Early in July, Bangor University hosted the UK Challenge.  Billed as ‘The World’s best corporate team-building event’, 100's of teams from across the UK and beyond took part, each with a team of 6, including their own minibus and set of four bikes. The teams, who represented some of the largest and best-know businesses, stayed in the University’s 4 star campus accommodation and used a number of the University’s sporting and other facilities. Whilst the University was used as a base the organisers made the most of Snowdonia’s stunning locations with challenges being held across the region. 

The event is a little like The Crystal Maze on a much bigger scale and involved the teams facing 7 stages over three days each of which involving a combined physical, strategic and intelligence element. For example, the first stage, held in Caernarfon required the teams to run and bike around the town to various map locations where they then had to solve puzzles in order to earn points (and collect dragons!). The second ‘night’ stage involved more running around Caernarfon, this time to solve ‘murders’ by collecting clues and solving puzzle-magazine style matrices to deduce culprits. Further stages took place in Llanberis, Dolgarrog, Bangor and Betws-y-coed. 

Teams solving puzzles for UK Challenge
Two people running in Caernarfon
Teams solving challenges in Caernarfon for the UK Challenge

For the majority of the participants this was their first visit to Wales and the weather and the scenery didn’t disappoint. The event featured a race to the summit of Snowdon, a challenge at Adventure Parc Snowdonia, mountain biking near Betws y Coed and swimming in Llyn Padarn. It is hoped that this memorable introduction to the area will inspire participants to return and enjoy the charms that this area of North Wales has to offer. 

Bikers in the forest
People running competing in UK Challenge
Teams on lake in North Wales competing in UK Challenge cup
Activities during UK Challenge

Hosting this type of event is important to Bangor University and to the region. The conference team had been in discussions with the organisers over 12 months in advance of the event, this included visiting the event when it was hosted by the University of South Wales last year. The university also entered their own team, made up of staff from across the institution, in order to demonstrate their support for the event. 

Speaking about the event:

We are located in an area of Wales which amongst the best in the UK, if not the world, for outdoor pursuit and team building activities, as a result it makes sense to develop this part of our business. Our accommodation is perfectly suited to host large events, given that over the summer months, we have access to hundreds of student rooms. Our catering team are able to deal with large scale events and can tailor their offer dependent on the needs of the customers. From high end gala dinners to producing hundreds of packed lunches for hungry guests on the go

The conference team are working to develop links with local outdoor providers and have also invested in their AV equipment to ensure that guests expectations are well and truly exceeded. 

This certainly wasn’t the most straight forward event to host with over 700 guests, the logistics of  100 minibuses and 400 bikes however it has given the conference and events team a great foundation on which to build and hopefully attract similar high profile events in the future. 

For more information on conferences and events and Bangor University please visit their website and follow their Twitter Account.

Published 26 July 2019

Related stories