Set in the picturesque village of Coniston, the challenge included canoeing, a 25-mile cycle, and a hike to the summit of The Old Man of Coniston.
What a superb couple of days!
Not only was it nice to mix up the regular office views of Oxford Street for the mountainous countryside of the Lake District (despite the prevailingly wet British summer); it was a brilliantly organised event with the ultimate goal of raising money for the The Brabners Charitable Foundation.
Aside from the magnificent setting, there are a few reasons which made this such a standout experience, and worth considering if you are hosting (or at least thinking of hosting) an event for you a wider community of colleagues and clients.
There's no doubting that the event was quite rightly called a challenge. However, everyone was encouraged to take on each activity within their teams and had the option to chose shorter/longer courses. If you are planning an event, take into account whether it appeals to a wide or narrow audience and make sure to communicate if preparation/experience is required.
2. Making it Social
It goes without saying that a large reason for hosting a client 'away day' is that you actually get to spend time with those you have invited. Making sure to have ample opportunity to network with your peers, see familiar folk and get introduced to newer faces, all make it worthwhile swapping out of the office to spend quality time developing new/existing relationships. When planning your event consider how you can incorporate and encourage this into and around the main activities.
3. Setting the Tone
If it's all about winning, then that's that.
Not to sound clichéd, but the challenge really was about the taking part which made all the difference. It gave the opportunity to stop, soak up the views, chat to people you did not know, get some pictures as we went around, and at no point were we rushing for the sake of rushing.
4. Getting the Venue Right
Give people a reason to get out of the office and do something they usually wouldn't. Obviously, the Lake District offers this in abundance, but you also need to think about locale and whether this makes sense for your target demographic.
There is a good reason that over 100 people took to the Lakes to get involved. A big thank you to Jenny, Nik and all the Brabners' team for organising, extending the invitation, and being very welcoming hosts. We will be back next year!