Britannia stars sparkle in champagne and fireworks

It’s not easy to include one of the world’s biggest fireworks displays in your incentive programme – but Britannia did it. Shekhar Niyogi explains how.

Timing is everything in the events business – and many event organisers would avoid a destination at the time of a national celebration for many very sensible reasons. But food production giants Britannia Industries chose to do the opposite and instead used one of the world’s greatest celebration events as the denouement of their annual Britannia Rewards and Recognition event, Britbest.

It was bold, brave and created an unforgettable final night’s party that was otherwise impossible to stage, a view of the Bastille Day Fireworks at the Eiffel Tower where the team cracked open bottles of champagne on the streets of Paris, an appropriate end to the experience of European grandeur! Bastille Day, formally known as la Fête Nationale, is celebrated by every French person as the day when the French revolution turned in favour of ‘les miserables’.

Britbest was organised in Europe from July 8 to 15 with the Bastille Day celebrations always on July 14. The Stars of Britannia Industries’ sales team were given eight memorable days in Munich, Amsterdam and Paris. On the tour, the 51 participants were hosted at Le Meridien Munich, Room Mate Aitana Amsterdam and Marriott Rive Gauche Paris.

The theme of the incentive tour evolved around making each winner feel like the star performer that they are for Brittannia. The day to day itinerary, collaterals and the Gala Night were all in line with giving them the feel of being a celebrity, like a ‘Star on Hollywood Boulevard in LA’.

Talking about the trip and some of the challenges faced, Dhanraj Madnani, senior manager business development and client servicing at tour managers Maximus MICE and Media Solutions, said: “Keeping in mind that we’ve been doing this project for Britannia for the past three years, we had to exceed the bar already set. In the past we’ve executed this incentive tour within a single country, once in Australia and once in Spain. This time we decided to execute it across three countries. Working with multiple on-ground partners in each destination was a challenge we successfully mastered. This is a project that’s really close to my heart and one that has strengthened our relationship with Britannia over time. I think this tour has set a new bar and further strengthened our ties. We look forward to working together in the future as well.”

The first leg of the event was in Munich. The experiences included visiting the grand Nymphenburg Palace and the fancy BMW Welt, the local Hofbrauhaus experience and snow sledging and mountain hiking on the summit of Zugspitze in Germany.

The group then moved on to the city of canals and bikes – Amsterdam!  Madame Tussauds Amsterdam ensured the guests got a red carpet welcome to the city. They walked on ramps, dressed up like their favourite stars and enjoyed many photo opportunities alongside replicas of the biggest celebrities of the world. A visit to the Zaanse Schaans Wind Mills, the Cheese Factory and a 15 kilometre bicycle ride on the streets of Amsterdam ensured that the theatrical experience was imbued with the authenticity Amsterdam has to offer.  And if this wasn’t starry enough, the various gastronomic experiences and Gala Dinner were held at an old Lutheran Church that was converted into an extravagant venue.

The unique venue hosted a night of appreciation and recognition of Britannia’s best stars – it was indeed a night to remember! From Amsterdam, the 51 delegates moved to the last leg of the incentive, Paris. A panoramic view from Montparnasse Tower was followed by a segway tour and then a dinner cruise on the Seine, taking the group past some of the most beautiful monuments of the world which ensured that each and every one were mesmerised by what the City of Love had to offer. On the last day of their trip, they were taken to the champagne producing area of Rheims, a little outside the city of Paris, to experience the region that produces all the best champagnes the world enjoys today. They were given a detailed tour by rail of one of the biggest champagne cellars of the region, Mercier, with tasting supervised by a sommelier.

Finally, time for the Bastille Day celebrations in the centre of Paris with one of the world’s greatest fireworks displays. A star-spangled night for Britannia’s stars!