Four Seasons is renowned for creating extraordinary meetings and incentives. Every detail is designed with the highest level of personal attention and customisation. To achieve this, we work closely with event planners to build a united team – relying on each other to create something unique.

To demonstrate all the ways our properties go above and beyond for our customers, we’re profiling an Epicor incentive event held at Four Seasons Resort Punta Mita in Mexico.

MAKING THE BOOKING

An international software company, Epicor has been a long-time Four Seasons client. The company’s annual incentive event, called Circle of Excellence, has been with Four Seasons for over 10 years.


Cindy Valdes, Vice President, Global Events at Epicor, booked the Punta Mita program over a year in advance as part of a two-year deal. Epicor had not considered Four Seasons Resort Punta Mita before, but they were convinced to try the property after an impressive site inspection.

PLANNING WITH PUNTA MITA

“Our annual Circle of Excellence trip needs to be spectacular,” Cindy says. “Our goal is for people to feel rewarded and relaxed, while bonding as a team and networking with executives. We want all our attendees to leave inspired to do everything in their power to win the trip again next year.” Punta Mita dedicated their most senior Conference Services Manager, Jimena Jimenez, to the task.Jimena_Jimenez_custom_250x200.jpg

“Epicor asked for a one-stop program,” Jimena explains. “They wanted us to handle everything – transportation, activities, even printing here instead of shipping from the USA. I became their single point of contact.” The Punta Mita team put together a three-night itinerary, featuring special group celebrations and many options for individual activities – from swimming with dolphins to golfing on the two Jack Nicklaus courses.

CONNECTING TO LOCAL CULTURE


Immersion in local culture is an important aspect in making every Epicor incentive trip a once-in-a-lifetime experience. Says Cindy, “We want everyone to feel like they’re discovering a country, not just a resort.”

To introduce this specific region of Mexico at the welcome party, Four Seasons custom-designed a Huichol Night, inspired by the local natives who still live in the area. According to Jimena, “This is a very different Mexico than people normally see. It’s a very colourful culture with unique traditions. To complement the local food and décor, we put on a special Huichol show, including stilt walkers, acrobats and fire dancers." During the next few days, guests enjoyed many other opportunities to explore Mexican culture, such as learning about tequila, shopping in nearby Puerto Vallarta and joining a dine-around at ten Mexican-style restaurants in the adjoining town of Punta Mita.


DEVELOPING UNIQUE ACTIVITIES

A highlight of the event was Punta Mita’s General Manager, John O’Sullivan, serving as featured speaker at a special breakfast. John talked about the parallels between Epicor and Four Seasons, highlighting how a personalised customer experience is the constant priority for both companies. Cindy was impressed. “John is passionate about his hotel... He made sure that everyone in the hotel and every vendor understood the value of the partnership between Epicor and Four Seasons. We felt his commitment through every aspect of our stay.” Another outstanding highlight involved building a boat from cardboard boxes, right on the beach. Epicor had hired an outside supplier to arrange this fun team-building activity, and Four Seasons partnered closely with the company to make this group challenge a huge success.

CREATING OPPORTUNITIES TO GIVE BACK

Corporate Social Responsibility and community service are important for many companies, including Epicor. “We started the ‘give back’ element to our events in 2009, and our attendees really embraced it,” says Cindy. Jimena connected with a local charity, the Punta Mita Foundation, and came up with a plan to assist nearby schools. The Epicor team was able to stuff backpacks with school supplies, build computer desks and purchase audio-visual equipment and computers for classrooms. They even got to meet some of the local children. It was a truly rewarding experience, demonstrating the partnership between Four Seasons and Epicor. “We really feel like we’re part of the same team,” says Jimena. “We all work together closely to create a great experience for our attendees.”

Punta Mita


DESIGNING A ONE-OF-A-KIND GLOW PARTY

For the final night, Epicor wanted to host a spectacular party at Tamai, Punta Mita’s sophisticated pool complex. But as Jimena points out, “The client had a large number of attendees, more than we could typically handle at the pool. We came up with the idea to cover the lap pool, so it could serve as a dance floor and accommodate more people. It’s something we’d never done before.”

For the party’s theme, the client had seen a photo they liked of lights glowing beneath a table and they suggested that as a starting point. “We developed a complete glow party theme,” says Jimena. “Our bar manager invented glowing cocktails, served in neon glasses with illuminated ice cubes. We brought in makeup artists who applied glow-in-the-dark makeup and tattoos. We also developed a complete Light Beat show, working with a local entertainment company. Everything was a first, even for the performers.”

One of Cindy’s favourite moments came before the guests arrived, when she voiced a concern about whether the plastic cover on the pool would hold up with so many people dancing on it. “The banquet captain had all the servers drop what they were doing for an impromptu dance party to test it out. It was an awesome moment that showed the true commitment of the staff, making sure we did not have one worry about that event. Plus, what a great memory we have of dancing with the Four Seasons staff over the pool!”

ELEVATING AN ANNUAL TRADITION

The Epicor organisers have a special tradition at the end of each incentive event. They all jump into the water – whether into a pool or off a dock.

Jimena wanted to elevate this experience. “We secretly arranged for them to board our Four Seasons yacht. All the organisers were able to toast the success of the event and then jump off the yacht right into the ocean. It was truly a special moment.”


Punta Mita

CONCLUDING WITH RAVE REVIEWS

“The biggest wow of the event was definitely the service,” says Cindy. “We felt it from the initial site visit to the day we left. It is such a rarity to work with a hotel that actually exceeds the expectations they set during the sales cycle. Punta Mita went above and beyond on every level and they were up for any challenge we threw at them.”

This was the best-reviewed Circle of Excellence event ever hosted by Epicor. Here is just one comment from the post-event survey:


“This is the BEST club I have attended out of 18 at Epicor. The property was amazing, especially the view of the rocks in the ocean from the infinity pool. The food was fabulous and the service was off the hook. It was easy to fly to on a direct flight too.”

– Epicor Incentive attendee


Four Seasons Resort Punta Mita is willing to push the envelope, adding more customisation and executing in an amazing, all-encompassing way. As a result of the event’s success, Epicor immediately requested a proposal for a return visit in 2019, and many attendees talked about coming back personally with their loved ones.


OBJECTIVE
INNOVATE NEW PRODUCTS AND SERVICES

Injecting creativity into breaks encourages attendees to think "out-of-the-box" and energizes them for meetings that require brainstorming and innovating. Tap into the right side of their brains with engaging demonstrations and DIY workshops and help your group have less inhibited conversations.

Go behind-the-scenes

Surprise your group by taking them behind the scenes of the hotel for a uniquely inspiring break. Attendees can learn first-hand how hotels manage guest food and beverage demands, craft locally sourced menus or create a signature dish.

Ask your venue if they offer back-of-house tours, cooking demonstrations or engagements with the executive chef.

Convert your break into a workshop

Challenge attendees to think like an artist or designer. This can be done on a smaller scale, such as the Inspiration Station at Four Seasons Hotel Austin. A complimentary activity offered during breaks, the Inspiration Station is stocked with crayons and adult coloring books featuring local sites. The activity is a great conversation-starter! 

You can also incorporate a hands-on craft or art project featuring a local artist or artisan, such as lei making, pottery, collage or painting. Assign attendees a specific project to bring back to the meeting that aligns with your business session.

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At the welcome party, Four Seasons custom-designed a Huichol Night with stilt walkers and fire dancers.


   

OBJECTIVE
EDUCATE AND TRAIN

Education and training programs are often rigorous and cover a significant amount of material. It's important to keep everyone energised and motivated – and to ensure they feel recognized for their hard work. Give your attendees customizable healthy food and beverage choices for breaks, including high-protein, low-carb, and gluten-free options. Here are a few simple ways to plan a break that feels special, keeps your agenda on time and helps you avoid that mid-day slump.







QUIS TEUM IURE MOLESTIAS

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QUIS TEUM IURE MOLESTIAS

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