Conferences with a difference

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There are so many world-class conferencing and event venues located throughout South Africa that it can be hard to decide which one to choose to ensure that your event is a memorable one. Why not try something different that will keep attendees interested and engaged. Here are four great ideas for conferencing with a difference.

1) Health and wellness

Corporates are increasingly realising the need to promote good health, and Valverde Country Hotel has incorporated this in a range of workshops, conferences and team-building offerings. The workshops are offered by The Health Matters Institute which is a healthy lifestyle training organisation.

Some companies send their employees just for a day to participate in the workshop, while others incorporate it as part of the conference itinerary. Participants receive an interactive DVD, undergo a current ‘Vital Statistics’ health assessment and receive a product sampler hamper. The package also includes a deliciously healthy breakfast, lunch, and refreshments throughout the day.

Contact details:

Tel: +27 (0)79-640-6500, valverde.co.za

2) Gourmet conference

Whether or not you’re a whizz in the kitchen, gourmet conferences are becoming a popular option for corporates. Companies can enrol their staff for a cooking course as a form of creative relaxation and spending time together to build stronger relationships. Delegates are introduced to the intricacies of wine blending, chocolate, brandy and champagne tastings, cheese sampling, themed gourmet lunches and dinners, organic events, and even motivational food trend talks. Samp and Souffle are the gourmet specialists who can organise any event to suit your location, team and your budget requirements. The day includes all non-alcoholic drinks, all South African wine and beers chosen by Samp and Souffle and their suppliers, all ingredients for interactive cooking, venue hire and chefs’ instruction. The events can be full or part day.

Contact details:

Tel: +27 (0)82 687 0442, sampsouffle.com

3) Interactive drumming

Interactive drumming is a great way to get all delegates to participate. Drum Cafe motivates, inspires and unites attendees within minutes. It offers a memorable way to synchronise a team for training sessions or conferences. The interactive programme is designed to break down barriers, align to a common goal, improve communications, accelerate productivity and motivate. The session leaves spirits high with an interactive high-energy percussion set. Drum Cafe also offers interactive gumboot dancing, boomwhacking and kwaito experience. This is a truly localised, fun way to give a conference the boost it needs or to end on a high note. Drum Cafe has branches in Johannesburg, Cape Town, Durban and Knysna.

Contact details:

Tel: +27 (0)11 493 080, drumcafe.co.za

4) Choose a theme

Choosing a fun theme that requires attendees to dress up adds a sense of fun and excitement to a conference. If you expect people to get dressed up, you might as well choose a great venue to complement the theme. Something a bit whacky and different is a pirate theme. Delegates will have fun dressing the part and can be given traditional pirate names on arrival. The perfect location for a pirate themed event is Ratanga Junction. Smugglers is one of the many venues available at the theme park and is ideal as it is a venue from which river pirates reputedly operated. It can accommodate up to 400 guests. With a selection of venues, Ratanga Junction can host a variety of themed evenings ranging from Austin Powers to Rock ‘n Roll and James Bond.

Contact details:

Tel: +27 (0)21 550 8504, www.ratanga.co.za