5 Winter Team Building Ideas in Vilnius

Vilnius is still the least visited of the Baltic capitals, and we have a really hard time understanding why. The captivating and charming Lithuanian capital boasts one of the largest and best preserved old towns in Europe, and thanks to the surrounding hills and the river Neris running through it is also one of Europe’s greenest capitals.

The city is also full to the brim of unique and exciting things to do. Besides interesting tours and breathtaking nature experiences, Vilnius is also the perfect place for a team building trip. We offer more than 50 unique team building incentives in Lithuania and to give you a quick overview we have collected five of our most popular ones.

Scroll down to the infograph below to learn more about Soviet interrogations, medieval feasts, hot saunas and challenging winter games. For more information and ideas for team building activities in Vilnius, please don’t hesitate to contact our local manager.

 

Summer Amsterdam act (1)

 

To read more about or to book these activities, click here:

1. Soviet Bunker
2. Medieval Evening
3. Sauna Experience
4. Curling
5. Ice Fishing

Best Christmas Markets in Europe

The holidays are drawing near and what better way to get into the festive spirit than by strolling through a cosy, snow covered Christmas market. To help you choose where to head, we have put together a list of the best christmas markets in Europe.

 

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Berlin

Germany is after all the birthplace of Christmas markets with a history dating all the way back to the 15th century. Every December Berlin transforms in to a Yuletide fest when the city host no less than 60 different markets! So whether you are into traditional markets, home made food, gospel choirs, organic products, ice rinks, roller coasters or handicraft you are bound to find something in this delightful capital!

 

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Budapest

Recently named the cheapest Christmas market in all of Europe this is the perfect place if you are on a budget. The market, however, will give you anything but a cheap feeling. Located in the heart of Budapest the market offers a piece of true Christmas spirit. The small wooden houses, the smell of Hungarian honey cookies and the traditional Langos will lure you in to this world of magic. A giant advent calendar covers the facade of the Gerbeaud building and with over 100 stalls, live music and puppet shows Budapest is sure to bring you into the holiday feeling.

 

Riga christmasRiga

Snow covered cobalt streets, the smell of mulled wine and roasted almonds. Latvia’s capital offers a magical fair where you can pick up traditional Christmas sweets, delicious smoked meat products and locally made handicraft. From the stage you will hear traditional Latvian Christmas songs together with the classic Christmas melodies. There are workshops where you can learn the art of stitch craft, a stall from which you can send your Christmas cards and the spectacular UNESCO protected old town gives the market the ultimate Christmas ambiance.  For more information about Christmas Markets in Riga check out this post.

 

tallinn christmas

Tallinn

Tallinn’s Christmas market is like a living fairy tale where anything is possible. Live animals, pony rides, snow sculptures created in front of your eyes, the glimmering lights and Christmas trees and this stunning medieval town which offers the perfect backdrop. The Christmas dwarf will lead the children to Santa’s workshop where they can tell him their wish lists and visit his reindeers. For the grown up there’s a great selection of traditional Estonian Christmas food to be tried and hot, alcohol filled drinks to keep you warm.

 

prague christmas

Prague

The gigantic lit Christmas trees and the small wooden stalls in contrast with the gothic skyline of the city makes this market truly magical. Take a stroll around the stalls, pick up a handmade gift for your loved ones, try the traditional barbecued sausages or the sweet pastry ‘Trdelník. Although there is plenty of mulled wine to go around, what would Prague be with out its beer? So enjoy a Pilsner Urquell, Staropramen, Budvar or any of the other delicious brews this country has to offer. Visit baby Jesus and the three wise men at the Bethlehem scene, and get into the holiday spirit with the Children Christmas choir’s sweet voices filling the cold, crispy winter air.

 

Travel Out There can organise a City Code Game around one of these markets for you and your colleagues! Effectively gamifying your christmas shopping! If you are looking for some festive ideas to celebrate christmas with your colleagues – please do check out our Christmas Incentive page. 

Happy Independence Day Latvia

Today marks the 96th anniversary of the Proclamation of the Republic of Latvia and it is one of the most important national holidays in Latvia.

On the 18th of November 1918 a group of dedicated nationalist gathered and proclaimed the republic of Latvia, after a long history of foreign oppression (from Sweden and Russia among others).

The independence came to a halt again during the second world war when Latvia became a forced part of Soviet Union, which it remained until the beginning of the nineties.

Latvia actually have three independence days: November 18th (1918) as mentioned above, May 4th (1990) when the declaration of restored independence was proclaimed and August 21st (1991) when Latvia de facto broke loose from the dissolving Soviet Union and became an independent country again.

Both the 18th of November and 4th of May are national holidays in Latvia.

 

Get Cooking with our Culinary Team Building

Through out time, food has always been a natural way to gather, sit down and enjoy each other’s company. And let’s face it, everyone loves food! We love to buy it, eat it, talk about it and even watch TV shows about it.

That’s why Culinary Workshops are the perfect choice for team building. It is also a great way to get to know the local culture, and of course to get your creative juices flowing and competitive nerve on the edge.

We offer many different types of Culinary Team Building activities around our destination. In our Gastronomic tours you start off by going to the local markets and learning about the regional ingredients before you head back and prepare them together with the guidance of a professional chef.

How a Interactive Cooking Event can look
In our Cook-off you compete against the clock and each other in preparing different recipes, which you later sit down and enjoy together.

You can also learn to prepare local specialties such as the Lithuanian Zeppelein, Spanish Paella, or the Georgian Khinkali or Chakhokhbili, just to mention a few.

We also have specific food classes, like the delicious chocolate challenge where you not only get to make your own pralines, you also have to package it and think of how to market it. We have a sushi classes where you will learn to master the japanese delicacy. If you are more into drinking than eating we also offer cocktail and wine making workshops.

Chocolate Challenge
No matter which type of workshop you choose you have to make sure to work together as a team and communicate efficiently. Because we all know that too many cooks may spoil the broth. Other than practicing effective communication you will also practice following instructions and attention to detail, managing changes and of course a few culinary tricks.

To learn more about our Culinary workshops, click here, or contact our local managers for more information.

Most Creative Marketing Campaigns 2014 (so far)

At Travel Out There we love fresh thinking and creativity. In fact, it is one of the core ideas of our business. That’s why we love brilliant marketing campaigns, as they show how far you can go if you just dare to think a bit outside of the box.

Below we have collected six of our favorite creative marketing campaigns for 2014.

 

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1. Transfer wise – RIP Hidden fees

Transferwise held a parade in central London featuring almost naked people covered in body paint, a hearse and a huge inflatable tombstone reading R.I.P. Hidden fees. Watch the video here

 

2. Volkswagen – Eyes on the road

Mobile use in now the number one cause of traffic accidents. See how Volkswagen shocked a whole cinema audience into getting the message.

 

3. Smart – The Dancing Traffic Light

As a part of their campaign #whatareyoufor, Smart cars created a dancing traffic light under the title For a safer city, aimed to make people wait and watch instead of walking through the red light.

 

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4. A Waterstones Sleepover

The Brittish bookstore chain Waterstones turned a mishap into a great PR campaign. When an american visitor by mistake got locked inside their store after closing hour a few weeks ago, his plead for help on Twitter quickly went viral and got headlines all over the world.

A few days after, Waterstones decided to make another lock-in, but this time intentionally. They launched a competition, giving 10 guests the opportunity to spend the night at their store on Trafalgar Sqaure.

The competition was advertised as an accommodation on AirBnB and the applicants were asked to state which book they would read if they found themselves locked inside a bookstore for a night. The competition got over 1200 entries, over 4000 likes on facebook, not to mention all the media attention.

 

5. Thea’s Wedding

During September this year, Norweigan speakers were able to follow 12-year old Thea’s wedding blog, where she shared the preparations for her wedding with 37-year-old Geir. Just as any normal wedding blogger, Thea shared selfies of herself trying on dresses, picking flowers and choosing cake for the wedding as well as sharing her thoughts on quitting school and getting married to a 25 year older man.

She got over a million readers, and many of them outraged by the story contacted the Norweigan police to stop the marriage of the underaged girl. The blog and wedding were not true however, it was a brilliant marketing campaign from the Norweigan NGO Plan, aiming to highlight that 39,000 children a day are forced into marriage worldwide. The blog is unfortunately only available in norwegian, but you can read more about the campaign here.

 

6. This is a Generic Brand Video

This is a good example of how great it can turn out if you dare to not be so serious and have a dose of self irony. Stock video provider Dissolve, made a parody video of the stereotypes used in brand videos. The script was based on the piece “This is a Generic Brand Video”  by Kendra Eash (originally published on McSweeney’s Internet Tenedency). The video of course featured their own stock videos and the result is hilarious.

Five Funniest News From Our Destinations

Being a network of local experts doesn’t only mean knowing the best venues and greatest sights of the cities. It also means keeping track of all the crazy, unusual things happening around our destinations.

So we decided to take a short look at the funniest and strangest news from around our destinations from the last month. Make way for penis socks, sexy potatoes and seal celebrities.

Reality show for seals

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Estonia

Although it was recently discovered that Estonia is the least Selfie-taking nation among the Baltic countries, their animals are anything but camera shy. The Looduskalender.es (nature calendar) has been recognized world wide for their live web cameras capturing animals both in the wild and in zoos.

The latest in the addition of cameras is one set up on the biggest nesting sites for grey seals in Vilsandi Island. And although the baby seals are not expected until end of December, some seals have already started arriving and can be watched around the clock here. We don’t know about you, but we feel a need to bookmark this page right away!

 

2. The Penis Sock

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Serbia

The Serbian TV host Jovan Memedovic caused a media storm last week in Serbia when he visited a Bosnian village and tried on their traditional underwear known as nakurnjak. The underwear, perhaps best described as a penis sock, is a knitted sock that is designed to protect the male pride during long cold winters. If this isn’t the perfect christmas gift for dad we don’t know what is. You can watch the whole clip here (fast-forward to 22.60).

 

3. A Corrupted Board game

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Spain

A 22-year old spanish student decided to turn the country’s many corruption scandals in to a business idea. Corruptopolis is a board game where the players win by answering questions about real life corruption scandals that have taken place in the country. The founder has put it up on crowd funding, hoping to race €6.500 to make the game a reality. So far she has already made over  €3000. If you feel like making a contribution, you can do it here.

 

4. Race against the tube

Czech Republic

In Prague a group of runners decided to try to beat the metro by foot. The race took place in between the stations Hůrka and Nové Butovice, a distance of 748 meters. The results? The metro beat the runners with a few seconds! Click here to watch the whole race.

 

5. Sexy potatoes

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Germany

For the third year in a row Bavarian Farmers Association have released their Heisse Kartoffel (hot potato) calendar. The calendar features half naked woman posing provocative next to various types of potatoes.

No, it is not a joke. And according to the Bavarian Farmers Association it is a big hit.

This is not the first time the Association do something like this. In 2011 they released another type of erotic calendar, featuring women doing farmer work in their underwear. The idea behind the calendar was to make farming more alluring to young people, and it was also thought as an, as they said, “homage to all the young women farmers in Germany who support agricultural work in a self-confident and fun manner”.

 

The Pursuit of Prime

Have you ever wondered why some organizations are meant to grow and succeed, while others fail? What are the ingredients of success in business and how to maintain the stage of prime – an aspiration of any organization or individual?

There are many theories and models trying to explain the perfect business plan, organizational structure, management or leadership styles. Last week Austin, Liene and me got the opportunity to dig into one of them – Adizes methodology of management which is exceptionally consistent and covers all the parts of business studies. The name of the conference “Breakthrough to Prime!” might have sounded exaggerating and set very high expectations. But they were met. Over and above.

Adizes methodology may not be groundbreaking, but I personally have found it fascinating how all the tiny bits connect together and suddenly everything starts to make sense. You realize that an organization is just like a child, it needs constant care, different at each stage of its lifecycle. It cannot reach the prime when just started, just like a toddler cannot grow into adult skipping adolescence. There are the right mistakes to make and the right lessons to learn at each stage. And yes, only by them and constant change we do move upwards, all the way to the prime. No matter the size or purpose of the organization, as long as it has room and willingness for improvement, it is going the right direction.curve

The last but not the least: all the knowledge gained is perfectly suitable from individual to business units, or even your relationships, if that is the part in your life missing management.

Travel Out There Tip 9

This week we discuss how smart smart phones are. Or rather how smart we are using our smart phones all the time.

Enjoy!

 

Transcript of the video

Time and attention are the commodities that everyone seems to be fighting for these days. Therefore I would like to sincerely thank you all for taking the time to hear me out!

If i was to sit here and be talking to you holding this book in my face it would seem disrespectful and impolite right?  Is this any different?!   

Please take a moment to think how smart you are continually using your precious smart phone. My greatest mentor, my dad, still refuses to possess a mobile phone. A feat that i hugely respect him for…he meets you at the time he states, he does what he says and enjoys reading a newspaper.

I have ‘UnSmarted’ myself since we have started Trooving.  Troving means Traveling, Moving and Living. I will talk to you about this another day.

But I have gone from this (a smart phone) to this (an un-smart phone)!

So what is the impact?

More time to think and more importantly dream!

I have rekindled some hobbies such as photography, writing and sketches.  carrying around this MYPAD rather than an IPAD.

Most importantly made me appreciate the moment more and the people i am with.

These phones are designed for talking nothing else…which really simplifies life, doesn’t it?

Plus the battery last much longer, so you don’t have to worry about charging your phone all the time.

Why not think about un-smarting?

Georgia Meetings and Incentives Guide

 The Ultimate Georgia Meetings and Incentives Guide

– All you need for a successful event –

Georgia is an amazing country full of natural wonders, an unique character and of course, the renowned Georgian hospitality. explore this unforgettable country and the magical Tbilisi. Georgia is also a new and exciting Meetings and Incentive destination and your conference here can easily be combined with activities and tours that will make your heart beat faster, full with excitement or completely opposite – will take you to a remote and untouched corner where you can forget about the city rush and simply relax

We have put together the ultimate Georgia Meetings and Incentives Guide, containing everything you need for a successful conference, gala dinner or corporate event in Georgia.

Click on the links for more info about venues and activities.

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 Meeting Venues

Marriott Hotel

Marriott Hotel

Meetings and Event venues in Georgia

For 20 attendees: Conference halls of Marriott or Radisson

For 50 attendees
: Yacht Club near Tbilisi sea

For 100 attendees: Training Center near Bazaleti Lake on the way to Stepantsminda

For 200 attendees
: Funicular Restaurant in Tbilisi

For  500 attendees
: Philharmonic Hall in Tbilisi

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 Hotels

Rooms Hotel

Rooms Hotel

Conference Hotels in Georgia

1)
 Marriott Hotel, Tbilisi
Reason: 
It is located in the center of the city, close to cultural and social centers

2) Holiday Inn, Tbilisi
Reason: It is affordable, close to city center and represents high quality standards in service and accommodation

3)
 Rooms Hotel, Stepantsminda
Reason: Located in one of most beautiful areas of Georgia, in the spot above Stepantsminda village. It offers high quality accommodation and service, minimalistic design, and beautiful and wide views in Caucasus mountains

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Restaurants

Pheasant's Tears

Pheasant’s Tears

Restaurants in Georgia ideal for incentives

1)
 Pur Pur, Tbilisi
Reason: 
Comfy and atmospheric design, good service, big choice of good quality wines. European cuisine

2)
 Restaurant in Rabati Fortress, close to Akhaltsikhe
Reason: Placed in Rabati Fortress, possibility of marveling ruins and reconstructed parts of 14th century fortress

3) Pheasant’s Tears
Reason: Located in city center, famous of its wine cellars and wine. Wine and cha-cha tasting available. Very good quality of meals and service. Comfy and traditional design interior

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Banquet Venues

Kopala

Kopala

Banqueting venues in Georgia for larger incentives

1) Ludis Moedani Restaurant, Tbilisi
Reason: Georgian dance and folk music performances every day, traditional Georgian cuisine and traditional Georgian design. Friendly and qualified service

2) Kopala, Tbilisi
Reason: Located in the centre, presenting wide and breath taking view to the Old City with terrace on the roof, high quality service, European design and cuisine

3) Georgian Night, Batumi
Reason: Located on the way to Batumi. Offering a wide range of activities e.g: learning how to make break, cook Georgian traditional food, dance Georgian traditional dances and much more

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Must See’s

Gergeti Monastery

Gergeti Monastery

3 must see’s in Georgia during your incentive

1)
 Narikhala Castle
Reason: Ancient fortress located on the mountain, in the City Center being easily accessible to include in the day tour

2)
 Gergeti Monastery, Stepantsminda
Reason: Located near Stepantsminda village at the height of 2170 meters above sea level, surrounded by Caucasus mountains

3)
 David Gareji Monastery
Reason: Easily accessible cave monastery complex, located on the border of Azerbaijan and surrounded by hills and deserts

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Incentive Ideas

Paragliding

Paragliding

Georgia incentive ideas and team building activities

1)
 Helicopter tour around Stepantsminda
Reason: Possibility to rent Russian military helicopter or any other aircraft. Unforgettable view of the nature and the cold and inaccessible Caucasus mountains

2)
 Rafting on one of Georgia’s rivers
Reason: Could be part of wider choice of activities, assigned to team building or simply one day tour to Georgian forests or mountains, passing by ancient national heritage venues

3)
 Paragliding (up to 30 ppl) with 4×4 off road trip
Reason: Two extreme and out-of-the-ordinary experiences. We suggest you try in the mountainous and widely open areas, famous for its wild and bare nature

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Gift Ideas

churchkhela

Churchkhela (Georgian candy)

Example small souvenirs / giveaways

1) Chapacha – Georgian national hat from Kazbegi region

2)
 A bottle of Georgian wine

3) Churchkhela – Georgian candy made of grape juice and nuts.

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agris cu

 

 

If you want more ideas and tips or want to book a corporate event in Gerogia, don’t hesitate to  contact Agris, Travel Out There’s local event manager in Georgia.