A Fortune 500 Company Retreat in Banff

July 2017. Alberta, Fairmont Banff Springs and Shaw Amphitheatre

In July 2017, Empire was called upon to recommend and contract some of the most interesting keynote speakers in the world for a Fortune 500 company’s annual incentive and retreat program in spectacular Banff, Canada. The client collaborated with Empire to arrange a lineup that would wow their leading employees. Day one of the conference featured a moderated conversation and debate with David Axelrod (the Chief Strategist for President Obama’s campaigns) and conservative commentator and syndicated columnist, Dr. Charles Krauthammer. The two men shared their views on the current political and economic climate, with both providing tremendous insight and humor throughout the discussion.

The second day kicked off with a surprisingly emotional keynote from Dr. Robert Gates, who served as the 22nd United States Secretary of Defense from 2006 to 2011. Dr. Gates teared up when talking about how difficult it was for him to send young American soldiers into battle in Iraq and Afghanistan, and allowed the attendees a look inside his thinking while he served under Presidents George W. Bush and Obama.

Immediately following Dr. Gates, Empire presented Brian Muirhead, the current Chief Engineer for the NASA Engineering and Safety Center. Brian’s discussion of the Mars missions he has been involved with fascinated the attendees before they headed out for their afternoon activities.

The final speaker was J.R. Martinez, the wounded U.S. Army Veteran best known for winning season 13 of ABC’s “Dancing With The Stars”. Martinez’s message of never letting obstacles stand in your way and always looking for new peaks to climb left the audience on a high note on their final day in Banff.

For the evening events, the client asked Empire to suggest the ideal concert performer for a beautiful outdoor amphitheater surrounded by the Canadian Rockies. After much discussion, it was agreed that Grammy-winners Train would fit the bill, and they didn’t disappoint. Performing shows on two consecutive evenings, the band played hits including 2001’s Grammy winner for Best Song, “Drops of Jupiter” as well as their most recent smash “Play That Song” (and all of their hits in between such as “Hey Soul Sister”, “Drive By” “Meet Virginia”, “Marry Me”, “50 Ways to Say Goodbye”, and “Save Me San Francisco”). And the crowd also was thrilled with the band’s choice of covers which included “Ramble On”, “Under Pressure”, and especially “Don’t Stop Believing”, during which lead singer Pat Monahan invited a couple of attendees onstage to sing along.

Empire is proud of our track record in securing many of the world’s leading speakers and performing artists for special events in Canada and other international destinations.

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