Building a strong company culture has never been more important than in today’s remote- and hybrid-working landscape.
Without the traditional “water cooler chats”, face-to-face meetings or after-work drinks, and with all communication being done online, the virtual office can sometimes result in a disconnect, while working in silos is also very real.
According to general manager of Meetings & Events at American Express Global Business Travel, Gerardo Tejado, in-person meetings and events are “roaring back”. This emerged from their 2023 Global Meetings and Events Forecast.
“With many companies around the world operating with remote workforces or hybrid office environments, the need to bring employees together has never been greater nor more widely recognised,” he says. “In-person meetings and events have proven to be the most effective way to drive employee wellness and retention, instil company culture and corporate values, improve team bonding, and increase professional development.”
A clear win-win situation, these events also carry weight for the future of any business. So, isn’t it time you planned your next corporate function or getaway?
Here’s our selection of top venues to consider in 2023:
Supersized company event?
Angels View, Mpumalanga
Easily accessible from the Kruger Mpumalanga International Airport via a hotel shuttle service, the four-star Angels View designer hotel is situated on the Drakensberg escarpment, 45 minutes from the Kruger National Park and 5km from the tourist attraction of Graskop.
The hotel is the centrepiece of a 100-hectare estate and also set on Panorama Route, which showcases the best of the province’s natural, cultural and historic attractions, from the 1870s gold-mining town of Pilgrim’s Rest to dramatic waterfalls and the magnificent viewpoint called God’s Window in the Blyde River Canyon, the world’s third largest canyon. These many nearby attractions (and more) make planning team-building activities and day trips a breeze.
Angels View offers a scenic location and luxury accommodation with “super-sized” company events being their forte. A maximum capacity of 500 people is possible with a wooden deck providing additional space.
Location, location, location
The Cape Milner Hotel, Cape Town
In the heart of Cape Town and with breath-taking views of Table Mountain, The Cape Milner is an events and conferencing gem. Only 1km from the Cape Town CBD and 7km from Cape Town International Airport, the boutique hotel is also just a five-minute walk from the popular Kloof and Long Streets where “everything” happens and where some of the best local restaurants, bars, clubs and shops can be found.
Despite its central location, The Cape Milner offers secluded accommodation and top-notch eventing/conferencing facilities. Known as Cape Town’s meeting place, there are four conference rooms where up to 100 attendees can be hosted. The Cape Milner has the added benefit of offering fully inclusive, full-day or half-day conference packages. A coordinator is on hand and any corporate event can be tailormade for you.
Impress the C-suite
Safari Plains, Waterberg, Limpopo
Looking for a luxury bush escape for your global C-suite delegates that’s close to Johannesburg and Pretoria? Safari Plains in the magnificent Waterberg is just under three hours’ drive away in the Greater Mabula Game Reserve.
On offer is a five-star, authentic safari getaway, and the ultimate in private accommodation. Comprising a small camp set in the middle of the bushveld with 20 tented suites, six being ultra-luxurious, Safari Plains takes glamping to another level, and your C-suite cannot help but be impressed.
Fully inclusive conferencing in the bush
Mabula Game Lodge, Waterberg, Limpopo
Also set in the Greater Mabula Game Reserve, the upmarket Mabula Game Lodge ticks all the boxes for your company getaway. Conferencing is simplified with fully inclusive packages that incorporate accommodation, meals and daily game drives in the malaria-free reserve known for its abundant wildlife.
Featuring luxury thatch-roof accommodation and a variety of events spaces with configurations that can host between 30 and 160 attendees, a company event here, in the African bush, is a unique experience that will have employees talking about it for years to come.
Additional activities are also available on the reserve, such as hot-air ballooning, bush walks, horse riding and quad biking, while team-building events are organised on request, taking the heavy lifting right out of your hands.