Coast in Cornwall

Switch off & reboot for staff wellbeing

According to Google, wellbeing is defined as ‘the state of being comfortable, healthy or happy’.

It’s fair to say we try to achieve this in every aspect of our lives; what we eat, what we sleep on, what we put on our skin, and everything else in between, but this is increasingly spreading to the workplace too. As this is such a huge topic of conversation in this day in age, employers are trying to find ways to ensure their workplace meets ‘wellbeing status’, such as free fruit in the office, massages, and maybe even the odd dog brought into the office. We as #eventprofs have seen trends in incentives trips too, rewarding employees and becoming increasingly more inventive as more and more companies pop up offering everything from hot yoga classes in Goa to whale watching in Sweden. Now, we are noticing that wellbeing and incentives go hand in hand and are fusing together to create a super-incentive which leaves staff not only feeling valued but feeling healthy and happy too.

What do you do for your staff to reward them for all their hard work? A nice afternoon of massages? A boozy night out? A week-long trip to the Bahamas? Clearly, it depends on the company, budget, occasion and group size however, these days, incentives cover every corner of the world and incorporate every activity imaginable. If time is pressing and a week-long international incentive isn’t an option, a long weekend is a good alternative and one that’s becoming more and more popular.

We did our research and found some incredible destinations for a wellness incentive, right here in the UK. This blog covers two long-weekend incentive options that are easily accessible, equally action-packed and great fun – the seaside and the countryside. Especially if you’re coming from a city like London, the seaside and countryside are the ideal getaway from the big smoke.

The Seaside

It’s no secret that the English seaside is a truly beautiful landscape, but this offsite would probably be better suited to the summer months! We found 3 beautiful hotels in Cornwall which give you everything you need – sun, spa, surfing and scrumptious seafood! Check these out if you are looking for luxury set against Cornwall’s dramatic coastline.

The Bedruthan

This hotel is well-known for its ‘contemporary, chic and cosy’ atmosphere, with scandinavian-inspired interior fused with Cornish design this hotel is a relaxing haven for a corporate retreat. Comfortable bedrooms come with all mod cons, spa facilities, surfing lessons and sea-view meeting rooms. With the beach and stunning coastline at your fingertips, this is a dazzling destination for a team outing.

Photo of the coastline by The Bedruthan hotel

The Headland Hotel

The Headland’s decadent interior and rustic charm will ensure that you relax, recharge and take in the strikingly beautiful Cornish views. Whisk your team away from the daily grind and treat them to a team weekend they won’t forget in a hurry. The Headland can help you with everything from team building to private spa packages and company meetings (complete with bottomless coffee!), making this an impressive destination with everything you could ever need.

A balcony at the Headland Hotel in Cornwall

Fistral Beach

Fistral Beach Hotel and Spa offers ‘jaw-dropping ocean views’ and relaxing activities, providing the ultimate setting for an impressive corporate weekend away with your colleagues. Their luxurious spa facilities, delicious restaurant and chic cocktail bar mean you can truly kick back, relax and enjoy the view and the company of your colleagues.

A bedroom at fistral beach with sea view

The Countryside

Dramatically different to the Cornish seaside – the English countryside is equally beautiful but very different! Countless team-building companies offering everything from treasure hunts to crystal maze afternoons with staff on hand to cater to your group’s every desire All of these amazing hotels also have meeting spaces and spa facilities so you can squeeze in some strategizing between massages and team-building!

Macdonald Berystede Hotel and Spa

This impressive hotel in Ascot has comfortable rooms with wifi, ensuite marble bathrooms as well as air conditioning, tv and a well-stocked mini bar. This hotel has an AA Rosette restaurant with a roof terrace, plus a luxury spa complete with an outdoor hydro pool.

Outside seating at the MacDonald Berystede hotel

The Grove

Located just 18 miles from London, this peaceful countryside estate is the perfect getaway for some downtime.The Grove offers an idyllic setting for your group to get back to nature and release your inner child! With endless team building options, three delicious restaurants, an award-winning spa, golf course, and luxury meeting spaces, this hotel is a great option for a relaxing incentive.

Beatiful garden landscape at The Grove

Alexander House

A beautiful hotel a stone’s throw away from London with plenty of exciting team building options (such as geese herding!), a relaxing spa, delicious dining and exceptional countryside views. Spacious rooms come complete with bathtubs, wifi and L’Occitane toiletries, and there are fully-equipped meeting spaces available for those company catchups!

View of Alexander House from the garden

Hopefully this little snapshot of some venues that could work for a relaxing few days away has inspired you and whet your appetite for some exciting wellness incentives for you and your team. Contact us today to discuss a tailor-made incentive package – go on, treat yourself!

Dinerama in daylight

May’s top 3 experiential venues

Hello everyone – us again! This week in our live experiential blog series, we are exploring our favourite unique venues for experiential events in London.

There are so many venues in and around London that are great for so many different reasons. Whether it’s an exhibition hall in the Docklands, a warehouse in Shoreditch or a hotel in Mayfair, for us, the venue is up there with the most important elements of a successful event. Of course, different events require different types of spaces. The beauty of experiential events is they can be as weird and wonderful as you like, so the more unique the better! Keep reading for our top 3 venues of the week.

  1. Dinerama

This East London gem is a former truck yard with two levels, rooftop areas (with retractable roof to help with our wonderful English weather!) and multiple different spaces to hire and transform into your own experiential activation!

Capacity: 1,000 pax

Location: Shoreditch

Close to: Shoreditch High Street and Liverpool Street stations (2 and 6 minutes respectively)

Good for: Brand launches, concept parties, brand installations, summer events, festival-type events, food-based events

Why we like it: We love the fact it’s a former truck yard – there’s something so cool about dressing up and attending an event in a space that was once used for something so completely different.

Shows the capacity of the venue with a crowd of people

  1. The Conservatory, Barbican

If you want to create your event in the jungle but don’t quite have the budget to get you there, then look no further than this tropical dream in the City. Located in the Barbican, this small but versatile venue sells itself – there’s no end to the amazing and unique events you could create here! It’s also a perfect place to come and sit if you’re at a loose end on a Sunday afternoon.

Capacity: 150 standing

Location: City of London

Close to: Barbican and Moorgate stations (6 and 7 minutes respectively)

Good for: Jungle-themed events, interactive events, product launches, intimate brand activations, unique dinner experiences

Why we like it: This jungle paradise is home to over 1,000 tropical plants and fish. The key to a great experiential event is the element of surprise – this beautiful venue will wow your attendees and is sure to leave them with a unique experience they won’t forget in a hurry!

The conservatory by night with coloured lights

  1. Garden Museum

This striking venue is a fully-functional event space while maintaining it’s artistic and historical influences within a converted church, making it an ideal location for a slightly more edgy or creative experiential event.

Capacity: 320 standing

Location: Bankside, opposite Westminster and the Houses of Parliament

Close to: Lambeth North and Vauxhall stations (11 minute and 14 minute walk respectively)

Good for: Fashion shows, car launches, product launches, interactive displays

Why we like it: This venue is really different because it’s a traditional church space mixed with beautiful gardens, giving you a sense of calm while being slap-bang in the middle of London.

Glass box view

We hope this blog has helped if you’re on the search for a unique London venue – we think these three have great potential to host some incredible experiential events!

We’re constantly on the lookout for up-and-coming venues to add to our little black book so, if you have a suggestion, please get in touch! Stay tuned for the next blog in our experiential series, which will be tackling some of the financial elements of creating an experiential event!

Experiential Events – what’s all the hype about?

The events industry is an ever-changing, fast-growing and rapidly-developing industry, full of twists, complete 180° turns and, as we all know, no two days are ever the same. With this in mind, certain industry trends naturally come and go, and it’s sometimes hard to keep track of what’s ‘fashionable’ in the events world. One such trend is the coveted experiential events of which we are seeing more and more.

But wait, what actually is an experiential event?

According to Ecoconsultancy (2018),  an experiential event “creates a closer bond between the consumer and the brand by immersing them in a fun and memorable experience”. Basically, an experiential event bridges the gap between client and consumer, and enhances selling potential by creating a memorable experience that is actually going to last in people’s minds. The goal is to make people enjoy themselves and, in turn, reap the rewards this enjoyment brings your business or brand. There are two types of experiential events – B2B and B2C. In this blog, we’ll be focusing on B2C but, no fear – we’ll be covering B2B later on in our LIVE experiential events blog series!

Ok, but why choose an experiential event?

Well, experiential events are great for everyone. Humans, especially in this day and age, love to compete with each other. Now, as clever #eventprofs, we can tap into this integral part of our nature and harness it to our advantage. As an attendee, we want an engaging experience that is memorable and allows us to impress our family/friends/frenemies on Instagram and, in the long run, makes it more likely to encourage us to buy a product or experience that makes our lives easier in some way. Additionally, we are so busy in our day-to-day lives, that if we get the chance to attend an event which is just a little bit different and doesn’t necessarily feel like attending a work event, it will leave a longer-lasting impression on us than a boring event that is the same as every other event we attend on a regular basis.

One (slightly extreme) example that springs to mind is Redbull’s Stratos campaign which, as you all probably remember, saw skydiver Felix Baumgartner set a world record for the highest skydive…  from 128,000 feet. Now, we’re not saying if you drink Redbull you’ll be able to do this too, but doesn’t it tie in perfectly with their tagline of ‘Redbull Gives You Wings’? Not only this, but people felt like they had been part of something truly amazing as they intently watched the whole event. This is a prime example of ingenious experiential marketing that will be remembered for years to come and probably saw their sales, ahem, skyrocket.

Of course, as our clients will attest, the benefits of experiential events are obvious – spending more time and effort putting a little more creativity into the way products are marketed and events are created undoubtedly result in a higher ROI – and this isn’t just limited to the attendees themselves. I have touched upon Instagram but this goes far beyond putting a photo on your personal account and that being the end of the story. The social media phenomenon has drastically changed the face of brand development and ‘spreading the word’. For this reason, even if your amazing experiential event only has 50 attendees, if each of those share their experience on social media platforms, your event is actually reaching 10 times (if not more) the number of actual attendees. It also makes your event more elusive, in turn, increasing demand and, to some extent, also enhances trust in your brand. If a potential customer is there experiencing your product and can see it and try it for themselves, they will hopefully be more encouraged to carry on using it.

One great example is IKEA’s event back in 2011 – in response to a Facebook petition to have a sleepover in IKEA, they decided to allow 100 lucky people to spend the night at their Essex store, complete with manicures and massages. This created huge social media coverage, showed IKEA in a charitable and good-natured light and most likely increased their bed sales!

The way I look at it is twofold – we as humans A) love to have fun, and B) love a freebie. Therefore, the combination of an amazing, unique and fun event, coupled with a fun freebie or something a bit different than the usual swag of water bottles, tote bags and USBs we all seem to hoard after an event, is a winning one and one that is more likely to engage new customers. Ever heard of the saying ‘Happy Customer, Happy Client’? Probably not but, if you’re in professional services like us, you’ll understand what we mean!

To prove our point, take a look at these statistics:

  • 74% of attendees at an experiential event say they are left with a more positive view of a company and its products than before the event (Event Marketing Institute)
  • 70% of attendees become regular customers after a great experiential event (EventTrack).

I don’t know about you, but these stats seem good to me, and really demonstrate the power of an experiential event. For this reason, we think this is one trend that isn’t going anywhere anytime soon.

Hopefully, this blog has given you a little more insight into experiential events and why they could benefit your brand. I will leave you now with a tiny bit of food for thought – psychologically, we are more likely to remember something that has a semantic connection rather than acoustic or visual connections. To break this down, if something has more understanding and meaning behind it, we are more likely to remember it than if we have just seen or heard it, such as on an advertisement on TV.

So, next time you sit down with your boss or your marketing team, bear in mind that sometimes we need to break down the ‘corporate barrier’ and give people something a little more meaningful and a lot more fun.

If you have any questions or just want to chat more about experiential events and how we could help you, please get in touch!