By Kel Constantine, events and sponsorship manager, Beam Global Australia, in Fiji
On Tuesday, 200 of our best independent customers from Australia and New Zealand arrived on Beam Island and were greeted by the Jim Beam Party Crew and a group of very animated Fijian warriors.
Our welcome event around the lagoon pool kicked off late-afternoon and was even better than expected with fun from surprise host, Angry Anderson and some of our V8 Supercar drivers.
Dick Johnson, Steve Johnson and James Courtney of Jim Beam Racing and our personally sponsored driver, Will Davison, were up on stage answering our tricky questions and giving us some behind the scenes gossip.
I managed to catch up with James Courtney after his remote control speed boat race and asked him what he thought of his first experience on Beam Island.
"This place is incredible! The Sheraton Fiji has had a full Jim Beam makeover. You can't miss that it's our event! I've never been to anything like this with any other sponsors and I'm really enjoying catching up with customers in a relaxed atmosphere – we only ever get a few minutes at the race events."
The Jim Beam Band, Sour Mash, who have been entertaining us for over three years, got everyone in the mood and the Coyote Dancers returned by popular demand and hit the dance floor in style, shaming us all! We danced the night away in and around the pool to great sounds and great company.
The Jim Beam team with comedian Dave Eastgate and Jim Beam’s great grandson Fred ‘Booker’ Noe, on Jim Beam Island Unplugged.
Wednesday kicked off with a leisurely BBQ and then one of Fred Noe's famous story telling and tasting sessions.
Fred mentioned to me how he thought this was a totally unique event. "The passion for all our products shown by our Aussie and New Zealand customers is awesome. I wish we could run Beam Island programs around the world."
At the Wednesday night Akuilau Music Festival, we were entertained by Dave Eastgate, the Aussie comedian from our Canadian Club 'Over Beer?' ads, having us in stitches with jokes, music and impressions. We also had traditional Fijian performers, the Jim Beam Party Crew, Sour Mash and of course, special appearances by Shannon Noll and the Hoodoo Guru's.
A dusty Thursday started with a boat trip out to Modriki Island, which is where they filmed the Tom Hanks movie ‘Castaway’. A relaxing afternoon was just what we all needed in preparation for our Gala Dinner.
After three amazing days on Beam Island, we knew the Gala Dinner would be something special and last night we presented awards to our top performing retailers and were then treated to a private island concert from Aussie rock legend, Jimmy Barnes.
Our marketing director, James Sykes, commented, "This type of consumer event proves once again that Beam Global is a market leader and we love being able to celebrate and reward our loyal retailer support."
With everyone's singing and beach volleyball skills getting a workout over the past few days, we realise our trip has come to an end. We're heading to the airport and saying goodbye to this stunning Island.