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Building an ice hotel - the coolest incentive trip ever

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Every year, the Sorrisniva Ice Hotel in Alta, Northern Norway, is created from scratch over a period of six weeks. Can you imagine taking a whole company to help out constructing the hotel as a teambuilding activity? As crazy as it sounds, this is exactly what the German company PROGROUP did.

Planning an extraordinary incentive trip

PROGROUP is a family-run company in the paper and packaging industry. Founded in 1991 as Prowell, they now operate in six countries in central Europe. A few years ago, they planned an incentive trip for a total of 140 people (staff and their partners). The idea was to bring their staff closer together and encourage a deeper and more personal exchange in a different setting. Norwegian DMC Authenticore and a DMC in Finland joined the pitch for the incentive trip. To have a chance against the number of Finnish snowmobiles and dog sledding tours, Authenticore knew that they had to come up with something extraordinary.

Alta in Norway Northern offers snowmobile tours and dog sledding too, but not to the same extent as Finland. There is another thing however, which has put Alta on the map: The magnificent Sorrisniva Ice Hotel. Created by local artists once a year, Sorrisniva is a truly spectacular accommodation experience. Would it be possible to involve the group in the building of the hotel?

A win-win situation

Initially, everyone thought that this crazy idea would only delay the work of constructing the hotel. However, Authenticore developed a concept that showed the idea to be a win-win situation. Even though the employees of PROGROUP had no experience of this kind of work, Authenticore managed to create a list of possible tasks that could be carried out together with a local specialist. This way, the employees helped Sorrisniva cut out 200 tons of ice and bring it back to the construction site in a tractor.

100% engagement

The participants were divided into two groups where one group worked on the hotel while the other enjoyed activities like a snowmobile tour and dog sledding. The second day, they swapped. Everyone was fully engaged and some didn’t even want to stop for lunch.

Those who didn’t want to take part in the building of the hotel were offered classes in Arctic cooking with the fantastic chef Johnny Trasti (owner of the restaurant Trast & Trine). We also invited Esther Utsi, a Sami woman from Tana, to offer healing and to talk about Sami culture.

As the ultimate icing on the cake, the participants spent one night in two huge Sami tents that they set up themselves. Many of them said that this was the best night they’d ever had!

An unforgettable adventure

There was not much snow in Alta this year, which put the locals under pressure to finish the hotel in time. At the end they said that they would never have made it as quickly without the extra help.

On the whole, we think it’s safe to call this trip the coolest incentive ever – an unforgettable adventure for everyone involved!

Do you want to create a once-in-a-lifetime experience for your team? We are happy to help. See other examples of incentive programmes and find out why you should pick Norway for your incentive trip.

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