With working from home becoming the new norm and communication becoming more virtual, the need for employees to meet up will be become more important, as dynamic and fun face to face meetings are essential to keep productivity high as they are needed to keep the team motivated, initiate brainstorming and essential for team building. Home working isolation and employee well being will be high on the HR agenda post lockdown.
But let's not settle for a company conference room, let's push the boat out and make it a multi-objective-occasion which will inspire, challenge and maybe provide the opportunity to contribute. Responsible business objectives all being nailed. So, ever helpful, here is a list of quirky offsite locations to feed the imagination, from hip cafes in London to castles and tree houses around the country.
Dorset - Community Contribution
Monkton Wyld Court is an educational charity that provides courses in sustainable living and related subjects. It finances its educational activities by running a vegetarian Country Guest House.
The Grade II listed Neo-Gothic Court was built in 1848 as a Rectory. In 1940, pioneering educators Carl and Eleanor Urban established a co-educational boarding school here to promote cooperative living and learning. Although the original Monkton Wyld School closed in 1982, the importance of farming and other practical skills and a focus on low impact living and sustainability have become central to their ethos.
Closeto Lyme Regis and the coast, it is set in beautiful countryside and is a great venue for a corporate off-site and an opportunity to get back to nature, milk some cows and sample homegrown food and local beers.
Dorset - Treasure Hunt on the Solent
Heaps of fun. Dart around the South coast and the Isle of Wight in a power boat. With speeds in excess of 60mph, your job is the navigate your way to the hidden treasure by solving the clues and directing the skipper to different locations. Guaranteed to bring out the competitive streak in all of you. Better than a roller coaster ride.
Scotland – Treehouse Living
The Lodge on Loch Goil is a Restaurant with Rooms and events venue nestled between the shores of Loch Goil and a majestic backdrop of mountain scenery. Just over an hour’s drive from Glasgow, this Victorian private country house built in 1864 is one of the finest 5-star venues in Scotland.
Iain Hopkins, owner of the Lodge was always on the lookout for something different and unique and this is where the idea of building a treehouse started. He found a tree in the grounds of The Lodge that was perfect to build a tree house around. It was large Scots pine, and after a number of sketches done by Iain, he approached a tree house designer to turn his dream into a reality.
During the last 15 years, the tree house has not only been used for photographic shoots, weddings and proposals but it’s held private board meetings where directors can discuss their company affairs in privacy with amazing views over the Loch and mountains. Companies will fly in by helicopter or seaplane and will stay a few nights to relax and enjoy the spectacular food that The Lodge on Loch Goil is famous for.
Wales - Welsh Château Fairytale
A real-life fairytale, the Château was built in 1849 by Sir John Hay Williams, Baronet of Bodelwyddan as a gift for his wife Lady Sarah. The Château was originally built as a dower house, beautifully positioned on the water. However, inspiration and artistic imagination influenced the design from the couple’s travels in the Loire region of France, where they were particularly enamoured with the architectural style favoured in the region during the reign of Francois I (1515 – 1547).
With 30 luxury individually designed bedrooms, the chateau is a great base to explore Snowdonia National Park. How often do you get free-run of a French-style château in North Wales? At Château Rhianfa, they take pride in making the unexpected happen.
Dublin - Teambuilding with Guinness
Located in the heart of the St. James’s Gate Brewery, the Guinness Storehouse is Ireland’s most visited attraction - but many don’t realise that this unique venue, set over seven floors, can be hired exclusively for a range of corporate events. Each floor is filled with interactive experiences where guests can explore and immerse themselves within Ireland’s rich history and brewing heritage.
Conferences and product launches work well in the blank canvas Arrol Suite on the second floor, you want the Guinness Academy on the fourth floor for team building activities, and it’s the seventh floor for receptions and dinners in the impressive Gravity Bar, which offers unrivalled 360-degree views across Dublin.
If that’s not quite enough, the whole building can be hired exclusively in the evening for up to 2000 guests. It’s perfect for experiential events where each floor can be utilised for different activations, taking guests on a journey through this one-of-a-kind building.
London - The Barge House
In recent years the Regents Canal has under-gone an impressive regeneration. Cafes, bars, media agencies, fashion houses and architectshave made this their home, giving a re-birth of life to the impressive,historic waterways of London. The Barge House sits in the vibrant melting pot of Hoxton, Dalston, Islington and Shoreditch. The waterside entrance with towpath terrace makes this to be a fantastic, fresh and unique venue.
On the site of an old print factory, printing Green Shield stamps and Europe’s largest print house of adult magazines, the lofty, double height ceilings and exposed ducting give a nod to its warehouse heritage. Natural wood interiors contrasting with heavy industrial steel work to create an impressive and welcoming contemporary environment. The Barge House is a versatile venue. Consisting of three spaces depending on the occasion and number of guests, each perfect individually or in combination to host gatherings of friends.
London - Surreal Experience with Dali
A 'surreal fantasy land' in the heart of London, the Dali Universe art gallery is inspired by the charismatic style and flair of Spanish sculptor and painter Salvador Dali.
Over 500 of his works are on exhibit, including the 'Mae West Lips' sofa.
The venue, which holds up to 800 for a cocktail reception and 300 for a sit-down dinner, can organise gallery talks, entertainment by flamenco dancers and Spanish musicians and food served by waiters with Dali-esque moustaches.
'Putting the Dali Universe on our invitations helped secure attendees and the gallery was a good talking point,' says CHA director Adrian Linden, who used the venue for a 300-strong agency corporate hospitality event.
Birmingham - Cocktail Masterclass
The Night Owl is The Midlands’ finest soul and retro club. An intimate live music venue set in the heart of Digbeth, the Creative Quarter of Birmingham.
More than just a party venue, it’s decked out with vintage, up-cycled furniture, hand painted features, kaleidoscopic vintage lighting, oil lamps and of course a glistening mirror ball above. The Night Owl provides a relaxed, inviting, soulful space for any occasion or event.
While music and soul is at its very core, the venue is also intimate and versatile enough to cater for a wide variety of event space needs.
A completely unique team building event or party idea, learn how to make our award-winning cocktails, shaken (not stirred) with plenty of soul! Perfect for large groups or corporate team building activities. Book your cocktail masterclass today.
Cornwall - Eden Sustainability
If you’re interested in deepening your people’s connection with nature and each other and then using this to the benefit of your organisation,then the Hothouse team is available for consultancy.Their multi-disciplinary team of facilitators and consultants drawn from across Eden can work with you on purpose, cultural change, coaching and mentoring, training programme design, and leadership for sustainability.
Available for conference keynotes or they can help you design and facilitate company days, conferences and workshops, and team-building sessions. If we don’t think we’re the right fit for you then we can introduce you to a wide network of collaborators all of whom are specialists in using the power of nature to enhance organisations.
Build your own Mongolian Festival - Yurtel
Yurtel design and produce outstanding corporate experiences.
Be it product launches, brand reinforcement activities and team building weekends or supply chain reward schemes and staff entertainment, clients come to explore a more exciting and unusual side of the corporate events world.
From brainstorming the initial concept to seamless delivery, their objective is to create stunning, bespoke and successful activations with clients’ vision being enhanced and brought to life by their skill and know-how.
Junk Yard Golf in Liverpool, Leeds, Manchester, Oxford and London
Junkyard Golf Club. Home of crazy gold, weird cocktails and all things junk. Get excited on four mashed up 9-hole crazy golf courses created from pre-loved and reclaimed random shizzle. Groups can putt their way through all sorts of bizarre holes; think UV garage, scrapyard slides, circus freaks and jungle bathtubs. Contains flashing lights, UV lights and loud music.
So there you have it - we are entering a new era of home working but don't think this increased productivity is sustainable without nurturing your teams minds, especially when winter kicks in. We are social animals at heart, positive interaction is essential for our well being.
on 01 / 03 / 2021