Holden Trade Club Australia rewarded its best performing Dealer Parts Managers with a ‘Partsport to New Zealand’ and an action-packed itinerary aptly named ‘Adrenalin Rush Queenstown’.

The Company

This incentive programme was designed to reward 14 Holden Dealer Parts Managers from across Australia, plus six staff. The objective had been to increase sales of Holden Trade Club promoted parts to independent workshops, with the best performers winning a ‘Partsport to New Zealand’ to participate in a sensational itinerary in adrenalin-pumping Queenstown.

The Brief

Julie Dugdale of Melbourne-based agency The Creative Ones, says: “We had to put something together on an ‘adrenalin’ theme. Holden Trade Club wanted something spectacular, adventurous and different, anything to get the winners’ hearts pumping. Queenstown is probably the best place to do that. If Queenstown had a slogan it would read ‘go hard or go home’. It offers vast wilderness, magnificent views, wild adventures, great food and wines all in one place.”

The Programme

Participants first flew from across Australia to Melbourne, before flying together on Air New Zealand to Queenstown via Christchurch. Once there, they checked into superior accommodation for four nights at The Copthorne Lakefront, with stunning views over Lake Wakatipu. A private welcome dinner was organised by the Executive Chef, comprising a sumptuous banquet of New Zealand seafood and game and the finest wines.

Their action-packed itinerary included an exhilarating jetboat ride on the Shotover River with K-Jet, complete with a traditional Maori welcome by Kiwi Huka Performance. Another adventure saw them tackle white water rafting on the Kawarau River with Queenstown Rafting, followed by a special barbecue lunch at Cavell's Café.

The more daring guests braved a bungy jump at the ‘World Home of Bungy’, plunging 43 metres off AJ Hackett Bungy Kawarau Bridge. The group also enjoyed a morning of target shooting at Break One Clay Target Sports, followed by lunch at The Fork and Tap in historic gold mining settlement Arrowtown.

A particular highlight was a full day trip to beautiful Milford Sound via chartered helicopter, followed by a cruise on the fjord. “Glacier Southern Lakes Helicopters in Queenstown recommended that we have lunch on top of a mountain - something completely out of the norm,” Dugdale says. “The guys were blown away, you could just tell by their faces. After a brief landing on a glacier, we were flown to a remote mountaintop where the chopper pilots organised seating and served smoked salmon and salads, seafood and wine. It was amazing.”

Dinners were organised at popular Queenstown restaurants Winnies and the Jervois Steakhouse, while the final, farewell dinner incorporated a gondola ride to the top of Bob’s Peak for a meal at the Skyline Restaurant, giving the group one last panoramic view over beautiful Queenstown.

The guests then flew back to their individual states via Auckland International Airport.

Challenges and Triumphs

“Because the client wanted to minimise the amount of time the managers were away from their business, it became a case of what to leave out, rather than what to include,” Dugdale says. To maximise time, the event was planned to incorporate a weekend, totalling five days altogether, Thursday to Monday.

Another issue, she says, was creating a programme with broad appeal. “We didn’t know these guys; some of them may have been frightened of heights or flying, maybe they didn’t all want to do all of the activities. For example, around half wanted to do the bungy jump. We had organised an alternative Zipline option, or delegates could sit and enjoy the bar facilities in the viewing areas while watching others take the leap. When you are working with different people it is hard to please everyone all the time, but I believe we did.”

She adds: “The guys at Tourism New Zealand were marvellous. I worked initially with Helen Bambry, TNZ Business Events Manager based in Sydney. She came to see me in the office and put me on to everybody and everything.

“I didn’t use an agency in New Zealand, I went direct to the suppliers and tour operators and they were all fantastic and helpful, nothing was too difficult for any of them. Air NZ were brilliant in putting flights together. Everyone was so friendly and professional.”

Event Outcome

“It was superb,” Dugdale says. “The weather was unbelievable. We had excellent food and beverages all the way, from the welcome banquet to the farewell dinner and everything in between, there were no complaints about any of it. The cost of everything was very good, you certainly get your money’s worth, it was fantastic.

“It went off so well I think Holden Trade Club have considered doing another one in the future.”