Innovative Iceland

Andrew Evans of National Geographic Traveler recently tweeted a very interesting fact about an Icelandic city as follows: “All houses in #Reykjavík are heated w/ geothermal energy (hot water flowing thru pipes). Means this is one of the cleanest cities on Earth.” As a sustainable travel enthusiast, it immediately caught my interest. I thought, what’s a better place to plan for a green incentive trip? Talk about off the beaten path…

A large portion of Iceland is sourced by renewable energy, making it one of the greenest locations worldwide to visit. In fact, ICLEI Local Governments for Sustainability notes how “Reykjavík is home to the largest geothermal heating system in the world.” Impressive, huh? On top of this accomplishment, the energy that isn’t geothermal is hydropower. This city ultimately screams sustainable living, which is why it’s the perfect destination for your next eco-minded incentive adventure.

A quiet island with a breathtaking environment that boasts an entirely efficient way of living; what are you waiting for? Iceland isn’t necessarily the first place that comes to mind, but it certainly is worth considering.

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Choosing an All-Inclusive Hotel

Ok, we know you’ve all struggled with the decision whether or not to go all-inclusive. Is it worth it? Is it really all-inclusive? Maybe your drinks are included by your tennis lessons aren’t. So, here’s a quick guide to help you decide, courtesy of Smart Meetings.

Benefits of All-Inclusive

Location. All-inclusive venues are usually either located near gorgeous, exotic beaches or tucked away in private areas, like mountains. These places can afford to be all-inclusive because they are popular destinations, so it may be worth your money to choose a location that is nice to look at.

Great for budgeting. If everything is included, you can really stretch your dollars and take advantage of everything the hotel has to offer. Also, hosting private events on location becomes cheaper than it would cost for a noninclusive hotel.

Saves time. For someone who doesn’t have time to sit down and plan activities, meals, and events for a large group of people with varied interests, all-inclusives are a huge weight lifter for planners.

Relaxation. Without the stress of carrying wallets or finding transportation to off-site dinners, guests are able to relax a little more. Everything is obtained a little easier, so guests get a greater sense of satisfaction.

Networking. When groups stay in such close quarters, individuals are more inclined to network and meet one-on-one with coworkers to discuss ideas or even just to chat, creating a great group dynamic that lasts beyond the trip.

Green. Large all-inclusive hotels are often easier on the environment because they are more equipped to handle large groups and use their energy wisely.

Potential Drawbacks to All-Inclusive

Work may suffer. By sending employees to an exotic location, you may find it difficult to pry them away from the pool and free drinks to get any work done.

Stuck in one place. Part of staying at an all-inclusive hotel is having everything contained in one place. If your group is likely to want to venture outside of the hotel, you may want to make other plans.

Inability to customize. All-inclusive packages often don’t allow the switching of events or meal options because they are catering to the masses and have to satisfy large groups of people. Also, an all-inclusive package may come with benefits, such as nature walks or yoga classes, that your group may not be interested in, making the all-inclusive package appear wasteful.

Not enough time. On the other hand, let’s say you love every option included in the all-inclusive package. Between your scheduled activities and small bouts of free time, you may not have time to take advantage of every offering and may leave the hotel having paid for unused benefits.

The buffet. All-inclusive venues make meals for large groups on a daily basis, so the best way to do so is often by providing a buffet for guests. Based on your group’s preferences and prior experiences, they may not be used to buffet-style meals and may end up disliking the experience.


Other things to consider when deciding on an all-inclusive package

  • Do any of your guests have certain food allergies that aren’t supported by buffet-style meals?
  • Do any of your guests have specific mobility needs that a large all-inclusive resort cannot support?
  • Does your group like to be adventurous or will they enjoy spending time solely at the hotel?

To conclude, all-inclusive deals can be very handy for certain groups and a hassle for others. Most importantly, when planning a trip, you must consider your group specifically and whether the package will cater to their needs and wants. Then, decide if the all-inclusive hotel is worthwhile based on what is specifically being offered to you. All there’s left to do now is relax and enjoy your stay!

Did this list help YOU decide? Leave your feedback below!
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Incentive Trips to Spain Offer Unique Team-Building Activities

When organizing an incentive trip, team-building activities can be very fun and beneficial to a company or group.  Team-building activities incorporate adventure and fun with teamwork and problem-solving to create a meaningful experience for everyone involved. Each activity comes with its own challenges and “Wow factors” while providing the benefits of team-building initiatives. Interested in what incentive trips in Spain could offer to you and your company? Read on to find out more!

Team Sports

If you are looking for a way to get active and competitive on your incentive trip, the following team sports may be perfect for your group!

 

 

  • Sailing Regattas– Groups will experience a combination of sport, sightseeing, and fun in this unique sailing race.
  • Golf tournament– What is better than a company golf tournament? A golf tournament in Spain! Groups will take part in a private tournament, including lessons, catering, and photography, if desired.
  • Watersports– Make your incentive trip unforgettable with this unique opportunity. Mix and match water sports of interest to your group, such as parasailing, waterskiing, or dolphin spotting, to maximize your experience!
  • Beach Olympic games– Groups will be divided into teams and will compete in various Olympic-style games to win prizes.

Fun and Games

If you prefer a more low-key activity to get your group involved, consider these fun options for your incentive trip.

 

 

  • Segway challenges– This original activity supplies groups with segways and necessary equipment to compete in various speed and agility tests within a tailored segway obstacle course.
  • Laser clay shooting– Lasersport Clay Pigeon Shooting is an experience that can enjoyed by all! Players use modified shotguns to shoot infrared lasers at clays launched into the air. This activity is perfectly safe and great for groups who are looking for fun with a competitive edge.
  • Drum circles– Groups will be divided into subgroups and given instruments with which to tell stories through music. Great as an ice breaker and everyone gets to participate!
  • Local culture discovery– Groups will come together while learning about typical activities of the land, including cooking, dancing, and more!

Exercise Alternatives

If you are looking to offer health and exercise to your group, try these activities, designed to get your group up and moving together.

 

 

  • Bicycle guided tours– Groups of 5 to 50 people can enjoy a relaxing bike ride while learning interesting facts about the land. Groups will bond over exercise and cultural discovery.
  • Self-defense– Group members will learn safety and situational awareness in this activity through Krav Maga self-defense techniques.
  • Hiking & trekking– Take your group on a hike up the Djebel Musa in Morocco, where they will learn the mythologies of the mountain and the neighboring Strait of Gibraltar.
  • Health & fitness day– Groups will be divided into teams for a day-long fitness experience, incorporating opportunities to exercise and to learn to maintain a healthy lifestyle.

The key to a successful incentive trip is combining excitement with knowledge and self-growth.  No matter your interests, Spain offers many unique and tailored team-building activities for your incentive trip.

My Experience as an Intern at A&M Meetings & Incentives

Interning at A&M has been a rewarding and enriching experience that has contributed to my knowledge of social media sites, travel destinations and the methods of improving worker relationships and inspiring workers. Through my work experience, I have learned about a multitude of destinations, ranging from exotic to family-friendly. These destinations, including South Africa and Indonesia, offer an assortment of activities bound to intrigue diverse groups of people.

Additionally, working at A&M has allowed me to understand how to improve an incentive trip. Planning an incentive trip is all about the activities that are available to the participants; specifically, every destination has something different to offer groups, which is why the choice of location is very important. One trend that I believe is successful is planning out-of-office experiences for employees. More and more, companies are looking to bring people outside of the conference room. This can be done by having employees volunteer within the community or by planning day trips. Another trend gaining popularity aims at engaging employees and incorporating outside input. Companies are using social media sites to get more people involved; companies are asking people to ask questions on twitter and are creating groups where information can be shared and discussed.

Before starting at A&M I did not know much about CSR; despite this, I have quickly learned how influential and how widespread the trend has become. Companies today are increasingly looking to become more responsible both socially and environmentally. “Going green” is another trend that I have learned more about during my time at A&M. Companies all over the world are looking to implement ecofriendly practices as a means of cutting down on production costs, attracting customers and improving the environment.

I have been rewarded with a lot of great opportunities at A&M and have truly gained a lot of knowledge about improving meetings, travel and current business trends.

– Olivia

T’was the Night Before…

T’was the night before the program
And all through the place;
The staff was busy working
At a furious pace.

There was AV to be checked
And carbon footprints to review,
CSR activities to look over,
Just so much to do.

As attendees arrived;
All became right.
The staff had worked hard,
All through the night.

With the reg. desk finally closed,
And the work room locked tight;
The attendees were checked in,
Snug in their rooms for the night.

The very next day,
Things were handled with care.
The group soon would be gone;
They would depart with much flair.

The program was a success;
We did all we could.
If we say so ourselves,
We’ve done pretty darn good.

One more thing to say,
As we turn out the light…
Happy Holidays to all,
And to all a good night!

To all our friends in the Meeting & Incentive Industry;
Happy Holidays and Best Wishes for a Happy and Prosperous New Year!