Team building activities

One of the most fun moments during events are without a doubt team building activities. We always try and arrange the most fun, creative activities we can think of – depending on our clients’ wishes, of course! Some team building activities we have organised in the past include rafting, zip lining, rock climbing, painting, and bouncy football.

This week, we have had a look around the most extreme and unusual team building activities out there. We must say, some of them are so wild we would have never come up with the idea!

We have compiled our top-10 list from this article on teambuilding.com. Would you dare try any of these?

1. Skydiving

Among the most unexpected team building exercises for a group. First-time participants need to take an orientation class to familiarise themselves with the basics, for example how to control breathing in high altitudes and opening the parachute for landing. Exciting activities to do as a team in the air include making formations, doing the free fall, and gliding.

2. Zorbing

Zorbing is a fun recreational team building activity for all seasons. Folks challenge themselves to roll down the hill or on water. During winter, team members can zorb on frozen lakes or ski on snow inside the inflatable ball. This activity is simple but engaging.

3. Bungee Jumping

One of the most unconventional team building ideas. To enjoy this challenge, participants must prepare themselves mentally for the leap. One plus is that the activity requires little to no physical preparation. Members can meditate while suspended to help calm anxiety and make the fall more bearable.

4. Sky Walking

A skywalk tour is one of the most thrilling adventures for groups. Team members can view fascinating sceneries from a very high-altitude area. Skywalk paths usually connect two natural high points like hills or cliffs. However, most cities have skywalk facilities extending from very tall buildings.

5. Camping

Camping is one of the unique team building activities that expose participants to learn some survival tactics. The event takes the team members out of their comfort zone to unfamiliar surroundings, and participants apply their skills and wisdom to thrive. For instance, finding food, shelter, and creating warmth. Camping helps participants to learn the art of solving problems through simple actions like recycling and improvising.

6. Scuba Diving

For a team that loves swimming or diving, scuba diving is among the best unusual team building ideas. For added fun, teams can include games like underwater scavenger hunts. Participants can have a list of prompts, including sea animals, plants, and features. Players can use underwater cameras to capture images of objects.

7. Blindfolded Cook-off

The blindfolded cook-off is among the original team building ideas to take cooking contests a notch higher. In this activity, the host instructs participants to prepare a meal on a given recipe. Participants first familiarise themselves with procedures and then put on the blindfolds. The host then sets the ingredients on the table, and the cooking begins. Participants should use all other senses to identify the ingredients and have a good memory of the recipe. In the end, participants taste the food and assess the best cook on blindfolds.

8. Dune Surfing

The desert’s rich attractions like oases, sand dunes, and plains make a fantastic option for a group outing. Teams can plan for a private corporate dune surfing event or book a slot with tour companies that sell desert experiences. Participants need to have sand boards to slide down the slope.

9. Sumo Wrestling

Sumo wrestling is among the most amusing, unusual team building ideas. This fun activity is probably the only chance for team members to outshine colleagues with their wrestling prowess without getting in trouble with HR.

10. Car Racing

Car races are fun activities for teams. Participants can enjoy speeding beyond traffic limits for a prize or title by heading to a controlled course. Participants unable or unwilling to drive at high speeds can opt to watch the races. If the team members are inexperienced car racing drivers, then the group can first take coaching classes at a nearby car racing academy or with the venue’s instructors.

2030 Winter Olympics

Just yesterday morning, we were getting excited about a piece of news released by the Swiss newspaper Le Temps. Chamonix seemed involved in a bid to host the 2030 Winter Olympics, along with the Swiss canton of Valais and the Italian Aosta Valley.

Chamonix hosted the first Winter Olympics back in 1924. Having another edition of the Games here in the valley would surely be exciting to many.

However, just a few hours after the announcement, Chamonix released a statement denying its involvement in the Olympics. “Following up on the many articles in the Swiss and French press this morning […] the project of a common candidacy for the Olympic Games […] is not on the agenda”.

Searching for a candidate

As this article on the subject explains, the IOC (International Olympic Committee) is struggling to find a candidate for the 2030 Winter Olympics. This especially after its first choice, the Japanese city of Sapporo, “paused” its bid due to public anger following a bribery scandal involving Tokyo 2020.

With a bid from Vancouver lacking the support of either the Provincial or State Government, Salt Lake City seemed like the last choice. But officials in the US seem to prefer a bid for the Games in 2034 to avoid a clash with the 2028 Summer Olympics scheduled in Los Angeles.

Last month, the IOC had announced it would postpone choosing a 2030 host.

As professionals of the events world we love to stay updated on matters like the Olympic Games. We will have our eyes open for new bids, and we will definitely keep dreaming about a future Olympic edition in Chamonix!

Patagonia

As an event business based in the Alps, we are well aware of the impact our choices might have on the environment. That’s why we work closely with local businesses, encourage coach transfers, and run a paper-free office, among other things. One of the environmentally-driven decisions we are most proud of is our choice of clothing for uniforms and gadgets. We use Patagonia – a brand internationally recognised for its sustainability.

Patagonia’s decisions as a company never cease to amaze us. In recent months, the founder Yvon Chouinard gave up ownership of the company and used the profits to fight climate change. Over the past few days, Patagonia has closed all stores in the U.S. and Canada to give employees some deserved rest over the holidays.

Patagonia CEO’s words

CEO Ryan Gellert recently made an announcement on Linkedin. “In 2021, we closed our stores […] for the last week of the year and gave employees paid time off. The purpose was to provide […] a much-needed break, and our customers were overwhelmingly gracious about it. 
 
We’re doing it again this year. Our North America stores […] will be closed from December 25 through January 1 because we believe in providing quality of life for our people. I want to thank Patagonia’s incredible employees for an amazing year of working to save our home planet […].”

Our experience

We couldn’t be happier with our Patagonia products. They are fun, extremely colourful, and use great quality materials. Most importantly, they are good for the planet! We purchased our Patagonia-branded Ten80 uniforms at our local store in Chamonix. It’s very easy to take them in for repairs, and we could even give them back once used in exchange for credit. Not that we intend to return those amazing uniforms anytime soon!

We would highly recommend Patagonia to anyone, whether in search of trusted technical material, or looking for a stylish everyday look. We will be happy to point you to our Patagonia local store next time you are in town!

A guide to Chamonix

Having been based in Chamonix for almost 20 years, we are obviously very fond of this town and all it has to offer. It’s always exciting to show our clients around this incredible destination! We work constantly to build local connections and discover new gems for our future events here.

That’s why we were quite curious when discovering an article recently published by The Guardian, where a local shares his tips for a stay in Chamonix. It puts together a guide to Chamonix that’s both very accurate and personal, and we definitely agree with its suggestions.

Here are some highlights from the article.

Food

Cool Cats in the Rue de Moulins is best in the summer when you can sit outside. But as it does artisan hot dogs and street food such as nachos, it can also be good when you’re coming off the mountain in winter.

Le‑Cap‑Horn, in the same street, is a good option for sushi but a bit more expensive. Being able to get good sushi makes Chamonix a bit special for a mountain town.

Inspiration

The mountains here are unique but I think what makes Chamonix special is that they are so accessible from the valley. And because this is the birthplace of alpinism, when you’re in the mountains you’re either on a historic route or you can see one. I enjoy just being in the mountains with good friends and family, but in town, the Maison des Artistes, an artist’s residence dedicated to musical creativity, has a concert programme that changes all the time and can be quite unusual.

Neighbourhood

Chamonix is incredibly international: people from all over the world are brought together by the mountains. This part of the Arve valley is divided into three main towns: Argentière, Chamonix and Les Houches. I live in a hamlet called Les Bois, between Chamonix and Argentière. Closest to me is another hamlet called Les Praz, which has a nice bar, Le Petit Social, for coffee or après ski.

On the other side is Le Lavancher and a 30-minute walk from that hamlet is la Buvette du Chapeau. This is a mountain cafe with traditional food (cheese, charcuterie, chanterelle omelettes) and desserts such as fruit tarts and faisselle (local fromage blanc) with blueberry jam.

Nightlife

Chamonix is a busy mountain town with lots of tourists so the nightlife is good. But my preferred way of spending an evening is getting the cable car to Plan de l’Aiguille and watching the sunset from the Refuge du Plan de l’Aiguille, which is a 15-minute walk from the cable car.

You can have dinner and stay the night there, too, but in summer I like to take a picnic and camp up there. It is my favourite refuge in the whole Mont Blanc range and the mountains are pretty steep from there on, so if I stay the night, I know I can soon be up and doing something interesting the next morning!

Stay

Pointe Isabelle, in the centre of town, is a hotel, bar and bistro with 72 rooms. It sits on a corner, so it’s a good place for apéro and people watching.

Christmas markets

Christmas is approaching and one of our favorite activities this time of year (aside from skiing!) is Christmas markets shopping.

We are lucky to be located a stone’s throw away from Italy and Switzerland, as well as Geneva airport – a gateway to most European destinations. This means we can easily organise trips to the best Christmas markets around Europe!

You might be wondering which markets are worth a visit this year – so we have found this list by The Times, compounding the best 24 Christmas markets in Europe for 2022. Here are the top 10 on the list.

1. Cologne, Germany

Cologne has several Christmas markets, the largest of which is in the city centre, beneath the cathedral. Markt der Engel provides some of the most magical moments, with hundreds of twinkling lights suspended overhead like stars, and angels flitting between elaborately decorated gables.

2. Salzburg, Austria

The pretty hometown of Mozart comes into its own at Christmas, with snow-sprinkled renditions of Silent Night (the carol was written and first performed nearby) and market stalls that look much as they did when they were first set up way back in the 15th century.

3. Berlin, Germany

For a more modern take on tradition, arty Berlin has it covered. The city centre is festooned with around 80 Christmas markets (there’s even one specifically for dogs), so don’t try to cover them all.

4. Budapest, Hungary

Igniting the Christmas atmosphere in mid-November, Budapest brings two Christmas market contenders to the table: Vorosmarty Square and Basilica. Vorosmarty Square is Budapest’s oldest Christmas market. Here, you’ll find plenty of food stalls, handicraft shops and free concerts. Basilica has all of the above, but with the slight edge: Christmas laser projections on the Basilica and an ice-skating rink that circles around a grand Christmas tree.

5. Prague, Czech Republic

Postcard-pretty Prague is perfect for the festive season. Make like a local and swap your mug of mulled wine for a glass of grog — rum, water, lemon and sugar.

6. Strasbourg, France

France’s “Capital of Christmas” looks like a real-life nativity scene at this time of year. You’ll find 300 traditional market stalls crowding the city’s central squares, doing a strong line in hand-painted wooden Christmas decorations.

7. Gothenburg, Sweden

Liseberg, Sweden’s most popular amusement park, morphs into one of the world’s classiest Christmas open-air markets — no creaky Ferris wheels, plastic Christmas trees or drunk elves here.

8. Bratislava, Slovakia

Christmas in the Slovakian capital is a time of childlike wonder. Fairy lights are draped around Christmas trees, while market stalls sell traditional wooden toys and handsome Christmas decorations.

9. Bohemia, Czech Republic

In search of Christmas decorations and Christmas lights beyond Prague? Head for the southern Bohemian cities of Ceske Budejovice and Cesky Krumlov and you’ll find two of the most atmospheric markets in Europe.

10. Vienna, Austria

Come Christmas and Vienna sparkles with fairy lights. Snowy streets glow as light spills out from vast palaces; icicles dangle off grandiose Habsburg buildings. Add in steaming drinks in made-to-linger coffee houses and you’ve got a city full of festive atmosphere that doesn’t feel twee.

Amsterdam

There’s a moment every event planner loves: receiving that confirmation e-mail where the client finally gives the go ahead for their next event. We have recently experienced this thrill in the office when one of our large corporate groups confirmed an event in Amsterdam for next summer.

Amsterdam is perhaps not your usual summer destination as clients tend to choose the mountains or seaside, especially for incentives. However, the city is perfect for an urban escape and extremely corporate-friendly.

Reasons to host an event in Amsterdam

In this article on Iamsterdam.com we found 7 reasons why Amsterdam is just the perfect event destination.

  1. Amsterdam is easily accessible by international train and plane (the airport is only 20 minutes away from the city centre by public transport). On top of that, it is a very compact city with short travel times between hotels, venues and restaurants. 
  2. It has great digital connectivity: Amsterdam is a tech hub with one of the strongest internet backbones in the world and a leader in innovation and applying new technology.
  3. There are more than 500 beautiful venues.
  4. There are more than 40,000 hotel rooms, all located close to the venues.
  5. It is an iconic international destination with 750 years of history to discover and countless things to see and do.
  6. It has an extensive knowledge and business network coupled with world-class universities and research centres.
  7. Amsterdam is known for its commitment to collaboration and social connectivity. Parties involved in your event are well-connected and accustomed to working together.

…And some rankings

On top of these very valid reasons to organise your event in Amsterdam, here are some top rankings involving the city:

#5 among world’s best cities for smart mobility

#6 city for international association meetings 2021 in Europe

#1 safest city in Europe and #6 worldwide

#1 sustainable European city

#3 best airport in Western Europe

#1 for direct connectivity and hub connectivity 

Needless to say, we are thrilled to explore this destination thoroughly and polish our local connections in preparation for our upcoming event!

Best ski resorts in Europe

We always strive to take our clients to incredible ski resorts all over Europe – and, recently, we discovered we might have selected just the best ones.

In an article on the Evening Standard we found a list of the 8 best ski resorts in Europe. To our delight, they have all been part of our event destination portfolio for a long time!

Here’s a shortened version of the list, in case you’d like to take a peek.

Val d’Isère, France

Best for: High-altitude style.

Party place: Cocorico at Rond Point — riotous ski-in après at the bottom of the piste.

Val d’Isère gives you everything you want in a resort, including snow-sure slopes for all levels and lots of breathtaking off-piste. There’s the buzzing social scene, with lots of live music and (expensive) champagne flowing at La Folie Douce.

Zermatt, Switzerland

Best for: Mountain magic.

Party place: Hennu Stall on the Furi-Zermatt slope — order the metre-long “ski” of shots.

It’s hard to take your eyes off the Matterhorn here, one of Switzerland’s most gorgeous images. For a classy alternative to après ski, try the boat-shaped Snowboat Bar beside the River Vispa in the centre of town, where gorgeous sushi is served with a huge selection of cocktails.

Les Arcs, France

Best for: Families, powder hounds… just about everyone.

Party place: Red Hot Saloon in Arc 1800 — live music and late-night partying.

What Les Arcs lacks in glamour it more than makes up for in incredibly varied terrain — think fun slopes, steep blacks, air-thinning peaks and sheltered woodland runs. Extend your lift pass to include La Plagne and take advantage of the new high-speed chairlift to Champagny-en-Vanoise.

Courchevel, France

Best for: Glitzy celeb-spotters.

Party place: Funky Fox in Courchevel 1650 — the place to see and be seen.

Don’t let Courchevel’s bling blind you to the superlative skiing in this starry corner of the Trois Vallées. This winter, expert skiers can tackle a new black run, Eclipse, which plunges into Le Praz at a drop of 970m and a 30 per cent gradient. Not for the faint hearted.

Cortina d’Ampezzo, Italy

Best for: Old-school glamour.

Party place: Janbo in the town centre — for late-night good times.

The classy queen of the Dolomites rivals anything in the Alps for its jaw-droppingly beautiful granite mountains. And now those pink-tinged peaks will be easier to reach with the new gondola linking Tofane with Cinque Torri’s fabulous Super 8 circuit — and, ultimately, the Sella Ronda circuit.

Verbier, Switzerland

Best for: Off-piste heaven.

Party place: Hotel Farinet in the town centre — look out for flame throwers and bar dancing.

Verbier offers an exhilarating taste of the high life — its off-piste is among the best in the world. The new high-speed Médran gondola between Verbier and Les Ruinettes will make life so much easier. This winter’s new Mont 4 Zipline, the highest in Europe, starts at 3,300m and whooshes you at 100km/h until your head spins.

Kitzbühel, Austria

Best for: Medieval beauty and World Cup racing.

Party place: The Londoner — an English party pub, not for the faint-hearted.

Every January, crowds descend on Kitzbühel to watch the World Cup’s most thrilling downhill race on the Hahnenkamm course. But there’s so much more, including an enchanting medieval centre and 233km of varied slopes. Mileage-hungry skiers can test the new circuit between SkiWelt and KitzSki, the longest in the world.

Morzine-Avoriaz, France

Best for: Village atmosphere.

Party place: Hotel Le Tremplin at the foot of Pléney — the annual closing party is not to be missed.

These neighbours in the Portes du Soleil make a perfect couple. You’ve got pretty Morzine with its traditional Savoyard chalets and can also hop on the cable car to futuristic Avoriaz and its high-altitude slopes.

A luxury chalet ski deal

It’s been two years since Covid turned the events and travel world inside out. No more company outings, incentive trips, or corporate travel allowed. What a nightmare!

We have been extremely grateful for events resuming slowly over the past year or so, and we have just had one of our busiest summers. Now, it’s time to offer a little incentive on ski trips!

We are proposing an amazing, luxury ski deal to our clients for this upcoming spring. It will be hosted in Chalet Wapiti, a modern and bright mountain luxury retreat.

Here are some details of our deal, based on 16 guests.

 Included at £1350pp (based on 16 pax):

  • Sun 12- Wed 15 March 2023
  • 3 nights at Chalet Wapiti, Chamonix
  • Exclusive use of the chalet
  • Return airport transfers from Geneva
  • Fully catered inc. open bar
  • 3-day ski passes
  • Ski or snowboard equipment hire
  • 2 dedicated ski instructors throughout
  • Ten80 Event hosting service

More about Chalet Wapiti:

  • 10 ensuite bedrooms
  • Spa and sauna facilities
  • Walking distance to town
  • Private chef
  • Chalet host
  • Ski boot heaters
  • In resort transport

Are you interested to know more? Contact us via email: info@ten80events.com or by calling: +33 (0) 672 659 2212 

We hope to see you there!

Verbier

Winter’s back again and we are super busy planning our events for the ski season. After two years of closed borders and restrictions, we are excited to embark on overseas trips again. This winter, we will finally be back in one of our favourite Swiss ski resorts: Verbier.

One of the advantages of living in Chamonix is proximity to the Italian and Swiss border. We often take our clients over to Courmayeur, the Italian and sunny side of Mont Blanc. Pizza, coffee and après are quite amazing there! However, for a more glamorous touch and a very cheesy experience, we are also just a stone throw’s away from the Swiss resort of Verbier.

Here’s how the resort is described on seeverbier.com:

“Verbier has developed into a glamorous winter playground for anyone who wants to splash the cash. It’s an expensive resort but with its superb skiing, international clientele, high-quality accommodation and phenomenal bars and restaurants, it’s most certainly worth it.

Situated in the canton of the Valais, Verbier is bordered by France to the west and Italy to the south. It’s about a two-hour drive from Geneva airport, or you can take a train from the airport to Le Chable and then hop onto the gondola to the centre of resort.

Verbier suits both the keen skier, with its amazing and easily accessible off-piste, and the more leisurely skier who enjoys cruising the blues before relaxing on a sun lounger for the afternoon. It’s also the perfect spot for the après-ski enthusiast, with a world-famous selection of lively bars and clubs.”

We can’t wait to have our clients discover this exciting resort. Verbier’s unmatched skiing, elegant vibe and party scene are always a guarantee for a successful event. Not to mention the top-quality cheese!

Mountains on Stage

There is a mountain film festival we look forward to every year: Mountains on Stage. If you are a lover of the mountains like us, you won’t want to miss this year’s edition.

Mountains on Stage is a film festival aiming to bring the mountains into cities with a selection of the world’s best mountain-related films. These include sports such as skiing, mountaineering, climbing or paragliding.

As explained on the festival’s website, Mountains on Stage was born in 2013, when founders Cyril and Manon met Yves Exbrayat – organiser of “Les Rencontres du Cinéma de Montagne de Grenoble” festival. The event gathered more than 3000 spectators each night during 5 nights.

Cyril and Manon decided to develop their own mountain film festival in Paris, using the same concept of Grenoble’s festival. The projection of mountain films would be followed by the intervention of their protagonists on stage. A true moment of sharing and exchanging. 

The festival was born in March 2013 and has since then grown year after year, in France as well as in Europe.

We will be watching the 2022 edition in Chamonix, where our offices are based, but films will be broadcasted all over Europe starting December 7th. If you are a mountain nerd like us, you might want to go check the nearest projection to you!

The MoonBike

There’s a new, sustainable way to get around in the Alps: the MoonBike. If you have never heard of it, read on.

As we found out in this article on Euronews, the idea of building an electric snow bike came to Nicolas Muron – CEO of MoonBikes – in 2015, when visiting his grandparents’ home in the French Alps. He made a simple observation: transportation options are infinite in the summer months, but when winter comes around, heavily polluting cars and snowmobiles are the only viable option.

Nicolas took on the challenge of finding a solution. He created the world’s first electric snow bike – an ambitious undertaking aimed at protecting the environment he calls home, and having some fun along the way.

A sustainable solution

At just 87 kilograms, the MoonBike provides a speedy alternative over three times lighter than a conventional snowmobile. But while ergonomic factors remain a key selling point for Muron’s design, his main drive lies in bringing sustainability to an industry infamous for its gas-guzzling.

Fossil-fuel powered skidoos cause significant damage to land cover, affecting vegetation growth throughout the year. In one hour, a typical snowmobile can emit as much hydrocarbon as a 2008 model automobile emits in 86,000 kilometres of driving. Their exhaust fumes contain dangerous levels of toxins, degrading air quality and altering snow chemistry for good.

The MoonBike, meanwhile, can cover up to 64 kilometres with a single 2.5 kilowatt battery. It can climb groomed slopes with a 40 per cent steepness, and boasts top speeds of up to 42 kilometres per hour. “In the powder snow, it seems like skiing or snowboarding,” says Muron. “Because it’s completely silent, you really feel like you’re sliding, you can really curve lines just like you do when skiing.”

You can watch a video of the MoonBike in action here.

The future of skiing

With temperatures continuing to rise due to climate change, the future of skiing is undeniably in danger. Ski seasons are starting later and getting shorter each year. As an event agency based in the Alps, we are particularly sensitive to this issue. That’s why we are always interested in ski resorts’ plans for re-designing the future of the mountains.

Skiing up higher

An interesting article on France 24 explores three different models implemented by ski resorts in France. The first one is Valloire (Savoie), whose manager Jean-Marie Martin has chosen to close ten lower-altitude slopes and open four new ones higher up.

This 8-million investment will allow to get 30 to 40 more years of alpine skiing out of the resort. In the long term, though, the plan is to diversify away from the “ski only” model, creating a year-round resort.

Artificial snow

With average snowfalls dropping significantly, it is logical to think about increasing snow production. However, this process takes energy and requires vast quantities of water to be stored, so that it’s ready for cold enough temperatures to start production. This often means creating artificial lakes.

This solution hasn’t been taken well by the community in La Clusaz (Upper Savoie). Creating an artificial lake in a forest would entail felling trees and threatening biodiversity. Even though local authorities insist that the lake could also serve local farmers and be a source of drinking water, two thirds would be reserved for snowmaking. 

Diversification

Contrary to La Clusaz, the Métabief resort in the France’s Jura region has anticipated the resort’s last ski season in the early 2030s. Olivier Erard, the resort manager, is working to ensure economic alternatives are in place. These could be year-round attractions such as mountain biking, hiking and paragliding.

We think these plans to implement changes are very good news: the future of skiing as an activity might be uncertain, however, mountain tourism is continuously evolving and is definitely very far from ending.