Step away from the boardroom: Meaningful meeting experiences in the Fredericksburg region
A change of scenery can enhance any corporate or group meeting. With its easily accessible location on Interstate 95 and a variety of unique meetings sites, the Fredericksburg, VA, region is well-poised to provide just that.
But let’s face it—it’s quite often the experiences a group has outside the boardroom that provide the team-building, relationship-strengthening, problem-solving skills that pay dividends back in the office.
The Fredericksburg Regional Tourism Partnership can assist meeting planners with all aspects of a successful group event. This includes working with area partners to create one-of-a-kind experiences that provide a beneficial break from the work at hand.
A tasty break from the ordinary
The Fredericksburg region’s growing culinary scene has caught the attention of national publications, and the city is home to former Top Chef contestant Joy Crump, who runs two restaurants in the Downtown Historic District.
A customized food tour can help your group access the best of what the region’s chefs have to offer.
Food Tour Corp, a company that organizes food-based tours in 21 cities in North America, has been leading tours in Fredericksburg since 2015. The company specializes in corporate groups, and can customize a tour based on a group’s size, budget and specific interests, says founder Jeff Swedarsky.
Trolley Tours of Fredericksburg offers a specialized wine tour that provides transportation to and tastings at four area wineries, along with some area history. These tours can be arranged privately for groups of 14 or more.
The Fredericksburg Regional Tourism Partnership can also help meeting planners find the right dining experiences for their groups, whether that be a dine-around where participants can choose from a list of restaurants, or a seated private dining experience.
Into the past
As the boyhood home of George Washington and the site of some of the most dramatic battles of the Civil War, the Fredericksburg region is an apt location to learn from the past.
The value of the area’s history in teaching modern leadership lessons appealed to California-based corporate trainer Gary Hernbroth while he was traveling in Virginia several years ago. Hernbroth now leads customized “Battlefields to Business” training sessions as part of his Training for Winners coaching business.
The sessions combine walks and lectures on the area’s Civil War battlefields with focused breakout sessions that use history as a way of digging into a group’s specific challenges.
“I call it the great adult field trip,” he said.
In many of his programs in the Fredericksburg region, Hernbroth combines his executive training experience with the local history knowledge of seasoned tour guide Scott Walker. Walker’s Hallowed Ground Tours can craft customized tours for groups of all kinds.
Walker regularly leads tours on Downtown Fredericksburg’s history and architecture and the stories of Fredericksburg homes and neighborhoods, and can help groups narrow down which of the area’s vast inventory of historical sites might best meet their needs.
For corporate groups, Hernbroth likes to hone in on the leadership decisions executives must make in different and often difficult situations, such as how an organization continues moving forward after losing an important leader. He can help explain how historical figures faced these decisions at critical moments in the past. He can also tailor custom experiences for groups with other interests.
Planners can enhance historical tours with unique transportation options like Trolley Tours of Fredericksburg, which can provide trolleys with capacities ranging from 21 to 35 people per trolley. The Fredericksburg Regional Tourism Partnership can help you connect with the resources that are right for your event.
Sports are a classic icebreaker for groups who work closely together. The Fredericksburg region is home to six championship golf courses, each of which offers something unique for groups.
The Fredericksburg Regional Tourism Partnership can help meeting planners match their groups to the right golf course.
If your group’s not into golf, the luxurious bowling experience at Splitsville can be a fun and engaging competitive activity. Splitsville’s 16 lanes are spread throughout a full-service restaurant serving everything from sliders to sushi.
The folks at Splitsville have developed their own team-building game called Crazy Bowl, which pits teams of 8 people against each other in a variety of bowling-related challenges. The bowling alley is attached to the Paragon 12 cinema, whose upscale theaters are available for meetings and can seat up to 299 people.
All of this is housed within the Spotsylvania Towne Centre complex, which offers convenient access to a variety of shops and restaurants.
On the water
Many residents of the Fredericksburg region find its pristine waterways to be a source of renewal and inspiration. Consider incorporating a water-based activity in your group’s meeting schedule.
Fresh air will ensure time spent inside working is as productive as it can be, and the bonds your group will form as they work together to navigate rapids or share the thrill of spotting a bald eagle in flight will be long-lasting.
The Virginia Outdoor Center can arrange and lead interpretive trips on the Rappahannock and Potomac rivers. The Outdoor Center works with experts in regional history and naturalists, who can provide tours that focus on Civil War history, birds, fossils, transportation history and more.
Outdoor Center owner Bill Micks says he can provide anything from a multi-day river trip to a two-hour float, to acquaint groups with the natural treasures many visitors don’t get to see in this region.