Incentive trip to Dubrovnik
Date: 7 — 11 May 2015
Location: Dubrovnik (Croatia), Trebinje (Bosnia)
Organizer: Intours DMC
Client: Colt Technology Services Group Limited
Event type: Incentive program
A global telecommunication company searched for a unique incentive program which included a CSR element. To reward the top performers with luxury travel experiences in a world famous destination and at the same time give back to the local community in need, Intours DMC proposed to combine the splendour of Dubrovnik and a unique CSR project for disadvantaged local communities in the neighbouring country. In addition to experiencing a cable car ride to Mt. Srdj, sailing on an impressive wooden galleon and discovering the customs and traditions of Dubrovnik’s hinterland, the group crossed border to Bosnia to do some work with a children’s football club. The group of programmers, IT managers, engineers, lawyers and economists worked their fingers to the bone to complete hands-on tasks, such as painting and clearing the grass area. Jason Sullivan of Colt Group commented that the CSR event »often ends up being the highlight of the trip. It’s quite an emotional experience and it really gets people talking to each other.«
The creativity of this incentive program lies in combining two destinations with completely different characteristics into a coherent program which resulted in memorable experiences and renewed appreciation and dedication to Colt Group. As Adam Goodman, owner of Aca Live, explained: “DMCs can help find meaningful projects that will make a real difference.”
Intours DMC took on this challenge and designed an incentive program, focused on a CSR project with truly meaningful outcomes. By thinking out of the box, they managed to find a local community in Bosnia, which was ready to learn more about CSR projects, specific requests and could envision the results of the activities in Trebinje. By recognizing the needs of a local community and working with them on a regular basis, Intours DMC designed a CSR project with an important impact on the local community.
CSR is often just an added element to an incentive program to briefly portray the companies focus on social responsibility or sustainability. In our case special attention has been payed to finding a meaningful project which really could make a difference. Intours DMC therefore didn’t propose a CSR project somewhere in Dubrovnik’s hinterlands, but took on a much more challenging task to organize the CSR event in the neighbouring country where the local communities faced real problems.
This was the first CSR project in Trebinje, which is a remarkable fact, seeing that Dubrovnik with its numerous incentive groups is just 30 kilometres away. At first the local community involved (Youth Club, Municipality, Firefighters) had not known the meaning of CSR and only by time gained an understanding of the endeavours. The CSR project demonstrated that the local community was not invisible, that a group of professionals from throughout the world knew and cared about them. Intours DMC employed this innovative approach to create a truly meaningful CSR project and build the entire incentive program around the CSR event.
The results of this incentive program are not only limited to recognizing and rewarding the top performers, creating stronger ties among employees and a positive corporate culture, but relate also to reconstruction of the Trebinje Youth Football Club. Within 800 volunteering hours the group replaced asbestos roof with a new metal roofing, installed new doors and windows as well as painted the rooms and benches. In this the group enabled the local children to practice football, spend time outside and build their team spirit, all together enhancing their living standard. 100 guests had a chance to meet with 80 children of the Trebinje Youth Football Club as well as several representatives of the local community and press. Local media reported extensively on the CSR project, producing over 20 media releases. The fact that 100 guests from all over the world came to a small village of Trebinje and devoted their time to help the children there, attracted considerable media attention. The case was furthermore featured in meetings industry media, including C&IT Magazine, Kongres Magazine and Poslovni Turizam.
Hey! I am first heading line feel free to change me
Even though Dubrovnik is just a couple of kilometres away from Bosnia, it is not usual to create meetings or event programs from The Pearl of the Adriatic to one of the least undiscovered countries of South East Europe. While Dubrovnik boasts with high quality accommodation options and a variety of astonishing sights and activities, in Bosnia there are still regions with pressing social and economic problems. It was therefore a challenge to combine such diverse destinations into one coherent program which got everyone excited about their future. A further challenge was to find a local partner in Bosnia which understood the aims of our CSR project and could help us with all the ground arrangements. Intours DMC had to rely on the Trebinje Youth Football Club, without any prior experiences in event management, to prepare a working plan to reconstruct their football club and purchase all the necessary materials (shovels, paint, overalls etc.). A further challenge was to navigate the visa procedures for the guests of different nationalities to enter Bosnia.
As a local DMC, Intours was aware of only some results, while the UK agency and the end client had further ones:
- Trebinje Football Club was renovated using 200 liters of paint, 30 rollers, 26 shovels and rakes
- End client statement: “By volunteering, we would like to show that there is a world which cares about the children of Trebinje and sees their athletic potential,” Jason Sullivan of Colt Group.
- Feedback from the UK agency: “So far the feedback has been excellent. There has been a lot of interest shown on the CSR
- 20 media releases in local media, press releases featured in C&IT Magazine, Kongres Magazine and Poslovni Turizam
The fact that 100 guests from all over the world came to a small village of Trebinje and devoted their time to help the children there, attracted considerable media attention.
After Event: Sustainable solution
The event focused primarily on the social element of giving back to a disadvantaged community. The Incentive program to Dubrovnik and Trebinje made a lasting legacy of renovating a local football club for children to have the opportunity to practice sport and build their team spirit. It gave the local community a sense of importance, showing that a group of people from around the world would spend one day of their trip working with and for them.