A company conference with a difference

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Posted: 02/06/16

"In our line of work, there are not many opportunities for our teams to get away for a day and take a step back and look at how we work. Experiencing our conference in these surroundings made out conference enjoyable and memorable for all. I would recommend bringing your team to BlueSky's HQ in Methven. I like its informality. The people re flexible adapting to your business needs and the location is just fabulous. 

You are literally in the middle of nowhere which is quite liberating when you work in a city everyday. 

Paul O'Brien, Founder, Kitchens International

Consider this. You have been informed there is to be a company conference. Everyone is to attend. We can imagine some of the thoughts that are likely going through you mind right now. How will I catch up on my work? Who will man the office if we’re all out at once? What is the point of all this? You’re not alone. Often away days or annual conferences can feel like, hmmm, a bit of chore? Well, of course, we know a thing or two about how to make these days none of the above. More fun, inspiring and totally relevant to you.

In 2015, we worked with Kitchen’s International, an award winning quality fitted kitchen suppliers, to help them create a company conference that focused the workforce, but also rewarded them with some activities to inspire and encourage the team to consider the big picture.

Paul O’Brien is one of Kitchen International’s founders and was keen that the business found a way to make their conferences something their teams enthused about. “In previous years, our company conferences have followed a fairly standard morning of activities,” Paul explained. “The conference would be a morning away from the office or shop. It would consist of a 12 month review, a delivery of the vision for the next 12 months, lunch and then back to work. We felt it needed to offer something more inspirational and motivational for our 96 staff members.”

 The challenge was set by Paul. We came up with a plan, firstly to make the conference a full day instead of just a morning. The purpose of this was to continue to incorporate the important delivery of key business information and the vision for the upcoming year in the morning, but also offer some more interactive and motivational team activities in the afternoon.

“BlueSky created activities for the afternoon that were fun, but relevant and tied all the different information and tasks together”, Paul said. “The new format, and the conference being relocated to BlueSky HQ in lovely, peaceful countryside, proved to be a hit with our team, so we were delighted to work with BlueSky again for this year’s company conference.”

Our brief for the 2016 company conference was to take it a step further and link the various activities together with a ‘contribution’ theme. “There was a focus on team building and how every last member of our teams’ actions have an impact on the business,” said Paul. “A Big Picture task to piece together one of our kitchen designs and finish a giant jigsaw by creating a final piece was a very effective exercise that helped the teams understand how each person fits into the Big Picture.

“This activity was universally enjoyed by the teams and offered a light, interactive and collaborative experience for the afternoon activity.”

Since the roll-out of Kitchen International’s new company conference format, Paul has had positive feedback from the team. “At our 2016 conference, we had 100% attendance from staff which was fantastic. Now that we have raised the bar, the expectation level gets higher and higher. The staff really enjoyed the facilities at BlueSky HQ and were more enthused than I have ever seen them after previous conferences.

“In our line of work, there are not many opportunities for our teams to get away for a day and take a step back and look at how we work. Experiencing our conference in these surroundings made our conference enjoyable and memorable for all. I would recommend bringing your team to BlueSky’s HQ in Methven. I like its informality. The people are flexible adapting to your business needs and the location if just fabulous. You’re literally in the middle of nowhere which is quite liberating when you work in a city every day.”

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