Club Med has established a reputation as a high-spirited brand that appeals to families and festive guests with resorts that offer all-in deals including accommodation, F&B, activities, live shows and parties into the night.
Increasingly, the leisure-focused brand sees that this formula can lend itself to new opportunities in meetings and incentive stays.
‘Club Med wants to develop MICE products,” says Vincent David, Phuket’s Chief of Village (Club Med-speak for general manager). “We can offer something more than just a pure seminar package.”
For David, a key reason groups chose Club Med is that there are no cost-related headaches. Planners buy a total package and know what they are paying for because everything – restaurants, bars, sports activities, entertainment in the evening – is included.
The same goes for event attendees who do not have to reach for their wallet for a coffee, a cooking class, an archery session or a cabaret show. The added bonus for both sides is that there is no misunderstanding about what expenses are covered or not.
New facilities in all villages
To appeal to MICE travellers, Club Med is rolling out new and improved facilities at all of its properties in Asia. After the renovations at Club Med Bali, it is the turn of ClubMed Phuket. Next in line, resorts like Cherating in Malaysia will also see their facilities upgraded.
In Phuket, the existing Banburi and Buddharaksa meeting rooms have been spruced up and can host between 30 and 64 participants depending on the configuration. The newly built Busaba room, opened in August 2022, adds to that capacity by 42 people in classroom to 90 in theatre layouts. All are adjacent to a standing-room open air coffee area that is conducive to relaxing or networking between meetings.
In actual fact however, the property can offer groups many more meeting options. During a recent on-site visit by MCA, the furniture was removed from Busaba and a group from a Singapore-based biotech firm sat on the floor for their karaoke night.
“That is our strength,” says the resort's meeting and events manager Panpen Winyouvongsiri. “We can be flexible. If the organisers want a bar or coffee service in a particular spot, we can do that. They can also buy out other spaces in the village like the Chuda fine-dining restaurant or the putting green. We can tailor activities to their needs.”
Something for everyone
With 340 keys across three room categories, the resort is flexible enough to cater to individuals, couples and guests travelling with families. Even if the parents are working (or not), the village provides daycare and activities geared for all ages from toddlers to teens for a modest fee, meaning that children are always well-looked after.
On the meeting front, Panpen was particularly pleased to be able to show off the teambuilding activities that are popular with groups. Games like tic-tac-toe with an obstacle course, blindman’s bluff guided by screaming teammates and a hula-hoop relay down a human chain were all huge crowd-pleasers.
‘Once they see our product and what we can offer,” she says, “groups are happy to come back.”