Global Meeting & Incentive Summit: On Site

Global Meeting & Incentive Summit
The HakaWorks performers with Mandy Morrissey, Business Events Executive-North America, Tourism New Zealand

Sponsored by Tourism New Zealand, the Global Meeting & Incentive Summit blended top-notch education with the flavor of this transformational destination.

One could only imagine what the passersby on the bridges overlooking the Chicago River thought as they commuted home that fall evening at rush hour. On the top deck of Chicago’s First Lady, a performer in traditional Maori dress welcomed our group by blowing on a conch shell—an authentic Maori welcome to kick off the opening reception of Prevue’s Global Meeting & Incentive Summit, sponsored by Tourism New Zealand.

The group is known as HakaWorks, led by Karl Burrows, a New Zealander of Maori and European descent who is passionate about sharing the benefits of Haka with the rest of the world. Haka started as a war dance by Maori tribes and has gained renown as a pre-game ritual used by the All Blacks, one of the world’s greatest rugby teams.

The 30 senior meeting planner attendees were in Chicago to spend two days in October honing their skills around planning international meetings, as well as learning about New Zealand as a potential site for their future incentive programs. They did so the following morning during a Haka workshop led by Burrows and his performers, by meeting one-on-one with several suppliers including Air New Zealand, American Airlines, Destination Queenstown, ID New Zealand and, of course, Tourism New Zealand; and by sampling fine New Zealand wines during the afternoon reception.

Global Meeting & Incentive Summit

The Global Meeting & Incentive Summit at the Kimpton Hotel Palomar kicked off with an inspiring presentation on Transformational Incentive Travel by Padraic Gilligan, managing partner, SoolNua, and chief marketing officer at SITE. Few destinations fit the definition as well as New Zealand. Travel safety expert Kevin Coffey shared useful advice and resources for both groups and planners traveling internationally. A highlight of the afternoon was a discussion featuring Rhonda Brewer, vice president, North American sales, BCD Meetings & Events; Rebecca Steiner, director, business development, Motivation Excellence; and Rebecca Wright, client engagement director, Creative Group, who shared their perspectives on the findings of the just-released Incentive Travel Industry Index.

Many thanks to our Summit partners: Chicago’s First Lady, PSAV, SpeakInc, Summer House and wet paint group for a fabulous Revo sunglass amenity experience.

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Barbara Scofidio is editor of Prevue and heads up the Visionary Summits, our exclusive conference series targeting senior-level meeting and incentive planners. In 25 years of covering the industry, her articles have spanned topics ranging from social media to strategic meetings management. She is currently the media liaison for FICP's Education Committee and was the first member of the media ever to be invited to sit on a committee by GBTA, where she spent three years on the Groups and Meetings Committee. She has also been an active member of Site, chairing its Crystal Awards committee and acting as a judge. A familiar face at industry events, Barbara often leads panel discussions or speaks on topics close to her heart, such as green meetings or how the industry can help combat human trafficking. She is also on the board of ECPAT USA, the human trafficking organization. Barbara is based outside Boston, in Groton, Mass.