It’s a fact. Business events held in country locations and properties can have a positive effect on meeting outcomes.

Okay, so it’s not actually proven that meetings away from the distractions of the office and the big city work better. But it certainly feels that way.

Often without mobile phone coverage (although this is becoming less frequent now), and without the ability to duck back into the office post-meeting to tidy up a few loose ends, or indeed disappear into the night at the day’s conclusion, conferencing in regional areas does seem to bring a group together.

And because of this it could be said that they can have more positive outcomes because everybody is on the same page and everybody is focused on the job at hand.

As invariably happens at two or three day meetings, there is the formal part of the conference program – held in meeting rooms – and then there is the informal part – breakfasts, lunches, dinners, intimate bars – where the magic can really happen. Discussions held as part of the conference program often spill over into the more informal periods and which can invariably lead to new ideas and insights.

Be it a sales and marketing meeting, planning meeting, or reengineering strategy, away from the office magic really is possible.

Take that one step further, step beyond your usual comfort zone by taking advantage of some of the activities that the region has to offer, and you’ll be surprised what can be achieved.

One regional body that is recognising what it can offer the meetings sector is Victoria’s Destination Gippsland organisation.

Its conference arm, Business Events Gippsland has recently launched a new workshop series for the MICE market designed to change the way businesses motivate and inspire their employees.

Breaking away from the traditional conference format, BE Gippsland has partnered with the region’s leading events venues and created conference offerings that promote physical activity and renewed wellness in a scenic and serene environment.

Behind the strategy are results from an Australian Health Survey released by The Australian Bureau of Statistics which says that adults spend an average of 39 hours of inactivity per week.

The physical implication of Australians’ lack of physical activity in day-to-day life has caused some health experts to claim ‘sitting is the new smoking’.

To combat the health risks associated with this issue, BE Gippsland is shouting ‘Surfs up for the Board’ and inviting businesses to add inspiration and motivation back into the workforce.

Like many of Victoria’s country areas, the Gippsland region is rich with natural beauty and inspiring outdoor adventures, boasting mountain summits, winding rivers, rugged coastline and breathtaking fern glades, and is also home to an impressive range of world-class business and meeting venues and large-scale conference centres.

The region’s natural landscape and scenery allows for a healthier and more engaging way to approach team-building activities and conferences. Offering a picturesque setting, workshop activities at Wilsons Promontory, for example, can test delegates with surf lessons while others explore the winding cycling and walking trails, familiarising themselves with the authentic untouched beauty of the Gippsland region.

Fresh, locally sourced produce will be supplied to energise and activate employees and showcase the benefits of living and feeling healthy.

Located within easy driving distance from Melbourne, Gippsland is an ideal location for businesses looking to motivate their staff to get outdoors and take positive steps towards increasing their personal health and wellbeing.

Product highlights for the business events market include RACV Resort Inverloch and Silverwater Resort along with breathtaking destinations like Wilson’s Promontory and Mt Baw Baw. m

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By Brad Foster