Team-building events are increasingly going down the technology route with ‘gamification’, virtual and augmented reality driving a market increasingly preoccupied with the wizardry of apps. Bob Scott, whose new company Event Collection has just been launched, has a slightly different take. All being well, he plans to drop willing corporate types from a helicopter into the freezing seas off the north coast of Scotland, speed them away to an island by an inflatable rib, and task them with surviving for a weekend using only their wits, guile and willingness to forage for any morsels of food they can uncover from their harsh, windswept surrounds.
It all sounds like a recipe for total disaster, but as the conversation develops I’m reassured that Event Collection exclusive deal to offer the Bear Grylls Survival Academy products in Scotland, will be strictly controlled by experts (including ‘Born Survivor’ Bear himself) and that anyone who undertakes such an endeavour, and has the sufficient corporate backing, will come out at the other end with not only the benefit of having gone through a rather extraordinary team-building ‘challenge’ but will also be able to look into the pit of their own souls knowing that they have achieved something far beyond the usual exigencies of the boardroom.
“I think this is an exciting product for the Scottish market,” says Scott, who was formerly Managing Director of ABC Events. We have the rights to deliver the Bear Grylls product in Scotland, which I think will be of great interest to potential clients. As team-building goes, this is taking it to the next level. I think the instincts of people nowadays is to go out and do something really out of the ordinary. This is the kind of product I enjoy delivering and I can’t wait to see the look of everyone when they’re finished -I think it’ll be great.”
Scott’s experiential event management company – which has clients including Dundee Heritage Trust, Newcastle Racecourse and Scottish Gas – currently has an office in Glasgow but is looking for new premises in Livingston; it has 30 products to offer clients now and plans to add another 15 by the end of the year – Scott aims to become a ‘one-stop shop’ for events and he wants to create an “ever-lasting experience”.
He’s going the right way about it with the Bear Grylls experience, I tell him, but I am relieved to discover that there are more intermediary elements to the product’s portfolio. He defines them as Grit Level 1, 2 and 3 – 1 being the most “laid back” and 3 the helicopter death leap. For 1 and 2, the emphasis will be on straightforward team challenges, involving stretcher racing or towing Land Rovers.
“I see this as being for everyone – the 18 -65 age range, so I don’t think it will necessarily put people off. The Grit Level 3 will be for smaller groups, of 10 to 20 but 1 and 2 can be for groups ranging from 10 to up to 300, so there is something there for everyone.”