Will Brix of Bacardi talks to Alex Paulden Bacardi is a global household name and the brand is instantly recognisable in every bar around the world. They hold a large percentage of the drinks market with many of their other brands acquiring a huge following, too. So, when, after 14 years of working at Bacardi, Will Brix was asked to head up their new Global MICE Manager role, he jumped at the chance.
Bacardi have 12 distilleries around the world which not only produce their drinks but are used as events spaces for consumers and the MICE market. The facilities are stunning, offering the class which matches their produce and also a place to hold events with an extra twist.
‘Prior to the pandemic, we were serving 75,000 MICE delegates across our distilleries every year’, says Will as we chat through a video call. ‘However, since the pandemic we’ve been thinking of how to bring what is such a popular event space to the wider MICE market without them needing to gather in group sizes that are larger than government guidance allows.’
Will and the team at Bacardi have brought an innovative virtual event to the market, the first of its kind, that allows groups to experience the fun and the educational side of mixology using their range of spirits.
‘Our thought was that companies would want to hold virtual events that can get colleagues and teams enjoying some time together which doesn’t require them to meet face-to-face’, he continues, ‘and our home mix kits allow our clients to do just that.’
The premise of these virtual events is simple but very effective. Each delegate is sent a beautifully presented box which contains everything they need to make a few different cocktails; A bottle of spirit, mixing tools and a selection of mixers such as tonics etc. A time is agreed for all delegates to then meet online through a video call to get together over a couple of cocktails. The virtual events are hosted by an expert host that will take the group through how to make the cocktails and explain the science and the history behind them. Challenges are set to see who has made the best cocktail and the group will offer their own critiquing to each other along the way. A quiz based on knowledge and speed is also implemented which involves a lot of fun.
‘These events can be held after companies’ own online meetings which gives them something to really look forward to afterwards’ says Will, ‘we’ve had some great feedback on how the event has been a big talking point before and after the actual event. Most of the time, delegates will stay online and chat to each other after the event has finished in a virtual pub-like setting. Guests find the session both educational and fun, and also enjoy the great gift to keep as well.’
Given their global locations, Bacardi can facilitate these events around the world. They offer 2 packages according to group sizes; 1-50 and 50+. They vary slightly but still offer the same experience for delegates.
Will says that these events are a great option to replace Christmas parties as the pandemic is preventing large gatherings and enables big groups to get together with a cocktail in their own homes.