When it comes to travel and incentive design, board meetings represent a specialized niche, requiring a specialized set of criteria. Depending on the company and their goals, these criteria require mindful planning for personal safety, privacy, location, food, experiences, thought-provoking settings, creativity, and, in many instances, the opportunity to be still.
There are incomparable settings that are particularly well-suited for meeting these requirements. The client’s goals are of paramount importance; hence, we spend the time needed to refine the scope of their travel objectives and find the perfect locales for them.
If your board meeting is to be a dynamic interaction amongst the participants, you may need to create a space where ideas can flow, flourish, and generate synergistic results.
If your board meeting is to be a space where participants need to quietly reflect and plan, you may need to plan experiences around that construct.
Service is an element that is an absolute must. You can have the most gorgeous place, but unless every aspect of service is exquisite or spot-on, problems will likely arise. It is rare to find service that is flawless across-the-board, which is why we are meticulous in vetting this aspect of our clients’ experience.
We find that housekeeping tends to be the least consistent element, so we are rigorous when evaluating a property’s housekeeping product and personnel, assessing the degree to which employees have been trained in all the requisite details, including greeting, smiling, and engaging appropriately with guests.
Among the great possibilities for board meeting travel are private, small-resort experiences. These consist of venues with, perhaps, 10-12 rooms, a 1:1 ratio of staff to guests, a top-flight chef to create wonderful meals, and built-in experiences that can be easily organized. If necessary, the services of a creative DMC can be enlisted to put these components together, ranging from the simple (such as golf or hiking) to the more creative (such as cooking, adventure, or physically challenging experiences). Ani Resorts, with properties in the Dominican Republic, Anguilla, Sri Lanka and Thailand, are wonderful examples of private, small-resort destinations.
How about a fully staffed villa or chateau, such as Chateau Du Coudreceau, an 18th century French Chateau and private golf estate? An exquisite environment, a fantastic chef, and, even better, a fabulous wine cellar.
Another option is buying out a private island, such as Song Saa in Cambodia or Necker Island in the Caribbean, where absolute privacy can be achieved for your board meeting. The beauty of a private island is the ability to ensure total privacy; you control who arrives and departs. Additionally, two key factors we address when selecting remote locations is securing an emergency physician on standby and making sure the Wi-Fi is excellent!
If a private island is just too remote, there are some wonderful design-forward boutique hotels that can be booked as a buyout. We have managed to find these properties throughout the world, and they offer a great option that is both intimate and, typically, more cost effective.
There are also some wonderful domestic opportunities. For example, your board meeting could be held in a renovated Colorado ghost town, or at one of Ted Turner’s gorgeous ranches.
At the end of the day, whatever the company’s requirements are for a board meeting, there are numerous possibilities around the globe. Taking the time, effort, and devotion to find the right property makes all the difference in the world.
At CharlotteJames our mantra is this: listen, listen, listen to the client. Don’t try to ‘sell’ them what YOU think they should do. Hear what THEY have to say and deliver for them.
Let us know when you are ready for your next board meeting!