Local partners and thorough planning helped Streamlinevents pull off a successful incentive trip to the “Pearl of the Antilles” — despite fundamental challenges.
Cuba is a mystery to most Americans. As the rest of the world opened up with the help of affordable air travel, the Internet and social media, it remained hopelessly closed thanks to a decades-long trade embargo. When former President Barack Obama lifted the embargo in 2015, however, the latch finally lifted on Cuba’s iron gate. Now, travelers are flocking to the island nation from the United States in search of brand-new people, places and experiences.
Among the most enthusiastic visitors are incentive travelers, who are attracted to Cuba for its convenient location, warm weather and bygone culture.
Unfortunately, many of the things that make Cuba so appealing also make it a challenging destination in which to execute a successful incentive program, says Annette Chinn, president and CEO of Streamlinevents, which plans more than 600 meetings, incentives and events every year for corporate clients such as Salesforce, Kaiser Permanente and Allstate. Last May, she organized a three-night, four-day incentive trip to the island for Rubrik, a leader in cloud data-management software.
“Rubrik wanted something edgy, exciting and unique for its inaugural incentive trip,” notes Chinn, who organized the program for the company’s top 50 global salespeople and their guests. “As a leading tech innovator, the company was looking for a destination holding the promise of elegance and the challenge of the unknown. With Cuba recently opened to U.S. travelers, our goal was to deliver a five-star experience in an unfamiliar and adventurous setting.”
The event, which achieved 98 percent participation, is a blueprint for incentive planners taking their first group to Cuba. READ MORE