Sophia Loren’s Lips & Inspired Venues

Within a breath of Sophia Loren’s lips, I had a revelation. With lavender in the air and a panoramic view over the rolling vineyards of the Emilia-Romagna, many would be inspired to create art, be philosophical or make love. Being a trainer, my first thought is “this is a good place for a team event”.

Mundane perhaps, but that is why I am here. I am hosting a teambuilding on the outskirts of Parma, at the Gavinell – The private botanical garden where they hold the Miss Italia pageant. In my hand, the microphone that listened to Sophia Loren’s sultry whispers, transmitted Bruce Willis’s comic chatter and felt the vibrations of the long legged candidates from across this well heeled country. The surroundings infiltrate the audience, lift me to a higher plane and set an expectation for a great event.

Selecting the right venue for your team event is the first step in making it a success. While we all want to be able to apply the results in our usual work place, there is no question that getting out of the office is the best way to get clarity about what goes on there.


Questions to ask, when selecting a venue and setting up a team event:


What is the event goal? The place should reflect this goal and be set up to achieve it.
What is the theme? Develop a theme that unites your concept, speakers, signage, goals and results.
What results will be generated? Use the space to reinforce your messages and showcase your results.
What atmosphere do you need? The place will influence people to be creative, reflective or practical.
Is it a welcoming space? Make participants feel special – flowers, signs, personalised name tags, gifts.
How to set up the chairs? Use Feng Shui to influence collective spirit and inclusiveness group energy.
What are your logistical requirements?
Make a check list and review it with the venue organiser.
Can you use venue images? Create a visual code that combines the space with your theme and brand.
Who will support you at the venue? Talk to the tech team, food team and venue manager.
Is the space available on your date? See if you can have exclusive deal to avoid distractions.
Is it easy to get to? Ensure a simple way to get there, to avoid grumpy commuters.
Can you avoid traditional facilities? Try a private restaurant room, art gallery or bookstore.
Does the venue provide any freebies? Free paper, shuttles and drinks add to savings and experience.
Can you imagine ‘what if’ scenarios? Consider last minute changes to participant numbers/needs.

Stimulating Ideas & Building Futures