Potting Shed Post

It is an undisputed fact that the way we buy is changing. Not only is the digital world playing a more and more important role in both marketing and purchasing of goods and services, but increasingly large corporations are owning huge market shares. Sometimes this is very obvious (think Amazon) and other times sub-brands are not linked so you can be unaware that they are connected. In the event world this applies to hotel chains, agencies and caterers. There is no denying that these industry giants have much to offer.

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It is a well-documented fact that singing makes you feel good and thanks to Tabitha Beaven you don’t need to have a good voice to join a choir and belt out your favourite tunes.

What’s special about your choir and how did it come to be? I deploy a very special type of singing in the choirs I run.  I call it ‘carefree’ singing.  The kind of singing where you really let rip like you would in the shower or in the safety of your car when no one is listening!  My journey with ‘carefree’ singing started in 2016 when I launched a community franchise of ‘Tuneless Choir’ – known as the ‘choir for people who can’t sing’.

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Explore from A to Z, Spring 2019 issue 1 Wednesday, 13th February, 2019

We are proud to be partnered with some of the best in the business, experts in their field who add that extra bit of magic and sparkle to our events. In this issue we explain why we love working with the wonderful Blue Badge Guides.

Did you know that the programme to become a Blue Badge Guide is two years – as long as to qualify for The London Knowledge for black cab drivers.  And no wonder it takes so long, the depth and breadth of the knowledge of our favourite guides knows no ends and as such they perfectly complement some of our Fruitful Team Event products.  Each guide is independent but is a member of the British Guild of Tourist Guides that oversees training and maintains the high standards that we have come to expect.  If you visit any of the popular tourist attractions in London you are sure to find a Blue Badge Guide describing a historical moment or sharing an urban legend to their group in one of 30 languages.

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Do you have an event ritual? At the end of each day onsite, I will always finish the day with a lovely relaxing bath, regardless of what time it is. It helps me unwind and sleep, ready for the next day.

What would be your dream event to organise? I would love to be part of the event team for the Invictus Games.

Favourite work moment of 2018? Gosh, there have been many, but I think my favourite has to be when we were having dinner in a storeroom in a palace with a mouse running around which thankfully, I wasn’t aware of at the time! Events aren’t always as glamourous as they seem!

 

 

 

New Products, Spring 2019 issue 1 Wednesday, 16th January, 2019

The start of 2019 heralds the new version of the Fruitful Team Events brochure.  Those of you who know us well will know that we review our products every year to make sure that we are offering the best events.  This year we add:

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In previous years our company challenges have seen us raise money and support very worthy causes. This year we decided to commit to our team and their wellbeing. The subject of mental and physical health is everywhere in the media and having teamed up with a wonderful mindful company towards the end of last year for some of our products, we decided to invest in the health of our team. Anyone who works in the events industry knows how long the hours can be and how we spend every minute looking after clients and delegates and not always ourselves. That is the nature of the job we love and wouldn’t change it, but we hope to provide tools to our team that make the stressful times and long hours easier to deal with.

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Organised Olive, Spring 2019 issue 1 Tuesday, 18th December, 2018

Our resident agony aunt Organised Olive is here to assist you with your event dilemmas. Just send her a question and she’ll be happy to impart her knowledge.

I’m at my wits end! How do I cater for a variety of personality types all within one team building day? I haven’t yet been able to find one activity that pleases everyone. We have those who like to be outdoors, those who like to be indoors, those who like making things, those who like mental puzzles and those who are management and just want to boss everyone around! Any bright ideas?

Linda, Hampshire

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Welcome to the final edition of the newsletter for 2018.  As the season changes and the end of the year approaches, we have spent some time looking back at the year to date.  We would like to take this opportunity to thank each and every one of you for the events that we have worked on with you.  2018 has been a truly epic year for us with new products in the Fruitful portfolio and new starters in the team.  All of this is only possible with your support and feedback – so thank you.  Balancing the review of the year is the opportunity to look forward to 2019 and beyond.  There are some new products that will be announced in January 2019 and we are already looking forward to what the year will bring.

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Events Through A Lens, Winter 2018 issue 3 Monday, 29th October, 2018

They say ‘a picture is worth a thousand words’ and we strongly believe that to be true. We have been very fortune to work with clients who put on very special events in stunning places and sometimes nothing but photographs can ever capture the incredible experience. This is when a great event photographer is worth their weight in gold.

We work with a small number of photographers who never fail to make our events come back to life through their images. Here we talk to one of the best, Graham to find out a little more about how he captures the essence of our events.

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Organised Olive, Winter 2018 issue 3 Wednesday, 17th October, 2018

Our resident agony aunt Organised Olive is here to assist you with your event dilemmas. Just send her a question and she’ll be happy to impart her knowledge.

Dear Organised Olive,

I have been tasked with sourcing a murder mystery evening for my team. If I’m honest the idea doesn’t excite me as I feel they are outdated and overdone. What can I do?

Aiden, Ireland

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What’s On Your Mind? Winter 2018 issue 3 Friday, 21st September, 2018

You will have noticed in the media recently that there is a big push for everyone to take care of their mental health as well as their physical health.  Poor mental health is costing the economy up to £99 billion per year with 300,000 workers leaving their jobs every year on account of a mental health related issue. Mindfulness is one of the tools that is being recommended for those who want to improve their mental health and wellbeing.

Sarah Mayo, is one of 3 co-founders of a total wellbeing company that promotes both mindfulness and movement as effective ways to manage mental health and overall wellbeing.

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Getting To Know…Kate, Winter 2018 issue 3 Thursday, 13th September, 2018

Best overseas event? I actually have two and they are opposite ends of the scale. Some years ago I worked in Bangkok, it was a fast and furious event, mammoth in scale. The night before was set up, the following afternoon was the event and that evening was pack down.  A crazy event that was nonstop and strangely included imported sand…! My other favourite was in Cannes, we hired an island for lunch. It was so peaceful with a calm and serene atmosphere, wonderful during an event.

Which is more challenging onsite; registration or transfers? I would have to say transfers as there are so many elements out of your control, especially when dealing with delegates coming from overseas.

Your favourite animal team activity? I love duck herding. Ducks are really stubborn, so you can guarantee it won’t go perfectly. I also like the fact that the activity has a clear and simple goal even if it’s difficult to get there. It’s working together as a team without even trying.

Most memorable event experience? It has to be processing between 5,000-6,000 registrations by fax!! We didn’t have computers at that time…

To Teambuild or Not To Teambuild Wednesday, 5th September, 2018

I have worked in the event industry for over 20 years and in that time the phrase ‘team building’ has gone from being a buzz word, to a swear word and back again.  Interest in team ‘building’ has seen an increase in the last 3 years as a new generation of professional workers need to find ways in which to spend time with their colleagues that does not revolve around a boardroom table or Skype meeting.

(As a note here, I don’t much like the phrase team building.  Team is accurate but building suggests that 2 hours of activity will be enough to build a team.  For the rest of this article I will refer to this as team experience.  This is far more accurate as it is allowing a team to have a shared experience.)

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Welcome to another Fruitful Team Events newsletter. We have been thinking about challenges. To us a challenge is something that is neither easy nor impossible … but equally it is there to be conquered and overcome. Professionally these challenges come to us in a variety of forms – perhaps it is a group that has ‘done everything’ or perhaps the group is so diverse that it seems impossible to please anyone (let alone everyone).

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Tim is a leading expert in outdoor adventure and survival. He has led expeditions all over the world from deserts to mountains, often working in extreme environments and under immense pressure.

Tim has worked with numerous business brands and has been a consultant in training the police and military in wilderness tracking.

Having worked with Bear Grylls on various projects, Tim also co-presented on Bear Grylls ‘Survival School’ (this programme went on to win a BAFTA), and worked as a safety advisor on other TV adventure programs.

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Organised Olive, Summer 2018 issue 2 Thursday, 24th May, 2018

Our resident agony aunt Organised Olive is here to assist you with your event dilemmas. Just send her a question and she’ll be happy to impart her knowledge.

Dear Organised Olive,

I work for a small UK based company whose employees are split between 2 offices, one in the North and one in the South. We know of each other due to daily emails and phone calls, but haven’t all met face to face. This year, for the first time, we are having an away day together. What ice breaker would you suggest that allows us to get to know each other on a more personal level than just learning what each other look like?

Sacha, Manchester

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We are proud to be partnered with some of the best in the business, experts in their field who add that extra bit of magic and sparkle to our events. For this event, Fruitful partnered with Sam Alexander, an accomplished actor, to support our client in their film making activity.     

Bespoke Event: Film Making

Star/expert: Sam Alexander; professional actor working in theatre, TV, film and radio

When: April 2018

Where: Old Thorns, Hampshire

Brief: An activity to capture the conference’s message   (more…)

Favourite industry publication? C&IT, although I am also an avid reader of The Times travel section.

Top tip for getting the most out of a networking event? The British are renowned for many things but talking to a room full of strangers however isn’t one of them. That is how it is easy to stand out when networking, people are often relieved when you come up and introduce yourself. Have a couple of questions ready such as asking where they are from, what they want to get out of the event and who they are looking to meet. By sharing this information, you may find that they have already met the people you would like to meet and can introduce you. Finally, be polite and allow them enough time to relax in your company but be mindful about the fact that you need to move on and talk to others, no one should be offended, after all that’s what they are there for too!!

Something you wished all venues did as standard? I always appreciate a phone call after an event to simply ask how it went rather than by email. We are after all a very human industry with customer service at its core.

Career wow moment? From a business perspective, merging with the Fruitful team. From an event perspective, helping to launch the new look Holiday Inn, a 5,000 person event held across 5 days.

Welcome to the Fruitful Team Events e-newsletter.  The last twenty four months have been busy for all of us with the ink drying on our partnership with Crescendo Brand Events in January 2016.

Partnership is a word that is used a lot in the event industry – event agencies like to talk about partnering with clients, new products often come out of a partnership between two suppliers – but in truth if anyone asks about great partnerships people tend to think of entertainers or celebrity couples.  However, some of the greatest businesses have been created by successful partnerships – Farrow & Ball, Hewlett Packard, Ben & Jerry’s, Apple (Steve Jobs and Steve Wozniak).

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Gin, Gin! Spring 2018 issue 1 Friday, 26th January, 2018

Unless you’ve been hiding away from modern society, the gin boom won’t have escaped you. New micro distilleries are popping up every week offering a wide range of unique and unusual botanicals such as seaweed, baobab fruit and crocus flower.  A recent YouGov poll found that gin is the most popular spirit among UK drinkers and it’s no wonder, it’s such a versatile drink – great with tonic but a delicious cocktail ingredient too.

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Organised Olive, Spring 2018 issue 1 Friday, 5th January, 2018

Our resident agony aunt Organised Olive is here to assist you with your event dilemmas. Just send her a question and she’ll be happy to impart her knowledge.

Dear Organised Olive,

It’s time for our annual global meeting. My problem is the evening, we have a lot of people that don’t necessarily know each other very well and quite a few with English as a second language. We have booked a quintessentially English venue for our overseas partners to experience but due to the diversity of languages any past attempts at networking during pre-dinner drinks have felt forced and uncomfortable. Do you have any suggestions on how to get the group talking and not just about the days conference?

Alice, London

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We are proud to be partnered with some of the best in the business, experts in their field who add that extra bit of magic and sparkle to our events.

Bespoke Event: Ice Skating with the Stars

Star/expert: Vicky Ogden, professional ice skater of three series of Dancing on Ice

When: December 2017

Where: Natural History Museum, London

Brief: Festive team activity

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Favourite cities for events? London, Barcelona, Paris, Sydney, Valetta.

Best indoor team building experience? Mosaic Building – new to the portfolio this year and a great way for a team to come together and achieve a final piece.

Quirkiest request? To source a giant inflatable burger!

Most impactful speakers? Debra Searle – still the only speaker to make me cry! Jim Lawless – who else could get 450 people pretending their conference chairs were horses?

Coolest new Fruitful Team Events activity? Too many to choose from but probably Escape Zone.

Cannes Goodness Saturday, 11th June, 2016

Having just come back from a fabulous site inspection to the south of France, we are buzzing with excitement of some new locations in and around Cannes. Most famous for events such as the Cannes Film Festival (which took place last week) and Cannes Boat Show, this is the perfect location to entertain clients or to treat your team.

Our trip this time took us by boat to a local island, through security gates onto the world-famous beach and into the old town for a taste of Provence. (more…)

Juicy Bits – Just Our Cup of Tea Saturday, 11th June, 2016

The Langham hotel, located in the heart of London’s Regent Street, is famed for being the birthplace of this decadent British tradition more than 150 years ago.  So with our love of tea and cake, we thought what better place to launch the Fruitful Team Events division?

Of course, this year the hotel has a new resident celebrity in Cherish Finden (Award winning Pastry Chef and hard hitting judge of the BBC’s Bake Off Crème de le Crème series) and we were delighted when she joined us to talk about her craft and welcome us to the Palm Court. (more…)

The More the Berrier… Sunday, 5th June, 2016

Welcome to the first edition e-newsletter of the new division of Crescendo Event Communication Ltd – we are Fruitful Team Events!

Over the last few months we have been working hard at the Potting Shed to hone our combined years of experience and consolidate, tweak, adapt and polish our products to create a fresh and innovative range of creative team experiences that area authentic and honest.
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Operation Spy! Thursday, 28th January, 2016

Cue super cool spy sound track…

Mission: To provide a fun afternoon that physically and mentally challenges a 40-person team made up of international delegates.

Location: The Grove, Hertfordshire

Challenges: High Ropes, Zip Line, Bomb Disposal, Segways and Radio Active

Agents… Mercedes Benz

An intrepid team of corporates braved the January elements to take part in Fruitful Team Events’ spectacular Spy School. (more…)