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8 insider tips for planning your first corporate ski trip

If you haven't planned a corporate ski trip before and you don't happen to be a seasoned skier, the chances are this is a rather daunting prospect!

And unlike many other corporate jollies, there is a fine art to getting a corporate ski-ing event right.

One option is to simply call us and we'll do all the hard work for you. Otherwise - here are a few pointers to guide you through the process.

1. Choosing your resort

Essentially, you want to find the balance between too much going on and too little. Too little and you'll be scratching around for things to do. Too much and people get lost, things get more difficult to organise, there are queues to consider etc. If you're going to a well known place, show them lesser known restaurants / bars, a ski guide that will show them great snow for the time of year and offer them top tips.

2. Sizing up the accommodation

If you've got huge party numbers (80+), the chances are you'll need to go for a hotel option as there are very few chalet options that can accommodate that volume. At Le Chardon we are lucky to have a few options on the table for a range of group sizes:

Our chalets sleep from 10 to 20 guests accommodating up to 67 guests in our full collection, which are all in close proximity of each other. Some of our chalets are even interconnecting, which helps.

While a hotel option will give you a more ‘anonymous' experience, preferred by some, do remember you'll need to factor in extras like break-out spaces and meeting rooms. The chalet option gives you a discreet location just for your group which enables a more intimate setting. Most of our chalets are well set up with additional rooms for break-out meetings as well and you have the run of the whole chalet.

3. Travelling - pick the right time

Getting the right time of year is often underestimated. Novice skiers won't thank you for freezing cold conditions that you might encounter in January. Enthusiastic skiers meanwhile will be grateful for the almost guaranteed snow! End of season is often a good choice as costs are lower and the sunny conditions are great for après-ski bonding!

A few other pointers:

  • Avoid school holidays at all costs. And French too!
  • Think about going on a Sunday or mid week as you're less likely to encounter traffic and spend hours queuing to get in to resort - never a great start.

4. Pre-trip warm-up

The little touches count for everything and adding in a few steps before the trip actually helps you to create an experience that extends beyond the event itself.

Some ideas include:

  • a pre trip weather report to get them excited
  • a packing list (someone always forgets something)
  • reviews of ski equipment (last minute purchases)
  • suggestions of mobile phone apps they may want to download

Don't forget to provide them with an agenda so they know what to expect as well as important contact numbers.

As for in resort ideas.... are there any goodies that will add to the experience? At Le Chardon last year we provided a handy goggle wipe which doubles as a piste map for example.  This year we have phone bungees that make life so much easier when making calls on the mountain.

And someone always forgets their suncream....

5. How long should it be?

Our corporate guests tend to go for 3 or 4 days. Any more and you'll find that your guests start getting tired and conversation starts to dry up. Any less and they feel a little short changed. So if you'd like our advice, stick with the 3 / 4 day sweet spot.

6. The all important plan

Forgive us if this seems rather obvious but with ski-ing holidays it's more important than ever to have an outline plan to work to. Big groups ski-ing together on the slopes just doesn't work so you'll find that you need to break it up. Bringing everyone back together for group activities and socials is therefore all the more important. Val d'Isere offers some great corporate activities including ice driving and ice karting as well as biathlon which combines alpine shooting and some team activities.

On the flipside, don't put too much into the plan as logistics are more likely to go awry on the mountain! Get the balance right.

7. Factor in different ski-ing abilities

With a group of 10 or more you'll find a wide range of ability on the ski slopes. And there is nothing worse than feeling like you're the slow coach of the group, forever catching up. Equally - it gets a little wearing, stopping to wait for the novice in the group after every 10 meters. Scaremongering aside, accidents happen when people are pushed too hard before they're ready.

Break it up. Provide ski instruction for beginners and if you can, guiding for the others. Keep your group sizes down to six or less and always have a rendez-vous location set in case of getting lost. Sharing phone numbers is useful.

8. Insurance  - Carre neige all the way...               

While you will of course have insurance for your guests (note all Le Chardon guests are insured as standard so you don't need to worry), it still pays to top up your ski passes with the local ‘carre neige' or mountain assurance service. This allows you to take advantage of on piste ambulance services without the stressful and costly exercise of having to pay up front, when it's the last thing on your mind.

Phew...that's it. It's actually quite easy when you've done a few!

Do you have any more tips you could share?

If you're considering a corporate ski trip and would like to give your clients or stakeholders an extra special time, the team at Le Chardon pride themselves on delivering a first class corporate event experience. Get in touch for details on availability or even if you just need a little advice.

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