GS Conference – April 2016

At least every second year we take our team away for a conference and team bonding experience. For 2016 we decided to do this in Samoa (our first every overseas conference!!) at the “Return to Paradise Resort”.
Taking our team overseas was not as easy as first thought, ensuring everyone had a valid passport, organising health insurance and then sorting the resort, food, team building and conference facilities – it was very different compared to organising a conference in New Zealand.
Our reputation preceded our arrival and we were already mentioned in the daily Paradise News.
SPECIAL WELCOME TO GILLIGAN SHEPPARD – we are honoured to have this highly regarded NZ Accounting firm here for their conference over the next few days. If you visit NZ like I do sometimes, you often see Mr Sheppard on the telly saying very wise things and asking difficult questions and frightening nice company directors who have done absolutely nothing wrong except when they have, which is actually quite often, but then they have been kind enough to hide it in the Annual Report in lovely glossy pictures or teeny weeny print. But Mr Sheppard notices these things and mentions them on telly. We hope that no-one tells Mr Sheppard about the financial scandal erupting right here in our very resort over the last week with allegations of match fixing in the hermit crab races. We hope Mr Shepherd won’t mention it on telly – and the crabs just do not have the financial resources to fight a big court case in London. And we can’t drug test them because we can’t figure out how to get them to pee in a bottle.
Our team building also go a mention and we ensured everyone that went to snorkel in the ocean to see the Giant Clams kept their hands to themselves. We also ventured to where the Samoa Survivor was filmed and had an awesome experience of swimming with turtles.
TEAM BUILDING – today for Gilligan Sheppard. Swimming with turtles, which is just awesome, and snorkelling with our giant clams. It is not advised to stick your head in the giant clam for a better look. It is rumoured that later there might be some more teambuilding over some gin and tonics in Rock Pool Bar (except for those still out at sea who stuck their heads in the giant clams).
We were definitely made to feel very welcome and at home by the Samoan people, all of our guides and the team at Return to Paradise – even if they liked to tease us via their daily news (below).
DID YOU SEE OUR DOLPHINS? Not to be upstaged by the turtles, some dolphins visited us yesterday. So it has been a busy week on the wildlife front with sightings of a pod of dolphins, a colony of bats, a bale of turtles and a gaggle of accountants all putting in an appearance in Paradise. It terms of choosing where to visit, it certainly shows the local fauna have good taste.
Training was of course was a foreboding thought – but the air conditioned seminar room was a welcome respite from the heat and as always everything we put into the training was a valuable and great learning experience.
As a team we recognise all the skills that we each have that contribute to form Gilligan Sheppard and how successful we can all be as individuals and a team. We are supported by the Directors of Gilligan Sheppard and we are all grateful for the opportunities we have.
As a team our feedback was that they felt privileged to be able to spend 5 days with each other in this very special place.

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