In June this year, agency Lynton Cooper teamed up with British Airways, Hyatt Hotels & Resorts and Japanese DMC JTB for a four-day corporate buyer trip to Tokyo and Kyoto.
To secure high-profile attendees, Lynton Cooper carried out a communications campaign, which began with direct mail to 1,500 corporate buyers, followed by face-to-face meetings with a select few, official invites and teasers to build excitement.
Eight buyers attended from firms including Xerox and Axa Life. C&IT caught up with Lynton Cooper marketing director Paul Evans on the highlights of the trip.
Why Japan? We have done several of these trips before and we always try to present clients with a destination that is a bit off their radar. A lot of clients still haven't been to Japan.
What were the trip's highlights? We did an early- morning private tour with the Grand Hyatt Tokyo's head chef at the fish market, which was an incredible experience.
Other highlights included a private dinner at an exclusive Japanese restaurant in Kyoto with geisha. We visited a Buddhist temple in Kyoto, where we had a private tour and calligraphy lesson from a monk.
Tokyo or Kyoto? It depends on the primary focus of the visit. I think we came away having seen two sides of Japan - Tokyo is very westernised, while Kyoto is more traditional. For meetings, we'd pitch Tokyo, and for incentives, a twin-centre trip taking in both. We did four nights and had a busy programme, but didn't feel exhausted.
Nicki Taylor, channel programmes manager, Xerox Office Group, Europe
"Japan has something for everyone, especially when arranged as a two-centre trip. Tokyo brings with it the sort of five-star hotel chains discerning Europeans are used to, together with fine restaurants and crazy karaoke nightlife. Kyoto, reached by the infamous Bullet Train, is all about culture and tranquillity, and meets all expectations of what Japan is all about - temples, rickshaws and of course the traditions of the Geisha."