Harvey Norman picks Barcelona for conference

The Spanish city proved the ideal location for retailer Harvey Norman's annual conference and team-building event

Pre-event planning: Retailer Harvey Norman holds an annual conference and team-building event to reward staff and suppliers from its European headquarters in Ireland for their work over the past year. The event is also an opportunity to update staff on company plans for the upcoming year. Last year, the meeting was held in Edinburgh. For this year's occasion, Harvey Norman wanted a venue that offered team-building facilities in a scenic and iconic setting, as the event had to be business-focused as well as entertaining. The luxurious five-star ME by Melia Hotel Barcelona was ideal, as it is close to the major cultural and architectural sights of the city and has a roof terrace and spa, with rooms designed in a contemporary, urban style.

Challenge: Team-building was the main focus of the event. A number of activities were planned over three days, which required a substantial amount of materials and equipment. Maximillion had to ensure that transport ran smoothly and the equipment was transferred as securely as possible from the UK, to minimise any disruption to the planned activities.

Solution: Maximillion made detailed transport plans well ahead of the event to ensure the necessary kit was delivered safely and on time. The agency was responsible for all aspects, including sourcing the venue, entertainment, devising activities and catering. Upon arrival, delegates were transferred to the hotel and the following day, they attended a series of morning meetings and a product-presentation show. This was followed by team-building activities in the afternoon, evening entertainment and then dinner. Over three days, groups took part in speed networking, a painting exercise, an espionage activity around the city and a 'What's Cooking' quiz, incorporating traditional Spanish cuisine. Dinners were held at several locations, including La Ramblas area and the Port Olympic Marina. Delegates also enjoyed dinner and traditional Spanish dancing at the Palacio Del Flamenco.

Client feedback: Tim Hannon, general manager of computers at Harvey Norman, says the event was a wonderful experience. "Nothing was too much trouble and everyone felt safe and welcomed by the team," he says. "We are already looking forward to our next conference."


FACTFILE
Company: Harvey Norman
Event: Annual conference and team building
Group size: 63
Agency: Maximillion
Date: 21-25 February 2011
Venue: ME by Melia Barcelona Hotel

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