Every meeting professional wants to create an event with momentum. What better way to make that happen than on a moving train?
Deborah Gibb, account executive for Liaisons Meetings & Incentives, reserved a train car for the exclusive use of her client, a manufacturing industry group, which brought together guests for a town and country-themed incentive trip.
“The difference between a train trip and a traditional venue is a captive audience,” says Gibb. “Because there’s no way for anyone to leave before the end of the train ride, planning an event aboard a train [creates] an atmosphere to ideally optimize time spent with their guests.”
Whether it’s an executive board meeting, awards ceremony, teambuilding activity or incentive trip, an event on a train also holds a special cachet. (After all, only so many people can be accommodated, and who doesn’t want their name on the “all aboard!” list?) Options vary from renting a single car or compartment to booking an entire train; private and publicly owned lines offer different possibilities as well.
Here are two of the many options in North America you can consider the next time you want to really move your attendees.
CHARLEVOIX LIGHTRAIL TRANSIT
Daniel Gauthier—co-founder of the Cirque du Soleil empire—founded this line, which boards passengers at a station in the Canadian province of Quebec. The train runs a simple back-and-forth route that begins just east of Quebec City and ends at the seaside town of La Malbaie. An added bonus is the opportunity to disembark in the midway point of Baie-St.-Paul and stay overnight at the French-inspired Hotel Le Germain Charlevoix, a beautiful 145-room property overlooking the St. Lawrence River.
NAPA VALLEY WINE TRAIN
Groups can charter a single car or the entire train on this line started in 1989 by Vincent DeDomenico (inventor of Rice-A-Roni and one-time owner of Ghirardelli Chocolate Company), which runs a round-trip journey through the verdant Napa Valley wine country. Sandi Wentzel of Cal-Events, a California-based DMC, booked a group of 30 that was part of a larger convention being held in nearby Sacramento. “Oftentimes it’s a better option than trying to coordinate tastings at individual wineries,” Wentzel explains. “Plus, it’s a great way for people to socialize. People get friendlier when they’re all traveling together—and they talk more than they would if they were on a van or motor coach.”