Spoil you team with a group Game Drive experience, at luxury lodges within a 1-6 hour drive from Johannesburg and Pretoria.
Dabchick provides a complete package booking service for groups of 10 people and above, customised to include accommodation, meals, transfers and meeting venue hire if required.
Group Game Drive’s have shown to relax people and distract them from everyday stress, opening up conversation and leading to natural colleague bonding.
Add a coolerbox with a few drinks, some biltong and drywors packs, and you will have some memories in the making!
Chat to us for pricing at lodges in #Magaliesburg, #Hartebeespoort, #Lanseria, #Pilansberg, #Gauteng and #Northwest #Krugernationalpark #Krugerpark #Limpopo
No matter what your crazy theme idea is, we are bound to get excited about it too!
We love brainstorming about how to make events memorable, and so #Decor by #Dabchick has taken off !
When planning a Catered function for a group, its the usual tedious task of reminding people to RSVP, dealing with the ever changing dietary preferences, and selecting menus for food and beverage service. And then there's the fun in planning the decor and the theme!
Should you go with a color theme? Or maybe a dress up theme, or what about a theme with a cause?
Just remember that great ideas probably come with great budgets.. But that's OK, we enjoy this process and love finding solutions to these fun problems.
Table settings are a big deal, Your guests are seated for hours on end, with good food, good wine and the dull white napkins and overlay that the hotel has provided. Boring!
It just needs a bit of imagination to spruce it up! Flower arrangements are great for classy and formal functions, colored table runners, personalised name place cards and unusual napkin rings are an easy win. Tiffany chairs, Ghost chairs, or chair covers with tiebacks will help tie it all together.
What is the concept or idea of your function?
A great way to convey messages and get people involved is to create a themed and interactive event, allow individuals to explore and express their own thoughts by participating in various ways.
Your company could be launching a sustainability or environmental project at work, and your theme could incorporate creative elements that are made from recycled and up-cycled materials.
Or maybe you are embracing cultural differences in your team, creating inclusiveness by adopting an around the world theme, incorporating traditional colors, props and music.
It could be as easy as celebrating a cultural, religious or festive event, so think about how you can build up a buzz of excitement leading up to the big day.
We provide Decor for any Special event for over 50 people, including;
Our service includes the set up and strike down of decor, at your selected venue in Johannesburg, Pretoria, Cradle of Humankind, and most areas in and around Gauteng.
If you don't have a Venue as yet, don't stress, we will assist in finding the perfect spot, read more about our Venue finding service here.
Whether it's your first or tenth time in planning an event or conference, there's always a lot more to organise than you think. From selecting the best venue for your event, to managing the budget and problem solving on the day, an overwhelming amount of detail leaves room for a great deal that could go wrong!
Professional Planners, like us, can really help you make the Event successful for many reasons:
There are many benefits to using an Event Management Company. Namely in taking the pressure off you and allowing you to do your day job whilst we source and secure the best suitable property for your event, at the best price.
So, next time you start to plan your Conference or Event, consider a Professional Planner and relax with the assurance that we've got this covered.
Tummy full, eyes closed. Great for a Sunday afternoon, not so great when the CEO’s post lunch presentation has half the audience struggling to stay awake. The solution, “Brain Friendly Foods”.
Conference and meeting attendees are often affected with a reduced ability to think and retain information, due to poor (brain) food offerings, catered for by hotels and venues. Why would hotels do this to us, you ask? Two factors really, cost savings and convenience (for the hotels and their kitchens).
Chefs are under constant scrutiny to keep their food costs down, and when mass catering, convenient food offerings are easily resorted to.
But there is hope. Meeting planners can work with you in creating a menu which caters “Brain Friendly” foods, ensuring your attendees maintain focus and concentration. We have been able to research the facts around brain friendly foods with Robyn Rees RD(SA), a Dietitian based in Johannesburg .
Robyn advises to keep well hydrated (with water 😉) and to keep blood sugar levels stable throughout the day. She stresses that high glycaemic foods that include flours and sugars such as pastries, croissants and muffins, should be avoided completely. Foods high in salt should also be avoided as it can restrict circulation, affecting blood circulation and in turn reducing blood supply to the brain and hampering your ability to think clearly.
So, to avoid delegates nodding off in the afternoon session, we have put together our “Brain Food” munch list, designed to keep delegates focused and alert.
Brain Foods that improve focus and concentration:
Foods to avoid:
Tailoring a suitable menu can be fun and easily put together once you have a guideline of ingredients, we hope that this is helpful to those that are exploring healthier meal options for more engaged meeting attendees.
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We are living in a time where technology touches almost every moment in our lives. The convenience of readily available information and the ability to communicate at a second’s notice, really boosts our work place efficiency.
Here’s how you can further incorporate technology into meetings, in the form of a Mobile App’s. We have used our App as an example for this blog. But keep in mind that there are many different types and varieties of App’s available.
Customised to your brand
Meeting App’s (including ours) can be designed around your company identity, using your brand’s colours, images and logo. The App Icon etc. can be customised to your company logo.
The program becomes paperless, ticking the eco-friendly box and saving some more trees!
Attendees are kept up to date with timings, locations and itineraries. We can also notify them of any changes in real time.
Speakers biographies are listed with profile pictures and connected to their LinkedIn accounts. Details of their sessions are provided, as well as the opportunity for attendees to chat directly to Speakers through the App.
Leading up to the conference, attendees can chat with one another in a secure message section of the App. They can also select the various sessions that they would like to attend and save them as a personalised itinerary.
All attendees can log in and create their own profile within the App, this is also connected to their LinkedIn profiles.
Our App allows for audience participation through live polls, Q and A’s, and sharing of conversations through social media platforms. There are elements of fun such as challenges or gamification in the form of a quiz for points, or a competition.
This all leads to higher engagement and more active participation from the attendees. Higher engagement means they are more likely to take away a greater sense of value from your meeting.
Opportunity for sponsorship
The app can provide a revenue stream for conferences, by allowing sponsors to promote their offerings through the Mobile App.
This can be in the form of, push notifications, dedicated sections for content, or banner advertising.
Plus, as they are sponsors of your conference, they are likely to be relevant to the attendees and will provide further engagement and interesting content.
Mobile Apps for meetings are often underutilised. So, why not join the movement towards an engaged digital meeting experience?
Are the extra stars worth the extra cost?
Often when choosing a venue for a Group Incentive stay, Meeting or Conference, there is an extra level of pressure to select both a great quality venue, and to ensure you get value for money.
When comparing properties, you may note that there is a significant price difference between the grading categories, and it may be difficult to know which one to choose.
This blog will use the Tourism Grading Council of SA's grading criteria as a guide to help clear up what you really get for your money.
Firstly, the Star ratings will depend on what kind of property you are looking at, as hotels will have different grading criteria to conference venues and centres. Take note that a hotel grading certificate doesn’t necessarily reflect the standard of their conference venue, this should be graded separately.
Hotels with a higher Star rating would include more spacious rooms, better quality furnishings and décor, mini bar and individual toiletries. But there are some factors which might have a bigger impact on your decision:
This little town set below the Magaliesburg Mountain range, a geological formation that began some 2300 million years ago, is home to the oldest mine in Gauteng, where gold was discovered over 100 years ago, it is also close to the Sterkfontein caves where the 2.15 million year old fossil of Mrs Ples was discovered in 1947.
Rich in history, fauna and flora, the Magaliesburg area was recently declared a World Biosphere Reserve which is a UNESCO programme that safeguards Natural ecosystems..
With over 80 Accommodation venues in the area, Magaliesburg is a popular country destination for a 1 or 2 night stay with beautiful scenery, a variety of interesting things to do, and only 65km-85km distance outside from Johannesburg and Pretoria.
Given the multitude of venues in the area, your meeting objectives, specific requirements and budget, we will be able to suggest a suitable venue and submit quotations direct from a variety of properties.
Take a look at our Top rated Properties for hosting Meetings and Conferences in Magaliesburg!
De Hoek Country Hotel
5 Star Graded hotel
For many years De Hoek has held its place in the Top 100 restaurants on South Africa, it is well known for beautifully plated culinary experiences, 5 Star hospitality and classic accommodation.
Perfect for Top executive meetings where exclusivity and privacy is desired. There are 28 beautifully furnished suites and meeting room that can seat up to 60 delegates.
Mount Grace Country House & Spa
5 Star Graded hotel
A Sophisticated Country hotel with many awards spanning its lifetime, suitable for medium to large groups seeking a Five star experience. Offering Dining options ranging from smart casual Buffet style, to Fine dining and Wine pairing for more exclusive experiences.
There are a multitude of Meeting rooms, and breakaway rooms seating up to 200 delegates, 121 superb accommodation rooms, some of which boast private heated pools overlooking Magaliesburg, and an award winning Spa with 18 treatment rooms, Spa Cafe and flotation pool.
Valley Lodge & Spa
4 Star Graded hotel
Beautiful riverfront landscape with luxurious rooms plotted along manicured lawns, this Country hotel has won numerous local tourism awards . Boasting a nature reserve with historical points of interest and small game, the property combines country relaxation with modern luxury.
The Meeting space's seat up to 150 delegates, and accommodation offers 76 individually furnished rooms. The Spa is one of the newer additions and provides 6 treatment rooms, a Jaccuzi and an indoor mineral pool.
Askari Game Lodge
4 Star Graded lodge
Set in a Big 5 Game reserve, Askari is home to the largest private collection of OX Wagons in South Africa. There are 48 beautiful rooms, and meeting spaces that seat up to 150 delegates, most are overlooking the lawns where the Elephants enjoy spending their days.
The lodge offers a small intimate Spa, and a variety of outdoor nature activities, including Elephant interactions, Bush skills and Game Drives.
Given the multitude of venues in the area, your meeting objectives, specific requirements and budget, we will be able to suggest suitable venue and submit quotations direct from a variety of venues.
We will soon be sharing a list of Things to do in the area, specifically for groups and team building activities.
Complete a risk assessment for all events
All events that exceed 2000 people must have a risk categorisation done, Alan notes that if an event is less than 2000 people a risk categorisation may still be required, but this will be at the client's, Conference organiser's, or the Venue owners’ discretion, and this falls in line with the Sports & Recreation act (SASREA) No2 of 2010. There may be an instance where risk categorisation is medium to high, with low attendance, then certain factors need to be taken into account, such as location and availability of emergency services, hospitals and SAPS personnel.
Select suitable equipment
Structures and equipment that is onsite and brought in, must be in working order and suitable for the function. Your Conference organiser will be knowledgeable as to what OHS requirements the Venue and other suppliers need to meet. Medguys would also be able to carry out an audit to ensure you have everything covered.
Ensure employee health and safety
As these venues will have kitchens, it also means they carry a higher risk of fire and cleaning chemical injuries. Compliance with the act means that fire hazards are minimized and all cleaning chemical are stored and used correctly. This reduces the risk of contamination and helps to ensure food safety.
Alan raises the concern that most venue owners and event planners fail in the selection of the correct staff for a function or event, venue selection is important as the staff need to perform their duties as expected, but they may be unfamiliar with the location and surroundings.
A staff briefing and debrief goes a long way in keeping staff up to date on what is expected of them, and all staff should be covered by COID in the event of injuries.
Set out safe working procedures
Here is another OHS check that your Conference organiser will provide guidance on. Alan comments that “sometimes staff are expected to work under some very unfamiliar facilities and locations that could be too small or compact due to the bad planning, and unfortunately most venue owners do not adhere to space vs personal space measures.”
Ensure people are adequately trained
No matter the type of function, you need to ensure that staff at the Venue or brought in, are knowledgeable and experienced. Your Professional Conference Organiser will have insight to which Venues and suppliers invest in staff development and training.
An accurate observation by Alan Winstanley, is that the success of any event is professionalism and quality staff which include, “are you trained to perform the duties “or “are you being employed because of budget constraints.”
So, why is compliance important?
Compliance with OHS minimises risk, and ensures safety during your event. If you are setting up any audio, visual and staging for a conference, it means that this should be safety checked and all equipment should meet safety standards.
Choosing a venue which complies with OHS also ensures that you are helping to protect the staff in the industry.
It is important to check that the venue you choose has Public liability insurance. This covers all the guests for any injury or loss which occurs during the event. However, if the injury is caused due to non-compliance of the OHS, the liability insurance could be considered void which would mean the guests would be unable to claim any compensation from the venue.
Alan adds that “A thorough Operational / Safety plan for your events is a non negotiable, there are many things that can go wrong at events, some of risks are within your control, others are not. Either way, if you do not anticipate problems you will be unprepared to react quickly and effectively.”
“The type of event will determine your medical need, Medguys can identify an event’s unique risks and requirements in conjunction with Mase Events Safety. SANS 10366 is one model that will determine the medical need, and in some instances the model can be changed to increase the complement and the medical qualification of the staff due to the event's geographical area and attendees. The use of a similar profile calculates the amount of security staff required to adequately service the event, which includes dealing with high-risk scenarios.”
It is clearly very important to ensure the venue you choose complies with the South African Occupational Health and Safety act, to protect both your guests and any staff from any avoidable injury or accidents.
The increasing range of dietary needs are not a fad and it looks like they are here to stay,
When preparing for an event or conference it is important to know and understand your guests/delegates requirements. With prior knowledge of the requirements of your guests, we are able to create a menu that is suitable for everyone, and even combine some of the requirements to reduce the cost and wastage.
This little write up will give you an overview of the different types of dietary requirements that we often come across.
These ones are incredibly important to get right, as a mistake could cause serious ill health.
Most religions that have dietary requirements can be classed in one of the standard meal choices I.e. Vegetarian, but some have specific requirements that is best to cater for specifically. Especially with international meetings, be prepared to have several different religious requirements.
We also suggest paying special attention to guests/delegates that may be under any medical treatment. A person with an upcoming surgery is likely to have strict nutritional guidelines that need to be followed.
Share your thoughts on the topic - we are eager to hear your comments and past experiences.
Today we celebrate the 3rd annual Global Meetings Industry Day.
As proud South Africans, lets get involved! This day helps us promote and understand the real impact that meetings and events have on businesses and economies.
In a world which has become increasingly digitally focused, it would be easy to assume that there is now less importance placed in meeting face to face. But that couldn't be further from the truth, in fact, it has become crystal clear that great things happen when people get together.
Whether it's an idea generated from a great brainstorming session or a clearer mind on the organisations' overall goals from the annual conference; meetings and events drive business!
In just one year, over 100 million people visited 10'900 trade shows and 273'000 conferences (meetingsmeanbusiness.com). Surely a 100 million people can't be wrong!? Here are some of the reasons we think meetings and events are worth celebrating.
In person meetings foster personal relationships and help drive business outcomes, with 74% of business travellers believing that they have a high impact on customer retention in the service industry (Meetingsmeanbusiness.com) and successful business relationships which drive global economies. Networking at trade shows and conferences provides valuable connections and helps to drive business in a way that would not be possible virtually.
In person training provides a sense of community and builds teams which can help foster better working environments, and really get the most out of employees and businesses.
For Creating a shared goal:
Leaders need to inspire teams to work towards a shared goal and this is best done through meetings, conferences and events which can really showcase the organisations ideas and strategies. This is why so many companies invest so much in their annual conferences, as employee engagement and motivation is much greater following one of these events.
We all know this one - Collaboration is the key to innovation. For the most focused and engaging brainstorming session, teams need to be in one place and hold the meeting face to face. Often, new environments and external meeting spaces provide the best space for creating ideas as it takes the teams away from their day-to-day mindsets.
Share your thoughts with us whilst we celebrate our Industry
We have compiled a list of 10 commonly used conference seating styles, with details and diagrams, to help you get the best results from each seating arrangement.
Firstly, there are no hard and fast rules with seating styles. We suggest you use these styles as guidelines, whilst allowing creativity and individualisation into your layout. Putting together tailored arrangements will begin to create the back drop of a memorable event. For example, you could meet in directors’ chairs on a rooftop boasting panoramic city views, or perhaps couches and beanbags alongside manicured gardens. Seating style has an impact on the atmosphere of your conference. It is easy for a conference to become boring, creativity is your first line of defence against nodding heads and general snoring.
Theatre style or cinema style:
Think “a night at the movies”. This seating arrangement includes rows of chairs (no tables), and allows you to pack a venue to its maximum seating capacity. A few venues have theatre halls with fixed seats, while most are set up with chairs, interspersed with aisles.
Theatre style works well for medium and large meetings, presentations or launches where the audience isn't required to take notes, or interact with one another.
Conference or boardroom style:
A boardroom table surrounded by chairs. Well suited for smaller groups, (15 to 20 tops) and great for interaction and group discussions.
This style lends itself to the small. Small meetings, small presentations, team discussions, strategic sessions, interviews…
For a presentation themed conference, where note taking is a requirement, classroom (or schoolroom) style allows delegates a view of the action, along with some writing space. Arrangements of tables and chairs in rows, facing the front of the venue, with views of the screen and presenter.
An ideal seating arrangement for lengthier conferences and training, where desk space is required for the shuffling papers and the occasional bout of doodling.
Herringbone / Fishbone style:
A twist on the Classroom theme, fishbone style lays desk and chair in the shape of a fishbone (surprise). Tables and chairs are positioned at an angle, and faced towards the centre front of the venue.
The angles involved, allow for longer tables and better views for the audience, however, they also reduce the number of attendees that you can squeeze into a venue.
Audience attention is directed to the front and centre, creating helpful focus for training and lectures.
U shape seating style:
A little less formal and a touch more chatty, U shape seating encourages dialogue between delegates and the presenter. Tables are arranged in a U shape with delegate seating facing inwards, towards presenter.
As this style utilizes a lot of floor space, it will reduce the seating capacity of the venue.
If delegates are simply required to listen (or maybe a little extra luck), the Horse shoe shape may be in order. As a variant of the U shape, the Horse shoe shape removes the tables, leaving only chairs, and is set in an open ended configuration.
Double U shape seating style:
You can see where this is going. As the name suggests, Double U is two U shapes, one larger one behind a smaller one, with an aisle between. Double U allows for a more delegates and slightly better space efficiency.
The Banquet style is the traditional gala evening layout. An arrangement of large round tables, with 8-10 chairs seated around. Ideal for team workshops and group brainstorming sessions, whilst typically used for dinner functions, and awards evenings. The Banquet style is great for encouraging guests to socialize.
The Cabaret style is a similar set up to banquet seating, with a section of the table seats having been removed. Chairs are placed around half or three quarters of the circumference of the table, allowing delegates a view of the action, whilst maintaining a comfortable engagement with one another.
This seating style is ideal to promote interaction within groups, as well as the facilitator, or presenter.
Hollow square style:
As the name suggests, a large square arrangement of tables with seating on the outer side, creating a hollowed out portion in the middle. Better suited for smaller groups, where all participants need to interact with each other.
This seating works well for group discussions, where no presentation or main speaker is present.
Reception or cocktail set up:
Utilising the maximum capacity of a venue, the cocktail setup is usually used for informal networking, celebrations or more social type functions. Guests are left to mingle amongst tall stand alone cocktail tables and seating is kept to a minimum. Exhibition stands and long tables look great around the outskirts of the venue, displaying products, demos, as well as landing place for snack platters and drinks.
Let us know which seating styles you prefer, and why. We would love to hear your opinions and suggestions!