When I founded Italian Special Occasions DMC in 2014, innovation was in the core of our mission and vision.
Before launching the company, I worked and travelled all over the world. I lived in London, Spain and Brazil. I had the opportunity to develop the product in Ireland, Portugal, England and France. At one point I became responsible for promoting Italy and I was a bit disappointed that the knowledge of Italy was mainly based on Florence, Venice, Rome, Sicily and maybe the Amalfi.
Why we consider ourselves an innovative DMC
But Italy is so much more! With years of tourism experience under my belt and after moving to Florence and then Maremma, I saw the opportunity in developing the Italian product, in a different way.
When I say that we have a great local knowledge, it is not only because of my past experience on developing Italy as a destination, but because I still travel all year long, out of our events, to discover different regions, see what kind of activities can be offered, discovering, selecting unique Venues and strengthening partnerships with companies that have innovative activities within different region. We believe that working with partners who share the same philosophy as us, will benefit our clients, support local communities and the environment. As a result, the events will be more unique, memorable and impactful.
Our model is based on three simple principles that make the client experience Italy in an innovative way: Storytelling, Sensorial Experience and Seasonality. Our innovative approach is based on the firm conviction that events must embrace the local culture and history to widen the horizon of ideas that help a company.
Storytelling is a powerful way to bring your brand to life. This powerful tool has been around since the beginning of time. Stories passed from generation to generation and gave a meaning to important events in history.
Brands and companies also have stories and by using storytelling we want to bring your brand’s identity to life. Through the live event and experience, you can better connect with your stakeholders, educate, inspire, and leave a lasting memory and impact.
One of the ways to do it is by selecting a theme. Based on your event objectives and location where the event is to take place, we will help you apply a theme that ties to the corporate mission of the occasion and can impress participants with strong emotions and vivid memories about a brand and its values.
For example, one of the themes from our past client event was Ancient Roman Technology meets 21st-century Technology. We conceived the theme of the event by being inspired by the local culture of the Eternal City, Rome. To match with client’s objectives, we looked how to link the nature of the company – innovative software, international business and cutting edge technology – with the local heritage.
Who used to do that several millennia ago? Ancient Rome and its vast, highly complex network of ancient roads. We chose the Sampietrini – the famous stones that were used to build the roads of the majestic Roman Empire – to create the link between local Roman heritage and the company’s objective. Just like Sampietrini connected the ancient world with roads, during the event the stone was a symbol of company’s ability to connect the world thanks to its services.
In 2015 London & Partners and CWT Meetings & Events commissioned a study about sensory events and survey approximately 600 event professionals. About 78% of respondents believe that by incorporating more senses into the event experience, they can deliver more memorable and creative experiences. But only 27% of responded that they feel the five senses are being used effectively at events. Furthermore, 42% of people stated that sensory activations can help events to stand out from others.
According to the surveyed, most common sensory activations include light projections and light illusions at the event. Other sensory activations are about culinary experiences to stimulate the senses of taste and sight.
The respondents stated that the challenges delivering the events include limited budgets, lack of time or difficulty to find sensory content that is suitable for their clients or events.
Italy is the county of vivid colours, gastronomic experiences, emotionally-rich music, rich smells and local crafts. In each region you can experience five senses through traditions and heritage and make the event more powerful and memorable.
When talking about sensorial events, first thing that comes to mind are food and wine. So let’s give you few examples about our gastronomic experience for groups.
Food – The group will discover ancient recipes, products and traditions that are unique to the local territory. We will source a unique venue for this activity, such as an historical venue.
Wine – We created a team-building package called “Noble Family and the Noble Wine”. The activity takes place along Northern Sicily, West Sicily, East Sicily and South Sicily. The participants will learn about the history of the territory though the family who produced wine over many generations. In addition, they learn about the region and its diversity.
As a guideline we will always recommend to organise events in Italy off the peak season. Why? Firstly, it is hard to find the right venue capacity during peak season. As a result, you might not get the venue of your first choice. Secondly, most of the venues are more expensive during high season. If you are budget conscious and want a good price value guarantee, Italy off season is the best option. Last but not least, but also very important and close to our heart is to support local territories and tourism. By extending your event to off season, we can support the environment, communities at the same time save event costs.
We are strong believers that to offer the best to our clients we need to build innovative partnerships.
In December last year I attended International Luxury Travel Market and met Rebecca Fielding, the founder of Unwrapped Travel. Their philosophy is “when you see the world, you change your vision to 360 degree and that will help you change the world” and it ties well with ours so we decided to embark on a joint partnership and offer something extra to our clients.
So what do they do? Their team travels and discovers cultures to create unique cultural experiences and to help us have a memorable holiday and eliminate boundaries. Through this partnership, we will focus on their product DNA Unwrapped. Your DNA will be taken to a laboratory and the test will go up to 5000 years. You will follow your DNA journeys organised by Unwrapped Travel to your origins. You will meet people and immerse yourself in the cultures of the places where you are from.
Stay tuned for the new product developments we are working on with Unwrapped Travel.
By incorporating Storytelling, Sensorial Experience and Seasonality, we can make you experience Italy in a different way. We would love to hear from you and tell you more about what Italy has to offer for private and corporate events and how our innovative model can help you achieve your business objectives.