An epic incentive trip across Scotland

“Seven days of real immersion in the Scottish way of living. Thank you Hello Scotland for putting your professionalism to our service. It was an unforgettable trip!”

Karina Gravano, Head of Marketing – Insurance Division, Swiss Medical Group

An epic incentive trip across Scotland

If you’re going to travel all the way from Argentina to Scotland, then you may as well make it a biggie. And with the help of Hello Scotland, that’s exactly what SMG did. 70 top salespeople, 6 nights, one hell of an incentive trip.

Here’s the video and the full story…

Day 1

The group arrived at Edinburgh Airport and transferred by coach to the Fairmont St Andrews. Here they were greeted by a piper, a private check in, and then had dinner in-house after a long day of travelling.

Day 2

Exploring St Andrews

Guests were invited to participate in a walking tour of beautiful St Andrews with our knowledgeable and entertaining guides. Lunch was served in one of the town’s best restaurants, then the group had the chance to either explore the towns cobble streets and cute gifts shops a little further, or return to the hotel to enjoy the 5* facilities there. Dinner that evening was a casual affair in a local barn restaurant, which opened exclusively for the group. Guests were entertained by a delightful four-piece band who played songs from the 60s onwards.

Day 3

Castle Clan Games

Following breakfast, the guests departed St Andrews on-board luxury coaches and headed up into the Highlands. They arrived at the gates of an impressive Victorian-age Castle, sitting in the most beautiful 17th century gardens. It was here that the group’s fun and competitive nature got into full flow as they embarked on their first ever Highland Clan Games. Split into teams, with traditional costume, ‘war paint’ and a ‘war chant’, they competed in battles of strength and agility. Only one could be crowned the winner… the MacDonald Clan!

A celebratory BBQ picnic lunch, in wicker baskets to the hungry clan warriors as they reclined upon tartan blankets. A quintessential British butler was on hand to bring the guests forward in Scottish history as he served and educated them on the etiquette of country picnicking.

The guests said goodbye to the castle battle grounds and traveled on to the 5* Gleneagles Hotel and Resort for an afternoon of relaxation in the glorious sunshine. The evening’s entertainment took the guests to a local distillery for a private tour and whisky tasting ahead of a delicious meal, with the backdrop of traditional Scottish folk music.

Day 4

Enjoying Gleneagles

Week-long incentives can be tiring (and not just for the planners!), so it’s ideal to have some breaks from an organised programme so participants can enjoy activities in their own time, whether that’s a lie-in or a day exploring, it’s entirely up to them! Today was one of those breaks. A morning at leisure, a private group lunch at the hotel, then during the afternoon they could choose to participate in some of the many activities available at the resort, including lawn croquet and the putting green.

That evening, dinner was served in the impressive Gleneagles Ballroom, set beautifully with rustic tables and tartan linen. The group enjoyed 5* food and service, whilst being entertained by a magician and caricaturists.

Day 5

A Royal Crusade

Guests left the Highlands behind and travelled the short distance to Stirling Castle, one of the largest and most important castles in Scotland. Scottish Kings and Queens were crowned at the Castle, including Mary, Queen of Scots, in 1542. Many territorial battles were fought here in an attempt to capture the stronghold that sits at the Gateway to the Highlands. Here they met a Scottish hero ‘Braveheart’, who demonstrated an array of medieval weaponry and how these would have been used in battle.

Guests took in the panoramic views across the Scottish countryside before continuing their journey on to Edinburgh. They were on the outskirts of the city when their coach stopped and everyone was asked to disembark. A little confused, the guests complied and as the coach drove off, leaving them seemingly in the middle of nowhere, two bright red, shiny vintage buses appeared on the horizon. Surprise! Here is your very own special ‘Edinburgh tour bus’! The group boarded the buses and enjoyed a special tour of the city followed by lunch in one of our favourite restaurants, close to the iconic Edinburgh Castle.

The group visited Edinburgh Castle after lunch and then enjoyed an afternoon of exploring and shopping in the capital city, before checking into the Principal George Hotel at their leisure. Dinner that evening was at one of Edinburgh’s most renowned restaurants, The Dome.

Day 6

Day 6 A day at leisure and an evening of pleasure

The group had the opportunity to enjoy Edinburgh as they wished on their final day, and then there was much preparation for the gala evening ahead. The ladies met with our guide for prosecco and some entertaining stories around the tradition of tartan and kilt wearing. They were then asked to select tartan sashes for the evening and shown the various ways these are traditionally worn for gala occasions. The ‘gentlemen’s meeting’ was a less civilized affair! With whisky and laughter they were shown, piece by piece, how to wear the full kilt outfit…demonstrated by one brave volunteer!

Then it was time to depart for the grand gala dinner location, a Georgian country mansion, more than 200-years old, set in a private 5000 acre estate. The evening was one to remember! Champagne, canapés, a wonderfully translated address to the haggis, dinner and awards; not to mention surprise flamenco dancers, sword dancers and a magnificent Beat Retreat complete with fireworks.

With thanks and credit to Ary Kaplan Nakamura for the fantastic job of filming the entire incentive, including the footage above.