Beau’s Brewery team works and plays at Calabogie Peaks Resort
Ottawa Valley getaway proves ideal environment for corporate retreat
“We’ve already decided we’d like to go to Calabogie Peaks once a year now because our retreat was a ton of fun and such a success.”
- Steve Beauchesne, CEO of Beau’s All Natural Brewery
If you know anything at all about the team from Beau’s All Natural Brewery, you’ll know that they like to work hard then relax with a little playtime. Their recent quarterly sales meeting at Calabogie Peaks Resort provided the perfect setting to do both.
“Our team of 25 gathered for two nights at Calabogie just before the end of the ski season,” explains Steve Beauchesne, chief executive officer of the successful craft brewing company headquarted in Vankleek Hill, east of Ottawa.
“We chose Calabogie because we felt it had everything we needed in an event destination. Plus, some of our team members had been there recently and they were impressed by the improvements that have been made to the resort in the past few years. It was a pretty easy decision for us, as a family-owned business, to choose a local, family-run resort for our sales conference.”
“We had a very busy meeting agenda including training, reviewing sales figures and setting the objectives for the next quarter,” he adds. “Of course, rewarding our hard-working sales team as well as team building and team bonding were high on the agenda too. We have been growing so quickly that there are always new faces, so a session like we had at Calabogie is a great way to integrate new employees into the team.”
Beauchesne notes that having their retreat at Calabogie Peaks was particularly effective not only because the resort is conveniently located just an hour from Ottawa but also because it is so self-contained. “When we hold similar events in a city’s centre, the team tends to sprawl out and we can start to feel a little disconnected. We found it very constructive to have everyone stay in the same hotel and enjoy being together the whole time. It fostered a real sense of collaboration and connectedness.”
While the Beau’s team admittedly had a very packed agenda, Beauchese says with the support of the Calabogie staff they were able to get through everything in plenty of time to enjoy their planned leisure activities. “It was great because when we’ve held similar events in other locations sometimes either the team bonding suffers or the productivity suffers, but at Calabogie we were able to have a very productive sales meeting, and then kick back and have some fun afterwards. The combination of work and play made for a truly memorable sales meeting.”
Unsurprisingly, recreation was high on the agenda for the Beau’s team. “The hot tub was a big hit and we actually got the whole group out on the ski hill, which was super. Everyone had a wonderful time, and to experience this as a team was great. We had a wide mix of skills in the group but even the novices like me who hadn’t been on skis in many years had a great time on the slopes, as did the expert skiers in our crew. ”
Beauchesne makes particular mention of the fact that while the resort may appear compact at first glance, you shouldn’t be deceived into thinking it will be cramped. “We felt like there was ample room to accommodate us and give us lots of space for our meetings. This is especially important when you are discussing confidential sales data so we appreciated the opportunity to enjoy some privacy without losing out on easy access to all the other facilities, including the excellent dining room and all the outdoor amenities.”
The perceived sense of value in holding an event at Calabogie is enhanced by the resort’s many offerings, he says. “The value is definitely there – having a ski hill and everything else right at your meeting site changes the dynamic in a big way. The fun that everybody had really helped them focus when it was time to get down to work. We were extremely happy with the value received for what it cost us to hold our event at Calabogie.”
Beauchesne noted that the staff at Calabogie were a big part of his event’s success. “The service was very good and in fact I would say it was somewhat intuitive. They recognized we were there to have fun and get work done. As a result, they had fun with us and allowed us to have our fun without interrupting the flow of what we were trying to accomplish. We had shared our goals beforehand with the Calabogie team and they helped make sure we achieved them.”
Beauchesne is quick to respond to the question of whether or not he’d take the Beau’s team back to Calabogie. “In the past we’ve typically rotated to various destinations all over the province but we’ve already decided we’d like to go to Calabogie Peaks once a year now because our retreat was a ton of fun and such a success.”
His advice to an organization considering Calabogie as the location for their conference? “Plan for an extra day so you can have more leisure time. We were really glad we decided to book the second night – having additional playtime made for a much more memorable experience for everyone on our team.”
To book your next corporate event at Calabogie Peaks Resort, please visit www. calabogie.com or call 1.800.669.4861.