Mary Kay Top Performers Earn “Royal” Incentive Trip to Munich
Meals, Meetings and Special Trips & Events Celebrate Achievements
The Why - Executive Summary
One of the largest direct sellers of skin care products and cosmetics in the world, Mary Kay Cosmetics, based in Addison, Texas, has a global independent sales force of more than 3.5 million representatives and annual sales of $4 billion.
Mary Kay offers one of the most substantial employee recognition and reward programs in the direct selling industry--spending $50 million a year on employee awards and prize incentives. Each year the company offers a luxury trip for its top 200 sales directors. Past trips have virtually spanned the globe--Bangkok, Athens, Sydney, and Hong Kong and Munich was then also added to this impressive list.
The Where, Who & How - Meeting Details
Munich is a city steeped in royal tradition. For more than 700 years -- starting in the 13th century -- dukes, electors and kings held court and ruled Bavaria from its palaces. These leaders left behind masterpieces of architecture and culture that still give the city a majestic feel and helped make the city a perfect fit for Mary Kay’s “Celebrate the Dream” trip.
Mary Kay’s event planning team in Texas worked closely with Welcome, a Munich based destination management company to create this one-of-a-kind trip and timed it to coincide with the world renowned Oktoberfest. The celebration dates back to 1810 when the citizens of Munich were invited to celebrate the marriage of King Ludwig I to Princess Therese of Saxony-Hildburghausen in front of the city gates.
Mary Kay attendees stayed for 7 nights at the Bayerischer Hof München, a landmark Munich hotel that was commissioned by King Ludwig I himself in 1839. There, participants enjoyed a welcome reception complete with Bavarian food and live Bavarian music. They also experienced the Oktoberfest parade from a privileged position—at Palais Mongelas, part of the hotel overlooking the parade route. From this unique vantage point they were able to comfortably watch the nearly 8,000 participants, many of whom were dressed in historical local costumes, marching and fanfare bands, as well as a sea of colorful flag wavers.
The hotel also played host to a number of meetings with the attendees and organizers, as well as a special “first timer” reception and a gathering held for those traveling without a guest.
In creating the incentive program, the meeting planners took advantage of the diverse cultural offerings available in Munich. For example, Mary Kay hosted a 400+ person evening event at the Hofbräu Tent during the Oktoberfest. Although all Mary Kay events take place without alcohol, the group was impressed by the festive atmosphere of more than 5,000 people celebrating together in one of the largest tents at the Oktoberfest. On another night, the attendees were invited to select one of nine restaurants (including traditional Bavarian food, as well as international and first class restaurants) around the city for dinner. The Ratskeller Restaurant was a favorite— with attendees commenting that the “ambience was phenomenal” and the food “exceptional!”
In addition, the group had their choice of half-day excursions to some of the area’s most historic places including:
- Neuschwanstein Castle—known as a fairytale castle built by King Ludwig II in 1886 which attracts 1.3 million visitors a year
- Garmisch-Partenkirchen—site of the 1936 Olympic Winter Games complete with a visit to the Zugspitze Mountain, the tallest mountain in Germany
- Treasury of Royal Residence, Munich—the former royal palace of Bavarian Monarchs and the largest city palace in Germany
- City Tour of Munich
The Wow – The Results & Destination Difference
While the excursions, dinners and parades were hard to top, many of the guests remarked that the Gala Dinner was the real showstopper of the trip. The Gala was held in the magnificent Kaisersaal (Emperor’s Hall) at the Treasury of Royal Residence in Munich, a castle built by Duke Maximilian I in the early seventeenth century that has played host to many dignitaries over the years. The Mary Kay team wanted to chose a royal and magnificent venue that conveyed their pride in these women’s efforts and achievements and they succeeded! Mary Kay Director of Special Events Cindy Allen commented, “They all felt so special and elite and were so impressed that only dignitaries typically dined in the venue”. A costumed “King Ludwig” even attended and welcomed guests personally and Mary Kay corporate employees attended the Gala in Lederhosen and Dirndl--traditional Bavarian clothes.
Oktoberfest was definitely one of the reasons Mary Kay considered and chose Munich as a destination, but there were, in fact, many other reasons. The planners were impressed with the excellent choice of hotels, restaurants and venues in Munich, and the many different opportunities to sightsee that were only a short distance away. In addition, Munich is the second largest airport hub in Germany and offers 13 daily direct flights into US airports—making travel seamless for attendees.
“In summary, we received extremely positive feedback on the trip to Munich. It provided excellent recognition and rewards for employee leadership as well as motivation to qualify again”, said Cindy Allen.
Skin Care & Cosmetics
Meeting Size & Name
- "Celebrate the Dream" Mary Kay incentive trip
- 200 Top US Sales Directors & their partners for ~ 400 people total
- Mary Kay Cosmetics, Texas
- Top-notch accommodations
- Unique venues
- Local culture
- Travel convenience