© TAO / Jeunesse

22 Sept 2017

Germany Creates Lasting Experience for Largest Asian Incentive Group

The Mission … Create an authentic, memorable German incentive experience for Germany’s largest ever asian incentive group of 2,700 people with the ambitious goal of seeing 4 cities in 6 days.  Both Frankfurt and Munich, popular MICE destinations for the chinese market were tasked with providing VIP accommodations for the trip while packed day trips to Stuttgart and Heidleberg were also must haves.

The End Goal … Build team spirit, recognize performance, see Germany’s historic attractions, and do lots and lots of shopping.

The Players … The guests were top sales performers from mainland China, Hong Kong and Taiwan from the US-based Jeunesse Company – a seller of lifestyle products such as cosmetics and dietary supplements.

Henghong Yang, the GCB’s representative based in the Beijing, China office helped coordinate the relationships between the Munich and Frankfurt Convention Bureaus, working closely with Melchers Travel, a meeting planning agency in Taiwan.

Sandy Liu, General Manger of Melchers Travel led the team that planned, organized and implemented this event in just 10 months. The company obtained visas and handled all the travel logistics, accommodations and planning necessary for a group this large.

The GCB was an important player as well and used its expertise to recommend German suppliers to Melchers such as hiring TAO Incoming to run the gala dinner. Matthias Schultze the General Manager of the GCB also welcomed guests at the gala.

Photo: Heinrich von Bayern, Prince of Bavaria ©TAO / Jeunesse
Photo: Heinrich von Bayern, Prince of Bavaria ©TAO / Jeunesse

Prince Heinrich of Bavaria, Schloss Kaltenberg

“We orchestrate extraordinary experiences, which create a lasting positive impression with our guests. This is how our aspiration can be described, which we consequently follow with all our events and I think we also successfully implemented this with Jeunesse.”

Organizational Expertise—German innovation at its best

Running such a large scale, time-tight program might seem daunting, but thanks to the meticulous planning and the dedication of many experienced MICE staff on the ground in Germany the incentive trip was a huge success. The logistics of moving this many people around are astounding—10 hotels were needed in Frankfurt to house this many attendees most of whom didn’t speak any German and 66 buses were required to shuttle them to activities and to other cities. Ordinarily groups this large would be in a congress center primarily for their activities but here the attendees needed to be transported, fed and entertained in VIP style completely on the go. But all went off smoothly.


Creating a Memorable Experience:

The goal of every item on the itinerary and in each city was to create a one of a kind authentic experience that would not only delight but also stay with people long after they had returned home.

• The group was divided into A and B groups. On the first day the A Group enjoyed a Rhine River cruise complete with a stop in Rüdesheim, a wine making town on the banks of the Rhine and a stroll on Drosselgasse, a lane filled with quaint shops, taverns and restaurants. This outing was followed a shopping excursion in Frankfurt. The B group went on a sightseeing tour to Heidleberg, a picturesque town with a castle from the 14th century. The next day the groups switched.

• Viewing German automobile innovation first hand at Stuttgart’s Mercedes Benz Museum was also provided for the group as a whole punctuated by a personal meet and greet, photos and autographs with Jutta Benz, brand ambassador and the great granddaughter of Carl Benz. One excited attendee commented, “The Museum exudes so much entrepreneurial spirit, and it’s amazing to experience the history behind Mercedes-Benz. I’m absolutely thrilled!”

Mercedes Benz Museum ©Daimler AG
Mercedes Benz Museum ©Daimler AG

• All the guests enjoyed also enjoyed a shopping expedition to OutletCity Metzingen (outside of Stuttgart). The outlets were decorated in Jeunesse’ company colors by the outlet staff in honor of the special guests. 70 additional staff and Chinese speakers were also brought in at the outlets to make for an extra warm welcome.

©TAO / Jeunesse
©TAO / Jeunesse

• A tour of Neuschwanstein --the Castle of King Ludwig II and one of the most popular of all palaces and castles in Europe-- dazzled with its whimsical & ornate style as well as its sweeping views worthy of the drama of a Wagner Opera.

• Keeping with treating guests like royalty in Germany, after an exclusive tour of Munich a festive, traditional dinner was organized by TAO agency at Schloss Kaltenberg, a historic castle built in 1292 and run by Heinrich Bayern, Prince of Bavaria who is the great-grandson of the last king of Bavaria, Ludwig III. This destination also has its own brewery and guests were treated to an authentic Oktoberfest celebration under a huge tent complete with a band and photos in traditional German attire.

©TAO / Jeunesse
©TAO / Jeunesse
©TAO / Jeunesse
©TAO / Jeunesse
©TAO / Jeunesse
©TAO / Jeunesse

Partner quotes

Sandy Liu, General Manager of Melchers Travel

“As the meetings planer from China, it is often crucial to demonstrate to our client that we have official support in the destination. In this case, the GCB cooperated with us perfectly. Besides the very strong communication with Henghong Yang, my client and I were able to have some one on one time with Mr. Schultze, the General Manager of GCB in Frankfurt. And we are extremely pleased that Mr. Schultze attended our gala dinner in Schloss Kaltenberg, and delivered a warm welcome speech to our guests. These personal touches make a big difference”


Thorsten Wilhelm, TAO European Incoming

“From the very beginning TAO has followed the philosophy: ALL OR NOTHING! Putting 100 % focus on the unique needs of our Chinese guests was the approach with this program. We are very proud to have helped manage the largest Chinese customer incentive trip to Germany ever. This event was proof again that Germany certainly has the capabilities to host incentive functions of this size and scope.”

Serving the Chinese MICE Market

China is the second largest business travel market for Germany (after the US) and is an important region for future meeting industry growth in Germany and around the world. There are many flights daily from Frankfurt and Munich, making them one of the most sought out destinations for Meetings and Incentive trips coming from China.

While the opportunity is great, the GCB also recognizes that tailoring programs and content to unique language and cultural needs is a must to attract and host successful Chinese meetings and events in Germany.

For example, Henghong Yang, the head of the GCB’s office in Beijing, travels frequently through major cities like Shanghai and Guangzhou to see clients and prospects face-to-face and provide additional support in the selection and planning processes.

In addition, the Chinese version on the GCB website, www.germany-meetings.cn and the GCB Chinese Newsletter have been valuable resources for Chinese meeting planners considering bringing groups to Germany.

The GCB also has an active social media presence called the Great China Region Germany-Meetings on Wechat -- with many followers coming from first-tier cities like Beijing, Shanghai, Guangzhou and Shenzhen.

Finally, Meeting industry providers and GCB members in Germany are beginning to roll out services especially tailored to Chinese guests. For example the Steigenberger Hotel Group is now offering a Chinese TV station, a range of familiar foods and beverages, and popular Chinese payment options to make guests feel at home.