Resorts provide an ideal environment for a lot of activities. While the leisure market is looked after well, so too are meetings, events and corporate teambuilding.
You typically find that to select the best resort, it must align with the overall objectives of the facilitator or organiser. This begins with getting people out of a corporate environment, which often yields positive results in terms of knowledge gained and greater teamwork and networking.
A resort can provide a greater range of activities and options for organisers and attendees. While it is true many activities can be conducted in a conference room setting, getting delegates outside and into the community often lends itself to a more successful activity. In addition, these activities can be designed to help coax delegates out of their comfort zone.
Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) and environmental protection, or awareness, activities are very much on trend at present. While large corporate organisations are able to support many initiatives and projects through monetary donations, getting their teams out into the real world is becoming an imperative.
Options we can facilitate are mangrove and reef restoration, and conservation programmes, and we are additionally able to arrange work groups at local schools, orphanages and non-government funded service providers.
In terms of the CSR programmes, we try to include both physical activities, such as building and painting as well as softer, more interactive pursuits, such as theatre and language classes. Much of what we propose is also tied into what the desired outcome is for the organiser. These types of activities can strengthen teamwork, enhance empathy and cultural awareness, and reinforce key drivers such as trust, honesty and integrity.
We had an international client who was keen to get employees involved in the community via a teambuilding programme. The company had representatives attending from 13 countries, many of whom had not met each other before.
Not only did it want its team to gain some greater cultural awareness of the destination, but also ensure delegates left a tangible and positive impact on the community. It also wanted each group to problem solve, allocate roles within the team and ultimately come together to achieve the task. A local school was the base for the activity.
We broke the group of approximately 70 delegates into teams and then arranged for each group to solve a series of questions around the resort and neighbourhood, with each clue leading to equipment and supplies they needed to complete the task. Tasks included painting the school restrooms, weeding and preparing the school’s vegetable patch and building shelving for the library.
Feedback from delegates who have participated in such activities has been overwhelmingly positive, as they leave knowing they have added much needed value in the community. Having delegates engage with the local community is a very enriching experience for all concerned.
Many leave with a deeper understanding and appreciation of the destination and take away experiences in sharp contrast to that of a “holiday” guest. There is often a heightened sense of camaraderie between the delegates who, while competing against each other, can see the immense value the activity delivers for everyone.
These types of activities tick many of the boxes for a lot of organisers and planners, and importantly, in a world of social media, they also provide a great platform for a company to celebrate its community activities.
Rory Campbell is a former general manager with Outrigger Thailand. He was speaking to Helen Dalley