As incentive travel groups get more diverse, counting three or even four generations among the winners, there's more pressure on planners to provide a wide range of activities so that there's something for everyone. Beyond that, the desire of travelers to really experience a destination like a local defies age brackets as well.
"Attendees really want to come away with a feeling for the location," says Bree Brostko, managing director at Kindred Resorts and Hotels
. "So when planners can orchestrate group events or teambuilding activities that both accomplish their business objectives and provide attendees with that sense of place, everyone leaves with a richer experience. Our resorts really celebrate their sense of place and some of the most unique and memorable activities stem from experiences you can't recreate everywhere."
Here are five incredible outdoor group activities to consider for your next incentive group.
Winter Sleigh Dinner
Kindred Resorts member Lone Mountain Ranch
in Big Sky, MT, has offered a seasonal sleigh ride dinner for the past 35 years. Under moonlit skies, attendees are transported via horse-drawn sleigh to a log cabin where they're treated to a prime-rib dinner served family-style. Because there's no electricity in the cabin, guests dine via candlelight while staff cooks their meal on a 100-year-old railroad cook stove. A crackling fireplace and live cowboy music provide finishing touches.Eco Kayak Tours
Ocean Reef Club
in Key Largo, FL, a Kindred member, offers an eco kayak tour that it says is its most popular nature program. Attendees learn the basics of kayaking, then refresh their minds and bodies while meandering by kayak through the Florida Keys' famous mangroves, bird rookeries, and crystal-clear waters.
Adventure attraction Extreme Sandbox
gives groups in Hastings, MN, the chance to play in a 10-acre "sandbox" with real-life construction rigs, including excavators, bulldozers, and skid steers. After meeting in the venue's onsite conference facilities, groups ranging from under 10 to more than 100 can engage in activities such as "golfing" with an excavator and crushing a car (with supervision from expert instructors, of course). The company, which appeared on the Jan. 5 episode of ABC's Shark Tank
, recently announced a national expansion; it will open its second facility in April at Tanglewood Resort and Conference Center in Pottsboro, TX, an hour outside of Dallas.Team Orienteering
Kindred member Woodstock Inn & Resort
offers a "team orienteering" competition for groups of six or more in Woodstock, VT. Teams guide themselves over the countryside -- usually on foot -- to locate mapped points at nearby Marsh Billing Rockefeller National Historic Park. Unlike individual competitions that test physical fitness and navigational skills, Woodstock's team orienteering event is designed to promote bonding, innovation, problem solving, communication, and cooperation. Led by orienteering instructor John Wiggin, a former Navy Seal, competitions are held year-round (with groups outfitted with snowshoes in the winter) and can be either a half or full day.Car Racing
In Las Vegas, "getting a feel for the destination" doesn't involve hiking, snorkeling, or sleigh rides. It involves speeding around a 1.5-mile supercar track at speeds of up to 135 miles per hour, courtesy of SPEEDVEGAS
, a 100-acre motorsports complex opening in March. After meeting in the venue's event center, which will open by May with capacity of up to 1,000 attendees, groups can view racing demonstrations, experience simulators, and drive a collection of the world's most sought-after exotic and muscle cars, including a Shelby GT, a Lamborghini Huracán, a Ferrari 458 Italia, and a Porsche Cayman S, to name a few.