In a world where stress, hassle, and anxiety seem to be a way of life, maybe it's time to consider an incentive event that focuses on serenity.
That's what Royal Alliance Associates Inc., a New York-based financial services group owned by SunAmerica/AIG, did at its 2002 Royal Court incentive meeting at the Four Seasons Aviara in San Diego in January. The Asian Infusion theme for the opening night party incorporated principles of feng shui — the Chinese art of placement and harmony — and other elements to relax and revitalize hard-working top producers.
“We figured that the quiet elegance of this theme would provide our attendees with a unique oasis environment and really set the tone for a successful incentive,” says Katrina Thomas, coordinator, corporate meetings and event planning, who worked with PGI San Diego (www.pgi.com) to make the party happen.
Entertainment included a tea-leaf reader and an aura reader, a rock balancer, a bonsai demonstration, an origami artist, and a massage therapist. Shoji-style screens were positioned around the stage area and a Chinese classical musician played soothing background music throughout the event. There was also lots of floor seating on large, ivory-colored pillows.
“How often,” asks Thomas, “do you see your CEO sitting cross-legged on a floor pillow eating sushi with chopsticks and having a great time?”