3 Awesome Corporate Retreats Your Company Should Consider
Corporate retreats are interesting particularly given the current climate. Everything has to be "PC". That means politically correct and non-offensive to anyone. In the years of working for other corporations, I always loved going on corporate retreats. We would learn something new, connect with other employees that I had either never met or just didn't get the opportunity to know better, people would tell jokes (some were rude but funny) and of course, there was a lot of alcohol consumed. In the bigger companies, people would 'hook up' which often led to ongoing relationships that lasted past their employment for the particular company.
Things have changed. Most of this would be a huge problem for human resources today. We have to think differently, set rules, ensure everyone understand the sexual harrassment policy, and limit drinking. In fact, we have to confine conversation to ensure that no-one asks personal questions that may be misconstrued.
Marketing Eye's last retreat was a charitable one. We flew to Townsville to host The World Incubator's NQECon 2016 conference, bringing together 18 entrepreneurs to share their stories with locals and even some people who travelled 10 hours or more by road to get there. The World Incubator helps rural and regional startups get their idea off the ground. The highlight of this conference was to watch KOORCA launch its safety APP. I urge you to download it from Apple.
The retreat was great in that they worked together to help others achieve their goals and to support a community. The outcome was a lot of pride.
This corporate retreat is of course much bigger. When I was coming up with where to go, I realised that I needed somewhere that connects our company to the bush and to each other, even though many of us live so far away from each other.
We chose The Outdoor Adventure Company's camp facility in Hawkesbury Valley. It is a 300 acre venue that provides the ultimate outdoor experience and they have very strong relationships with lots of suppliers so we are able to access a myriad of great activities that will bond our team.
Through my investigation I found 3 places that were absolutely perfect for corporate retreats:
The Outdoor Adventure CompanyThis place brings everyone back to the real world. From mud fights (I kid you not!), through to kayaking down the river and abseiling, raft building, obstacle courses and games - there is something that is sure to give you adrenelin and connect you to nature. We all live in big cities and sometimes we forget to just have fun and get out with nature. This camp is the ultimate venue to achieve this, and it is quite affordable.
They tailor meals to suit all dietary requirements which is fantastic in this day and age. You can camp or stay in the cabins, but as we are hoping that the weather is good, we have chosen to camp. The cabins are a great backup, but the idea of cooking our own damper and sitting around a fire drinking wine is too good to pass up.
We are bringing in one of Australia's best country music singers, Tony Cook, to sing around the campsite each night. I am sure I will see a few vocals come to light as everyone enjoys having a few drinks under the stars.
A nutritionalist will also be on-board. By eating well, we are each able to perform better in the workplace and live healthier and happier lives. We are also bringing a 'Mind Specialist' who will teach us how to train ourselves to think positively, and use our minds to achieve all our goals in life. This type of coaching is big in the US but not as huge here in Australia. I am really keen to be trained and have been reading up on using psychology to succeed. I will also give all employees a book "The Untethered Soul" to support this session.
Just for kicks, we will be having a clairvoyant for anyone who wants their palms read, or tarot cards done. I think everyone is very keen on this addition.
Other than that, we will be talking about our personal dreams and how the company can help each individual achieve these goals. What can we do to support each other better and how can the company give more to employees to support them in their personal endeavours.
Putting up the tents is going to show the team what team work is really about. I know I will be useless, but that's where I hope everyone lends me a helping hand. In return, I will teach them how to make country style damper!
We looked into this venue and decided to host a weekend retreat for entrepreneurs and marketers there. It was really hard to decide which venue to use, but when we decided to take our leadership team to Stradbroke Island Hotel and Resort, we realised that it is the kind of place where education and learning mixes well with the beach lifestyle and a little sunshine.
Stradbroke Island Hotel and Resort
Stradbroke Island Hotel and Resort has a great events area, that is perfect for keynote speakers and training. You can smell the sea in the background, and soak up the island atmosphere. It is really easy to get to from Brisbane, and while there may be education in the events rooms, there is plenty to do outside to really take advantage of this beautiful destination.
Meals are phenomenal. Think pub food mixed with fine dining. The choice of cuisine is great, and you really feel like a local eating and having a few wines at their pub or restaurant. What I love about this venue is waking up in the morning and swimming in the ocean, going for a paddle, then doing some team bonding events, education and development. This is followed by a walk along the beach in the early evening and a get together in the beer garden. Dinner is delicious and going to bed hearing the waves go by really takes you away from city living.
The staff are fabulous and generous with giving tips on what to do. There is a reason why Stradbroke Island Hotel and Resort is one of the top weekend and holiday destinations for people in South-east Queensland.
Going into a drought-stricken community and lending a hand as a team. Bringing feed to farmers and watching animals who haven't eatened for days get given the basic essentials in life and that is food and water. Making a difference will bond your team for life. Pitching in and helping someone that you don't know in your own country that desperately needs more hands on deck - will change your teams life. They will appreciate what they have and what they are capable of. We spend so much time helping other countries and yet, how often do we pay attention to our own?
Community-based Corporate Retreats
I am an avid supporter of Australian farmers. We can do more and it is up to everyone to lend a helping hand. If anything is going to connect a broken team, it is seeing a broken farmer and animals that are starving. Making that one piece of difference will change their lives and that of those helping them.