There were 1,100 of them. And they were all college interns of PricewaterhouseCoopers, New York City, the professional services organization, and they all had offers of employment with the company.

The question for PwC was: How to get them to accept?

The answer: Take them to Walt Disney World Resort and let them Discover the Magic of the firm. The conference — which was a success measured by the number of jobs accepted — garnered the worldwide company top honors by winning Meeting Professionals International's Global Paragon Award (Category II, meetings with budgets exceeding $1,000 per attendee). The award was presented to PwC and other winners at MPI's 2002 World Education Congress in Toronto, Ontario, in July.

PwC's five-day conference took place in August 2000 and blended networking, entertainment, and professional development through a customized Disney Institute program, a diversity presentation, teambuilding exercises, and motivational speakers — with time to enjoy the theme parks, of course.

The logistics for the event were complex, with coordination covering 47 square miles. Judges were particularly interested in this aspect, and commented on the company's command of the demanding logistics required to successfully move a large group of unsophisticated travelers numerous times with no mishaps.

Other Winners

The other top winner was the International Life Sciences Institute of Washington, D.C. (Category 1, meetings with budgets up to $1,000 per attendee). The award recognized the Institute's International Vitamin A Consultative Group Meeting in Hanoi, Vietnam, in February 2001.

Best Themed Event went to Extraordinary Events, Sherman Oaks, Calif., and Delaney Marketing, Dublin, IrelandSherman Oaks, Calif. Best Promotion for a Meeting or Event was garnered by Accucom Corporate Communications Inc., Toronto, Ontario. And the award for Best Product Launch Event was received by Jack Morton Worldwide, New York.

MPI's Global Paragon Awards honor companies and meeting professionals whose best practices are judged to be the best of the best in the industry.