and a real celebration of the winners' achievements, so they need to be treated like VIPs."

Challenges
Bottrill says the biggest logistical challenge was finding dates for the senior leaders' trip, as these employees are high-level management and extremely busy, making it difficult to find a date they could all make. The dates had to be changed several times, and the trip was eventually brought forward from May to March.
Another challenge was flight management. With winners travelling from all over the world for both trips, RSA was keen for the winners to get the most suitable flight for them.

Solution
DBMT set up an event website and delegates were asked to register and input their preferred airport for departure. "We managed this predominately online, but with personal contact for special requirements," says Bottrill. "For the senior leaders' trip, we still managed flights online but followed up with a call and had more direct contact with the managers' PAs, so it was a bit more of a personal concierge service."
DBMT found out about the date change of the senior leaders trip while on a site inspection in Brazil, so was able to confirm the new dates and contracts while on the ground.
The senior leader trip to Brazil was a five-night experience, starting at the Copacabana Palace Hotel in Rio de Janeiro. Highlights included a private carnival, exclusive boat charter to Regente Island and a CSR activity.
DBMT found a local community project in one of the city's favelas, which organises after-school projects with school children to keep them off the streets. It brought the children to the beach to play football with the senior leaders' group who then presented them with backpacks and medals. The group then flew to Iguassu Falls for the final night before returning home.
The second group flew to Prague and stayed at Rocco Forte's luxury Augustine Hotel and enjoyed dinner at a restaurant overlooking the Charles Bridge, with a choice of pre-booked excursions the next morning. They then headed off on the Orient Express overnight train to Paris, with dinner on board, arriving in the French capital the following morning for more optional city tours, with the final dinner on a boat on the River Seine. They departed the following morning after staying at the Hilton Arc de Triomphe hotel.

Client verdict
"From the great feedback we've received and the excitement I've seen created around the group it's clear that the trips have been a huge success. I've been impressed with the standard of service that DBMT has given us and the destinations it suggested were fantastic," says Hunt.

Post-event analysis
Feedback was collected via an online survey. The quality of this year's Platinum Club trips was rated as excellent by 90 per cent of the guests, with 90 per cent also rating DBMT and the trip itinerary as excellent.
One Platinum Club winner says: "What a brilliant experience, from first being nominated, receiving the award through to the actual trip, the experience has been incredible. The level of organisation that went into making us feel like celebrities was phenomenal and absolutely everything was arranged to the ninth degree."

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