Disney Goes Above Par George Aguel, Vice-President of Resort/Park Sales and Services for WaltDisney World Resort, and his team are responsible for the event's continued success. They're proud of the Disney Golf Spectacular's acclaim, and look forward to welcoming associates back again this year.
"Hosting professional colleagues from the incentive industry is a highlight of our year as well," said Aguel. "Not only does it give us an opportunity to solidify existing relationships with valued friends, it allows us to demonstrate how the Walt Disney World Resort destination can bring groups together like no place in the world."
Professionals in the incentive industry have been unanimous in their praise of the Disney activities associated with the event. It's a yearly highlight to see how Disney planners best the astounding presentations from preceding events. The Disney team plans each year's event with that expectancy in mind. "It's always been our aim to make each DisneyGolf Spectacular an individual accomplishment because many of the participants return year after year with high expectations from their last visit," said Aguel. "Fortunately, the Walt Disney World Resort provides a limitless source of inspiration for planning an event of this size and it allows us to do what we do best--create magic."
The Disney location remains the essence of the Golf Spectacular's enormous appeal. Where else could participants find themselves dancing in the streets of New York City at an old-fashioned block party in the Disney/MGM Studios theme park, or dining at Epcot in a prehistoric jungle under the watchful eye of a "living" tyrannosaurus rex all in the same day?
Business in a "Fair"way The event was established for business professionals, but business was intended to be a secondary advantage to catching up with friends in an engaging setting--that's why the Walt Disney World Resort was ideal. The support that Disney could put behind it in terms of unique activities and themed locations simply couldn't be found anywhere else.
To further differ the Disney Incentive Golf Spectacular from other business outings, new rules of etiquette were introduced. In order to stay true to the vision, planners were insistent that no "hard-sell" tactics be permitted, so incentive houses could be comfortable bringing their clients without being afraid of losing them to the competition.
To avoid such an occurrence, suppliers were asked to showcase their products, indirectly, as prizes awarded to attending clients. And to this day, trust remains an honored objective of this one-of-a-kind outing.
Disney Fit Business to a Tee Part of that winning combination was the extraordinary variety of exhibition opportunities available at the Walt Disney World Resort. Aside from providing convenient access to 99 holes of championship golf, planners and participating sponsors had the convenience of selecting from a variety of inspiring venues to showcase their products. Throughout the history of the Golf Spectacular, Disney theme parks and surrounding resort properties have hosted extravaganzas that were out of this world, but right at home in Disney's.
Sponsors were never limited by their own imaginations when showcasing their products at the Walt Disney World Resort. The ingenuity of Disney's talented coordinators imagined the inconceivable and created elaborate themed events that have made each year's Disney Incentive Golf Spectacular, well--spectacular.
The consistent quality of the Walt Disney World Resort has allowed sponsors to relax as well during the event. Aguel expressed sound reasoning for their trust. "Over the years, the Walt Disney World Resort has successfully showcased sponsors with remarkable flair. By now, meeting sponsors know if they provide the people, and let us provide the magic, any of their objectives can become a reality."
J.J. Gubbins of ITT Sheraton remembered a few standouts in particular: "They've done everything. They've done the incredible Disney parks. They've done wonderful events such as a Lion King theme and a Dick Tracy party. There was even an amateur boxing match for a sports-themed event and some rock-n-roll parties." To the point, he added, "Disney does a great job!"
According to Greg Kurdian of Sunbound, that's part of the Disney Incentive Golf Spectacular's enormous appeal: "Every year Disney does something special and the key incentive buyers really look forward to it."
Gubbins echoed the sentiment. "Disney has the resources . . . the golf infrastructure, along with participating hotels . . . it's also the number one tourist and meeting destination in the country, if not the world . . . it's become a patented formula for a successful event."
Aguel was tight-lipped about what Disney had planned for this year's participants, but he offered this hint: "With the addition of new resorts, attractions, dining districts, and even more entertainment options to choose from, anything's possible this year."
While plans are ongoing, Aguel did reveal a detail foremost on the minds of many participants--GOLF! This year's scramble will be played December 12-13 on two of the most impressive and challenging courses at the Walt Disney World Resort--Disney's Eagle Pines and Osprey Ridge golf courses, ensuring that the 11th Annual Disney Incentive Golf Spectacular astounds event veterans and eager newcomers alike.
Disney's detailed efforts have not gone unnoticed. Murray Shields, president of Panorama Conference Man-agement and veteran of four past events, observed the significance of its distinguished reputation. "It's very difficult to put on an event for businesspeople because we're so critical, but Disney attends to every detail to make it a success." Shields also discovered an additional benefit of attending. "It's a tremendous way to experience Disney. You can see how great a business event can be if it's held there and Disney doesn't hold anything back."
Hank Kostes, regional vice-president of BI Performance Services, has marveled at Disney's ingenuity over the past eight years and anxiously awaits this year's extravaganza. "I always look forward to acquainting my clients with the Disney properties, and this year I look forward to seeing how Disney is going to top last year's event." He's already prepared to be wowed. "I've never been dissatisfied with anything they've done--they're truly remarkable, gifted and creative planners."
Over the years, an invitation to the Disney Incentive Golf Spectacular has become a coveted prize in the incentive industry. Michael Campbell, director of national accounts for US Motivation, summarized his feelings this way: "It is absolutely my favorite event of the year and it's the only event I block out my calendar for on an annual basis."
The admiration of former attendees is a testament to the event's creators and the imagination of the Walt Disney World Resort. The Golf Spectacular has become the standard by which all other industry events are measured. And, according to Aguel, this year's event will not disappoint.
"With more than a decade of expansion at the Walt Disney World Resort since the first event, the 11th annual Disney Incentive Golf Spectacular promises to be bigger and better than ever," he said.