When Virgin Media wanted to improve the team work amongst a group of middle managers in a relaxed environment, Ian organised an entire day of events that promoted team building values and were great fun.
As the group were based in Newcastle, Ian booked them into Northumberland’s premier 4 star hotel which stands in 1,000 acres of stunning parkland. After a morning meeting, the group took part in a recreation of the 90′s TV classic Crystal Maze in the hotel’s grounds, enjoyed a sumptuous dinner in the hotel’s restaurant, and spent the evening collecting clues to solve a murder mystery. After such an action packed day, everyone retired to their rooms reflecting on what a success the event had been.
‘Our client had a great time and thought the hotel was fantastic. Everything was set up perfectly… the food was good and the murder mystery event was really enjoyable.
The Crystal Maze activity was also very good. You guys have been first class to deal with and I would not hesitate to use you again for similar events and will certainly recommend you to other business contacts.’
Take a lot at our Crystal Maze-inspired team building events:
We asked for your Valentine’s Day dilemmas and we were inundated with requests for advice. Dr Toby Spray picked out five examples of common problems and tried to point our readers in the right direction.
We caught up with the five hopeless romantics to find out how Valentine’s Day went:
‘I’ve left it too late to book a restaurant. What can I do?’ Chris, 29, from Dartford.
You need to turn this difficult situation to your advantage. There’s nothing more romantic than a picnic, so head down to your local supermarket and buy some champagne, strawberries, several litres of soup, a rug, a camping stove and a large knife. Get your girlfriend to meet you at your local park treat her to a picnic to remember. It can get pretty cold at night in February so keep your soup bubbling on the stove and snuggle together on the rug. Parks can be dangerous places after dark, so keep the knife handy in case you’re attacked by muggers or drug-crazed doggers.
‘It was a great success. My girlfriend stood me up, but I met a lovely young man called Graham in the park and we’ve become lovers.’
‘I’ve blown all my cash down the bookies and I’m down to my last £10. My wife is expecting a fancy meal in a posh restaurant, how am I going to pay for it?’ Owen, 41, from Skegness.
Stick the lot on Hawley On Fire in the 4.40pm at Doncaster. £10 to win at 33/1 makes you £340. Easy money.
‘The horse came in! Thanks for the tip, it was brilliant. Unfortunately I thought my luck was in and I lost the lot on the next race. My wife has walked out on me and I’m now attending Gamblers Anonymous. I’ll give you 2-1 that I’ll quit before the end of the month.’
‘I’m a Mormon with nine wives. How do I keep them all happy?’ Donny, 50, from Stockton-on-Tees.
Being a polygamist on Valentine’s Day can be tough. Instead of trying to make each of your wives feel special, do something that you and your wives can enjoy together. 5-a-side football is ideal for a group of ten, so book a pitch at a sports centre and then hit a local pub for a few post-match beverages.
‘My wives loved the football, it was a great idea. Unfortunately the rivalry between the two teams got a bit out of hand during the post-match drinking session and a huge fight broke out which left 4 of my wives hospitalised.’
‘I’m in love with my Stepmother. My Dad works on an offshore oil rig and she’ll be on her own on Valentine’s Day. I’m taking her out for a meal but don’t know if I should tell her how I feel.’ Bradley, 17, Aberdeen.
Go for it. If she likes your Dad, she’s bound to like you. You’re probably younger and fitter than your Dad; in fact I’m quite surprised nothing has happened in the past. Your stepmother is not a blood relative so treat her like you’d treat any other girl. Here’s my top tip: after you’ve finished the main course at the restaurant, grab your coats and tell her that dessert is served back at yours. Tell her to wait in the lounge, lie on the dining room table and cover your naked body in apple crumble and custard. Shout that ‘dessert is served’ and take it from there.
‘My dad unexpectedly came home just as I was covering myself in custard. He threw me out of the house and I’m now living in a homeless hostel.’
‘Where should I go to meet single women on Valentine’s Day?’ Tony, 34, Lincoln.
One word: Off licenses. Valentine’s Day can be lonely and depressing, and when feelings of self-hatred kick in, most Brits hit the bottle. The trick is to pick the right kind of offie. If you’re into tracksuit-wearing chavs with huge earrings, hang around outside a corner shop selling £1.99 bottles of knock-off vodka. If you’re looking for a classier woman, a Nicolas wine store is a great place to pull. In both cases the technique is simple: ply the woman with alcohol until she’s perfect mix of drunk and desperate.
‘The only single woman who went into the off licence all night bought five bottles of wine and I’m pretty sure I’ve seen her sleeping on the bins outside Iceland.’
Ian and Ali made the short journey over to Earls Court to attend Confex, ‘the leading event for event organisers’. Over the course of the morning they enjoyed massages and spanked penalities past a computerised goalkeeper, as well as meeting plenty of exciting new suppliers.
They got the inside track on the latest cruises, flying and driving events to hit the market and Ian unsucessfully tried to blag himself a trip to Brazil courtesy of their tourist board.
Being dedicated professionals, the pair managed to resist the temptation of the rivers of complimentary champagne on offer and were back in the office by lunchtime!
It’s Valentine’s Day today, but as an old writer once said, ‘The course of true love never did run smooth.’ Valentine’s Day can be confusing and stressful, so we’ve recruited Dr Toby Spray, a relationship and human behaviour expert from the University of Suffolk, to help you solve your Valentine’s Day dilemmas. Don’t know what to buy your girlfriend? Too shy to ask a guy at work to dinner? Dr Spray is here to help. Email email@example.com.
We’ll be posting a selection of your emails later in the day complete with Dr Spray’s expert advice.
Tom, Chillisauce’s resident stand up comedian, took to the stage again on Tuesday night at a packed Bedford in Balham, London. Cheered on from the crowd by fellow Chillisaucers Suzy and Ian, Tom’s material about Sharia law, Valentine’s Day and stag weekends was a huge hit with a partisan crowd and he was voted the best act of the night.
Tom, who cites Bernard Manning, Roy ‘Chubby’ Brown and Jethro as his comedy heroes, combines comedy with his day job of writing about himself on blogs in the third person.
Commercial Director Will hit the airways yesterday as a guest on the Mark Cummings Breakfast Show on BBC Radio Gloucestershire.
Bristol Rugby Club had gone on a team building weekend with the Royal Navy to prepare for the big local derby against Gloucester on February 17th. The Bristol squad were challenged to save a sinking ship which had been hit by enemy missiles on the high seas in a flooded simulator and Radio Gloucestershire wanted to find out more about the value of unconventional team building activties.
Will gave the Radio Gloucestershire listeners the lowdown on how team building can be of enourmous benefit to everyone from businesses to sports teams.
They were particularly interested to hear about blindfold driving, which Will explained always takes place on private land with an instructor in the passenger seat, not in the fast lane of the M6!
They also wanted to know how we deal with people who don’t really buy into the team building ethos and don’t want to take part, which can occasionally be a problem. Will explained that encouargement from fellow team members and some gentle persuasion usually do the trick, and often it’s the sceptics who end up getting the most out of the day.