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Company Kickoff Meeting - Chateau Elan Winery & Resort

Project type

Corporate Meeting

A technology company asked for our assistance with planning all aspects of a kickoff meeting for their entire company. This company employs associates from all over the world, and many of them had never met face to face. We proposed several Atlanta area hotels that specialize in corporate meetings. But we also proposed one resort that was completely out of the box and unexpected, Chateau Elan in Braselton, GA (just one hour north of the Atlanta airport). Given the demographic of the attendees and the fact that one of the goals of this event was to strengthen relationships among the associates, we felt that this resort offered a retreat-like setting. The client agreed. With a limited budget, we were able to come up with WOW experiences that were memorable for all who attended.

Arrival day included pre-arranged golf, spa appointments, and winery tours. That evening, we brought the group together with a robust Welcome Dinner and awards presentation in the resort's Pavillion. We brought in interactive sports bar-type gaming, including video games, table games, and more. Our favorite was the life-sized Operation game. The games surrounded the perimeter of the large room with full seating encompassing the middle, and a large screen with stage in the front. Due to the width of the room, we brought in monitors for each side of the room to increase lines of sight for the presentation, but also to project sporting events during dinner. To further bring the sports bar vibe into the room, we hired a fantastic due to entertain, and our production team incorporated karaoke into the mix using the large screen and confidence monitor. The duo facilitated the karaoke and encouraged audience participation. They even sang backup. Delicious buffets and fully stocked bars surrounded the space as well. As a cost-saving measure, we proposed and ordered custom battery-operated centerpieces with the client's IGNITE logo cut and etched on Lucite. The base of the centerpiece offered choices of color via remote control. These centerpieces were repurposed throughout the 3-day event at all meals but set on different colors to differentiate the events from each other, an impactful and sustainable centerpiece that added to the branding of the event. They were so popular that the HR department used them as incentives when back in the office.

The next day included a large general session set classroom style and with power strips on each table so that associates could bring their computers with them into the meeting, staying in touch with valuable clients. To save money and space, we flew projectors over attendees' heads from trusses in the back of the room. Lighting and sound added to the experience. Meals and breaks were in rooms close by. Following meetings that afternoon, the company participated in a heartfelt CSR project for the National Center of Exploited and Missing Children where the group put together a substantial number of "hope bags." This included creating teams and tracks since the hope bags needed to be categorized based on age and gender and fully checked for accuracy. That evening, the Pavilion was once again transformed, this time into a Las Vegas style casino night. We brought Vegas to the south, complete with a themed installation just outside the doors to the Pavilion and a special Vegas themed adaptation of the IGNITE logo used on tables and bars. We incorporated the colors of the event (gold and black) using playing cards on dinner tables of the same colors. Attendees were given event branded casino bucks in their welcome packets that they brought with them to exchange for chips at the event. We had staffed blackjack, roulette, craps, and Texas Hold'em tables intermingled with seating for dinner. A DJ booth on a stage was placed in the center of the room and provided music and announcements throughout the evening. To the left of the DJ booth were long tables with numbered gifts wrapped in gold paper. In front of each gift was a black ticket collection cup with corresponding number. Attendees cashed out their winnings for tickets and placed their tickets in the cup corresponding with the gift that they hoped to win. The catch was that they did not know what the gift was. At the end of the evening, the crowd gathered to see who won each of the 12 prizes. What the attendees did not know was that the prizes ranged from great, to good, to funny. We had everything from VR sets and iPads, to gift cards, to nose hair trimmers. When the winner's ticket was drawn from the bowl, they stood in front of the audience and unwrapped the prize. It made for a very entertaining end to the evening.

The next day included more general session and departmental breakout meetings. Our robust mobile app kept everyone in the know and on schedule. That evening, the group enjoyed dinner with their departments. The sales team joined together in a small ballroom for a formal awards banquet in honor of their President's Club Winners. The Marketing team participated in a cooking class and experience. The remaining departments were treated to pre-arranged meals in the resort's signature restaurants. Formal invitations for each of these events were provided in the attendees' welcome packets.

The final day's meetings were only for the Sales and Marketing teams. Following meetings, boxed lunches were provided to all who wanted them. Airport shuttles were arranged and managed for those flying home.

Attendee feedback was that they loved taking over this resort. The location of the resort allowed them to spend quality time together at the many outlets after hours, such as the Irish Pub and the Bourbon bar. The group left this event with new relationships, promoting a healthy and successful work environment and motivation for the year ahead. All felt that the planning was seamlessly orchestrated, and the event was extremely successful.

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