What makes people feel rewarded? A good place to start is with meaningful, in-person interactions with executives who are fully present and engaged during your incentive program. After that, it’s about thanking participants sincerely, showing them that their efforts do not go unnoticed, and that they have a direct hand in your company’s success. In the case of DCG President’s Club, public recognition of top performers by executives, amidst successful peers, in a beautiful international city, ticked all those boxes and more.
The benefit of face-to-face interaction with company executives is multi-faceted. It demonstrates mutual investment between leadership and program participants in each other’s successes. It creates a personal bond where many people are putting names to faces for the first time. Plus, it’s a chance to sincerely convey appreciation and acknowledgement of top performers’ hard work, increasing loyalty in the future.
Background & Objectives
Lenovo’s President’s Club attracts a large, diverse audience of top sales performers each year. This program is an annual opportunity to unify the global team by bringing all geographical divisions within Lenovo into one space to collaborate, celebrate successes, and grow for the future.
Primary goals included creating a one-of-a-kind program that would impress and motivate Lenovo’s top sales performers to reach their goals, while positioning Lenovo as a desirable sales incentive provider for future contenders. The program needed to be desirable to a large, internationally diverse audience, and include options for customization to best suit every participant’s needs.
The 2019 program was held in Monte-Carlo, Monaco.
As with any program, DCG President’s Club posed its own unique challenges that needed to be addressed in order to be successful.
When brainstorming destinations for 2019, we needed a location that would be both desirable and geographically feasible for Lenovo’s international participants. Monaco’s culture and scenic beauty stood out to us and became the perfect option for this program.
With program inclusions and hotel accommodations, we needed to be cognizant of how the program’s large size affected participant safety and accessibility, while still offering an array of options that would satisfy a diverse pool of participants.
For the in-program business meeting, many Lenovo executives are already accustomed to internal speaking opportunities and the culture within the company itself. With an external speaker, we needed to brief them not only on their presentation topic, but also on the tone, length of presentation, and Lenovo’s company culture as a whole to get them up to speed.
Beyond logistical challenges, every program poses an opportunity to make our client’s audience feel truly rewarded, and this was no exception. Nothing we do is rinse and repeat. With the Lenovo team, we worked to create an entirely unique agenda of excursions, dining options, and program-exclusive inclusions that would wow this particular group of attendees.
Multiple instances of recognition throughout the program drove the point home that Lenovo leadership values their people above all else. While traditionally reserved for the farewell gala, we added an additional recognition opportunity held during the welcome reception at the client’s request. An executive from each GEO unit kicked off the program by recognizing one person from their team who went above and beyond the call of duty.
In addition to public recognition, it’s customary for program providers to include a gift, given to recipients as a token of gratitude and a memento of their time on the trip. We made it our mission to source high quality, locally significant gifts that would make a memorable impact. Branded playing cards served as a nod to Monaco’s upscale casino culture. A trinket tray made from traditional French porcelain, customized with the program logo, combined craftsmanship and functionality. Along with high quality French chocolates and a one-of-a-kind shirt to wear during the team building activity, Lenovo had the recipients feeling the local love.
Participants started off their first full day in Monte-Carlo with a high energy team building challenge designed to acquaint participants with one another and build camaraderie between and among the different geographical divisions. We’ve learned that prior knowledge is key for the best turnout rate at team building exercises, so we spread the word at registration to build excitement.
The task at hand was simple: engineer and build an airtight, life size rowboat (Robinson Crusoe style), and be the first team to successfully paddle two team members around a set of buoys in the ocean without sinking. Did we mention the row boats were made of cardboard? Amazingly, all six teams successfully completed the challenge, and with an 80% overall participation rate, we’ll call that a win!
For Lenovo, hosting a business meeting on their incentive program was an excellent way to engage face-to-face with their top performers, offer meaningful networking opportunities, and distribute insider information in a tangible way to drive real results. After careful preparation, all four speakers at the business strategy meeting delivered valuable content, and were well received by program participants and guests.
One of the best ways to make incentive programs unique to participants is to offer one-of-a-kind excursion options they can’t pass up. Now more than ever, travelers are seeking out adventurous inclusions that allow them to experience the destination like a local would. Before arriving in Monte-Carlo, DCG President’s Club participants personalized their program agenda by choosing one of six excursions, ranging in activity from a scenic catamaran cruise, to a tasting tour of Monaco’s traditional delicacies, to a spa treatment at one Monte-Carlo’s finest facilities. By offering a diverse array of excursions, we made sure there was something for everyone to enjoy. Participants also enjoyed a dine-around evening, giving them the choice to eat at one of four of Monte-Carlo’s well known restaurants, featuring curated menus personalized for the program.
It’s all in the details, and small, personalized touches can go a long way! Custom branded postcards pre-stamped and available at the hospitality suite in the hotel were a big hit with participants, while the evening room drop cards briefed participants on their activities for the next day in a seamless, non-intrusive way.
The recognition dinner and gala event is traditionally the pinnacle of President’s Club, a time for recipients to celebrate their hard work and feel genuinely recognized for their accomplishments. For each program, we strive to surprise and delight, break the status quo, and make the recognition event shine as an unforgettable experience for all. To meet these standards, we decided on a masquerade ball held at the historical Monte-Carlo Sporting; an upscale event hall perfect for the evening’s black tie gala. From start to finish, the evening was packed with unique touches designed to immerse attendees in the theme of celebration.
The evening began with a cocktail hour at the Hotel Monte Carlo Bay Mediterranean Gardens, boasting panoramic oceanfront views next door to the venue. Classic masquerade masks, elegant photo ops and Monegasque decor set the scene. In the midst of a record-breaking heat wave, we made an executive decision to cut the hour short by 15 minutes to beat the heat (and save everyone’s hair and makeup!).
Once inside, the rest of the evening was a whirlwind of dazzling celebration. In a panoramic ballroom decked out top to bottom in masquerade decor, guests enjoyed a formal dinner, followed by the special recognition of high achieving program participants by one of Lenovo’s executives. Feather dancers, an acrobatic ribbon performer, a live band and a professional DJ rounded out the evening’s entertainment. Combined with a light up dance floor and private fireworks display along the perimeter of the building at the end of the night, guests left the gala with no doubt in their mind that their accomplishments were significant and worth celebrating.
Overall, the program was a massive success. DCG President’s Club allowed international participants the positive environment to strengthen business relationships and build a community between themselves, using Lenovo as a common ground. We received positive feedback from both our client and the participants on all aspects of the program. And in the midst of the hottest weather week in French history, with many excursions and program inclusions taking place outdoors, we used our problem solving skills to think on our feet and make modifications to keep participants comfortable. After a post-event survey of 175 program participants, we received the following results:
The program was rated 4.8 out of 5 stars overall
The Welcome Reception was rated 5 out of 5 stars overall
The Team Building activity was rated 4.7 out of 5 stars overall
The Dine Around was rated 4.9 out of 5 stars overall
The Farewell Masquerade gala was rated 4.9 out of 5 stars overall
Results At A Glance
of surveyed participants responded that they are proud to have attended the 2019 DCG President’s Club program and look forward to returning in 2020source