Location: Lisbon, Portugal
Client Industry: IT
Number of delegates: 14
We were approached by our client who came through as a referral from a colleague. Much of our venue finding and event management business over the past 26 years has come from referrals so it’s good to know that with the world being a different place in 2021, some things haven’t changed!
Our client was looking to book a 4-day meeting in Lisbon, Portugal , fixed dates and with less than a month to go.
As always, there were a few unknowns at the beginning and our client was open to suggestions, which of course in some ways makes it more tricky to hit the right spot, especially when one is dealing with a new contact. Our client was willing to consider central Lisbon as well as the coast.
Our company culture is about open and honest communication and conversation so, where necessary, we pick up the phone to our client to clarify things, especially with the short-time frame.
The brief was for a 2 day meeting for 14 pax plus 2 external dinners, an early evening activity followed by dinner and the grand finale being a full day’s off-site activity.
The objective of the meeting was a ‘get to know you’ meeting as some of the delegates had not met each other in person due to the pandemic. He was looking to have a mix of work and play – some fun teambuilding was the request!
We have worked on a number of events in Portugal over the years so we were we able to hit the ground running, having in mind some hotels in Lisbon which would work well for this event.
We contacted several hotels directly as well as via a UK Representation company, who represent a Portuguese hotel group within their portfolio. We also made contact with Destination Management Companies (DMCs) as there were a number of external, off-site elements to this event, in addition to the hotel bedrooms and meeting space.
As a coastal location was also discussed, we contacted a handful of venues on the coast in Sesimbra and Cascais, suitable for a corporate event. These two locations are known mainly as leisure destinations, so we had to use our first-hand knowledge and contacts to ensure the fit was right for a corporate event. Off-site activities close by were also researched via local DMCs, wh0 specialise in these locations.
Our client decided on Hotel Fontecruz, a 5 star hotel located in the centre of Lisbon and restaurants close-by for the meeting days. On the first evening, the group met at the hotel itself for a Welcome Drink and buffet dinner.
We worked in a collaborative manner with both the chosen DMC and our client to ensure all dietary requirements were catered for at all eating establishments. Even with such a small group as this one, this is quite a feat when liaising with four external restaurants.
Even though one DeSouza Associates team member can speak and understand basic Portuguese (after all our company name has Portuguese origins!) we were very grateful to be working with our lovely DMC contact in Lisbon who of course spoke fluent English.
On the evening of day 3, the group finished their meeting a little earlier and had a tour of Lisbon by electric Tuk Tuk! These Asian (to be precise, invented in Thailand) inspired vehicles are big news in Lisbon. They are seen everywhere and are a fun way to discover the city, one advantage being that they’re able to enter the small alleys where cars and buses can’t. Each accommodates 4 people and the tour lasted one and a half hours discovering old Lisbon and passing by the city’s most emblematic quarters.
The Tuk Tuks dropped the group off at Portas do Sol Square and the group then made their way up to the St. Jorge’s Castle from where they were able to admire a breathtaking view over Lisbon and it’s seven hills.
They had a welcome gourmet stop in one of Lisbon’s belvederes for a Pasteis de Belem, the traditional custard pastry, and a glass of Ginjinha liqueur. The tour then continued walking down through the narrow streets of Alfama, Lisbon’s oldest district, a reminder of the Arab Casbahs.
The evening finished off with dinner in a traditional restaurant in the heart of Alfama, serving homemade, typical Portuguese food.
On the final day of this event our client opted for a full day Sailing Regatta, giving the group an opportunity to see and enjoy the amazing coastline around Lisbon.
The group departed from the hotel in fashionable convertible cars. Cars were self-driven and each group of four received a roadbook with all of the necessary directions – we know they enjoyed the feeling of wind in their hair on that journey!
On arrival in Cascais, they took part in a sailing regatta, an exhilarating team buildng activity where they all had to work as a team.
To conclude this off-site activity day they had lunch at a restaurant in the Marina, prior to a coach transfer back to Hotel Fontecruz in Lisbon.
Some delegates departed Lisbon and Portugal that evening whilst others stayed on until after breakfast the next day.
The feedback from our client was very positive and everyone enjoyed the event.
This proves we have the knowledge and relationships working alongside tried and trusted suppliers, we’re responsive and provide the right solution for each event enquiry.