Bring a Little Luxury to Your Incentive Trip with This New Charter

Crystal Skye | Crystal Cruises

Crystal Skye | Crystal Cruises

If you’re looking for an incentive trip to really wow star employees, look no further!

Crystal Skye is a new luxury jet product by the people at Crystal Cruises. Think of it as a hotel in the air!

Crystal Skye is a bespoke Boeing 777-200LR, with glamorous amenities to pamper up to 88 guests. The jet has been heavily customized by Crystal, making this a truly one of a kind experience. Guests can enjoy meals and drinks in the lounge area, with Michelin-star inspired cuisine and fine wines; or enjoy lie-flat beds, and 24” HD entertainment monitors. Regardless, the full butler staff (who speak 32 languages between the 12 of them) will make the trip the most comfortable and memorable.

Crystal estimates a charter flight between New York and Paris would run about $75,000. Not a bad investment for your worthy employees! You can also check out some photos of this awesome charter below.

Posted on September 12, 2017 .

Why choose Seattle for your next Incentive Trip? Because I love it!

Seattle Thin Line Skyline | designed by Vexels

Seattle Thin Line Skyline | designed by Vexels

by Brett Robertson, Vice President, Sales & Marketing.

Brett has been with SHW for three years, and is originally from Shellharbour, New South Wales in Australia. He began his career in finance and has his CPA. In his spare time, he loves biking and spending time with his family.

In 2007 I landed at SeaTac International with two bags of clothes, a hotel reservation, and not a clue what I was getting myself into. With a rough plan of staying here temporarily -- 6 months to a year -- before heading back to Oz to settle down and get real about life, 10 years later I’m still having a cracking good time and for a bloke like me – I wouldn’t be anywhere else!     

Despite the dubious distinction that Seattle traffic ranks as one of the worst in the nation, the fact that our streets are chockers can’t tarnish the natural beauty of the region. With our islands to the west resembling that of a Croatian coastline and, our mountains to the east the south of France, if you’re into the great outdoors, there’s something for you! From water to snow skiing, to mountain climbing and biking, camping, fishing, hiking, sailing & whale watching - there is something for everyone all within an hour or so of downtown Seattle.

If it’s the weather you’re worried about, here’s a little secret we don’t share very often: It’s bloody spectacular here in the summer! Just last week Seattle broke its own record for number of days without rain. Fifty-odd days of gorgeous sunshine. With low humidity, temperatures rarely above 90 and sunset after 9pm, you can make the most of every minute you’re in our fine town.   

Once your adventures are done and you’re looking to recharge, Seattle is perfect for foodies looking for a great meal and a quality glass of vino. Just last November Zagat rated Seattle as the 5th “Hottest Food City of 2016.” We’ve been blessed with chefs flocking to our city, and restaurants opening daily, driving culinary innovation to an all-time high. With a huge push towards farm-to-table cuisine and Washington being second only to California by way of wine production and number of wineries, you’ll be sure to leave stunned with our varied edible experiences.  

On top of the growing food scene, as a beer loving Aussie there’s a German saying that I’ve taken to heart. “The best place to drink beer is in the shadow of the brewery.” If you love craft brews like I do, there’s no place like Seattle. In 2015, Washington became the #1 producer of hops in the U.S., and you can tell. We also have more breweries than any city in the USA! Some breweries will even hold events where you can brew your own beer! It’s heaven!

Lastly, if you’re looking for a little fact-finding and business education as part of your trip, Seattle is quickly becoming the customer service capital of the world. With innovative companies like Amazon, Starbucks, Boeing, Microsoft, Nordstrom, and REI leading the way in their sectors, you’ll be sure to leave wiser than when you arrived.

We here at SHW love Seattle and know you will too. We are delighted to welcome many of those visitors, whom we get to meet through our work supporting corporate and association clients by helping with their meetings and events. 




Check out more about Brett and the rest of our awesome staff on our website here. To contact us about an event you have coming up, you can reach Brett at

Posted on August 30, 2017 .

The SHW Guide to Getting Your Best Event Sponsors

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When you’re planning a big event, finding sponsorships can be one of the most daunting tasks. Whether it’s a local food festival or an international conference, having a fantastic lineup of sponsors can offer a lot of benefits. As event professionals, we’re often asked to put together sponsorship packets, so here are our tips for snagging the best possible sponsorships for your event!

Outline your own goals for what you want get from sponsors.

If this is a recurring event, are you looking to grow your sponsorship revenue year over year? Do you want 25% more revenue over last year? Do you want “X” number or sponsors, or do you just need “X” amount of funding in the door? Also make sure you’re giving thought to what kind of sponsors you’re reaching out to: if this is a community event, partnering with popular local businesses could boost help boost your event’s reputation, or for a bigger conference making strategic business partners that align with you brand could be a smart move for your company. 

Understand how it benefits the sponsors.

What are they getting out of it? Besides being a part of your (we’re sure) awesome event, the bottom line is that businesses are thinking about their ROI (return on investment). Sponsoring an event can be great publicity and even generate sales increases, so make sure you design your sponsor packages in a way that offers them that marketing boost in an effective way.

Get creative with what you’re offering

Especially if you’re looking to do tiered sponsorships, it might help to get a little creative with what you’re offering. Consider things like event apps, which offer a sleek attendee experience with marketing built in. Event apps are a great way to direct attendees to a centralized location for all the information they need, and apps like Swurvey can design things like interactive “Meet the Sponsors” pages that provide great visibility for sponsoring companies that are a little more engaging than banner ads.

For big ticket sponsors, naming event sections or offering interactive stations can be a huge incentive. Music festivals have started doing this more and more recently, such as a special lounge with virtual reality demonstrations sponsored by HP at Coachella, or the chance to test drive a Toyota on an off-road course at Stagecoach Country Music Festival. Those are big ticket items, but the idea is easily scalable. Try offering free branded merchandise with sponsor logos to attendees during the event. Try to provide items that the guests would actually have a use for over the course of the event too to increase brand awareness.

Make sure that you’re making a profit.

This should go without saying, but it’s important when you’re building your sponsorship packages that you make sure you’re bringing more money in than you’re spending.  Sure, sponsorships aren’t entirely about the money; having good sponsors can also boost event attendance and strengthen partnerships, but, at the end of the day, you need that cash flow to put on the kind of event you’re advertising.

Say, for example, that you do offer advertising via an event app, but the app development is a much larger line item than you can afford at the low buy-in you’re asking from sponsors. This is a complicated process, and a bit of a balancing act, so make extra sure your numbers are lining up the way you want them to.

Did we miss anything? If we can answer any questions, or if you need help with your event, we’d love to hear from you!
Click here to contact us.

Posted on August 22, 2017 .

Our Favorite Rooftop Hot Spots

Summer 2017 is in full swing, and with the beautiful weather, it’s the perfect time to spend some time outdoors-- even if that’s just grabbing a drink and enjoying a nice view. Here are some of our favorite rooftop spots, starting with our hometown of Seattle.


The fifth-floor rooftop of Motif Hotel on Fifth Avenue is home to Frolik. As the name sounds (and is spelled), this is a whimsical bar that doesn’t take itself too seriously. With fire pits, soft seating and ping pong tables, it’s a good idea to get there early even on weekdays.

One of the newest bars on the block, The Nest at The Thompson Seattle offers some of the most fabulous views of the city and Elliott Bay. With snacks and delicious drinks stamped by Josh Henderson, The Nest is a special occasion kind of place. Why not celebrate Wednesday?

The folks from Mamnoon looked down from Capitol Hill and saw a sweet spot on Fairview Avenue. MBAR is a cousin of Mamnoon, with a bar-version of its innovative and yummy Middle Eastern fusion food. Enjoy the deck and watch seaplanes take off and land on Lake Union. Weather looking a little dicey? There’s a covered and heated area as well, which makes this rooftop bar a go-to year-round.

If you’re looking for a little private rooftop time, here are a couple spots we like.  

By day, Galvanize is a startup incubator, a place where new companies can use space, set up meetings and even take classes. The hidden gem here is the rooftop with kitchen, which you can rent and invite your friends.

One of the swankiest new apartment addresses is Premiere on Pine. Want your friends to think you live there – except you don’t? The rooftop there features ample indoor and outdoor space with such spectacular views they will make any Seattleite envious.

Traveling this summer? Here are our favorites from cities around the U.S.

Washington, D.C.

It’s a well-known, insider tidbit that POV at The W, the hotel’s rooftop bar, has the best view in the city (one of the only places where you can look out over all the monuments). The best part is the space transitions from a casual brunch spot during the day, to a swanky cocktail bar in the evening.

If you’re looking for a private venue to host a summer party, try The Capitol View at 400. Looking over the capitol and D.C.’s iconic Union Station, this indoor/outdoor rooftop experience is perfect for the summer (although it’s one of the few rooftops that’s not bad for the colder months too).

Los Angeles

WP24 by Wolfgang Puck’s rooftop patio, seated at the top of the Ritz-Carlton, is generally closed to the public… except during the summer. With gourmet Asian food and a calendar filled with lots of cool events and entertainment, this is a must-go during its limited open time.

Another great spot is L.P., attached to the restaurant, E.P. They serve Asian-inspired street food, and hand-crafted cocktails, with an awesome view of Hollywood Hills. They don’t take reservations, though, so make sure to get there early to get a spot.

New York

A classic, Gramercy Terrace at the Gramercy Park Hotel is a great spot to look out over the city on one of those hot NYC summer days. They describe themselves as a “rooftop garden oasis,” which is pretty accurate. If you’re looking to host a private event, they can also accommodate private groups for up to 250 people.

There are tons of rooftop bars in NYC, but we’d be remiss not to mention PHD Terrace at Dream Midtown, if for no other reason than their new “Mega Mules.” Dream’s new specialty, the Mega Mule is a 164-ounce Moscow Mule, featuring 18 ounces of Belvedere Vodka or Casamigos Blanco tequila (if you want your mule with a twist). Made to share with some friends, this is definitely a unique experience and a good time!


With sweeping views of Lake Michigan, Millenium Park, and the Chicago Art Institute, Cindy’s is a can’t-miss while in the windy city. The bar is an old men’s club, part of the Chicago Athletic Association, but has since developed a light, airy feel to it. Stop by for a drink with some friends, or opt for private reservations, semi-private reservations, or a full buyout.

Last, but definitely not least, is The J. Parker. Located at the top of the Hotel Lincoln, The J. Parker has an extensive list of signature cocktails, and gorgeous views of North Avenue Beach and Lincoln Park.

Did we miss any of your summertime favorites? Let us know in the comments! Interested in hosting an event at one of these awesome venues? Reach out at


Welcome to the Dockside!

SHW is excited to bring you our new weekly blog, featuring new trends in the events industry and some of our tips and tricks. From topics like “why incentive travel is important for your business” to new technology that could give your event an extra boost, there’s a little something for everyone.

You may be asking, though, why call it The Dockside? The Dockside is a term we use here at SHW to represent our goals and values as a company: something that we work towards embodying every day. A Docksider is:

  • Dedicated and passionate
  • Open and inclusive
  • Customer-focused
  • Knowledgeable
  • Strong business sense
  • Innovative and willing to share bold ideas
  • Determined to do things right, and do the right thing
  • Embrace excellence in everything we do.

Stay tuned for a new featured article, we’ll have one every week!


Posted on July 11, 2017 and filed under General.

New Home, New Look, New Ownership


We’re pleased to announce a few exciting changes here at SHW! As we head into our 40th year, there’s a lot to celebrate and share with all of our friends.

New Home Friday April 14th, we unplugged for a couple of hours to make the big move across the street. Operations will resumed as normal Monday, April 17 in our new space at:

                              100 West Harrison Street, Suite S-370
                              Seattle, WA 98119
                              New Main Phone Number 206.923.8600

Take a look at our scrappy team getting things done!

New Look We took this opportunity to give the brand a new look as well. The refreshed SHW logo combines pieces of our past with the present, gives us a modern look, and looks forward to ongoing innovation and creativity.  We hope you love our new look as much as we do!  

New Partners Marka and John Waechter are now the majority partners of SHW, joining Howard Wright and Mike Mansfield. Marka started with the company in the summer of 2014. “I love this business: the blend of strategy, creativity, technology and the reward of execution onsite makes me feel lucky to be here every day,” Marka says. “We work with amazing customers and talented suppliers, and see so many opportunities for exciting growth through new technologies and product lines. I’m pleased to spend the rest of my career in a dream job as captain of the SHW ship, working with the most extraordinary team.  We’re steering ahead for the next 40 years!” 

Posted on May 1, 2017 .