Q&A: John Hancock’s Joseph Scully Joins FICP Board

Grand Canyon, helicopter tour, FICP
A helicopter tour of the Grand Canyon is on Scully’s must-do list for groups.


January 1 kicked off a three-year term on the board of directors of Financial & Insurance Conference Planners for Joseph Scully, senior director at John Hancock Financial Services in Boston. Prevue spent a few minutes with Scully learning more about this new member of the FICP leadership.

Prevue: How can planners leverage food & beverage to increase value?

Scully: There are a few different ways to leverage food and beverage spend to increase the overall value of a meeting. A strategy that has worked for me in the past is to add a clause to your food and beverage minimum section of your hotel contract stating if you exceed the planned F&B revenue minimum by a certain percentage, say 20 percent or more, a credit to the master of 10 percent of the difference will be applied to the final bill. You may also want to take a look at your agenda and look for opportunities to keep an off-site event on property. Using this additional F&B revenue you can negotiate additional concessions for your meeting.

Are there any tips for cost-conscious planners for increasing ROE (return on experience)?

A simple and cost-effective way to add value to any meeting is to offer a wellness or fitness program on your agenda. Work with your hotel’s fitness center or contact a local gym to add a boot camp, a run, a power-walk or a yoga class to kick-start the day or to finish off a full day of sitting in business meetings. This will get your attendees energized for the day ahead or help to get them revved up for your evening event. Adding an afternoon meeting break where an instructor leads the group with some stretching exercises and pairing that with a healthy break can break up the day and add a bit of energy to finish off the afternoon sessions.

What are three on-site “wow” group experiences not to be missed?

1. A must-do adventure is a helicopter tour of the Grand Canyon. Make sure your helicopter tour includes a landing inside Grand Canyon National Park. It is a great way to see this awe-inspiring natural wonder. 2. Another experience with a great “wow” factor is the Sydney Harbour Bridge Climb. There is really no other way to see Sydney. 3. And for those who are looking for a little less adventure there is nothing better than a duck tour in Boston. While I am a bit biased being a lifelong Boston resident, I am always surprised by how much American history can be learned on this tour. The guides are never boring and you end up in the Charles River in this WWII amphibious landing vehicle for a completely different perspective of Boston and Cambridge.