“Magical Madrid” Wins Site Award for Outstanding Motivational Event

“Magical Madrid” Wins Site Award for Outstanding Motivational Event

December 9, 2013

There is a real art to connecting a client’s vision, values, and goals to an event and that art is recognized and celebrated by Site, the incentive travel industry’s association, with the annual Crystal Awards.

We are thrilled to receive the 2013 Site Crystal Award for Most Outstanding Single Motivational Event within an Incentive Program for the Magical Madrid event, created for Santander Bank.  This is Dittman’s 13th win for this highly coveted award.

The Crystal Awards program “honors the top tier of world-class organizations that excel in designing unique, memorable experiences that deliver measurable results for their clients”.

Submissions are judged on multiple criteria including Event ROI, Cost Management, Creativity, Logistics, Overcoming Challenges, and Sustainability.

“Magical Madrid” – a Dittman Signature Event

2013 was a pivotal year for Santander, as their US branding transitioned from Sovereign to that of the Spanish parent organization, Santander. As part of that transition, the bank’s Top Performers were awarded a trip to Madrid to visit Santander headquarters and enjoy all that Spanish culture has to offer.

The final night event, Magical Madrid, was a real show-stopper, carefully crafted to drive the branding and vision of the organization throughout and to celebrate the link between the Spanish and American banks. Dittman’s Director of Travel Programs, Marty Doyle, took the lead and collaborated with the on-site Spanish production team from Nuevo Factor. The goals were to represent Spanish culture, emphasize the bank’s focus on excellence and agility by relating it to the racecar driving that it sponsors, and to create an unforgettable experience for Santander’s winners and guests.

The evening took place at La Quinta de Jarama, located in the Spanish countryside. The venue’s classic Spanish-Arabic architecture and gardens were exquisite, but the space also offered a blank canvas for décor, allowing for extensive branding. The T-shaped space inspired Dittman’s team to create five distinct areas, perfect for dramatic reveals throughout the evening.

During the cocktail hour, guests enjoyed the patio and a Formula One lounge, complete with racecar. A replica of the car was carved inice during the event. Musicians and living statues of iconic Spanish figures entertained while guests sampled Spanish hors d’oeuvres.

Guests were invited to enter the dining room, passing through a checkered flag fog curtain, into a dining room decked out in Santander red, with dramatic lighting cast against the walls and shimmering silver and white table décor. The four course meal, paired with locally-produced wines, delicately balanced the flavors of the Spanish and American palate. It was accompanied by a variety of recognition moments and entertainment, including a discussion with a Formula One driver, an awards presentation, magic quick-change performance, and branded laser show with dancers.

Just when it seemed the night was drawing to a close, the lights changed on the red beaded curtains dividing the space, shades lifted, and two new spaces were revealed for after-dinner festivities. The Red Lounge had a nightclub ambiance with custom branded petit fours, a Santander logoed ice bar, a DJ, and a dance floor. The Champagne lounge was dressed in gold, with giant carved ice buckets filled with champagne.  Jazz music completed the ambiance.

This amazing evening not only provided a recognition opportunity for the organization, it also acted as the manifestation of the emerging new brand and gave the American Top Performers an opportunity to learn about the history and corporate culture of Santander. It was a resounding success, which was reflected in the post-event survey where 96% of employees stated that the evening “exceeded” or “significantly exceeded” their expectations.

Congratulations to Marty and the Dittman Travel team on a job well done!