Skyy Spirits headed to the bar to educate its sales force about the recent
of Cabo Wabo tequila.
What would your meeting attendees say if you ditched the hotel ballroom in favor a bar? That's just what Skyy Spirits did at the company's annual sales meeting in San Francisco in January. But although attendees convened at area hot spots and tasted Skyy-brand drinks, the three-day event was far from a free-for-all.
Each year, San Francisco-based Skyy Spirits holds a meeting to educate, motivate, and communicate with its sales leadership and distributors. But with its recent acquisition of Cabo Wabo tequila (previously owned by former Van Halen front man Sammy Hagar), the company was looking to do something a bit more unusual at this year's event to showcase the new product line. That meant holding the opening general session at a popular nightclub, with educational breakouts at nearby pubs and bars.
The events-management team at San Diego-based TBA Global was tasked with executing the meeting, with several objectives in mind: Kick off the Cabo Wabo acquisition and the company's new relationship with Sammy Hagar, motivate and educate the sales force, and build brand loyalty among Skyy's distributors and consumers with a Sammy Hagar concert that drew more than 1,000 local bartenders.
“We wanted to structure the meeting in a way that would give our people an understanding and a visual for our products in a real-world environment,” says Matt Davenport, vice president of sales, Skyy Spirits. “A hotel banquet room can really suck the energy out of you. Here, the group got to walk from one venue to the next in the fresh air, and each bar had a different atmosphere that was conducive to the session.”
For its breakout sessions, Skyy brought in industry experts and famous mixologists to talk about rum, whiskey, and other liquors, as well as a self-proclaimed “ambassador of tequila” who teamed up with Hagar to teach the group about the spirit.
“The whole event was organized in a way that was in line with the Skyy brand,” says Alison Jenks, vice president of marketing for TBA Global. “This is a company that is very connected with its consumers, so it was only natural to have their employees get involved and experience that in a real-life setting.” Skyy also included aactivity for the nearly 200 employees in attendance that gave back to the local community. The group, along with Hagar, worked together to build 16 bicycles, which were donated to charity.
While it may not work for all groups, the alternative venues were a success for Skyy. “During the last session of the day, you could hear a pin drop,” says Davenport. “Everyone was engaged and eager to hear the messages we were delivering.”
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