Company Spring Group
Group size 60
Agency First Event
Date 12-15 March 2009
Venue Radisson Cape Town
THE BRIEF: Recruitment specialist Spring Group rewards its 'best of the best' performers each year with an incentive trip, designed to motivate and inspire. This year, agency First Event pitched a CSR-based trip to South Africa, linked to Comic Relief's Red Nose Day.
CHALLENGES: Once on the ground in South Africa, delegates were presented with personal-damages waiver forms to sign by the DMC, much to the chagrin of First Event managing director Richard Murphy. "We had done all our usual, rigorous pre-event checks with the DMC, but suggesting that element of risk on the day itself was totally unacceptable," he says.
SOLUTION: Murphy explains that while delegates were unperturbed by the waivers being presented, he will never work with that company again. "It's the sort of thing that we'd insist would be ironed out at least six months in advance," he explains.
EXECUTION: In the UK, the incentive started at the airport with Virgin running a private check-in and a welcome announcement once on board the aircraft.
On arrival in Cape Town, delegates were taken for a champagne and canape picnic reception on Signal Hill, which overlooks the city, while luggage was delivered to their rooms. Once at the hotel, pre-dinner drinks followed at the Karma Lounge, before dinner and clubbing in the Summerville area of Cape Town.
The next morning, the group visited the Alpine Primary School, where they helped build a 'Jungle Gym' playground. This involved everything from shovelling sand pits, erecting wooden structures and attaching tyre swings. Afterwards, delegates handed out gifts, including books and educational toys, with pencil cases from Spring and First Event. A cheque for the school and awards for top pupils were then presented, followed by a Red Nose Day-themed barbecue with the children and teachers.
"It was tremendous," says Murphy. "The grant for £3,000 will keep them going for ten years."
That evening, the group went to restaurant Quay Four on the V&A waterfront and then on to a club.
The next day was taken up with the safari at the Aquila private game reserve. In the evening, the group ate at Bahia restaurant and were met from the coach by Dixie-style troupe the Cape Town Minstrels, who provided a musical escort to dinner. The night was completed with dancing in the clubs on Long Street.
On the final day, the more adventurous members of the group went out to sea for a cage-dive encounter with great white sharks. For the less daring, a more sedate trip to see the local penguins at Boulder Beach was arranged, before the group met up and jetted off home that evening.
VERDICT: "South Africa has everything - wildlife, landscape, food, service, value for money, and little time difference," says Murphy. "Spring was a new client and they said it was their best trip ever. We are now planning for 2010."
"It was a fantastically organised event," agrees Spring Group chief executive officer Peter Searle. "It was an excellent programme, not only for my staff but for me."
For more information on South Africa, click through to the C&IT Destination Guide: South Africa