Of course, there a ton of reasons why team building is important for any company, but the real trick is doing it RIGHT. Many traditional company gatherings fall victim to lackluster “icebreakers”, or activities designed without too much creative thought, (or any thought at all).
CSOFT, an innovative multilingual communications provider and localization company, hosts an annual corporate retreat every year. This year, they collaborated with WildChina Education to create the ultimate experience in outdoor adventure aimed at boosting trust, productivity, positivity and, above all, bonding—a crucial component, not only for success, but to really thrive as a company.
We covered all the bases, with our usual penchant for wild experiences—a 2 day, 1 night, rustic outdoor extravaganza, with all the luxuries and comforts you could wish for. But most of all, we put a focus on life-changing moments of teamwork and bonding; add to the mix our outstanding service, AND authentic learning and growth opportunities for all members of the CSOFT team, and you have yourself a really awesome event managed by the pioneers of innovative and customized educational and corporate travel in China.
Here are the key ingredients we used to mix up the ideal annual summit for CSOFT, helping them reset, reignite, and reconnect to the companies foundations, and to each other!
Location, Location, Location
Like planning for any important event, the location, and everything that comes with it, has to be just right. This is first and foremost for us at WildChina Education. We customize all our corporate and educational trips to fit exactly what our clients need and want. We knew we were looking for somewhere off-the-beaten-track for CSOFT’s retreat. We decided on “Flying Fox Valley Air Grasslands”—a real off-the-grid gem in stunning Hubei Province. The province boasts some of China’s most pristine Grasslands and we discovered Flying Fox Valley years ago on a survey trip. We knew the location was just what the doctor had ordered; as the CEO noted, “a place of true beauty, free of distractions and full of challenges.”
Local, Home-cooked Meals
At WildChina, we love the rugged and authentic, and the finer things in life; we’re also really committed to sustainable travel. All of these pieces were reflected in the meals provided during the summit. This included (but was not limited to): 5-star French Cuisine, including locally sourced lamb, for the opening gala dinner, and a self-cooked, locally sourced hot-pot luncheon. To boot, we organized an “iron-chef” style competition for breakfast, which, as always, included all locally grown ingredients.
WILD Team-building Activities
All the activities were brainstormed and executed to challenge this global team (representing 28 nationalities!) to compete, work together, and reconnect with the essential family-mindedness of the company’s roots. The “Amazing Race” was the biggest event, which broke CSOFTers into 10 separate teams (made up of people of all different departments and from different nationalities) for competitions and challenges. Teams worked together to solve puzzles, hunt mythological “orks” in the forests, fly giant parachutes, and even herd sheep. Totally unique, designed to foster team work, and most importantly, really fun. Don’t forget about the Live Music too, and, the absolutely essential Chinese cornerstone of any good time: Karaoke.
Space for Relaxing
Down time is also a super important aspect of any summit or retreat—and we didn’t forget to make sure all the amenities our guests could want were provided for max relaxation. Each of the various lounge areas had its own theme—Summer Garden, Ancient China, Persia, and Hollywood. Although this rustic locale was chosen for its natural beauty and remoteness, there were also all the “glamping” commodities one could hope for. What kind of retreat could be complete without a free-flowing bar, staffed entirely by WildChina Education team members, just to add to the fun!?
But don’t just take our word for it! Here’s some of the lovely and kind thank you’s we received from the CSOFT team: