Amway’s Founders Council Incentive Event: Five Ideas for Your ‘Top Tier’ Attendees

Amway Founders Council Event 2024_installation

A “Bloom” theme permeated this year’s event.

For decades, Amway’s annual Founders Council event has served as a landing point to celebrate the achievements of the company’s direct-selling health and beauty independent business owners or “ABOs” from around the globe. As a highly exclusive incentive experience, top distributors have to qualify each year to attend, and so the experience on the ground needs to match the excitement of earning a seat.

Enter this year’s backdrop: Switzerland, where from May 8-11 the group took over The Dolder Grand hotel in Zurich, and Bürgenstock Resort at Lake Lucerne. It was a natural evolution from the 2023 return-to-in-person event in Ada, MI, home to the headquarters of Amway, which was themed “Rooted for Growth.” The brand is making a strategic shift toward the health and well-being space, and the team found a fitting setting in the central European mountains that would support the 2024 theme, “Bloom.”

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“These are people who have been in the business for many years, so there’s a deep history, and we’re asking them to think about the world differently and about their own goals differently,” says AuBree Taylor, Amway’s director of ABO Empowerment. “That was the cornerstone objective of this year’s event—how do we help draw them in and create a personal connection to health and well-being and excite them to lead their teams of millions of people around the world with this new focus.”

On top of a new direction for the company and the ABOs, the team wanted to transform the event into one that was not only a luxurious experience, but one that also focused on business alignment and readiness. In other words, it needed to function as a celebratory recognition event and an internal meeting in one spectacular trip. Here, we explore five ways the Amway team and its partners at Wilson Dow accomplished this.

Amway Founders Council Event 2024_Stage

The Founders Council experience functions as both a celebratory recognition event and an internal meeting.



Indeed, this is an audience you shouldn’t host in a traditional ballroom and deliver traditional watch-and-listen content. One of the general session spaces for Founders Council this year was held in The Dolder Grand’s ballroom, a circular venue without any screens, that was heavy, instead, on dynamic lighting and sound effects so that attendees could focus solely on the voiced message. Projected flower designs on the domed ceiling mapped back to the “Bloom” theme.

Inspired by multisensory museum experiences and studies that show people in movie theaters synchronize their breaths and heartbeats, the creative team set out to build anticipation through these a/v moments as the attendees heard about the health and wellness initiatives and previews of products coming to Amway markets globally.

“You’re not seeing it on a screen, somebody isn’t presenting from the stage, but immediately, there’s this dynamic crashing sound and all the lights go off, and then the experience builds from there in a very unexpected way,” says Harrison McEldowney, creative director at Wilson Dow. “We felt like that set all the presenters up in such a great way that had the audience focused together as a group.”

Throughout the event, the team simultaneously translated presentations in 10 different languages for the 250 people in attendance.



On top of dynamic venues (including another general session at Bürgenstock that took place on tennis courts where world champion Raphael Nadal trains), attendees were treated to hands-on learning with experts throughout. There was a workshop led by guest speaker Dr. Peter Attia, author of “Outlive: The Science and Art of Longevity,” a renowned longevity researcher. There was an immersive dinner featuring guest Dan Buettner, founder of the “Blue Zones” concept. There were also meditation walks and a nutrition class led by a Michelin star chef.

And over in the expo, the team put together “ceo-worthy” experiences, from Amway product demos with company scientists to a pickleball tournament with company owners.

Amway Founders Council Event 2024_dining tables

Among touchpoints was an immersive dinner featuring guest Dan Buettner, founder of the “Blue Zones” concept.



This year, Amway rolled out a new content series “FC Insider” that features informational pieces designed to generate conversations and drive messaging year-round. And in addition to providing motivation and strategies for the group after the event, it served as pre-event reading.

Attendees also received valuable workbooks that challenged them to look at their goals and strategies differently based on the information presented. More than half the group carried the workbooks with them throughout the event.

“In the past, we would have made a big announcement about the headliner at the event to get the oohs and aahs, but this year, it was about preparation: How do you get ready for this event? How do you get everything possible out of it?” Taylor says.



To leave attendees with a lasting feeling, the team organized a drone show over Lake Lucerne. Some 600 drones (the maximum you can fly in that airspace) formed custom messaging, from the flower symbol representing the event theme to an announcement of the Founders Council location for 2025—Vienna, Austria. The brand team chartered a yacht for the experience, allowing attendees to enjoy a day on the water before the surprise show at the end of the excursion.

Amway Founders Council Event 2024_drone show

Attendees viewed a drone show over Lake Lucerne while aboard a chartered yacht to wrap the event.



Last year’s Founders Council experience scored a 93-percent satisfaction rating on surveys, and the team is currently reviewing this year’s results for comparison, including analyzing verbatim comments in those 10 different languages pulled from the responses.

But every year, the team identifies several “experiments” to execute for the next year’s event based on the feedback, which are presented to key stakeholders. “We measure growth and whether we’re fostering a sense of community, but separately, we look at this as a critical part of the adoption of the strategic view of the company, and that’s a huge change that happened with this event,” Taylor says. Partners: Wilson Dow (lead agency); Grizzly Drones (drone show).

Rachel Boucher
Posted by Rachel Boucher

Rachel joined Event Marketer in 2012 and today serves as the brand's head of content. Her travels covering the experiential marketing indust ry have ranged from CES in Las Vegas to Spring Break in Panama City Beach, Florida (hey, it's never too late)—and everywhere in between.
View all articles by Rachel Boucher →

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