470 Brazilian entrepreneurs from the company VIBRA Energia waited eagerly for their incentive trip to Munich for more than 800 days due to multiple postponements caused by the Covid-19 pandemic. The anticipation was correspondingly great. From 20 to 26 August 2022, the time had finally come and the city of Munich was able to score points with its Bavarian way of life, a varied supporting programme and two unforgettable evening events.
The company VIBRA Energia is the largest distributor and marketer of petroleum derivatives and biofuels in Brazil and Latin America. Every year, the company invites the petrol station operators with the best performance to an incentive trip. In May 2020, the destination was supposed to be Munich. But then the pandemic hit the world and the event had to be postponed several times. Liberty International Deutschland GmbH, responsible for the planning of the incentive in Munich, continuously supported the client in checking the availability of all service providers for possible new dates and the subsequent rebooking for the new event date. In August 2022, more than two years later, the event could finally be held as planned.
Liberty International Deutschland GmbH is part of the Liberty International Tourism Group - the largest owner-managed Destination Management Company (DMC) in the world, with more than 70 offices covering over 90 countries. For over 30 years, the agency has been organising unforgettable travel experiences and extraordinary events for its global clients. The multilingual team at the Munich, Berlin, Düsseldorf and Frankfurt offices has key expertise in the tourism and MICE industry throughout Germany. For the incentive in Munich, Liberty worked closely with VIBRA Energia and two Brazilian agencies commissioned by the end client for international travel logistics and technical event design. "Such big events are only possible as a team," says Markus Pietrzik, CEO Liberty International Deutschland GmbH. "This fantastic event showed a perfect cooperation between Liberty, the two Brazilian agencies involved and the end client VIBRA. We are also very happy that we can completely rely on our service providers and partners in Munich, which meant that even the many last-minute changes could be mastered together."
Due to the company's internal guidelines, the arrival and departure were separated into two consecutive days. In cooperation with Munich Airport, a Portuguese-speaking guide from Brazil was posted behind the security checkpoint to bridge the language barriers and help with any problems and questions. In addition, the guests received a voucher created in cooperation with Munich Airport for their departure, which enabled them to make purchases at reduced prices in all duty-free shops with a discount code.
The incentive was thematically and content-wise related to the region. Upon arrival at the Westin Grand Hotel, a trio of the Bavarian music group "Happy Bavarians" welcomed the participants at check-in in traditional dresses. Having a first Bavarian beer, the guests were happy to be able to chat with old colleagues and friends again after a two-year break from Covid-19 and directly started to dance together to Bavarian music. The Bavarian theme was also reflected in the event design: among others, small maypoles decorated the foyer of the hotel, where the guests were accommodated, and personalised gingerbread hearts were presented as a farewell gift.
When registering for the event, all participants were allowed to put together their own individual activities programme for the entire stay. Liberty International Deutschland GmbH paid special attention to offering a wide range of activities. In addition to a classic city tour, a beer tour through the historic old town and an exciting brewery tour through the Spaten-Franziskaner brewery were offered. Here, the guests got to know the German brewing culture and also tasted freshly tapped beers. In addition to Munich’s highlights, the guests had the opportunity to explore the idyllic foothills of the Alps. After all, what would a stay in Munich be without a trip to the famous Neuschwanstein Castle? The fairy-tale castle is known all over the world and hardly any Munich tourist would want to miss a visit there. So every day a larger group set off to visit the magnificent castle and took some souvenir photos.
The sports enthusiasts did not miss out either. They enjoyed an exclusive guided tour in the Allianz Arena with a visit to the players' tunnel and the team cabin of FC Bayern Munich. During the individual visit to the FC Bayern Museum, many souvenirs were bought.
The kart races at the world's largest indoor electric kart track at the Kart Palast Bergkirchen provided an action-packed experience. Those looking for even more adrenaline registered for the AUDI Driving Experience in Neuburg an der Donau. Here, guests were able to improve their driving skills under the guidance of instructors with motorsport experience and test their personal limits on the challenging off-road course. For car lovers who wanted to take it a little easier, there was the option of visiting BMW Welt and taking part in a guided tour of the BMW Museum.
A large team of staff from the two Brazilian agencies and local Portuguese-speaking guides was put together to provide optimal support for the guests during the activities. A logistical challenge for the agency were the dynamically changing Covid-19 rules for the activities. In cooperation with the local partners, Liberty International Deutschland GmbH nevertheless managed to ensure that all guests were able to participate in the desired activities and enjoyed their trip.
On the main event days, interested guests could use a shuttle bus from the Westin Grand Hotel to the city centre - ideal for those who had not booked any activities and preferred to explore the city on their own. In addition, two rooms were exclusively rented daily at the Zum Franziskaner restaurant, where guests could have lunch together. Exclusive beer tastings were also regularly offered here in several sessions.
For the awards ceremony, at which the VIBRA staff were honoured this year for their performance in 2019, the production halls of Eisbach Studios were transformed into a stunning gala dinner location. Brazilian television presenter Rafa Brites and her husband, Brazilian journalist and comedian Felipe Andreoli, hosted the evening. The event was rounded off by a customised 3-course menu, for which the caterer Gaumenfreund was also happy to cater to the guests' personal wishes. As an additional surprise for the 30 top performers, an extra dinner was organised the next evening at the high-end restaurant Käfer Schänke.
The highlight at the end of the week was the farewell party at the Paulaner am Nockherberg, where the guests were musically surprised by the Bavarian band "Die Kirchdorfer" as well as by the famous Brazilian country band "César Menotti & Fabiano". When the singer of the Kirchdorfer greeted the guests in Portuguese, everyone cheered and stormed onto the dance floor already. The mood reached its climax when the band, flown in especially from Brazil, took the stage. There was a real concert atmosphere, everyone sang along to the songs and celebrated exuberantly.
"We noticed that all guests were delighted that the long-awaited trip was finally taking place and that they were able to get to know the city of Munich," said Svenja Mayer, Senior Project Manager at Liberty International Deutschland GmbH. "The guests were especially enthusiastic about the Driving Experience and described it as the best activity in all the years of this event series. The Brazilian organising team, which has been accompanying the event series for years, also spoke of the 'best edition ever'."
Barbara Zenk, also Senior Project Manager at Liberty International Deutschland GmbH, draws a positive conclusion: "After an above-average planning and preparation time of more than three years and the additional challenges related to Covid-19, we are very happy that we were finally able to show the guests Munich with all its facets and thus offer them an unforgettable stay."