The arrival of Thanksgiving gives us all an opportunity to pause and appreciate the many blessings in our lives. For us consultants who manage customer advisory boards (CABs), we’re always thankful for the kudos we get from our clients, the positive feedback we receive from CAB members and seeing our efforts make significant, positive impacts on the companies who do CABs right.

And for most of us CAB consultants, while the meetings are usually vibrant and stimulating, our favorite memories are often the social activities held in conjunction with the meetings that enable CAB member and host company interaction, socialization and, dare we say, fun!

The Fun in Customer Advisory Boards

Since last month we told scary stories of when CABs went wrong, this month we give thanks for the meetings that went right — and our favorite customer advisory board social activities. I polled our CAB consultants for their favorites, and here’s what they said. Perhaps this list can serve as inspiration for those planning CAB meetings and their associated social activities in the coming year.

  • Tour of airport transportation hub (Louisville): We witnessed how thousands of packages get processed with advanced robotic technology.
  • Flight simulator: Each of us got to operate a multi-million-dollar airline simulator used for pilot training.
  • Kentucky Derby (Louisville): Private booth where everyone mingled and bet on the horse races.
  • Georgia Aquarium: Private tour.
  • Berlin: walking tour.
  • BMW Driving Experience (Palm Springs): Classroom training and then fast driving on the private track for timed laps.
  • Country Music Hall of Fame (Nashville): Tour and dinner.
  • Golf social (Florida): Putting contests and optional training with golf pros.
  • Wester store shopping spree (Dallas): Attendees were given gift cards to purchase cowboy hats and boots.
  • Table setting challenge (Laguna Nigel): Members created themed table settings using supplies provided by the hotel (flowers, linens, dishes, glassware, etc.).
  • Beach party: Dinner on the beach complete with fire ring, live music and hula dancers.
  • Bungee jumping (Macau): from atop a sky scraper!
  • Guitar build: For Make-A-Wish Foundation.
  • Corcovado (Christ statue) climb (Rio de Janeiro): Fun hike up a jungle trail.
  • Coffee plantation tour (Costa Rica)
  • Private tour of the Soumaya Museum (Mexico City): Featuring private art collection of Carlos Slim.
  • Power boat ride through the St. Lawrence River rapids (Montreal)
  • Major League Baseball game: From a private suite.
  • Private tour of The Last Supper painting (Milan): In the Refectory of Santa Maria delle Grazie.
  • Dinner over the Tower Bridge (London): In one of the enclosed walkways, including one with glass flooring.
  • Epcot Food and Wine Festival (Orlando)
  • Guided tour of U.S. Capital Building (Washington D.C.): amazing history and CAB members were given American flag that flew over the building.

Related Article: Tales From the Crypt: Top 6 Customer Advisory Board Horror Stories

Learning Opportunities

Getting the Bonding Going With Customer Advisory Boards

Social activities are a great way to provide a unique and memorable experience for your CAB members, and get everyone engaged and talking with each other. Take advantage of the interesting offerings of your meeting location, and choose an activity that all your CAB members will enjoy.

In doing so, you will likely bond your CAB members to each other and your program, and to your company for years to come.

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