IBM VIP Collective: Once in a Lifetime Experiences

The Challenge and the Brief

The VIP Collective Event Series provided IBM sellers with exclusive, intimate experiences where they built and solidified relationships with top clients—and had great fun while doing so. Globally celebrated, top-tier events in music, sports, entertainment and tech, were highly personalized and nomination-only.

The events spanned 8 cities, 9 months, locations from Napa Valley to Newport and tentpole events such as the Kentucky Derby and championship games like the Final Four and SEC Finals.

Each event included special touches; personalized gift bags sent ahead of the event, local flavor room drops, car service to and from the airport, and small localized experiences like bourbon tasting in Kentucky and a traditional clambake in Rhode Island. 

Cohesive event branding developed by GPJ gave the entire series a unified identity.

The 2022 Innovation Forum served both as the centerpiece for the annual VIP Collective event series, but also as a reunion for clients to connect with IBM in person, deepening their thought leadership learnings alongside business relationships, all set within the beauty of the Colorado mountains.


The client quotes below say it all – almost. With a total of 339 client participants and open revenue opportunities in the millions, the VIP series built relationships and business, while creating lifelong memories. 

Take a spin below through the various locations and experiences. 

IBM Innovation Forum – Peak time. Peak city. Peak experience.

Colorado Springs, CO

There’s nothing quite like Colorado Springs in the summertime. The outdoor activities, the fresh mountain air – and to top it all off, a stay at the luxurious The Broadmoor resort. An unforgettable experience that explored all the ways IBM is a catalyst for change. The Forum brought together advanced tech, expertise and innovative minds to drive bigger and better outcomes for business–and the world.

IBM at the Final Four – We took the VIPs to see the MVPs.

New Orleans, LA

Taking place in the vibrant city of New Orleans, this experience went beyond the thrill of the NCAA championship to match the energy of the city itself. Clients enjoyed a stay at the luxurious NOPSI hotel, along with food, music, and culture that makes The Big Easy one-of-a-kind—all making for one unforgettable weekend.

“The time in this format was really valuable. Normally, our time together is structured, with back to back calls and one meeting after the next. But here, we had a chance to really get to know each other without all the pressure and hectic agendas. And we got to discuss parts of our business that we never have time for in a regular meeting. Also, I would not have accepted this invitation from IBM had I not been able to bring a guest. I appreciated that.”

IBM at the Kentucky Derby – We rocked pastels and big flashy hats

Churchill Downs, Louisville, KY

Our guests had an unforgettable, highly personalized, intimate Derby experience. From the horses to the hats to the celebrity sightings and one-of-a-kind traditions, there was nothing like experiencing “The Run for the Roses.”

“Phenomenal! We will never be able to experience the Kentucky Derby another way. Small and personal…I had a great time with IBM and so did my wife. It was also valuable to interact with other IBM executives and clients.”

IBM at Newport – We summered in Newport

Newport, RI

We sailed on the America’s Cup fleet and toured the Gilded Age mansions. We enjoyed a stay at the storied Viking Hotel, classic New England dining at Castle Hill Inn and strengthened client relationships.

“We had a great time with IBM. I also enjoyed being able to network with other IBM clients.  And the sailing, wow! It was incredible being able to sail, hands on, as part of the crew on America’s Cup Intrepid!  It’s honestly something I will never forget.”

IBM at The Cubs – We took our clients out to the ball game

Chicago, IL 

We took our best Midwest clients out to the ballpark, where the Cubs took on the San Diego Padres and all the action was enjoyed from a suite. There’s nothing quite like a day game at Wrigley.

“This was a once in a lifetime event!”

IBM at the Aerosmith 50th Anniversary Concert – Dream until your dream comes true.

Boston, MA

What a night! Aerosmith brought the house down in Boston and we were a part of it!

The 50th anniversary Aerosmith concert was a night to remember.

“I loved the networking, no pitch, so relaxed that if felt like an evening with friends. So much easier to get to know my IBM rep like this. And bringing my wife was such a nice touch, really appreciate that. Well done IBM.”

IBM in Napa Valley – Napa awaits

Napa Valley, CA

Clients were immersed in the beautiful scenery through one of two excursions:

A golf outing at the Silverado North Course

A tour of one of the gorgeous local vineyards

“…I liked how intimate and personal the event was because I got to spend meaningful time with my IBM rep and other industry professionals. The automation discussion with Dinesh was really valuable.”

IBM at the SEC Championship – An epic showdown in college football!

Atlanta, GA

The biggest showdown in college football, at the Mercedes-Benz Stadium in Atlanta, with lodging at the Ritz-Carlton.