When corporate leaders host off-site meetings, confining attendees to hotel grounds, and secluding them from the local community and culture, they miss a prime opportunity to maximize the productivity of their time together. Allowing staff to break away on a mission to mix with the locals, or engage in social responsibility projects, not only brightens the meeting and refreshes minds and bodies, it also reinforces the point that CSR is an ongoing part of the company’s strategy, no matter where they are.
For years, Venture Up has aligned meeting events with clients’ ongoing strategies in CSR and employee engagement. The firm offers two compatible programs for executives and government groups to build relationships with one another and connect to the community.
Part 1 of this all-inclusive event sets teams off site and involves the ever-changing Amazing Race, a clue-finding and problem-solving mission through local streets. This event is never the same game twice, as Venture Up incorporates the client’s meeting objective and company language appropriate into the program, appropriate to the location. In Texas, for example, the firm has 12 different races in the Dallas area alone, each with interchanging segments.
Part 2 of the program is a pre-planned event to engage teams in CSR to serve a local group in need, whether it involves a massive can goods donation to help Feed America, or assembling 3D printed prosthetic hands for kids in the US or overseas who were born without fully functioning hands.
Just as research shows that individuals reap long-term health benefits by giving to those in need, the success of today’s organizations is also linked to social responsibility and connection to the community. McKinsey & Company consultants report that companies who once viewed CSR as a passing fad, now “view CSR as central to their overall strategies, helping them to creatively address key business issues.”
Venture Up puts it this way. “We believe that given the freedom and power to be creative and proactive, each individual – what we call the ‘I in team’ – feels the experience at a core level,” Lengyel said. Clients who hire Venture Up often require feedback from their staff after the event; feedback that indicates individual relationships are reinforced. “Participants feel a deepened connection to the community and to their organization who helped make it possible.”