Judy Ellegood // Executive Assistant to the President & CEO
Bell Flavors & Fragrances // Northbrook, Ill.
Briefly state what your job entails.
Assistant to senior management, and I handle meeting/travel planning for the international sales teams.
What type of meeting did you hold in Lake Geneva?
We held our annual sales meeting for our international sales teams in Lake Geneva in 2014 and 2016. Our teams come from all over the world and really look forward to the exciting things that we plan for them to do. Many do not look at this as an annual meeting; they enjoy their time so much, it’s like a vacation to them.
Was anyone particularly helpful in executing your event?
Susan Smolarek, with VISIT Lake Geneva, was most helpful in planning and finalizing our off-site activities. She knows the area very well and helped me from beginning to end with both meetings our company had in Lake Geneva.
Susan offered many ideas to ensure our company teams had a variety of enjoyable things to do over the four days we were in Lake Geneva. She set up site visits with the venues and I was able to comfortably book our activities for the group.
What do your attendees seem to enjoy the most about Lake Geneva?
Water activities and golf are on the top of the list. This past year our teams were able to experience paddleboarding, as well as our favorite, a cocktail cruise with Lake Geneva Cruise Line. Our group loves taking the boat from the Riviera dock to Pier 290 for cocktails and dinner. Golf at Geneva National Golf Club and Abbey Springs Golf Course are favorites as well.
Are there any experiences you would recommend for groups meeting in Lake Geneva?
We stayed at The Abbey Resort, and had a great barbecue on the lawn near the harbor, as well as great spa services in their beautiful spa. Rosewood for dinner, entertainment, dancing and a game show was great fun. We had an enjoyable wine-tasting and tour at Staller Estate Winery. We always visit Popeye’s for lunch, and enjoyed a dinner at Cafe Calamari.
All of our meetings, events and activities were captured by Ideal Impressions Photography. They created a video show for us to play at our closing dinner, which we shared with our employees as a great keepsake of the event.
How does Lake Geneva compare to other cities where you have hosted meetings?
It is up near the top for holding outdoor dinners/activities. Our teams are from all over the world and have really enjoyed all of the fun and interesting things to do in the Lake Geneva area. The resorts we have stayed at offer spectacular views and great amenities, and the activities we have done have been second to none. The downtown area is safe and it is very easy to walk to the great shopping and restaurants.
Would you return/recommend Lake Geneva to other planners?
Yes! It’s a great destination that always offers different things to see and do. Contact Susan (Smolarek) at VISIT Lake Geneva and she will guide the way for you, from RFPs and site tours to choosing the venues and activities that will be the best fits for your group. She’ll help make things easy for you, the planner, and also make you a hero in the eyes of your attendees.