DIRECTIONS received the brief from NAFDA Foodservice Australia and accepted the challenge of pitching against the incumbent agency who had run the previous five NAFDA Grow & Go Incentive Programs.
DIRECTIONS showed that they really listened to the client’s brief putting forward a trip of a lifetime to Budapest, Moscow and St Petersburg. NAFDA believed that Hungary and Russia were destinations on people’s bucket list but not necessarily destinations they would travel to on their own. The budget for the overall program demonstrated bang for its buck – allowing for extra ‘enhancements’ and key experiences to be included.
Their creative pitch was a success and the planning cycle from pitch to travel was intricate, spanning over 20 months. Complexities included; three classes of airline travel, multiple airline options (to provide attendees with the flexibility to travel with their preferred frequent flyer carrier), management of a charter flight and a complex and ever-changing Russian Visa process.
Working in Russia also presented further challenges with; pricing increases from Russian suppliers, last-minute program changes due to government regulations and a steep learning curve of doing business in Russia.
The seven-night, three-destination program travelled with 132 guests. The execution on the ground encountered highlights and surprises. What’s more, the Welcome Dinner at the plaza in Budapest saw Will Smith host a free public concert, giving the guests a front row seat.
Some of the unique dining experiences incorporated into the program included a private tour of the Hermitage in St Petersburg and a visit to Budapest Great Market Hall including a roaming lunch with private tasting stations to build on the culinary experiences.
DIRECTIONS’ hard work and commitment to the client and their guests’ was the reason for the 2019 Go & Grow Incentive being tagged as the 'best ever'. They managed every challenge in their stride, persevering to ensure the clients' objectives were met - a resounding success scoring 4.8/5 on the post-event client survey.
“Beautiful journey in very difficult territory to do business in with such a long lead time. The experiences were truly money can’t buy. Very exquisite with a great scoring.”
“Kudos to the DIRECTIONS team! It's never easy to win against an incumbent the clients might be more familiar with, and the quality of both their delivered Programme and of this submission shows a consistent attention to detail and effort that would make them a good partner in every way.”
“Unique destination with a crafted programme, engaging and premium experiences, excellent execution and high performance in audience review at conclusion.”