From drumming workshops to brewery tours; a unique incentive experience in Japan


Our client, a sizeable and long-established international pharmaceutical company, tasked us with creating its annual incentive program for the top performing members of its sales team and their partners. Thanks to a strong relationship with the client following our work on their previous incentive program, they challenged us to choose a destination that was beyond the delegates’ area of experience and one which would immerse them in the culture of that location. After a detailed analysis of the guests’ originating countries – which were mainly within Europe as well as the United States – plus research into several key locations, we concluded that Tokyo and Kyoto would fit the bill perfectly and offered us the opportunity to put our program design skills to the test.


Japanese chefFor five days we submerged each guest in luxury trips and unique experiences that characterized the rich heritage and exciting modern culture of Japan. From their five-star luxury hotel base – the hotel that featured in the film Lost In Translation – our full itinerary featured bonsai cutting and Ikebana (the Japanese art of flower arranging), rickshaw rides and temple tours. With diverse activities such as taking part in a Taiko drumming workshop and touring a sake brewery, plus a traditional Japanese dinner of sushi and sashimi served on a Yakatabune boat and a gala dinner held in a centuries-old Japanese garden, we made certain the delegates and their partners were able to truly immerse themselves in every sight, smell and sound.


As five of the top sales staff were from Japan this could have presented a problem, but we were keen to enhance their stay in their home country, giving these guests a chance to experience some brand new activities. We arranged several tailored elements including a helicopter ride over Mount Fuji and a day at Disneyland, and as a result we received glowing feedback from every single member of the group as this exclusive incentive drew to a close. Praised by our client for our unique and creative approach to the program design, coupled with our meticulous attention to detail in coordinating the entire trip, we have since been called upon to design similar events for the client’s top sales performers in subsequent years.

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