RETREADING THE EXCO FOOTPRINT ON A CORPORATE SAFARI EVENT
Making their own unique set of safari tracks across the African landscape, Auto and Truck Tyres, a leading South African tyre company based in Gauteng, ventured out of town on a weekend safari to Hayward’s Safari Sanctuary to strategise and adventure into new territory.
With a constantly evolving business, Founder and CEO Rob Beaumont wanted to head into the quiet creativity of the African bushveld with his newly developed Exco team to pin down a defined strategy to meet their 2020 vision of national expansion.
“Our business had hit a plateau of sorts and we needed to identify the key areas that required improvement for growth and sustainability. We decided we needed to get away from the daily grind and collectively come up with solutions.”
Their private 5-star, two-day conference event, kicked off with welcome drinks and an orientation bush walk through the reserve and into main camp where the team was welcomed by a traditional African hand-washing ceremony.
Describing their think-tank environment, Beaumont said, “It was a golden opportunity to get away and work in the tranquility of nature and expose our team to the luxury experience that is Hayward’s Safari’s. Our budget was somewhat constrained due to the number of team members that needed to attend but Hayward’s complimented our budget and went above and beyond, even ensuring we had DSTV to watch the rugby. Haywards really is a luxury safari; each dining experience was amazing, and the service levels of their hospitality staff really stood out for us.”
Evening brings its own magic in the bushveld, agrees Beaumont, “The dining tent was beautifully set up in the evenings and the food was truly memorable. Eating al fresco for the lunches was also highly refreshing for our team, who rarely get the chance to get out for lunch in the busy city. For our Exco partners, a safari trip was the order of the day until the pre-dinner fire side experience which allowed for winding down and building team morale in a relaxed and tranquil setting.”
Corporate Adventure Thinktank
Tell your top team that you’re taking them camping and there is often an awkward silence, but not for Auto Truck and Tyre. “The overnight luxurious camping experience was wonderful and surprised most of our team. We all started the next day’s activities well rested and relaxed.
“Hayward has got their attention to detail down to a fine art; from arrival to departure no detail or need was forgotten; each individual aspect of service delivery was as important as the other as that is what created the overall experience. The five-star luxury elements which combined with camping – something which is usually regarded as “roughing it” – was refreshing and everyone’s preferences were catered to.”
Asked to name three highlights of their safari that deserved special attention, Beaumont says, “I know it’s not usual to list the loo but the evening restroom experience was exactly that, top of the list, as was the service on arrival and the hand washing experience a close second; and then the dinner themes that changed each evening.
“Peter Hayward is a true inspiration and the perfect host. It is not often the owner of a company is so humble and involved. Production Director Celia du Preez was wonderful to work with. She was polite, friendly and she saw to our every need. The Hayward’s team of staff members are well-versed in service excellence and were attentive to everyone’s individual requirements.
“The true benefit for us though is that out team felt valued as members of our EXCO committee and company. Nothing was lacking. The Hayward’s team went out of their way to make every aspect of the event extra special.
Take-away lessons for business
“We took away some big lessons from our Haywards Grand Safari experience, the first being that exemplary service standards are possible in any setting. The organisational skills of the Hayward’s team were something to admire and apply to our own organisation. The second was that by anticipating the customers every need before the client realises that they need it, makes a brand or company most memorable.
“In today’s economically challenging times, when a business starts to see a downturn in results, it is vital to identify the areas that need to change and action them accordingly for your business to survive. We are extremely pleased to have had the opportunity to do this with such an outstanding safari outfitter as Haywards Grand Safari Company.”