October 10th, 2016

Client Success Story in Rio de Janeiro: The Marketing Arm & The Olympics

Basia Wojcik, Director, Global and Olympic, at The Marketing Arm Shares Her Firsthand Experience with our Brazilian DMC

I recently returned home from an excellent program in Brazil during the 2016 Olympic Games and wanted to share my incredible experience in working with Havas Creative Tours, a Global DMC Partner.

Photo Credit: The Marketing Arm

Over the past few years, I’ve have had the privilege of attending a few Olympic Games on behalf of various clients. Gearing up for Rio, along with many, I shared some skepticism that was instigated by the media.  Although, once I arrived in the beautiful city of Rio, all of my doubts suddenly vanished. With it being winter, the weather was absolutely perfect. I also learned quickly that not only are the people of Brazil friendly and welcoming, they are very proud of their home and do an exceptional job of making sure all visitors feel welcome in their country.

For a large portion of our program we managed the food and beverage for the Chinese Olympic Committee at China House, every day, onsite at the venue. We flew in one of the best chefs from the Hilton in Beijing special for this group, and we quickly learned that common ingredients used in China for Chinese cuisine are not necessarily common in Rio or even Brazil for that matter. Our DMC was able to quickly pull resources from all over Brazil, and they managed to deliver all of the specifically requested ingredients to our venue in a short period of time.

Another overall challenge was traffic, which also added to the demanding timeline of sourcing food. Apart from that, we traveled to and from our venue and the many Olympic facilities throughout the day. The Havas’ drivers were extremely educated on the best routes (as they changed every day), they had strong communication skills, and they kept our team organized. Our driver assigned to the executive team on the ground, not only transferred us to my desired destination on time and daily, but also went above and beyond to ensure our safety and the safety of our guests.

Photo Credit: The Marketing Arm

It is hard to find the words to summarize the amazing experience we had over those few weeks in Rio. As we said goodbye, I knew my experience in Rio would leave a lasting impression in my heart. I will miss my extended family in Brazil but have the memories that will last a lifetime.

I think my DMC experience can be summarized, with the

Top 5 reasons why working with Havas Creative Tours made our event during the 2016 Rio Olympics an overwhelming success:

  1. Team Havas — Francisco, Rachel, Vera and the rest of their team — were amazing assets to have on the ground. They made this two-year process of organizing the program so much easier.
  2.  Local experts — Venue sourcing, negotiations, do’s/don’ts, logistics/planning, leading site checks, etc. Havas alleviated the challenges of working in a foreign country given the language and cultural barriers. Their knowledge and expertise were invaluable.
  3.  “One stop shopping” – Transportation, hotels, guided tours, restaurant recommendations, on-site event management, venue operations, décor. Havas did it all.
  4.  China in Brazil — The foundation of our overall program required the sourcing of authentic Chinese food ingredients from all across Brazil for an executive chef from China. Tall order? Not for Havas Creative. They delivered (literally) once again.
  5.  Part of the team — Havas was a true extension of the team, which ensured seamless client deliverables

Photo Credit: The Marketing Arm

Simply stated, we could not have pulled off this event off without the help of a DMC! Obrigado, Havas Creative Tours!

-Author: Basia Wojcik, Director, Global and Olympic at The Marketing Arm