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Adventure-Infused Meetings

Excite your group with an action-packed itinerary in between events

By Reed Phinisey

Biking is a popular group add-on at Everline Resort & Spa. || Courtesy of Hyatt Corp.

Wellness is an important part of any meeting or event, and it has become even more pertinent as the meeting industry continues to rebound. Not only does a wellness-inspired function help lower stress levels and foster a caring environment, but it also encourages event-goers to try something new and outside of the box.

These adventure-infused wellness activities help attendees get outside and enjoy fresh air while allowing them to further explore a destination. The excitement of adventurous group activities also helps attendees build bonds and enhance creative thinking and problem-solving skills. I have included my top tips for hosting an unforgettable and adventure-packed meeting itinerary while keeping attendee preferences in mind.

The most important part of planning a successful outdoor adventure is to gauge attendee preferences. For example, while some guests might opt for high-intensity activities, many guests might prefer more relaxed ways to get outside and enjoy time with their peers. Bonding occurs when everyone feels safe, comfortable, and can participate, so it is imperative for planners to find an activity that fits the interests of their specific team.

Some of the most successful meetings I’ve seen incorporate multiple activities that attendees can select based on these preferences. Recently, I worked with a planner who arranged a group bike ride and a low-impact nature walk around the property, but then added the option of a more intensive Pedal Paddle tour where meeting-goers could bike to the lake to partake in stand-up paddleboarding. This combination of outing types helped ensure all attendees found desirable options in the itinerary of activities.

Here at my home base of Everline Resort & Spa in Olympic Valley, California, near Lake Tahoe, we offer several types of activities that can be tailored based on group preferences with everything from kayak excursions on Lake Tahoe to archery and guided hikes. I highly recommend that planners have conversations with their venue, tour operator, or excursion outfitter to ensure they understand the exact skills and physical fitness level required for an activity—and, most importantly, ensure that those align with the preferences and abilities of attendees.

Most companies tailor an experience to fit the needs of a group and find ways for the entire team to be involved. It is very important to have those conversations upfront to ensure everyone is on the same page.

Shared experiences involving collaboration can help build rapport and communication between attendees. I’ve seen several successful events where groups take a traditional hike and turn it into a nature-infused scavenger hunt where the winning team receives a prize, or turn a kayak excursion into an on-the-water relay race. Encouraging friendly competition helps to further break the ice between event-goers through shared problem solving and experiential learning.

When selecting a meeting destination, it is helpful to consider the climate and weather for your preferred time frame to visit. I encourage planners to opt for a destination that will have ample outdoor adventures available for groups regardless of the season. Here, in North Lake Tahoe—the region that encompasses Olympic Valley and other cities near the lake—we are lucky to offer world-class outdoor experiences year-round. From water activities and excursions on the lake throughout the summer and fall to premier ski conditions and snow-themed activities available in the winter, groups have endless possibilities available right outside our front doorstep.

Reed Phinisey is the recreation manager at Everline Resort & Spa in Olympic Valley, California. He works with groups and travelers to curate one-of-a-kind and unforgettable experiences exploring the Tahoe outdoors.