Spectacular Incentive by Spectra

In August 2018, Destination Management Company (DMC) Spectra In Scotland, delivered Scotland's largest incentive as 1400 people gathered in Edinburgh for a trip of a lifetime. As if that doesn't sound challenging enough, this was all pulled off during one of Edinburgh's busiest times of the year: the Edinburgh Festival! Spectra reveals what an event of this magnitude looked like, as well as exposing challenges met along the way.


This year saw Spectra deliver Scotland’s largest pure Incentive consisting of 1400 people in Edinburgh, during the busy first weekend of the Edinburgh Festival. Although challenging to move this amount of people around the city in almost 250 coach movements it ran seamlessly.

 TC Coaches


Reviewing our supplier partners list, it was amazing to be reminded how many pieces we had to fit together to create the whole programme. From hotel concierges, essential luggage loaders, guides & events staff to marquee riggers, entertainers & caterers, the whole team had fun creating many “firsts” around the city for this prestigious group.

The highlights:                                          
TC Arena Dancers 02
  • Six simultaneous welcome receptions
  • Two mornings of private tours of the Royal Yacht Britannia & the Palace of Holyroodhouse run in military-style precision followed by a “comfort & coffee stop” in the Royal Botanic Gardens Edinburgh for all 1400 pax
  • An exclusive buyout of Thirlestane Castle for a “Highland Fair Day” with 30 plus activities available for guests to watch or participate in and a Scottish/American themed street food marquee
  • Three simultaneous “Estate Activity” events hosted at Hopetoun House, Winton Castle & Dundas Castle
  • Co-ordination of 1400 departures over 10 charter flights
  • Successful transfer of over 3500 pieces of luggage from Edinburgh to Dublin without a lost or misplaced bag!


A few fun facts:     
  • 6 Main Hotels                                       TC Bagpipe Workshop 2     
  • 246 Coach Movements
  • 161 Car/MPV Transfers
  • 20 Baggage Vans
  • 4 Stately Homes
  • 16 Marquees (incl Catering Marquees) – Thirlestane, Hopetoun, Dundas & Winton, Royal Botanic Gardens
  • 63 different activities/exhibitions/entertainment, spread across the Stately Homes and hotels
  • 1400 Vox Whisper headsets
  • 10 Charter aircraft
  • 3500+ Pieces of luggage transferred by road & ferry to Dublin


The initial challenges:              
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  • We are delighted that an established client of our London office has a hugely successful overnight site inspection which convinces them to bring their group to Edinburgh. We take the call that Edinburgh & Dublin have been confirmed but there’s one change – it’s not the division of 200 pax that had previously been talked about, it’s the larger division of 850 pax and they need to travel over the first weekend of the Edinburgh Festival in August!
  • They want the whole group to have the same experiences for all tours, activities and venues, although the top 3 or 4 regions must have a unique experience of their own
  • The client fell in love with both the Royal Yacht Britannia & the Palace of Holyroodhouse as experiences that they wanted the entire group to experience
  • The client needed a lunch venue for 850 pax
  • After such a great group event what will surpass it for the second day?
  • How do we get guests & their luggage to their next destination?


The results:                       
  • TC Craft Marquee From RoofSpectra negotiated with 8 hotels to initially provide a total of 400+ bedrooms for the programme. Our partners initially didn’t believe that this number of rooms would ever be confirmed
  • After an initial “it can’t be done”, we create solutions in partnership with the Royal Yacht Britannia & the Palace of Holyroodhouse that allows all guests to experience these attractions and allows the top 3 regions to have a “unique experience” separately
  • Thirlestane Castle stepped forward and allowed us to use their front lawn for a giant marquee – the first time it had been allowed for a corporate event
  • Three magnificent properties – Hopetoun House, Dundas Castle & Winton Castle - were utilised to offer “Estate Activities” with the group divided between them. Without duplicating the day before, guests were offered a range of activities such as falconry, carriage rides, 4x4 driving, clay pigeon shooting, croquet, popinjay – to name a few. A local produce barbecue with American & local beers
  • Charter flights are the only answer but even the charter company agrees that checking in that amount of luggage will create long queues & mean guests being at the airport very early. We delivered a midnight bag pull, co-ordinated all luggage by its destination hotel in Dublin, loaded onto trucks and dispatched all vehicles by 03:00am so they could make the ferry in time and have all luggage delivered by early afternoon. Most of the hotels had the luggage delivered to the rooms and waiting before the guests arrived!


One of the venues chosen by Spectra to host 'estate activities' was Winton Castle.                     

Winton Aerial Photo _Courtesy Of Alex Ralph Bigger File Cropped

Click here to read about what they did to give guests a true experience of Scottish estate activies. 







To find out more about Spectra In Scotland, please click here



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