In the spring when the warm weather returns, it's a great opportunity for some truly unique team events and corporate socials. It all comes down to where you're located. In parts of the world that are emerging from winter, corporate teams and conference delegates will appreciate the opportunity to go outside, get some fresh air and relax in a natural setting.
We have previously discussed polo events for corporate teams. Today, we'll focus on sugaring off parties, strawberry socials and garden parties. These are scalable activities that will fit a variety of event budgets.
Offer any the suggested elements as stand alone activities or pull the whole itinerary together in an Amazing Race inspired event. Teams can follow clues various locations. Event venues can include farms and wooded areas, to cooking schools, and, eventually, a greenhouse or garden setting in which groups can relax and enjoy their creations. The only limit is your imagination
Sugaring Off Parties
Sugaring off parties take place when temperatures start to climb and the maple syrup begins to run. Depending on the weather in an given year, it's a tradition that takes place in Quebec, parts of Ontario, Vermont, New Hampshire, Maine and New York between late February and early May. Quebec produces 77% of the world's maple syrup so, if you're planning business meetings, conferences or incentive trips in Quebec in late winter or early spring, it's the perfect time to catch this annual ritual.
Start off with a sleigh ride, horse and buggy ride or ATV trek to a sugar shack (cabane a sucre). Spouts are placed in the trunks of maple trees and the precious liquid is collected into buckets. In the sugar shack, the sap will be cooked down until it is the consistency of syrup. Cook pancakes and sausages over an open fire. Pour the fresh maple syrup over the pancakes to create a delicious treat. Pour some maple syrup in fresh snow to create maple taffy, a tasty treat.
In the spring, there are opportunities for strawberry picking in various parts of the U.S. and Canada. It's the perfect time to plan a strawberry social.
Venture off to a farm where you can pick your own strawberries. Make strawberry jam and have a team competition to sell it and raise money for charity. Bake scones and strawberry shortcake in a cooking team building challenge. Enjoy fresh strawberries and your freshly baked treats for afternoon tea. (You can also create a similar itinerary in the Cameron Highlands in Malaysia, where teams can pick strawberries in greenhouses.)
Ice Cream Socials
This spring, try a new twist on an old-fashioned ice cream social. Select an exquisite garden, ice cream amusement park or a park on a lake.
Invite the local community. Kick things off with a cooking team building event in which teams compete to make the best ice cream. Add live entertainment, cotton candy, arcade games, bouncing castles and some mid-way rides. Donate the proceeds to charity.
If you don't want to make your own ice cream, invite ice cream parlors, ice cream trucks and carts to participate. Split the profit with the vendors and a local charity.
As a special way to mark the transition to spring, treat your team to a garden party at a garden venue or greenhouse. We've mentioned garden parties and discussed venues for winter garden parties in other blog entries but, now that spring is here, let's look at what happens at a garden party.
Send formal invitations. Ask your guests to dress beautifully. Ladies should wear hats and gloves. Guests begin arriving at around 3:00 PM but the party usually takes place between 4:00 and 6:00 PM. Classical music playing quietly in the background can go a long way towards setting the tone. If your there is room in the budget, a live quartet would be a perfect fit. You can also give your group a chance to mingle with celebrity guests. Guests can enjoy tea, sandwiches and pastry at buffet tables in tea tents. If it's a hot day, fresh lemonade would be a welcome treat. Some garden parties include fashion shows and cake auctions.