Team builders catalyse in NZ

Stuart Harris ventured to Queenstown, New Zealand, for Catalyst Global’s Asia Zone conference

CATALYST’S Asia Pacific partners gathered in the brisk, sunny evening before the conference. Then came the thrills. After taking a scenic ride on the Queenstown Skyline Gondola to the top of Bob’s Peak to take in panoramic views of Queenstown and the surrounding peaks, adrenalin levels soared as we took the driving seat on the gravity-fuelled Skyline Luge.

Catalyst members after tackling the iBuild product

Exhilaration can do a lot for team bonding, but it was soon down to business as the conference kicked off with informal presentations around the theme of “New Power Values”. And Team Building Asia, with offices in Hong Kong and Shanghai, was there to bond with fellow engagement specialists and learn about new ideas.

The Catalyst partners shared stories and best practices, and reflected on the peer collaboration, openness and crowd wisdom of the group. This set a framework for high-level business discussions and sharing around topics such as business management, staffing, sales, marketing, customer relationships and the like.

Despite the market differences, there were gems of information that each delegate could take back to their business to apply for greater success, in the words of Kingsley Seale from Be Challenged Australia.

The Asia Zone conference is a unique opportunity to meet up with likeminded partners from around the region, share best practices and catch up on team development trends.

Game on
A session on “product” provided everyone with a useful opportunity to share best practices and keep up to date with what is going on in the region. The #newpower theme continued with identifying ways we could assist others in the region to deliver product, ensuring the standard of excellence they all adhere to is upheld.

VR headsets help with some games

In practical product sessions, we learned about improvements to tablet-based team games, Go Team and Quickfire and new release features to VR team game The Infinite Loop. We were also introduced to a tantalising new AR and VR programmes to be released later in the year.

Stu Robertson from locally based Team Up Events NZ, facilitated strategic thinking learning activity, Situation Room. Situation Room, designed and developed in New Zealand and launched earlier in 2019, is already being sold in markets as far flung as South Africa and Scotland. It is a practical way for teams to develop an understanding of cross-functional communication in situational leadership and high performance under pressure.

Newly released, experiential learning activity iBuild, which reinforces the importance of clear communication and feedback, was another popular and refreshingly simple activity enjoyed by all at the conference.

Canyon action
Each day, the afternoons were set aside for informal networking and experiencing all that Queenstown has to offer. We all took a leisurely bike ride through the vineyards provided by Around the Basin. Starting at Kawarau Suspension Bridge, the home of bungy jumping, we cycled along the Gibbston River Trail at a leisurely pace visiting amazing wineries, cheesery and brewery, ending up at the Gibbston Tavern for networking over pizza and beer.

We took the world-famous jet-boat ride speeding over water as shallow as 10cm, and experiencing 360-degree spins along the famous Shotover River. The experience – owned by Ngāi Tahu, the Māori people of that land – provided an adventure over an amazing blend of pristine natural landscape with wall-to-wall canyon action from start to finish.

Cycling near Queenstown between conference sessions

Collating feedback on the sessions and activities at the conference was made simple through Catalyst Global’s easily customisable Conference Quickfire application.

Overall, the Asia Pacific Team Building Conference was a fantastic success. We are already looking forward to catching up in Dublin, Ireland in August 2020 with European and American teambuilding companies.

Stuart Harris is managing director and co-founder of Team Building Asia. This is an edited version of an article that first appeared on TBA’s website:


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