Amway Indonesia held a West Mediterranean-themed Amway Leadership Seminar (ALS) from May 6-13, 2018. Around 200 delegates explored several countries in Europe with a cruise on board Symphony of the Seas, the largest passenger ship ever built, owned and operated by Royal Caribbean International.
The aim of the incentive was to motivate Amway business owners and energise them to push to the next level in the coming year. Amway wanted to create a sense of excitement and a wow factor for the event. It planned the cruise 15 months in advance, to tie in as closely as possible with the launch of Symphony of the Seas, which held its inaugural sailing in March 2018.
“We thought about hosting the event not only on a new ship, but also on the largest one ever built to generate excitement among delegates,” says Sorin Widjaja, Amway Indonesia’s assistant manager, special events.
Amway worked with several agencies to create the event, including Indonesian travel agency Smailing Tour and incentive cruise organiser Buy the Sea, while Kuoni handled the logistics. As well as hosting business meetings during the week-long trip, Amway held an awards ceremony to recognise the top distributors amongst attending delegates.
The cruise set sail from Barcelona, calling at ports in Palma de Mallorca, Marseilles, La Spezia, Civitavecchia and Naples, before making its way back to Barcelona.
A pre-arranged program of shore excursions was created for all participants on arrival at the various ports. At Palma de Mallorca for example, groups headed to the historic town of Valldemossa for a scenic walking tour of the village, before enjoying lunch at Son Amar, a 16th-century manor house, and enjoying a show based on Mallorcan culture.
“We reserved the venue and show on a private basis, giving us the opportunity to have a group picture, some welcoming speeches and an awards ceremony on the stage before lunch and the show,” explains Widjaja.
In Marseilles, groups visited the cathedral in the city centre, with free time allocated for shopping. Upon arrival in La Spezia, participants enjoyed excursions to Pisa and after docking in Civitavecchia, they visited a number of famous sights in Rome, including the Vatican and the Trevi Fountain, before passing by the Colosseum on the way to lunch, with free time for shopping at the Spanish Steps.
In Naples, Amway hired three private jetfoils to bring delegates from Naples port to Capri, where they enjoyed an island tour. Once on Capri island, delegates had free time to wander around the village, have lunch at their leisure and enjoy a spot of shopping. On arrival back in Barcelona, groups opted for a city tour or a visit to the Camp Nou, FC Barcelona’s home stadium.
Business meetings were held in the ship’s Royal Theater while sailing between ports. To add excitement to the occasion, illusionist Hector is Magic was brought on board to announce Dubai as the 2019 ALS destination.
Activities on the ship were as important as off-shore excursions for team-building purposes, with delegates trying zip-lines, watching ice-skating shows and taking part in sporting activities ranging from futsal and basketball to table tennis and jogging.
Widjaja notes that major issues were encountered with strict visa systems, with timing an added challenge, as it was hard to juggle participants’ working schedules with their availability for visa interviews.
“After some negotiations, we got a three-day slot agreed with both sides concerned to facilitate the submission of passports and the visa issuing process,” he says.
“The other challenge was the time taken to process the visas, which could take up to three weeks. This really limited the window in which participants could apply for the visa, particularly as some of them were travelling on business in between.”
Despite all the challenges during the preparation stage, Widjaja says the Royal Caribbean team was very supportive, with a group coordinator helping to smooth the process. From the moment Amway stepped onto the boat until the end of the incentive, regular discussions took place around boarding times, the best locations in which to gather participants and arrangements for business meetings.
Widjaja adds: “They were very helpful and willing to accommodate our needs, and also helped to tailor other aspects such as the food. Royal Caribbean arranged for Indonesian staff and chefs to join us on board to match our needs.
“We were able to request Indonesian dishes such as fried rice, sambal, fried chicken and telur balado (spicy egg), on top of other dishes served during the cruise.”
Widjaja says his standout was simply experiencing Symphony of the Seas and its sheer range of activities. A post-event survey has not yet been completed, but overall feedback so far has indicated that participants were satisfied with both the cruise and the various excursions.