1. CATHAY PACIFIC/HSBC HONG KONG SEVENS 2014
DATE: March 28-30
WHY GO? This weekend tournament is so much more than a sporting event. Every year groups – both corporate and social – are attracted from all around the world for three days of inhibition-annihilating fun in the stands of Hong Kong Stadium. Get involved with the chanting, cheering and fancy-dress-clad crowd, which at full capacity is 40,000-strong! The action can also be enjoyed from the comfort of a corporate suite, which seat up to 48, available for booking on the website.
HOW TO GET TICKETS? These are notoriously difficult to get your hands on, but can be done through various registered travel agents depending on your country of residence. See website for details. There are usually a number of last-minute tickets for sale through agents. In the event of ticket purchase failure, there is always the “Sevens Village” opposite the stadium, which provides opportunities to meet the players, big screens, beanbags, beer and a taste of the atmosphere.
2. THE GREAT WALL MARATHON, BEIJING
DATE: May 17
WHY GO? Conquering the 5,164 steps of this awe-inspiring great wonder of the world together with your teammates is an unforgettable experience. The sense of support, endurance and (eventual) triumph is something that any human relationship can benefit from, particularly one that involves potential future boardroom battles! There are full, half and fun run options available to suit all fitness levels.
HOW TO GET TICKETS? The deadline for registration is March 20, and there are three to seven day packages available for group bookings, which include food and beverage and accommodation as well as a gala dinner and the race itself. Call the enquiry hotline listed on the website for details, as packages vary for businesses located in Asia.
3. ROLAND-GARROS FRENCH OPEN, PARIS
DATE: May 20-June 8
WHY GO? Behold tennis behemoths Nadal, Federer and Williams in full swing from the sidelines of the court at this historic tournament. The rapid-fire serves and high-intensity showdowns will leave your event group pumped for next season in the corporate court!
HOW TO GET TICKETS? The Roland-Garros French Open caters for corporate groups in many ways, offering packages for one day or more, in different areas of the venue and with a variety of add-ons. Everything from ringside prestige box seats to entry to the Stadium centre Suzanna Lenglen residential-feel rooms (for a minimum of four). Although the corporate hospitality part of the website is only provided in French, international businesses outside of France are able to book by contacting the hotline listed on the website.
4. WIMBLEDON, LONDON
DATE: June 23-July 6
WHY GO? Watch top-notch tennis pros battle it out in their Wimbledon whites while you enjoy the traditional courtside snack of strawberries and cream – a delightful, sophisticated affair for groups to partake in. Tours of the courts and Wimbledon museum are activities that can be enjoyed on top of the sporting action.
HOW TO GET TICKETS? There are two official tour operators that offer a variety of packages to suit your group’s particular needs – including London hotel accommodation and tickets. The Wimbledon Experience package is a VIP tour for the entire tournament, including the final showdown match. Contact details are available on the website. Private marquees for a minimum of 34 people are also available on the south of the All England Club grounds. Add-ons such as buffet lunch, afternoon tea and parking are also available.
5. 2014 FIFA WORLD CUP BRAZIL
DATE: June 12-July 13
WHY GO? “The Beautiful Game” has a truly transcendent quality where people from all countries, genders and ages can throw themselves into the action and evoke passionate reactions. It’s likely not to have escaped anybody that this year Brazil’s colourful capital will play host to the Godfather of all football tournaments – and it’s set to be an enthralling experience for all in attendance. This is the ultimate in corporate trips to a mega event.
HOW TO GET TICKETS? On the hospitality section of the website you can tailor packages to include the various stadiums, according to team or by tier category – luxury, business or leisure. These packages include match tickets, food and beverage, multilingual hostesses and parking, and offer a variety of drink selections, dining environments and vantage points – from private suites to shared lounges.
6. FORMULA ONE SINGAPORE GRAND PRIX
DATE: September 19-21
WHY GO? Now in it’s sixth year, the Singapore installment of the world-renowned automobile racing event is growing exceptionally to become a veritable fanfare of festivity and entertainment. Last year the Marina Bay Circuit was flanked by interactive booths, a variety of food and beverage outlets and stages with performances from celebrities such as Rihanna.
HOW TO GET TICKETS? Hospitality packages are available on the website, and involve five-star menus, an extensive wine selection, personalised service from “Suite Ambassadors”, entertainment programmes and expansive views of the event from exclusive balconies, terraces and private grandstands. There are a variety of packages available to suit all manner of corporate groups.
7. 154th MELBOURNE CUP CARNIVAL
DATE: November 1-8
WHY GO? The adrenalin, the fashion, the social atmosphere – there’s something for everyone in a group gathering at the races. Corporate hospitality packages are available at all food and
beverage outlets, of which there is a huge variety – everything from trendy, “place-to-be-seen” venue The Precinct to the more low-key, comfortable The Village, as well as elegant, multi-tiered marquees, of course. The Home Straight Enclosure, Hill Stand Corporate Suites and a Winning Post Enclosure are also available or group bookings for those who want to be as close to the action as you can get. Get the team spirit racing at an event that packs some pace!
HOW TO GET TICKETS? Admission to the racecourse is included when you pre-book ticketing to a marquee, restaurant or The Precinct. Ticket purchasing information is available on the website.
8. ROYAL TROPHY CHAMPIONSHIP, DRAGON LAKE GOLF CLUB GUANGZHOU
DATE: December 19-21
WHY GO? An Asian and European team made up of top golf professionals, including the likes of Ian Woosnam, Jose Maria Olazabal and Paul McGinley gather and swing into action at this high-quality golf tournament. This provides the pitch perfect setting for team building and incentive activities for corporate groups. Hospitality packages for groups include the chance to play a round of golf on the tournament’s course and access to the Royal Trophy VIP Champions Club, which includes extensive access to the course, parking, food and beverages and security. The group is also able to attend Official Royal Trophy Dignitaries Presentation of the Teams, and the Gala Banquet (which the captains and players attend as well). A climate-controlled marquee can also be set up right on the golf course for the duration of the event, and suites are available as well. It is also possible to arrange a meeting with the golfing stars.
HOW TO GET TICKETS? For corporate package bookings contact Kipple Chan, general manager of Entertainment Group Asia on
+852 2834 0060 or email firstname.lastname@example.org
PARTICIPATE ON YOUR OWN TERMS
These mega events may not offer official corporate packages but are still ideal activities to incorporate into a trip
XXII OLYMPIC GAMES SOCHI, RUSSIA
DATE: February 7-23
WHY GO? The city will be positively a-buzz with Olympic fever, creating an exciting and inspiring atmosphere for corporate bonding, and making for a great motivational incentive experience for sports-crazed employees – and there are still tickets available!
Attend the ceremonies, or be a spectator at the events, which include: alpine skiing, biathlon, bobsleigh, cross-country, curling, figure skating, freestyle skiing, ice hockey, ski jumping, snowboarding, speed skating, luge and more.
HOW TO GET TICKETS? Although there appears to be no official corporate packages available, you are able to order up to 50 tickets for individual events. Tickets for popular sport events such as ice hockey, figure skating and the opening ceremony are limited to four per person. You can also attend The Games in the Olympic Park’s 11 sports venues by purchasing a spectator pass at pass.sochi2014.com/sochi
TOUR DE FRANCE
DATE: July 5-27
WHY GO? Cheer on the 101st Tour de France cyclists as they race from Leeds, UK down to Maubourguet Pays du Val d’Adour in southern France over the three-week competition. There are nine “stage cities” in total, including Leeds, Harrogate, York, Sheffield, Cambridge, Ypres, Oyonnax, Risoul, Maubourguet Pays du Val d’Adour – and each is sure to attract large crowds and much summer fanfare. Watching the historic event take place can easily be incorporated into a group trip as an activity, theme, or you could even make it interactive by organising a sweepstake.
HOW TO GET TICKETS? If you are a spectator there’s no need for ticket purchase – another bonus.