Goa at the height of the monsoons?
Mahabalipuram, on a blistering summer weekend?
Nah! Why would you go on a team building outbound to such destinations at such times of year?
Sometimes, event management companies do end up organizing team building activity based outings at off season times to inconvenient or drab destinations.
This is because they are determined by business needs and budget constraints, not by what is the best time to visit a place.
But, haven’t we all been to our home towns during school and college vacations, no matter what the weather is like? And enjoyed our time there thoroughly too?
How did that happen? Largely with the feeling of relief that you had time off from the routine and hard work of school. And also because of your parents. They would not only pack the right kind of clothes to help you manage the cold or the heat or the rain, but also tell you things about the place that elevated it from mundane worries like the weather or just how luxurious your bedroom there would be.
This is exactly what you must do for your own team. Create a feeling of excitement and anticipation that over rides bad weather or poor service at a resort. Enable them to be equipped mentally and physically to enjoy the place as it is. That is true corporate travel management.
Trip and journey advisories are how event management companies achieve this. Travel agency partners and event management companies treat corporate teams like any other tour package and send them standard tourist advice, with the kind of information you can find anywhere on the Internet today.
Weather Update is Key
And unfortunately, the Internet is not always accurate in helping you know how to prepare yourself for it. I still remember a team outbound that we organized at Simla at the end of April, where weather forecasts predicted warm summer weather. When we arrived there, we actually found it to be very cold! Fortunately, my team and I were early so we were able to warn our client team, which was still in Delhi. Our corporate travel management skills helped us empower this team to prepare itself better for the weather. But we ourselves had an unpleasantly frozen outing!
Let your team know what the weather will be like. But also tell them how to enjoy it.
Here is our standard update for teams going to Vythiri in Kerala, from Bangalore, during the monsoons, as a sample. That region at that time has heavy pouring rain. Vythiri is 700 metres above sea level and much cooler than the rest of Wynad.
- 2 bus journeys – bring music, comforters, whatever you may need
- Rainwear – light rain jackets with hoods, clothes that are rainproof
- Clothes – comfortable, light, bring layers for cool evenings, hot mid days and somewhere in between the rest of the time!
- Footwear – lightweight, easy dry, firm footing, non slippery
According to the local legend, an English engineer built the Ghat road to Vythiri on the basis of the information given by a tribal youth. After getting the necessary guidance, the English people killed the tribal guide. The spirit of the tribal youth got angry and caused many accidents in the road. So a priest took the initiative to chain the spirit to a tree in Vythiri. This Chain Tree is seen even today at Lakkidi..
Kumarakom, also in Kerala, has a very different past. It is a popular tourism destination located near the city of Kottayam and is best known for its backwater tourism. We excite our client teams over the fact lkthat this lovely little town is set against the backdrop of the Vembanad Lake, which is the largest backwater lake in Kerala. The region is rich in flora and fauna, and the climate is now tropical and moderate, with possibility of a light shower of an evening.
Sometimes, we even have games around the history or the topography of a place – photo hunts, amazing race type challenges, treasure hunts, quizzes. All these help people connect more closely to the place they go to.
We recommend, as a best practice of our corporate travel management, and organize good sightseeing experiences too nearby so that our client teams go back home with thorough knowledge of yet another part of India.
Clothes Advice is a Must, Especially for Women
At another outbound to Himachal, we had a new project manager in a team who had never been on a team outing. She had brought along only party sandals and party wear, and office formals. We had not been the travel agent on that outbound, only a training partner, so we had had no role to play in managing team expectations on the program. We had to help her cope through the entire trip!