Survival of the Fittest
Having been to Orlando, Florida numerous times, our client said they had “done and seen it all.” Or so they thought. Hello! Florida (Central) was asked to create an “out of the box” teambuilding activity that would physically and mentally engage 500 attendees of a stock market index’s global sales conference. We chose to host the event at Wekiva Island—a naturally picturesque area along the Wekiva River—to give guests a unique and authentic Florida experience. Everything was in place for us to deliver a flawless event, but Hurricane Irma had other plans.
Let's Start at the Beginning
We developed a custom, Survivor-inspired teambuilding activity where our client’s guests would compete in five different challenges to earn beads/points:
Buddy Skis: Teams competed relay-style to get all teammates to the end of their lane and back while paired on two-person buddy skis.
Flying Frogs Slingshot: Teams had to transport a dozen frogs one-by-one in an over/under relay from one end of their lane to the other. Guests then lined up to launch the frogs for their teammates to catch with a burlap sack.
Trivia Challenge: Teams selected their best and brightest to compete in two rapid-fire, hot-seat rounds of trivia.
Symbol Search: Each team received a tiki torch that held a laminated card with a series of symbols. Teams sent representatives, one at a time, to a central pile of rocks to find and bring back the rocks that matched the symbols on the laminated card.
Black Out/Bug Out: One teammate donned a pair of blackout goggles before making their way to the other side of their lane without stepping on any of the “poisonous” bugs or snakes strewn across their path. Teammates could only shout directions to help them navigate the danger.
Final Relays: The top five teams were invited to continue competing in the final relays.
- Round 1 – Tied in Knots: Tribes were given a long rope with several knots. The teams had to work together to untangle all of the knots in the rope while making sure that one teammate had a hand on the rope at all times. The first four teams to accomplish this moved on to the next round!
- Round 2 – Braving the Bamboo: Tribes rushed down to the water to fill small, half-coconut shaped cups or sponges and bring them back to the “bamboo” standing upright in their lane. They poured the water into the bamboo only to discover the bamboo had holes! Tribe members had to plug the holes with their fingers to fill the bamboo with enough water to float a ball to the top. Once they retrieved the ball, they had to fling it off a bamboo mat and land it inside a basket. The first three teams to complete this challenge continued to the final round.
- Round 3 – Canoe Race: It was the final fight to the finish! Two members from each team raced their canoes to the finish to claim victory.
Keep Calm and Build On
Our initial challenge was to organize 500 people through relay races on an island that had never been rented for a full-day, private event. After some creative designing, we found a solution that would break the group into 50 groups of 10 and rotate them through the competitions. The client loved the idea and we pushed forward in producing this highly organized, logistically challenging event.
Then Hurricane Irma set its sights on Florida, and the event had to be cancelled just one week prior to its start date. Wekiva Island flooded with over four feet of water, and our hopes of being able to continue the event were washed away. The event was rescheduled to mid-October, causing a mad scramble to redesign and produce new branding as well as reconfirm the staff, suppliers, venue, food and beverage, and more. Once we were on site, the islands unpaved roads were still extremely muddy, causing a significant problem in getting our buses to a good drop-off location. Yet experience meant our team of professionals had the knowledge to navigate the roads successfully and strategically place the buses to provide our guests with easy access.
The Final Exclamation
We were able to give our client and their guests a one-of-a-kind, authentic Florida experience at one of our local hidden gems. Attendees absolutely loved it; they were still talking about it over the next few days of the program! The company’s executives had a great time themselves, and our main stakeholder was incredibly happy with both the venue and the event.
No hurricane was going to keep Hello! Florida (Central) from producing the program our client had envisioned. It’s what we do!