Interview: Nicolas Dupeux – Director, Disney Business Solutions Paris, France

Nicolas Dupeux - Director Business Solutions - Disneyland ParisProviding an all-in-one venue for major corporate conference, seminar, or gala events, Disney Business Solutions at Disneyland Paris provides customized services to meet all clients’ needs. Director Nicolas Dupeux shares the unique amenities and services available that make any event at Disneyland Paris an experience like no other.  

What venues and packages are available through Disney Business Solutions Services that cater to large scale pharmaceutical and life sciences companies?

Disney Business Solutions Paris is dedicated to the B2B events market, in charge of event management and convention centers, as well as arranging hospitality, food, and entertainment for all types of events. The venues are appropriate for large corporate events, including pharmaceutical companies, as well as healthcare associations, organizations, and congresses seeking a space to organize conferences, seminars, or galas. At Disney, we like to say that the only limit we have is the limit of your imagination.

One of our best assets is our very convenient access to various regional transportation systems. We are immediately accessible from the high-speed train (TGV) and regional train (RER) with a station located on-site, and our railway hub maintains the highest number of railway connections in France each day, including sixty cities that have direct railway connection to Disneyland Paris. The Eurostar and Thalys also easily connect those coming from London, Brussels, and Amsterdam. By air, we are a mere ten-minute train connection away from Charles de Gaulle International Airport, and for those driving from Paris, we are approximately thirty minutes away, directly on the A4 highway. We can guarantee ease of access for guests attending events with companies from all over France, Europe, as well as globally.

With a staff of 150 “cast members,” Disney Business Solutions hosts more than 800 events per year, providing event management, logistics and sales, all in-house. We also offer our creation studio, which specializes in design and ambiance for our venues. For business-related events, including conferences and seminars, our venues are concentrated, allowing all attendees to be in walkable, close proximity to events, with minimal distractions compared to events dispersed throughout a large city. Venues at Disneyland Paris are organized in a manner that fosters a distinction between work and leisure. We are able to provide venues for entertainment, events, and park-access to provide for the leisure of our guests, but we are also able to provide private, centralized areas to conduct undisturbed business as well.

Disneyland Business Solutions Paris is proud to present Disneyland Paris as the first integrated venue in Europe for the B2B market thanks to our extensive connectivity to the world, as well as for our comprehensive service offerings all in one location.

What services and venues cater particularly to C-suite level executives?

At Disneyland Paris, we are directly affiliated with our theme parks, which provide many services to meet the leisure needs of our guests. Outside of our parks however, we are able to provide a very different experience in our many resorts, hotels and convention centers. Our hotels and resorts are equipped with specially purposed entrances, welcome desks, and exclusive hotel wings, ensuring a distinct separation between our business guests and those who are visiting Disneyland Paris strictly for pleasure. In this regard, our business guests can enjoy the best of both worlds – Disney Business Solutions provides a corporatized, private experience, while also capitalizing on all of the excellent services and amenities for which the Disney brand is renowned. We also offer opportunities to our corporate guests to benefit from Disney high-level speakers, sharing views on innovation, creativity, services, security, and their accrued experience and from working at Disney, a leading global brand.

At Disney, our “Imagineers,” provide their expertise as engineers with a pragmatism to meet our clients’ needs, without neglecting our signature commitment to imagination. More than merely a venue, at Disney, we provide services with a human touch. Based on our satisfaction studies, conducted after each event held at Disneyland Paris, we are pleased to share that 83 percent of guests have described themselves as “very satisfied” or “completely satisfied” with their experience. This is an improving figure, notably seven points higher than the previous year, thanks in part to our directed focus on guest experience. Upon my arrival at Disney Business Solutions just over a year ago, I was keen to impart a communal value where the clients’ experience was central to our mission. Maintaining a compilation of surveys, as well as digital testimonials from our clients, is a practice that we uphold to continually improve and meet our clients’ needs. We strive to make guests’ experience at Disneyland Paris feel like home, and our cast members are all eager to help and share smile with guests.

With many viable and first-rate convention venues available in Paris, what factors establish Disneyland Paris and the Business Solutions team as a competitive option in the event-venues market?

The facilities at Disneyland Paris are designed to meet the needs of large groups, with our average groups ranging from 300 to 500 guests. With large corporate events of this size, including congresses and trade shows, event attendees do not come simply from the Paris region, but from all over France, Europe, and even the world. Thanks to our advanced connectivity by transportation, it is actually easier to reach Disneyland Paris than anywhere within the city of Paris.

At Disney, we are structured much like a campus, and we provide the added value from what we call the “power of concentration”. All of our venues are within walking distance of our hotels, resorts, restaurants, and leisure quarters. This alone eliminates the logistical complications of organizing large-scale events in convention centers within the city, where participants are coming from various hotels in various directions, all arriving by different modes of disparate transportation. At Disney, everything is more streamlined and efficient for business needs thanks to the concentration of all amenities in one location.

What has been Disneyland Paris’s relation with the pharmaceutical and healthcare sector in the past?

Our clients in the healthcare and pharmaceutical market have included Sanofi, Bayer, MSD, to name a few, and we host on average thirty events per year for clients from this sector. We are a very convenient venue for companies of this size and stature, with a recent event for MSD held at our New York Resort, totaling attendance numbers of over 1000 guests a day, arriving from all over Europe. We have much experience meeting with clients from this market, and we understand their strict guidelines, particularly regarding price, and are prepared to meet their special needs. Customization is one of our strengths, and we are flexible to organize gala dinners in our hotels, as well as in our “Dome,” one of our large venues that can treated as a blank slate with much potential for tailor-designed events. As some companies have authoritative barriers to holding events in our theme parks, we are keen to note that we are fully capable of hosting entire events outside of our parks in our campus containing our resorts and event spaces.

From a prospective of revenues and performance, what percentage of revenues come from the services provided for international clients, and what opportunities do you foresee in grasping further international clients?

The international market makes up approximately twenty percent of our revenues at Disney Business Solutions. Our goal is to continually increase this figure by five percent per year for the next three years, and have this figure reach over thirty-five percent of our revenues coming from the international market. A wide-scale international development plan is underway, following the conducting of extensive market research pertaining to trains and transportation, client preferences, and competitors. Some key target-markets include the UK, Benelux countries, Germany, and Spain. Regarding the pharmaceutical markets specifically, we have a particular focus on Switzerland and the Netherlands.

What is the forecast of Disney Business Solutions market outlook, including any new initiatives and developments for the near future?

A new initiative we are developing is to improve the digital experience of our clients. Launching in April 2016, we will have a virtual application that will be accessible through a downloadable app, and in conjunction with the Google Cardboard attachment, clients will be able to view and “visit” our event spaces in virtual reality. Beyond pictures, with this application, our clients would be able to virtually experience our venues and we would even have the capabilities to change and configure the venue settings to demonstrate their customization potential. As an added personal touch, we can even add logos..

Extending on this theme of digitalization, we are currently working with a partner to establish digital communication throughout our campus. Disneyland Paris provides an expansive, free WiFi hotspot for all guests, and we are currently underway to develop apps to help groups receive assistance on their mobile devices, including maps, itineraries and other important information. We are also integrating digital innovations into our activity options for event guests, such as an iPad-based treasure hunt through our parks, which is an optional service that we can offer for clients seeking entertaining team building activities. These are examples on how we are consistently striving to make our guests’ experience better.

As we are undergoing renovations in some of our hotels and conventions centers, so too, are we working to renovate our digital capabilities to further enhance the experience of our guests. With our focus on guest experience, at Disney Business Solutions, we firmly believe that the better experience a guest has, the better their productivity will be in achieving the goals for which companies organized an event or convention in the first place. This underscores the fact that Disneyland Paris is more than a venue with a soul, but also one that provides valuable content, including speakers, team-building exercises, and personalized offerings. Our goal is to assist our clients provide the best event possible.

On a personal note, the beginning of 2016 marked one year of your experience working with Disney. What ultimately enticed you about a position with Disney?

With over ten years of experience in event management, it was very exciting to join with Disney. There is something to be said about the unique culture at Disney, imbedded with a value of “if you can dream it, you can do it.” As the standards at Disney are set very high, it is important to demonstrate that ideas and plans have a sound foundation, but creativity is not only encouraged here, it is celebrated. There are not many companies where you can do this.

What is the added value that Disneyland Paris can provide companies seeking to conduct large conventions, enticing them to choose Disney as their next event venue?

Disneyland Paris is a very good location catering to pharmaceutical companies. With an all-in-one package including high accessibility with transportation, we meet all needs when organizing an event with the very integrated teams at Disney Business Solutions. Our greatest priority is to provide the highest quality experience for our clients, to ensure that events are productive and successful, as well as memorable.

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