Not only is the business portion of the
meeting important, but so are the social
aspects. As options expand to outside,
overall opportunities multiply. Steer clear
of the expected and inspire your group by
presenting atypical activities, teambuilding
tasks and breakout sessions that literally get
them out of the building.
Say hello to breezy bungalow breakout
sessions, encourage guests to engage in
cabana chats, and incorporate teambuilding
activities such as beach Olympics, building
sand castles, making kayaks, Jet Ski relays
and yoga and tai chi classes.
Treat Groups to a Coastal Excursion
For meeting groups not gathering at a
beachfront destination, adding a coast-
al event to the itinerary is a great way to
surprise attendees and immerse them in an
authentic local experience.
“We recently did a clam bake on the
beach for a group of 45 to 50 people,” said
Jordan Carbotti, principal at Perfect Surroundings in Newport, R.I. “The event took
place at The Ocean House at Watch Hill in
Watch Hill, R.I., right next to Taylor Swift’s
house. We brought custom-created tables
onto the sand. Each table had a trough running down the center, which we filled with
wines and craft beers—all made locally.
Dinner was a New England clam bake,
which Carbotti said actually doubled as
“We followed the traditional way to cook
this, which was by digging a hole in the sand
and filling it with all of the seafood—lobster,
clams, shrimp, mussels, etc.—and topped it
with seaweed to cook it. Because the group
was quite high-end, the food was plated
for them. Of course, we used as many local
items as possible.”
After dinner, the group went over to a fire
pit and made s’mores and chatted. It was all
about bonding, according to Carbotti.
The only decor was hundreds of lanterns
that were strung all around, and the center-
pieces were simple succulents that accented
all of the natural elements on a beach.
Another planner in New York surprised a
corporate group with a trip to the shore.
“After the day’s meetings, we had the
corporate group that we were working with
board escorted coaches, and we took them
to a beach near Atlantic City on the Jersey
Shore for a fun and casual off-site experience,” said Jaclyn Bernstein, owner, president and partner at Access New York Metro
in New York City. “When they arrived, they
were welcomed by a sand castle branded
with the company logo. The group was then
treated to a sand castle-building teambond-ing experience.
The idea was to kick your shoes off and
play in the sand, according to Bernstein,
with a super relaxed ambience that included
a barbecue on the beach.
“It was all about the element of surprise,”
she said. “They weren’t expecting to go to
the beach, and that was what made it so fun.
It turned out to be quite a success.”
Andrea Michaels, owner of Extraordi-
nary Events in Sherman Oaks, Calif., once
brought a group of VIPs from Mexico to Isla
Mujeres, a small island just across the bay
THE PERFECT SETTING FOR ALL OCCASIONS.
For over 400 years, people have gathered in Hampton. Today, business meetings, social gatherings,
trade expositions and sporting competitions all take place under one roof. For a location as unique as
your event, choose Hampton, VA. 800.487.8778 thehrcc.com
PERFECT SURROUNDINGS EVENT, WATCH HILL, R.I.