In a bold announcement, Forbes Travel heralded the welcome news that luxury corporate retreats are back. According to the Forbes Travel article, luxury hotels are reporting an increase in luxury retreat bookings. Quoting Joseph Bates, Senior Director of Research for Global Business Travel Association (GBTA), they highlighted the 8% increase in spending for group travel in 2011. Bates predicted a continuation of this trend in 2012, with shorter corporate retreats and fuller agendas.
It's an important time to remind CEOs and corporate event planners of the need to ensure that team building is business-oriented.
A casualty of the notorious "AIG Effect," many U.S. companies and even organizations in Canada that were (supposedly) not as hard hit by the economic downturn, shelved team building retreats. Instead of refocusing corporate retreats on their original purpose and making them more business-oriented, many companies just scrapped them.
It didn't surprise me. For a number of years, I had been blogging and sounding the alarm that team building retreats would face the chopping block if companies didn't stop substituting recreational corporate events and extreme activities for real team building.
Team building at luxury resorts, 5 Star hotels and luxury outdoor event venues is an effective strategy for rewarding teams that have worked hard and helped companies achieve blockbuster results in what continues to be a tough market. They provide an opportunity to celebrate successes, brainstorm and chart the course for the future. Outdoor activities integrated with brainstorming, facilitated business exercises, and business meetings can be a powerful team building combination. (Here, for example, is a luxury desert team building simulation, with a bottom line focus, that was recently profiled on a Cvent Blog.)
Balanced team building with a focus on business issues? Now, that's a good news story.
Don't miss Cvent's blogs for event professionals, where you'll be rewarded with new posts (and new ideas) daily: Strategic Meetings Blog, Hospitality Marketing Blog, Web Surveys Blog and Event Planning Blog.
Photo Credits: Luxury Team Building Retreats Photos, Executive Oasis International