Business is usually serious stuff, but business reward programs don't have to be. POP Kollaborative, based in Calgary, Alberta, created a three-day incentive that offered both style and sass.
A financial services company celebrated the annual induction of 100 employees into its President’s League by inviting the honorees and guests on a three-day incentive program at Chateau Lake Louise at the base of the Victoria Glacier. The first-night reception brought the great outdoors indoors, with a cocktail reception "enviroscape" that featured sub-alpine floral arrangements, vintage wagons filled with rocks—suggesting a dry riverbed—and a kayak that served as a menu board. Furniture was a merry mashup of floral prints and plaids.
The next day was busy, including brunch with Olympic hockey champion Hayley Wickenheiser and the cheeky "Show Us Your Assets" polar bear plunge, which saw the braver attendees taking a quick dip into frigid Lake Louise.
The day ended with a gala dinner, complete with a white carpet runway and logo'd step-and-repeat for photo shoots. The ballroom featured long refectory tables suitable for communal dining—designed to reinforce the sense of camaraderie that the host firm supports. The tables featured Scandinavian rosemaling motifs set off with tall crystal candlesticks and Ghost chairs.
The dinner menu brought one surprise after another. The first-course salad—plated to look like a dessert—was served by ballet dancers. The main course was prepared and plated before guests' eyes while dessert--chocolate "sausages" and cocoanut "toast"—looked like a traditional breakfast. The playful platings not only provided "wow" moments but served as inspiration for Instagram posts. After dinner, guests danced to a trio comprising a DJ, percussionist and horn player.
Guests who enjoyed the gala a little too much could recoup the next morning with the Hair of the Dog farewell breakfast, offering hangover cures including deep-fried mac and cheese, Gatorade smoothies and Canada's answer to the Bloody Mary—the Spicy Caesar, which mixes vodka with Clamato, Worcestershire, Tabasco and spices.
The Special Events Advisory Board didn't attend the program but they are fans just the same—they just nominated it for three 2016 Gala Awards.
POP Kollaborative 250, 237 Eighth Ave. S.E., Calgary, Alberta, T2G 5C3; 403/264-9801; www.pophasawebsite.com