When American Fidelity Assurance chose Vienna as the site for its 2000 National Sales Convention, the company's creative team was faced with promoting only the second international convention destination in the company's history. That meant the promotion had to not only inspire, but educate.

“We wanted to communicate the culture and the lifestyle,” says Gabi Martin, senior graphic designer. Rather than the usual monthly mailings, Martin created five large packages sent quarterly during the two-year qualification period. The packages were sent to all 300 of the company's captive agents, 90 of whom would ultimately make the trip.

Each package was themed and filled with fun and educational items pertaining to the destination. For example, one box covered Vienna's cultural and royal traditions. Inside was a gold carriage (attendees would be transported by horse-drawn carriage to their final-night banquet), a travel journal (designed by Martin), a postcard book that offered “A Brief Tour of Vienna,” a wine guide, and a chalkboard menu reminiscent of those outside the city's numerous sidewalk cafés. Martin threw in a roll of film, too. Other packages focused on Vienna's culinary, musical, and artistic traditions.

The earliest promotion of Vienna 2000 had come in late 1997, when agents received champagne glasses with the Vienna logo as holiday gifts. Then, at the company's 1998 convention in Vancouver, B.C., attendees received a champagne bottle imprinted with the 1998 convention logo and the 2000 convention logo. The packages began after that.

To make a final splash, Martin sent a beautiful coffee-table book on Vienna along with the official invitations to the convention qualifiers.

The Program

Company: American Fidelity Assurance Co.

Event: Vienna 2000 — National Sales Convention

Site: ANA Grand Wien

Dates: June 3 to 8, 2000

Qualification Period: January 1, 1998, to December 31, 1999

Qualifying Attendees: 90

Total Attendees (including home office and spouses): 280

The Creative Team: Manager Doug Bowman, Gabi Martin, Michelle Holt, Andi Poppe, Leigh Ann Briscoe