Continuing a decade-long tradition, this year Switzerland's Convention & Incentive Bureau ran another successful Meeting Trophy competition. Pitting members of the MICE industry from North America, Russia, and throughout Europe against one another, the competition involved such quirky events as Alpine horn blowing, cookie and cheese tasting, and plastic duck catching.
Here were some thoughts about the event, and Switzerland as a meeting destination, from the planners and industry members who attended. The North American Team was composed of the following:
- Cindy Kramer, Aimia (Minneapolis, MN)
- Jennifer Perry, Ashfield Meetings & Events (Ivyland, PA)
- Kathy Artuso, BCD M&I (Chicago, IL)
- Warren Culbreth, Bishop-McCann (Kansas City, MO)
- Karen Guenther, Creative Group (Buffalo Grove, IL)
- Lisa Steinert, Fox Premier Meetings and Incentives (Oshkosh, WI)
- Linda Persall, Incentive Team International (Pebble Beach, CA
- Eduardo Velarde Von Ribbeck, Power Planners (Miami, FL)
- Michelle Wallace, Pr1me (Vancouver, BC, Canada)
- Su Eells, TenDot (Lincoln, NE)
- Taylor Harrison, VIP Incentives (Park City, UT)
Kathy Artuso: "The Swiss Convention team did a fantastic job in showcasing their beautiful destination. My biggest take away was learning so much about the various regions while experiencing how quick and easy it is to get around It was first class all the way! "
Cindy Kramer: "This was definitely one of my favorite and most memorable FAM/Educational trips ever."
Michelle Wallace: "It's expensive, but the quality's so high, that's no problem."
Lisa Steinert: "A great opportunity to exchange ideas. Would have liked more time to do more of that."
Cindy Kramer: "It's been so brilliantly organized and so creative, plus such fun and educational. I'm surprised other countries haven't used the Trophy idea."
Warren Culbreth: "The service level and attention to detail was fabulous, beyond valuable. And beyond a shadow of doubt, I'll recommend Switzerland."
Taylor Harrison: "The events helped you feel a country as well as learn about it. Which makes it much easier to sell to clients."
Linda Persall: "There's something unique about each region and you could get so quickly from one environmental experience to another. FAM trips usually just show, this one you really experienced emotionally."
Jennifer Berry: "We're competitive by nature in this industry, so this Trophy concept was perfect."
Kathy Artuso: "This was the best planned FAM trip I've experienced especially the way that so many multi-cultural aspects were seamlessly combined."
Su Eells: "Great that everyone speaks English and unlike in some countries, are happy to do so. Wish we had more time to shop, the stores are beautiful."
But nothing's perfect. According to Eduardo "A great trip -- a unique mixture of natural, technological, and personal. I'm surprised how many presenters seemed to take all that for granted. I would have liked to have seen more passion in some of the presentations."