Conferencing on a new level at Granny Mouse Country House and Spa

The conferencing team at Granny Mouse Country House and Spa was thrilled to hear President Ramaphosa’s announcement that South Africa will be moving to Lockdown Level 1, which means much awaited easing of restrictions on international travel and the opening up of conference facilities.

We have put in place all the required protocols and look forward to welcoming conferencing guests to our beautiful resort.

A lot has been written about both the good and the negative impacts of the so-called Zoom boom. While it was great to know that technology made it possible for many of us to work from our homes during the most dangerous periods of the pandemic, many have felt very isolated and management has often found it difficult to keep their teams’ passion and motivation going.

The best way to rekindle team spirit is to head for the country and a whole new setting.

Here are some creative conference ideas to get companies re-energised and re-focused, whilst, at the same time, grabbing people’s attention, and encouraging new ways of engaging, learning, collaborating and networking:

  1. Ice-breaker networking activities

People do a lot of sitting and listening during conferences. Change up the routine by offering fun ice-breaker activities between more formal sessions. These are excellent opportunities to bring people together and foster new relationships. Choose activities that inspire collaboration, such as solving a puzzle together within an allotted time – and include time for attendees to chat afterward.

  1. Solve the mystery

This can either be an individual activity or a team event. Introduce a mystery to solve at the start of the conference. Provide puzzles—ideally, relevant to the conference—attendees can solve in exchange for clues. Supply small notebooks where participants can track their progress and write down clues, answers, and guesses. Reveal the mystery at the end of the conference and award a small prize to the winner.

  1. Take it outside

This is perfect for a setting like Granny Mouse Country House and Spa. Depending on the weather, head outside in pairs or small groups for breakout sessions. A breath of fresh air and a burst of sunshine can jump-start creativity and improve attention.

  1. Create an experience

Take a break from the conference to rejuvenate and clear the mind. Research shows work breaks give your prefrontal cortex a much-needed rest which, in turn, contributes to improved creativity and productivity. Your attendees will also take home positive memories of the conference when you incorporate enjoyable and relaxing interludes.

Bust out the yoga mats, bring in a teacher, and enjoy a morning warm-up.

  1. Fireside chats.

Instead of listening to a speaker for 30-60 minutes, offer a fireside chat setting where a moderator and guest speaker have a conversation. Fireside chats are informal interviews that illuminate the guest’s expertise without requiring them to follow a formal keynote address. Enhance the relaxed spirit of the event by adding comfy chairs or couches to the stage.

  1. Green Living

Elegance lies in simplicity – and since “green living” is now a necessary mantra for living, why not make it your conference theme? While you do your bit for the environment and create awareness about being eco-friendly, you will have an interesting theme. There is no limit of ideas for organizing an event based on ecology themes. Simple aspects of living like opting for natural and green food, local and environmental friendly gifts, and natural decorations can make your event classic.

The menu can include organic and green foods. Reflect the green theme in every aspect of your conference. For instance, as parting gifts, you can give small plants to every attendee of the program.

  1. The Marketing P’s

Some of the most genuine people on this planet are those who live in close proximity to nature. The tribal people living in different parts of the world are perfect examples of communities thriving on a sustainable lifestyle. As corporates and businesses, the need today is to go beyond the 4 P’s of marketing and add another one to it, our Planet! It is essential to act and work for the environment because the planet is already facing several climatic change issues.

  1. Channel discussions

An idea that worked well in Vancouver and could also be applicable to Granny Mouse is the “Channel” experience. Delegates take turns chatting on the phone to each other, preferably in different rooms. The objective of this activity is to explore what it takes “to truly hear and be heard in our modern, hyper-connected world.” After the conversation, participants move into a debriefing space to discuss the connection between the experience and their work.

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