Imagination Europe Ltd

Smiling Stars 2018


How do you provide a highly personalised and once in a lifetime experience for 1,150 people from over 60 countries? The Smiling Stars event, held in Dubai from the 8-12 May 2018, was the culmination of Shell’s 2017 Reward and Recognition Programme for their Retail employees.

The competition winners include shop and forecourt staff at Shell retail positions across the world. For many of these guests, they will never have travelled out of their hometown, country or continent before, and this competition presents a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity. Smiling Stars takes place over four days and four nights with a varied programme including a Welcome Evening, Business Conference, Leisure Dinners, Awards Celebration, Leisure Tours and a Gala Awards Dinner.

Each component of the event is wholly designed, produced and managed by Imagination and the scale of the programme led to a number of challenges such as finding venues that could cater for the numbers of people, along with managing the bespoke itineraries created for each individual guest. Aside this, we were challenged by the unique conditions in Dubai, both business and environmental, as we were hit by a 5% VAT increase during the planning, and two standstorms and 53 degree centigrade heat during production.

These challenges were overcome successfully and the results speak for themselves, as 97.5% of guests said that their experience in Dubai means they will work hard to win a place again and share their experience with their peers so they do the same. Nicola Carvell, Smiling Stars Programme Manager at Shell, thanked Imagination for their “vast array of experience and skills, along with their enthusiasm to work with us together as one team, which has been fundamental in delivering this unique project to the highest standard.”

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