Amidst browsing the web looking for great summer resorts in Muskoka, I found Deerhurst. This is an awesome Muskoka resort but one of the coolest things is that they offer themed meetings. I thought this was such an awesome element to their meetings and events and wanted to share with you all. Sometimes people think that themed meetings or events can be corny (which is true) but if you chose the right theme and elevate the correct elements, this can be executed very professionally (and of course add an element of fun). They specialize in Muskoka themed events as they are nestled right in the heart of it all. Not to worry, I will share with you some other themes that I believe are great as well. Most of these themes are based on locations, as including travel really does increase the engagement of colleagues, but you can easily pull off any of these themes within the office or even a local destination.
Muskoka Cottage Country
This theme is for the colleagues who would much rather spend their entire summer at the cottage opposed to working. With such a large reputation, Canadian cottage country has definitely created their own brand over the years. With lots of outdoor activities, there are tons of team building activities that can be added to your meeting. Muskoka is home to several craft breweries and I bet guests would be more then happy to taste test. Even a brewery tour is a great team building activity. The food options are endless, everything from casual burger sliders to a grilled salmon dinner will fit the theme perfectly. If colleagues are lucky enough to be situated in the Muskoka area, then they should grab a Muskoka chair and watch the sun set over the lake. Then dessert to follow will of course have to be s'mores toasted on an open fire. Don't forget to include the fire building as a team building component! If this theme is being conducted in an office then decor items such as plaid, wood, candles and greenery are easy pieces to add.
East Coast Galore
With the prominent culture of the East coast that is familiar to most other provinces, it is fairly effortless to bring this theme to your next meeting. Using the fun and laid back East coast lifestyle will be sure to add a memorable touch. Some great activities such as fishing, boating, dancing are great ideas to use for team building activities. You can even create a team building activity such as coming up with a challenge to recite a story in the same verbiage that an 'East Coaster' would. Using the Maritime's fundamentals such as boating, water, light houses and land formation are also great elements to use in activities, discussion and decor. The seafood options are endless when it comes to using this theme for a lunch or dinner. Choosing foods like Atlantic Salmon, lobster, cod, oysters, kettle chips, mashed potatoes and cabbage are all local favourites that will have everyone raving over the cuisine. Embracing the fun and laid back culture whilst incorporating amazing seafood, guests will be leaving their meeting feeling like they just visited the East coast. If you would like to turn this into a destination without traveling to the East coast you could always head to a local lake front destination such as Tobermory, Collingwood, or Peele Island, just to name a few.
Canadian French Flare
The French is such a rich culture and with Quebec as our neighbour we are lucky that we have such a unique culture so close to Ontario. So why not add an international but Canadian flare to your next meeting. With the language barrier, this is a great element for learning and skill building to your meeting. Encouraging colleagues to learn and practice simple french words will add a neat learning curve to the meeting. The french cuisine will be sure to have everyone loving the themed choice, Poutine bar is definitely a must, as well as beaver tails for dessert. Montreal smoked meat sandwiches is a great lunch option as it is a Montreal classic. Other popular foods are tourtiere, bagels, beans, cretons, and gelato. If you want to add something a little more sugar based, don't forget about the importance of maple syrup in this provience, maybe pancakes for breakfast? While learning or brushing up on their french vocabulary and indulging in poutine, guests are sure to enjoy this themed meeting!
Whether you are looking for inspiration for your next local meeting or are looking for a destination meeting or conference, I hope you've gained a few ideas from this blog.
As always, don't forget to share with us! Share your favourite meeting themes or if you use any of these ideas.