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Ibis Team Building – Kopaonik 2024 Edition

As is well known, mid-June is always reserved for the traditional Ibis Group Team Building, gathering employees from all the countries where our Group operates. This year, we convened at Kopaonik, in the warm and hospitable atmosphere of Hotel Rtanj, a place many recognize for its donuts and mulled wine during ski breaks. We spent two unforgettable days filled with adventure and enjoyment.

Every team-building event aims to foster closer connections among participants and create memorable experiences that will be discussed until the next gathering. For us, the bus journey acts like a pressure cooker, where the close quarters and lively atmosphere forge strong bonds even among those who didn’t know each other before. The party that started on the five-hour bus ride seamlessly continued in the hotel lobby, lasting well into the night.

The highlight of this year’s Team Building was the orienteering competition. Colleagues, divided into ten teams, aimed to reach the finish line as quickly as possible by reading a map. To add complexity, teams had to find eight hidden stamps along the way, which required careful map reading and solving puzzles. In some cases, multiple solutions were offered, and teams that rushed or didn’t think thoroughly often chose wrong answers and received negative points.

Team members were randomly selected, forcing colleagues to ignore the official office hierarchy and quickly establish a new one suited for the forest and mountain conditions. Excitement peaked when one of the leading teams started running towards the finish line, nearly ten kilometers of mountain trails through forests and deep mud if no turns were missed.

Although this move raised the stakes, like in the fable of the tortoise and the hare, the team that focused on solving the puzzles quickly and correctly won in the end. Other teams, which were significantly faster but accumulated many negative points, might argue that the winning team had more luck than skill, divine intervention, or even that a blind hen sometimes finds a grain, but that’s all history now.

At the end of the trail, all participants were welcomed with a lavish lunch prepared in nature at the beautiful Kadijevac picnic area. During lunch, the winners were announced, and prizes were awarded. Afterward, the group spontaneously split into hedonists, who quickly returned to the hotel by bus to secure their spots in the sauna and pool, and enthusiasts who chose to hike back up to the hotel.

The second evening’s party began with those who hiked back to the hotel showing off their smartwatches, displaying a total of 20 kilometers walked that day, while the hedonists nodded while watching the Germany-Scotland match that kicked off the European Football Championship. As soon as the band, specially invited for this occasion, began playing, everyone agreed that the match wasn’t worth watching. The party continued into the early morning hours, and the details of that will remain off the record.

The takeaway is that with each event, we grow closer, and each Team Building is more exciting and better than the last. Our colleagues constantly raise the bar for competitive activities, so the next event might even turn into a mini-Olympics. Luckily, this event is held annually, giving us plenty of time to agree on the details and rules for the next competition.

 

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