Here at I Love Travel, we love what we do, we love coming to work and we love the people we work with. We are an incredibly close-knit group of young travel professionals who are committed to youth, passionate to share the gift of travel and celebrate life with students from all across North America. Our three annual Academies are an amazing opportunity to reflect on our accomplishes, align our vision and plan for the future. #ILTAcademy Winter 2016 is an intensive day-long company workshop that aims to teach, train, and motivate our staff. The theme for our Winter Academy was all about learning more about our 2020 Vision, Elevating Our Game and Preparing for Trip Season with all our brands, S-Trip!, Breakaway Tours, Campus Vacations Spring Break and Campus Vacations SnowJam.
Review and reflect on the successes and misses of the past year
Build stronger relationships between staff particularly across departments
Fuel collaboration across the organization
Challenge yourself and step out of your comfort zone
Celebrate and share big wins
Recognize and reward staff accomplishments
Improve and develop skills
Train staff on new products and processes
Gain alignment around the company strategy and objectives
Understand each person's role in becoming the best travel company in the world
Gather ideas and feedback from all levels of staff
Look forward and plan for the future within our teams and as an organization
Understand how we can help drive growth at all levels
During our Academies, we love having a combination of sessions and physical activity. This often means running sessions and presentations in really unconventional locations. We opted for Battle Sports in North York for some indoor archery dodgeball and nerf tag.
The venue was so accommodating letting us re-arrange their furniture so we could project our presentations on their walls and have have enough seating for 110 attendees. As our crew arrived we had a couple special guests including three of our amazing Help Desk Agents from our office in Punta Cana, a couple of our all-star Destination Staff, two friends from across the pond Toby Paramor and Jamie Turner from our partner company Stoke Travel as well as Sean Hoff an ILT Alumni and his team at Moniker - Create Corporate Travel.
We started the day off with a friendly round of target practice, where the Battle Sports staff taught us how to properly shoot an arrow. We had assigned the company an ILT Cup Colour and asked them to come decked out ready to represent their team. Each team worked together to master their shot, some teams shot in unison on command and other opted to create team cheers. After target practice, we began with an engaging opening speech by Eugene Winer on “Recapping our 2020 Vision” follow by a “Brand by Brand Progress Report” by Justin Van Camp & Jeremey Arseneau. Our morning presentations culminated with Jay Hamilton’s motivational “The Mantra Story” presentation, which highlighted our seven new core values and Robin Anderson, Chris Studer (Get REAL) and Alex Handa who presented on our new “ Committed to Youth “ project.
We broke out for a healthy lunch and as we try to #LeaveOnlyFootprints, at our events we served food on compostable plates and encouraged everyone to bring their reusable water bottles and mugs. For the first time ever, we used 0 disposable coffee cups which was a huge accomplishment for us! During lunch some people chose to chat with friends from our California, Boston and Vancouver satellite offices, others opted for more target practice and some choose to sign-up for the Rage Room. This was a one of a kind opportunity to choose 5 small household items and smash them to oblivion. We streamed the rage room live so everyone could watch the madness happen. The Battle Sports staff had their work cut out for them, sweeping up the debris and recycling it as fast as they could - almost all of our 100+ staff had their turn, even our loveable accountant Bernadette.
Our afternoon was spent listening to two smaller presentations, one from Justin Van Camp, about “Elevating Our Game” which is required to achieve our 2020 Vision and the other called “Trip Season” Delivering What We Promise” by Meraj Delavari - where he reminded us that we are all switching gears and preparing to execute our amazing trips. We wrapped up the presentations, by separating into our ILT Colours all taking a knee as Meraj gave us one of his incredibly passionate “Trip Season Crush It” speeches. He had us all fired up as he made parallels between us preparing for our epic game of nerf dodgeball (which we all knew was eminent) and preparing for Trip Season.
We kicked it into high gear for a little bit of friendly competition. We started with a “Battle Royale Nerf War” where it was 3 teams vs 3 teams, essentially all running around, hiding behind forts and using anything possible to defend themselves against their 55 opponents. After this melee style competition we opted for something a little more “tame”, three 15 person teams in a “Three Kings” archery dodgeball competition with the last member willing all out bragging rights for their team.
After playing a couple sweaty rounds, The Green Team reigned victorious and we grouped back up for our closing speech and much anticipated prize round and holiday gift giveaway. We are so happy with our #ILTAcademy Winter 2016 Edition, we loved the Battle Sports venue, staff and activities, we all enjoyed the well articulated presentations and we were all left crazy excited for our upcoming trip season.
Prize Winner’s 2016:
PUNTA CANA LUNCH
LCBO GIFT CARD
MONTHLY LUNCH CLUB
AUNT BERNIE PAYS FOR HOLIDAY GIFTS
Published by Robyn Cooper - I Love Travel Talent Manager and Full-Time Staff