Viareggio (LU), October 28th-31st 2010

The last weekend of October 2010, the Italian meeting industry experienced innovative forms of networking among its actors (organizers, hotels, end users) through Hotel Chains Sailing Challenge, a sailing event involving the staff of eight conference venues and hotel chains in exciting races (one per group) along with a half-day’s classroom training.

The involved chains and conference centres were among the main Italian ones: AMT Hotels, Atahotels, Concerto Fine Italian Hotels, Eleganzia Hotels & Spa, FH Hotels, Grand Hotel Principe di Piemonte, SINA Fine Italian Hotels and UNA Hotels & Resorts. The program – which took place off the coast of Viareggio for the sailing part, and along the Versilia coast for the leisure one – was scheduled over four days, each one with a different schedule. On Thursday 28th the event was reserved for 36 hotel chain or convention centre employees/managers, who, divided into four teams, spent half a day on a sailboat and the other half in classroom training. The same program was realized on Friday 29th, with other 36 chain employees/managers engaged in the same activities. On Saturday 30th, a novelty: the protagonists were employees/managers from 28 Italian companies (users of the meeting industry products and services), who, divided into four groups, experienced a half-day sightseeing tour and performed a half-day race. Finally, on Sunday 31st it was the agencies’ turn, with 28 people divided into four groups, as the day before, in a half-day sightseeing tour and a half-day race.

The event was conceived by Sailing Challenge first of all to train both users and providers of the meeting industry products to emotional marketing, which is an effective alternative to the traditional one, and secondly to let them discover their own leadership and team working skills. Guests have verified the regatta’s value for entertaining, stimulating and training, particularly as a metaphor that easily reproduces company dynamics. During the races, thanks to the support of the skipper, they experienced how a group of people who do not know each other can become a real team.

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