Brussels adventure park makes ideal venue for spot of team-building

With the summer holidays nearing their end, many people will soon be returning to the world of work.

So, what better time for a spot of team-building to lift morale after the break and get back into the swing of things?

One unusual spot for such activity is Koezio, an adventure park with a difference on the outskirts of Brussels

The centre, marking its third anniversary in October, is a great place to let off steam and have lots of fun but there’s also a serious side to Koezio (pronounced Ko-wa-ze-o).

One of its special features is that has lots of team-building options along with meeting rooms where groups can plan their strategy, much as they might with their own business or company.

Located in a converted 6,000 square metre space in the Docks complex in Brussels, it boasts plenty of options for companies, associations, sport clubs and schools and the challenges and problem solving tests available here are the perfect way to forge good relationships between employees and also to reward staff.  Many have testified how it increases the cohesion within a group.

The Koezio motto might well be: work hard, play hard  and discover my team (the names of two of the team building formulas).

It’s great for a family visit but also sets itself up as an ideal location for team building exercises. It also two meeting rooms, a dining room and lounge for an aperitif or meal after your “mission.”

Whether it’s team building or family outing, the idea is, basically, the same: You are trained as a “special agent” and for up to two hours, you get the chance to test your stress resistance and endurance. Intelligence, courage and team spirit are all challenged. The idea is to complete a journey through what are called four districts: a mysterious labyrinth, a machine room with giant modules, an escape room and, finally, a dizzying trail undertaken at a height of 12 meters.

There is no need to be fearful: what matters here is ‘being together’ and increasing ‘cohesion’ within a group.

Koezio spokesman Kjell Materman said, “Companies often send staff here for team building, to celebrate an event or reward staff. The test is to rise to the challenge. Action, determination and reflexion all matter here as does, of course,giving your best with your team.

“Everything must be a bit special, from the time of arrival to the debriefing after the adventures as a team.”

For teambuilding, there are three formulas, each for groups as small as a handful of participants up to as many as 250. A maximum of 250 are allowed in the park at any one time,with up to 35 being admitted every 15 minutes.

The fun starts the minute you arrive: this is when you are given your very own “secret code” allowing access to the park.

On arrival, you enter your “secret code” details on a touch-screen monitor before changing into freshly laundered overalls which is when you are let loose on the course for the next couple of hours.

Teams comprise 2 to 5 “agents” (participants) but if there are more, 6 to 7 teams can undertake missions every 15 minutes and follow each other throughout the long adventure. You need not worry about being separated from your best friend, family member or work colleagues during a mission as you can meet up in each district.

It takes between 90 minutes to 2 hours to successfully carry out a mission. Anyone not wishing to participate in a mission can, while waiting for their group,relax in the bar and restaurant areas.

All the teams have to go through the four same districts during their mission and training instructors pay attention to security issues by providing you with a briefing before you start.

The mission is partially autonomous but each agent taking part must be attentive to the instructions and video briefings provided as the mission progresses so as to understand the game.

For a small supplement, you can also take a special camera into the park to film the whole adventure (the images can later be downloaded on to a USB stick). Teambuilders can also “design” their own day of activities. It may, for example, start with breakfast followed by a meeting, lunch, mission and debriefing.

Some house rules do apply including access conditions (no one, for example, who is pregnant or with a heart condition is allowed in).

The Brussels venue, located in a formed fabrics warehouse, was the fourth Koezio to open after the first, in Lille and two in Paris. A fifth opened in Lyon in June. The size and layout at each differs slightly.

News about Koezio has spread further afield with teambuilding groups from as far away as Ireland, the UK and Germany taking part at the Brussels venue.

There is ample car parking nearby plus a tram stop directly outside with direct links to central Brussels. It’s also good to combine a visit here to the excellent adjacent shopping centre and entertainment.

Payment is best done online. That way you pay less (20 euros for someone under 17 or 25 euros for someone over)and also get a chance to see the time slots.

Kjell said, “We get many visits from all sorts of people, including companies and sports clubs but Koezio is still being discovered by lots of people in Brussels and much further afield.”

First time visitors will have to get used to the set up – and that 007 “theme” - but that doesn’t take long and the experience really is a test of a range of diverse skills.

Be warned though: Koezio is much more than an escape room and, whether in a group or just a couple, you should come here with a sense of adventure. If you do, you are sure to have a great time!

Koezio

Boulevard Lambermont, 1000 Bruxelles

www.koezio.co

02 319 5454

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Martin Banks

Martin Banks

Martin Banks is a highly qualified journalist with many years experience of working within the EU institutions. He is an occasional, and highly valued, contributor to EU today, writing on a wide variety of issues.

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