"By day, participants enjoyed hiking, biking and sea kayaking. It allowed them to let down their guard, try something that
really pumped them up, network with one another, and enjoy all this in a spectacular and relaxed setting," Austin says. At
night, the reps relished the finest the region offers, staying in three world renowned five-star island properties: the Aerie
Resort, Sooke Harbour House and Hastings House. "By night, we wined and dined them. As a reward program, it was strictly high
end—no camping out for this group," he says.
While there were some meetings incorporated into the Vancouver Island adventure, what the group will take away, says Austin,
are the memories of doing something they wouldn't normally do on their own. Often, a great number of participants on such
adventures could afford the trips on their own, but what's unique is experiencing a destination in a way they would likely
Healthy competition is the platform for the MotoVino team problem-solving challenge.
Team building program content is custom-fit to meet particular goals, such as improving teamwork, communication, trust, leadership,
creativity or problem solving skills. Experiential training, where people are encouraged to interact through challenging activities
such as rope courses, are games designed to encourage participants to work together as a team.
Wilkinson has customized many wild and wacky team building activities for pharmaceutical companies such as Eli Lilly, GlaxoSmithKline,
Pfizer, Roche, and Yamanouchi Pharma America. "These type of activities are designed as leadership challenges, to induce creative
thinking, encourage collaboration, build morale, ease staff tension, and much more," he explains.
One of Wilkinson's more popular team building games is MotoVino which Yamanouchi Pharma America played at a conference in
Orlando. This unique game pits teams against one another in a race to blend wines using genetically altered grapes. Of course,
the game is far more challenging—and fun—because teams must first decipher the blueprint to the mixing machine to put the
contraption back together from a jumble of parts. After the team solves that problem, the final challenge is to emulate the
properly colored wine and then distribute the concoction into wine glasses in a bottling line.
According to Wilkinson, to get the brightly colored wines flowing, teams need to use plenty of "brain juice" and just as much
In the Big Easy, a not-so-easy but fun collaborative and creative team effort was required when a pharma group had to rescue
their "kidnapped" president. Carling Dinkler, IIIinois president of Custom Conventions, created a "Mission Impossible" team
building exercise designed to bring co-workers together, and at the same time, give them a taste of New Orleans' historic
With the group seated in a hotel function room, listening to the company's president deliberately drone on about company facts
and figures, two thugs in trench coats broke in and "kidnapped" him. The surprised group was quickly organized into teams
and given clues to find their abducted leader. Each team, desperate to be the first to rescue the boss, raced through the
French Quarter, following the myriad clues leading to such historic sites as Jackson Square, St. Louis Cathedral, Ursuline
Convent, Napolean House, Café Dumont and the Lefite Blacksmith shop. Each clue led them to the next site until they found
their president at the bar Maison Bourbon, where he bought all his rescuers a drink.
"People were jumping in cabs, hiring horse and buggys, desperate to be the heroic team to find and liberate the president.
At the same time, it was a great way for people to see the French Quarter, which was exactly what the president wanted," says