Conference News April 2018 - Page 29

29 Outdoors “You are either outside or inside, there are no half measures” Off Limits Octopus Group approached teambuilding gurus Off Limits to book a fun, summer themed event that blended with their creative, innovative brand values. The Wild West themed event at Marlow’s Farm in Buckinghamshire was the perfect backdrop to the hedonistic and timeless event. The vast, outdoor space enabled the agency to incorporate activities such as cattle herding, rifle shooting, blindfold tepee building, lassoing, quick draw and bucking broncho. The outdoor environment was more than just a summer festival for employees, the space was colourful, stimulating and blended with the themed tepees and hay bale props. The Group commented: “Off Limits Events hosted our Wild West team building activities for our annual summer festival, Rockostock. They did a splendid job and the spacious, outdoor venue made our event exciting.” ith the ‘Beast from the East’ banished from whence it came, delegates will be longingly looking out their windows just hoping that their next conference or meeting will take place in a plush meadow, among the birds. So why venture outdoors? Liz Taylor, MD, Taylor Lynn Corporation says outdoor events open up a whole new set of options. She says: “It enables you to be especially innovative with your event content as you are not as constrained by the design of your venue, and have the luxury of large spaces to be creative with. Meeting outdoors seems to re-energise people. The natural daylight and sense of spring arriving gives delegates an extra Yvonne Goodright, Jockey Club Sandown Park Racecourse We advise event bookers to visit the venue before booking their event to take in the size of the space on offer. With British weather hard to predict its always good to have a Plan ‘B’, so when event bookers preview the outdoor space we can also show them the indoor spaces available on the day, should the weather turn. boost of productivity. “My belief is that you are either outside or inside for your event. There are no half measures, so incorporate the odd downpour into your plans from the beginning. You have to embrace the nature of the British outdoors. With the weather being the main issue, I plan for the worst with fun ideas. At a recent ‘festival’ themed event we used branded cagoules as place markers at the tables. Company branded wellies and umbrellas are a given. And branded thermos cups with a carb-loaded snack was a popular addition to a cold winter’s day. “My advice with marquee events is choose the best quality with high performance flooring. Ensure paths are clear of ice or snow and gritted. Heat is important. Adapt the menu to suit a chilly day outside. Casual dining works particularly well with fish and chip vans serving Britain’s favourite food. Gourmet pizza ovens, Asian-inspired dishes or simply quality pie and mash served in branded trays are ideal.” What fail-safes are in place? Howard Lewis, general manager, De Vere Wokefield Estate Rain is a fact of life and is something we are very used to catering for. We always have an experienced team on hand who work with event bookers to ensure a suitable wet weather option is available. We have 45 modern, flexible and tech savvy indoor meetings rooms, as well as facilities in our new Restaurant & Bar to cater to indoor pizza and cocktail making classes, so creative teambuilding activities Fun in the sun With summer just around the corner, it’s time to explore the outdoors www.conference-news.co.uk