Best Reward-Travel Experience
ITA Group and Google Cloud
For 2022, Google Cloud decided to split its single annual incentive program into four regional programs in order to make the trips more personal. Each of the programs was held in a destination where winners — which included both sales and nonsales employees — would experience a once-in-a-lifetime travel reward close to home.
For the 130 top performers from Europe, the Middle East and Africa, their well-deserved reward was a magnifico esperienza in Puglia — an under-the-radar region of southern Italy that has gained status in recent years.
Every aspect of this five-day, four-night travel experience, held in April 2022, melded the authentic culture of the destination with custom touches: At the stunning host property — Borgo Egnazia in the charming town of Savelletri di Fasano — the Google Cloud logo appeared everywhere, including on the pool; on personalized, embroidered pillowcases; and even carved into the resort's hedges.
During the day, participants relaxed in the sunshine, shopped in town and explored the countryside; the evening events were reserved for spectacular group celebrations.
Participants were welcomed the first evening with a replica of a Puglian town fair, complete with local tarantella and pizzica musicians and dancers, regional cuisine and décor, local artisans, and street performers.
Arriving at the Festa della Moda celebration on the second evening, guests ran a gantlet of "paparazzi" flashbulbs before entering an arena bursting with floral décor. Live music on a center stage, plus a 360-degree rotating, in-air piano player, entertained the winners. A surprise drone show congratulated the group.
On the final night, guests were taken off-property to a masseria (an old Apulian farmhouse), and were greeted outdoors with human water fountains, flower-adorned cyclists, violinists and more. Adding to the fun, winners were treated to a shopping extravaganza for local gifts from a Puglian pop-up shop.
The winners said they were delighted with the immersive experience. According to the post-event surveys, one participant said it was "the best event I've attended in my professional life," while another lauded it for exceeding their expectations "by miles and miles."