Which sounds more enticing? A three-day meeting in a downtown hotel or a weeklong conference aboard a cruise ship in the Caribbean?
If you lean toward the cruise, Wayne Peyreau agrees. As regional vice president, sales (U.S.A.) for MSC Cruises, he knows the upsides to taking business meetings and incentives out to sea.
“Whatever they could do on land, they could certainly do at sea and it could be more affordable,” he said.
Not to mention easier to plan and more exciting.
An uncomplicated way to plan
For a meeting or event planner, a cruise is an uncomplicated way to organize an incentive, meeting or reunion.
“From the meeting planner’s perspective, cruising is self-contained. The stateroom is your hotel. Dining, meeting venues and entertainment are included,” said Peyreau.
Cruises also typically cater to a multigenerational crowd, with programs designed for everyone from small children to retirees.
At sea, passengers bond
Being in a contained space also has upsides. Attendees bond on board, at dessert buffets, at an evening show or poolside. They connect off-ship as they explore ports.
“Not everyone has the same interests, yet there’s so much to do onboard that you can do one activity, and I can do something else and then we can connect for dinner,” said Peyreau.
Plenty of options for private functions
When a group needs meeting and event spaces, MSC matches it to onboard spaces that fit its size and technical needs. Not every ship has dedicated meeting space, but there are many options for private functions, such as theaters and lounges.
An inexpensive way to travel in style
Ease, freedom and flexibility, combined with value, convince many meeting and event planners to try MSC. They tally the cost of a traditional meeting– rooms, meeting space, meals, entertainment, and activities for families. When they compare the total to the cost of an MSC cruise, MSC wins! One call, does it all. “Where can you possibly go and have all that and then some?”
A guaranteed group rate motivates
Still, planners can be hesitant to try a cruise. If they plan events for attendees who pay their own way, they might worry about getting sufficient bookings to qualify for group rates. MSC’s group rate guarantee reassures them.
“It gives our clients a comfort level,” said Peyreau. “To get our group rate, the minimum is eight state rooms, 16 guests, but if a planner markets the trip and doesn’t meet the minimum, we are not going to adjust that rate up.”
Need help marketing? MSC offers it.
MSC also makes it easy for planners to market their meeting or event by supplying flyers, videos and other marketing pieces that can be customized.
MSC offers more as it enters new market
While new to North America, MSC is already the number one cruise line in Europe, South America, Southern Africa, and the Gulf. The world’s largest privately owned cruise company, MSC sails the Caribbean from Miami and also offers cruises from New York.
As it strives to become a bigger name in North America, MSC is focusing on gaining planners’ confidence. “We are new to North America, so we are doing some things differently to encourage people to travel with us,” said Peyreau. “We want planners to say, ‘Look at what MSC is doing to help us plan and take cruises.’”
For more information contact Wayne Peyreau at 954-958-3283 or by email at firstname.lastname@example.org, or go to msccruiseusa.com.