At a recent global sales meeting for one of our major clients, showcasing the host city was an important element in the meeting theme. In this case, Toronto was the host city, and team-building activities such as attending a Toronto Raptor’s basketball game and exploring Toronto’s unique underground walkway called PATH were just some of the offsite activities our corporate meeting planners coordinated. However, the challenge was determining the best way to carry the theme through in the messaging of the meeting itself. Enter inukshuk…
Inukshuk originated as stone structures built by the indigenous inhabitants of the arctic regions of Canada to mark good fishing sites, areas that provided shelter from the wind, or a place for hunters to ambush caribou. On the wild arctic landscape they were often the only sign that humans have passed through. The term inukshuk literally means “You are on the right path.”
It was agreed that this was the message the Canada team wanted to share with their global colleagues, and they incorporated inukshuk in a very creative way. A replica of inukshuk was used in the staging with the colours of each section representing the message of each presenter. While each speaker presented on their respective topics, the main takeaway was about establishing collaboration. Each meeting attendee took home a mini inukshuk figure bringing home the message that “It takes a village.”
This is a shining example of how simple it can be to creatively carry a meeting theme from conception to onsite and beyond while promoting your message and leaving attendees with the feeling that they are part of something great. There symbolic icons like inukshuk in every city and region around the globe. With just a little research you should be able to find one that fits your next destination!