We had our “Opening Session” for the part-time MBA program this Monday and Tuesday. It was a full 2-day event that included the ‘Communication and Interaction Styles’ course and a nice dinner party. The hotel, Het Godshuis, was about 45 minutes away in Sint-Laureins and was very nice! Apparently it is also a nice getaway for the weekend – has a spa, very nice restaurants, etc.
So, I should start off by saying, I really had no idea what to expect. Obviously, I’ve been to various conferences through my other jobs in the USA, but never one in Belgium. I won’t bore you with the similarities (i.e. – same conference rooms, break snacks, small talk, ice breaker games, etc). I think the most interesting are the differences:
#1: We had to share rooms – that in and of itself is not too different. However, the beds in the rooms were 2 single beds pushed together. Yup, together. So, I was shocked by this and was going to propose separating, but then she didn’t so I was afraid to be rude. So, yeah. (Note – the sheets and bed spreads were separate).
#2: Lunch on both days included wine. Enough said.
#3: A wake-up call was previously arranged for every room (see dancing party below…).
#3: The dinner party – oh so many things here! The dinner came and went with no surprises – a very nice cocktail hour followed by a delicious 3 course meal of salmon, white fish, noodles, and an amazing chocolate pudding with berries. (Sorry, no pictures of the food – wasn’t about to bust out my camera in front of everyone)! The real differences started with after-dinner festivities…listed below.
- You were picked to be on a team old-school style. In other words, I felt as thought I was standing on the field at TW in Tosa hoping to not be picked last. Thankfully I was not – but per my previous post, there are only 5 girls in the group of 50, so we were picked fairly quickly.
- The questions included “name that tune.” Well – they were all foreign…sorry team, not scoring any points for you there.
- One of the tasks included head-banging. Yes, who could head-bang the best.
- Pictionary – You’d think this would be the original, but no! I still don’t get it, but it went something like you drew an animal for the other teams and then they gave you points????
- DJ booth was setup with disco lights – hahaha.
- Techno played long into the night (free alcohol until way past my bedtime).
- Almost everyone danced! I did not expect this…but it was great. (Another side note – the dancing formation is the same in every culture – people all dancing in a huge circle with those brave enough or those who’ve indulged in a few cocktails going into the middle to show off his/her ‘moves’).