When the Insight Business Club wanted to celebrate their 10 year anniversary with a trip that offered unique experiences and keynote speakers under the theme of ‘hostmanship’, they turned to Hello Scotland to make it happen.
What is ‘hostmanship’? Hostmanship is making people feel welcome and looked after. It’s being caring and making people happy.
It’s also something that’s engrained in the ethos of Hello Scotland. Handy when you’ve got to build an incentive programme around it!
Planned seamlessly into the programme, where three key speakers who would outline how ‘hostmanship’ played an important role in their businesses, and how they distilled it into the fibres of their organisational culture.
Day 1 - Arrival
The group of 40 arrived into Edinburgh in the late evening, so it was a simple transfer to their hotel for the night, the 4* Principle Edinburgh Charlotte Square in the heart of Edinburgh. They were greeted with a drinks reception and nibbles in the Garden Room - a wonderful relaxed space in the centre of the hotel. Then it was time to get some rest ahead of the days to come.
Day 2 - City Slickers
After breakfast the group strolled along Edinburgh’s infamous George Street to the chic and sophisticated Harvey Nichols store. Here, they met with their first ‘hostmanship’ - or rather ‘hostwomanship’ speaker Pamela, senior sales manager of the store. She gave the group a behind-the-scenes view of how the renowned designer department store offer the ultimate fashion experience and emphasised the importance of visitor experience at every touch point in the store, as well as how they incentivise their staff to always preform at their best.
The group had time to browse before a delicious lunch in the store’s Forth Floor restaurant, with fabulous views across to Edinburgh Castle. The afternoon was spent exploring the city with our knowledgeable and entertaining guides.
Dinner that evening was an exclusive event at one of Edinburgh’s top restaurants, which opened especially for our group that evening. Not only did they enjoy splendid views of Edinburgh’s Old Town, but some very tasty Scottish food and drinks too!
Day 3 - Scottish Country Classics
In the morning the group left the city and travelled by coach to a historic castle and family home to experience Scottish country life first hand.
Here they met their second keynote speaker of the trip, this time it was James from ROTA - the UK’s leading hospitality agency. James spoke about how ROTA is a new concept in the hospitality world, providing temporary staff who are equipped with the skills to deliver customer experience, whatever the level of service required.
With lots of food for thoughts, the guests then enjoyed rotations of clay pigeon shooting and 4x4 driving, as well as a delicious BBQ lunch. The owner of the castle, Sir Francis, made a surprise appearance to meet the group and tell them about the history of his family and their grand home.
Back to the city and it was time to prepare for their gala evening and of course, this meant kilts for the men! In the ‘gents meeting’, amongst hilarity and giggles the men were shown how to wear the kilts. Meanwhile the ladies accessorised their glamorous outfits with tartan, ready for the night ahead.
The group left the hotel on foot, stopping at the magnificent National Gallery for a photo opportunity. It was there that our surprise piper appeared, ready to march the group through the streets of Edinburgh to an impressive library for the evening. They stopped for another photo at St Giles Cathedral and were ‘papped’ by many of the tourists in the area! Five-star food, opulent surroundings and of course an address to the haggis made the perfect evening.
Day 4 – Highland-bound
The group said goodbye to Edinburgh and headed north by coach to the first of two incredible destinations. First, was the world-class Gleneagles Hotel and Resort. Here they enjoyed a gun dog demonstration, a falconry display and a private lunch, whilst also hearing from their third and final ‘hostmanship’ speaker – the resort general manager, Connor. Connor spoke to the group about how ‘attention-to-detail’ and learning about each customer is essential in delivering the best customer experience.
It was then time to leave and continue their journey north to their next destination, but this wouldn’t be by coach. No indeed. It would be by luxury train! They boarded the train and continued into the Highlands. Next stop, the highest distillery in Scotland, Dalwhinney; famed for its Highland Single Malt Whisky. Here the group enjoyed a private tour and tasting. They were also gifted with some chocolates from an award-winning Highland Chocolatier.
The group continued their journey on the royal engine, where they were treated to a lavish dinner onboard, whilst the dramatic backdrop of the Highlands whizzed by.
Arriving in Inverness and it was time to let their hair down, relax and reminisce about what an amazing time they had in Scotland. So, we arranged the exclusive use of the beer garden in a quaint Scottish tavern, nestled beside Inverness Castle, for the group to do just that. They enjoyed a few beers and some nibbles whilst the photos from the trip played on a big screen in the background. We even arranged for their hotel room keys to be handed out in the tavern, with their luggage already being transferred and porterage arranged. At their leisure, they arrived for their final night at the 4* Kingsmills Hotel, situated on the outskirts of the city. But before bed, an early morning plan was hatched for the following day….
Day 5 - Hunting then home
As planned in the Tavern the night before, a few of the group decided that whilst in Inverness, they must try and hunt for Nessie before they leave! And so, our Bill invited them for an early morning swim in Loch Ness - rumoured to be the best time to spot the sea creature. And so off they went before breakfast, some bravely took to the water, others watched from the shore, but alas, Nessie avoided human sighting once again, but what a way to finish an incentive trip!