Pre-event planning: The Chairman's Awards is an annual event held by Reed Exhibitions to recognise staff from across the global group who have made an outstanding contribution to the business. It included an awards dinner and incentive activities tied in with a board meeting.
This year, Reed wanted a programme that reflected the choice of Istanbul as a destination, with an itinerary incorporating history, culture, cuisine and shopping.
Challenges: Traffic is sometimes a major problem in the city, especially during bad weather. The awards dinner was due to be held in the fabled Ottoman Room of the Ciragan Palace, a 30-minute road journey from the Four Seasons Sultanahmet, where delegates were staying. Bad weather on the day, however, meant that this journey would now take at least one hour, which was too long.
Solutions: DMC MEP Destination Management arranged for a private boat transfer to the Ciragan Palace. Although not the best day for a cruise, guests were able to enjoy cocktails during the leisurely 40-minute trip and the transfer worked well, as the Ciragan Palace is on the European shores of the Bosphorus and has its own pier. As well as attending the board meeting and the awards dinner, on the Saturday the group had a guided tour of the major sites in the Old Town including the Blue Mosque, Hagia Sophia and the Basilica Cistern. This was followed by lunch in Karakol restaurant in the grounds of the Topkapi Palace, with a choice of either a palace tour or shopping in the Grand Bazaar in the afternoon.
Post-event analysis: "Every need was anticipated and successfully dealt with by MEP. Its expert advice on venues and handling requests both before and during the event ensured our group had a truly memorable stay in Istanbul," says Carolyn MacQuaide, conference organiser at Reed Exhibitions.
Company: Reed Exhibitions
Event: The Chairman's Awards and worldwide board meeting
Group size: 40
Agency: In-house and Turkish DMC MEP Destination Management
Date: 6-11 April 2011
Venue: The Four Seasons Sultanahmet and The Ciragan Palace