is The First Step Toward Solution
Potentials Magazine, August
2001, Trend Spotting
can spend $2,000 to $3,000 and give our employees a perceived
value of a $6,000 trip" Charlie Hollis, President,
There, done that
If youre responsible for enticing inspiring and ultimately
motivating high-ranking execs royally bored with the royal
treatment, yours is not an enviable job. Whats going
to expand the horizon or boost the adrenaline of a corporate
leader whos already up to his ascot in worldly possessions?
The challenge, alludes Gregory Lee Patrick, is not what you
do, but how you do it. And he should know. With a repeat client
list that includes CEOs for Enron Corporation, Baker Hughes,
AT&T Wireless and Hitachi, pampering the pre-pampered
elite is his forte. Patrick is self-proclaimed "Experience
Designer" who, along with his staff, has spent the last
decade creating Tours of Enchantment travel experiences. These
dream destinations pull out all the 24-karat stops: How about
starting with a personal concierge to help your recipients
pack, pick up cleaning or drop off the family pet at a pet
Then its off for a luxuriating weeks stay at the
home of the Duke of Devonshire, or perhaps Jane Seymours
British castle or the Paul Mitchells Hawaiian estate.
On one designated evening along a majestic lakeside, a plane
might fly overhead, dispensing hundreds of rose petals while
a boat eases up along shore. A quintet is aboard, including
Pavarottis maestro cellist, to serenade the private
audience with Tchaikovskys "Waltz of the Flowers."
Of course a private jet comes with the package, ready and
waiting to whisk the guests off to a championship golf course
for an afternoon. Plus, the package comes complete with an
international celebrity chef so participants never have to
leave their lavish premises.
Patrick personally creates those "silver platter experiences"
with faith in the concept that unique, individualized incentives
hold the key to combating apathy or insuring a lasting impression.
"Its like offering a Rolls Royce instead of a Cadillac.
We part the seas for clients, anticipating every need and
"Ive used [Tours of Enchantment] for seven years
for our customer event," says Jim Ducote, vice president
for Natural Gas Marketing for Enron. "Each year its
a step above- better than the year before. Annually I get
notes from customers wondering how we can ever expect to top
and we do."
Patrick has formed a global network of impressive contacts,
allowing him access to the private estates of royalty, politicians
and celebrities. The experiences often include world-renowned
chefs, butlers, chauffeurs, nannies, security and concierges.
His trips have been featured on The Travel Channel and "Extra,"
as well as in The
Wall Street Journal.
Must one put a price tag on the gift of experience? Yes, one
must. Retainers have ranged from $5,000 to $97,000. The company
cites a starting price of $2,000 per person for 60 for a weeklong
trip. "Even if people have $3,000 to $10,000 to spend
a week on a trip like ours, they wouldnt know how to
go about arranging it. Thats where we come in."
"Its not necessarily about cost," notes Patrick,
"but creativity and connections." Sounds like Tours
of Enchantment has plenty of both to go around. Contact: Tours
of Enchantment (www.toursofenchantment.com) Houston, TX ;
1-800 - WHY-DREAM? (800-949-3732).
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