Take 5 With Pinnacle – David

If you’ve ever wondered what makes a Pinnacle Team Events employee tick then you have come to the right place! Each month we will be taking 5 minutes to chat with each member of our staff about their lives both inside and outside of work.

What I love about being a Pinnacle Facilitator:
Awesome crowds and team, amazing vibe and usually beautiful venues

How long I have been working for Pinnacle:
1 year

My favourite Pinnacle team event to facilitate:
The one where teams need to channel water through a pipeline (sorry, forgot the name) – too funny !

Most embarrassing moment as a Pinnacle facilitator:
Trying to find, in vain, a parking spot at Bungaroo and making it to the team briefing very much “in the nick of time”

My favourite hobbies are:
Powered paragliding, bush walking

Band I’m listening to at the moment/podcast recommendation:
My listening habits are pretty much “all over the place” at the moment

What was the last book you read?:
Shogun by James Clavell – amazing !

Favourite holiday?:
Kruger Park, South Africa – definite BUCKET LIST !!!

Have you ever had a nickname?:
nah – just “Dave”

I am frightened by _____ :
Drink drivers late at night

Favourite movie of all time:
The Beauty of (Le Fabuleux Destin d’Amelie Poulin)

First concert I went to:
Sting (yeah, I know, I’m really very old)

If you could live anywhere, where would it be?:
Sydney, of course (sorry Newcastle)

What makes you angry:
Littering. My pet hate by a mile is finding discarded rubbish in a national park. Never understood why people do this

What makes you laugh the most:
Australian federal politics – or should I cry ?

What song would you sing at karaoke night?:
You definitely do NOT want to invite me to karaoke unless you are deaf !

New Year’s Resolutions

We are already 3 weeks into the New Year, have you already broken all of your New Year’s resolutions? Or failed to even set any? If you have, you are part of the majority. Studies show that the rate for failing New Year’s resolutions is around 80%.

The most common New Year’s resolutions are focused more on personal goals such as be healthier & exercise more, or be nicer to people or give more to charity. But what about at work? Setting goals for the year is the hallmark of good business everywhere!

Step One: Reflect

It might seem obvious, but many teams forget to take the time to review the year that was. Psychotherapist Esther Perel states that the New Year is a great time to be forward-thinking about who you want to be; but it’s also a great time to look back at what you’re ready to let go of. Put simply, the best way to set goals for the year ahead is to go back & reflect on the previous year i.e. what worked well & what wasn’t so successful.

If you’re unsure where to start, performing a simple SWOT analysis of your business will give you plenty of information to get going. We’ve included a template from Wordstream as a guideline below, however there’s an abundance of information online about performing a SWOT analysis:

Step Two: Identify Your Goal & Purpose

According to the famous Tony Robbins, there are two key questions that you need to ask yourself for compelling goal planning: identify your goals & identify your purpose.

  1. Identify Your Goals: What do you really want? What is the exact objective you desire? A promotion at work? To take up daily meditation? In order to set achievable goals, you need to have a clear outcome in mind.
  2. Identify your purpose: Why do you want to achieve this goal? What will it bring you? Will that promotion give you the financial freedom you desire? In order to keep your goals, you need to ask the right questions and seek real change in your life. If you know what you’re moving toward, you’ll find ways to make it happen by learning how to set goals.

Step Three: Set SMART Goals

You may have already heard of SMART goal setting as it is so widely used as a successful guideline for goal setting. See below:

Time Bound

Set Specific Goals

Your goal must be clear and well defined. Vague or generalized goals are unhelpful because they don’t provide sufficient direction.

Set Measurable Goals

Include precise amounts, dates, and so on in your goals so you can measure your degree of success. If your goal is simply defined as “To reduce expenses” how will you know when you have been successful? In one month’s time if you have a 1 percent reduction or in two years’ time when you have a 10 percent reduction? Without a way to measure your success you miss out on the celebration that comes with knowing you have actually achieved something.

Set Attainable Goals

Make sure that it’s possible to achieve the goals you set. If you set a goal that you have no hope of achieving, you will only demoralise yourself and erode your confidence.

Set Relevant Goals

Goals should be relevant to the direction you want your life and career to take. By keeping goals aligned with this, you’ll develop the focus you need to get ahead and do what you want. Set widely scattered and inconsistent goals, and you’ll fritter your time – and your life – away.

Set Time-Bound Goals

Your goals must have a deadline. Again, this means that you know when you can celebrate success. When you are working on a deadline, your sense of urgency increases and achievement will come that much quicker.

SMART guideline via MindTools

Happy New Year and Good Luck!

Team Building & Giving Back

Since October last year we have been inundated with enquiries from clients wanting to find out how they can incorporate a charity-style team activity into their upcoming conference – primarily with the desire to give back to those affected by the bushfire crisis.

We have spoken previously on our blog about what Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) means and the importance both employees and customers place on working for and spending their money with businesses that prioritise CSR. Put simply, CSR refers to a company’s efforts to improve society in some way. This doesn’t always mean a donation to charity; CSR can relate to any kind of improvement effort such as creating a more sustainable workplace.

There has always been a high demand for team activities that incorporate CSR however as mentioned above, with the prevalence of the current bushfire crisis we have found more and more companies are wanting to include this in their conference as part of their organised team activity.

Bushfire Relief

The NSW Office of Emergency Management has recently advised that monetary donations are the most useful & valuable way to help those affected by the bushfire crisis. The RFS has also requested that people don’t donate any items such as food or water to local brigades as they have everything they need at this point in time.

“The best way is to donate money. This allows people to buy the things they need, and it supports local businesses which have also been impacted. We know many people want to donate physical items such as food and clothing but these take up much needed community space.”

The NSW Office of Emergency Management has encouraged people to only donate to reputable charities, as currently there are some scams involving people doorknocking or calling via phone and claiming to be or represent people who have lost their homes in the bushfires.

If your company is looking to make a donation, here is a short list of some registered charities below:

CSR Team Building Events

Based on the above comments, our activity recommendations for groups wanting to give to those affected by the bushfires are those activities where a monetary donation is made by the group to a charity representative at the conclusion of the activity. The two CSR activities that suit this format is the Race to Make a Difference & the Challenge for Charity.

The Race to Make a Difference

The Race to Make a Difference is a fast paced, action packed CSR event that culminates in the team giving back to a charity organisation. The goal for the participants is to be the team that raises the most dollars for charity.

The challenges are designed to be fun, hands on and require the team to think strategically and work together to achieve success. Teams will be issued $$$ based on their performance at each challenge site.

Ultimately the teams converge on the final location where the winners are announced and the donation to charity formalised.

How to include the Charity? We have two suggested formats:

  • Teams choose a charity that appeals to them to compete on behalf of. The winning team get to donate a cheque from your company to their nominated charity. i.e. First = $1000, 2nd = $500, 3rd = $250.
  • The company chooses the charity and all teams are competing to see what team can earn the most for that charity. Ultimately the winning team would present a cheque onto a representative of that company who is present at the finale of the event.

Example Road Block Challenges:

Number Triangle – Nine numbered tiles are laid out in a triangle shape. The team moves the tiles so that the addition of the numbers is equal on each side.

Shape Shifter – Using memory and instinct teams must recreate a series of original shapes.

Catapults – Teams fire tennis balls via replicated catapults towards a landing zone where strategically positioned team members await ready to catch.

Pyramids – Teams are racing to rebuild a pyramid that can only be structured from bottom to top.

Duration: 2 – 3 hours

Location: Outdoors, all areas around a resort or city/urban areas

Challenge for Charity

head shot of man with funny hate pulling a face

Challenge for Charity is a fun, high energy fundraising event where teams compete to raise the most for their chosen charity. This is an engaging way to make a Corporate Donation and involve your team in the process.

Each table becomes a team and is issued with a Charity for Challenge activity booklet. There are 45 challenges within the booklet, 15 easy, 15 medium and 15 hard. Teams work frantically to complete each page of the booklet, ripping them out and handing in to the Pinnacle staff as soon as possible. A correct page will see the delegates earn money for the charity e.g.

Easy = $2
Medium = $5
Hard = $10

At the conclusion of the activity we will introduce the charity representative to say a few words of gratitude and announce the total amount that has been donated on behalf of your client. The amounts can be adjusted to fit with your donation budget. Once the desired donation amount has been decided the challenge amounts will be worked back accordingly.

Example Challenges:

Team Mascots– Strike fear into your opponents with your team mascot to start the game!

Origami my Team– Can you follow the steps towards Origami master status?

Number Puzzle- Does your team have the smarts to crack the code?

Hidden Letter– Search high and low in your conference room for the letters and you shall find the ANSWER!

Duration: 45 mins – 2 hours

Location: Indoors with 1 x table per team

Tailor Your Own!

As always, we are happy to tailor an activity to suit your specific requirements. Please contact us to find out more information & discuss your upcoming event!

Take 5 With Pinnacle – Lucinda

If you’ve ever wondered what makes a Pinnacle Team Events employee tick then you have come to the right place! Each month we will be taking 5 minutes to chat with each member of our staff about their lives both inside and outside of work.

What I love about being a Pinnacle Facilitator:
The variety, new people, new venues, new events and working with a great team

How long I have been working for Pinnacle:
3 months

My favourite Pinnacle team event to facilitate:
All of them so far!

Most embarrassing moment as a Pinnacle facilitator:
None yet, but I am sure there will be many to come!

My favourite hobbies are:
Bush/ coastal walking, rock climbing and yoga

Band I’m listening to at the moment/podcast recommendation:
I love all types of music except death metal so my playlist is a very eclectic mix of music. Podcasts I’m listening to are Super Soul Conversations and The Tim Ferriss Show.

What was the last book you read?:
Option B by Sheryl Sandberg

Favourite holiday?:
So many! Turkey, Japan, India and Croatia are probably my top 4

Have you ever had a nickname?:
Lots, Luci, Lou, Lulu, Linda

I am frightened by:
Cockroaches and Huntsmans

Favourite movie of all time:
In the Name of the Father

First concert I went to:
Red Hot Chilli Peppers

If you could live anywhere, where would it be?:
New York

What makes you angry:
People who stop walking in the middle of the pathway

What makes you laugh the most:
My friends

What song would you sing at karaoke night?:
Rocket Man, Elton John

The Blue Monday Myth

Every year it is said that the third Monday of January is the gloomiest day of the year – also known as Blue Monday. As the theory goes, by the 20th January 2020 all the joy from Christmas will have faded & all we are left with is a dilapidated bank account, a bulge around our waists & we’ll be riddled with guilt that our New Year’s resolutions to be healthier, fitter & wiser have fallen by the wayside.

blue faces with one smiley face in the middle

But is Blue Monday really the saddest day of the year or is the label just a misguided PR stunt – we think so!

The concept was originally coined in 2004 by psychologist Cliff Arnall.

He came up with a “formula” for the January blues after he was asked to do so by travel firm Sky Travel, who then used the phrase in a press release to promote their winter deals.

It took into account a number of factors likely to contribute to low mood and read as follows:

blue monday formula

W = weather

D = debt

d = monthly salary

T = time since Christmas

Q = time since failing our new year’s resolutions

M = low motivational levels

Na = the feeling of a need to take action

Arnall has since confessed that the formula is essentially pseudoscience and has urged people to “refute the whole notion” of Blue Monday.

Whether Blue Monday is a real phenomenon or not, the month of January is a great time to get the team motivated and bring everyone together to kick start the new year. Strangely enough, we are almost booked out for events on Monday 20 January 2020 & are filling up fast the remainder of that week!

If you’re stuck for ideas, check out our previous blog post Team Building Ideas to Kick Off the New Year or give us a call.

Take 5 With Pinnacle – Priscilla

If you’ve ever wondered what makes a Pinnacle Team Events employee tick then you have come to the right place! Each month we will be taking 5 minutes to chat with each member of our staff about their lives both inside and outside of work.

Priscilla headshot

What I love about being a Pinnacle Facilitator:
The variety of events, positive vibe and fun atmosphere.

How long I have been working for Pinnacle:
3 months

My favourite Pinnacle team event to facilitate:
All of them so far!

Most embarrassing moment as a Pinnacle facilitator:
I’m yet to have one I believe!

My favourite hobbies are:
Going to the gym, spending time with my family and generally anything active.

Band I’m listening to at the moment/podcast recommendation:
Music- Alan Walker: Different World

What was the last book you read?:
I’m studying at the moment so currently my reading is restricted to course notes for Personal Training.

Favourite holiday?:
Maldives followed closely by a family trip to Europe.

Have you ever had a nickname?:
Mostly Cil or Cilla, although my uncle calls me Bingo and at university hockey I was known as LaLa!

I am frightened by:

Favourite movie of all time:
Kill Bill

First concert I went to:
Alanis Morissette 

If you could live anywhere, where would it be?:
I’m pretty happy here in Newcastle! I do wish we could travel faster though, as my family lives around the world.

What makes you angry:
Negativity without action.

What makes you laugh the most:
My kids

What song would you sing at karaoke night?:
‘Bohemian Rhapsody’ as the obvious choice, and maybe ‘Hooked on the Feeling’ by Blue Swede (although my karaoke career has been kept to a minimum!).

Top Tips on How to Achieve Work-Life Balance

In the lead-up to Christmas the event industry is absolutely bursting with an abundance of end of year events. Although our staff & particularly our facilitators work hard all year round, Christmas time is particularly demanding with some weeks averaging several events each & every day. With the light of the Christmas break just at the end of the tunnel, this busy time has us reflecting on how to maintain a healthy work-life balance in such a demanding time. See below for our top tips:

Scale with life at one end and work at the other

  1. Be realistic

    When you hear the term ‘work-life balance’ you may envision a super productive day at work that allows you to leave on-time (or early) to spend with friends, family or on a hobby. While this may seem like the perfect balance, it is not always possible.

    Don’t strive for the perfect schedule; strive for a realistic one! Some days you may find yourself more focused on work, while others you might have more time and energy to pursue your hobbies or spend time with your loved ones. Balance is achieved over time, not each day.

  2. “Choose a job you love, and you will never have to work a day in your life.”

    We wouldn’t necessarily agree 100% with the sentiment of finding a job you love so much you’d do it for free. However, we do agree that work shouldn’t just be a way to make money; it should serve both your bank account and your passion. Simply put, if you hate what you do you aren’t going to be very happy at the end of the day. Although there will always be aspects of every job that you’re not particularly fond of, find a job that keeps you challenged, engaged & motivated to succeed.

  3. Set Boundaries

    Technology has done so much for how quick & efficiently we complete a myriad of tasks related to work. However, it has also created the expectation that we are constantly accessible – the work day never really ends! This is why we need to set boundaries for ourselves & our colleagues, to avoid over working & burnout. When you leave the office, turn off your phone & your work email notifications. Ensure time spent with your family is quality time & not interrupted by the stress of an email from work. Most importantly, learn to say ‘no’ OR learn to be OK with ‘it can wait until tomorrow’.

  4. Set goals & priorities

    Successful people are always driven by their vision for the future. Setting clear & achievable goals – for both your career & your personal life – helps keep you on course & motivated for the future. Goal setting also gives you the best chance to transform how you work & live. Think about what tasks are more important for achieving a healthy work-life balance and prioritise them. Setting both short & long-term goals helps you move forward with momentum and feel a sense of accomplishment & purpose each day.

How to ‘Win’ at Team Building

So, you have a team day coming up and you want the inside scoop on how to be part of the winning team – well we have some tips for you!

Hand clutching a gold medal

Over the years we’ve hosted thousands of events and have come across a vast array of different teams. Typically, the teams that are the most successful in our activities have the following qualities:


Good communication starts with LISTENING and something we’ve noticed about the teams who are the most successful in our activities is that from the very beginning of a challenge, they listen intently to our facilitator’s activity brief & instructions on what they need to do. This gives teams a clear picture on the rules & objectives of the challenge which enables them to act more efficiently & get the task completed in a much quicker time-frame than if they just went at it like a bull at a gate.

As we talked about in a previous blog post, Team Activities That Boost Communication, for a team to be successful, strong and effective communication is paramount. When problem solving, your team should encourage questions & curiosity. Your team members need to feel safe and comfortable that they can ask questions & communicate without feeling any kind of embarrassment or criticism.

Often, there’ll be one person in the team that has an ‘aha!’ moment or sees something the others don’t – if your team is great at communication & listening this breakthrough won’t get overlooked.


Great communication & listening leads us into trust, and it’s not hard to see why ultimately the better your team trust each other the more effective they will be.

Another common trait in the most successful teams is that they are able to voice their opinions fearlessly & without ridicule or judgement. If you follow us on Facebook, you might have seen that we recently shared a TED talk by Derek Sivers on ‘How to Start a Movement’. Derek says, “first a leader needs the guts to stand out and be ridiculed” and that’s why trust in a team is so important. But the real lesson Derek is trying to convey is that the person with the most crucial role is the first follower who shows the rest of the team how to follow. It is this first follower who turns the lone person with a seemingly simply idea into the person who leads the team to victory!


It may sound simple, however one of the single most common traits of a winning team is that they are hungry to succeed! The winning team is usually one of the most competitive; they’re keen & enthusiastic about the challenges and more than anything they are having a great time! Can your team win on a positive attitude alone? Probably not! But when people have a positive attitude, they are much more productive. Positivity is an energy source that can motivate and invigorate both yourself & your team – which is why people are so attracted to it! A positive attitude can be the tipping point, between mediocrity and excellence or losing & winning!


Want to significantly increase your chances of being part of the winning team at your next team day? Then get the boss on your team, as seven times out of ten we find that the boss is a member of the winning team! For the majority of the events that we host we deal directly with the event organiser from the company – usually an event manager, executive assistant, office manager or someone from the HR team. At the end of an activity once we’ve announced the winning team, we are never shocked to learn that the boss is actually a member of the winning team! This is not because they’ve received any favourable treatment from our facilitators or the other teams. Generally, it’s that the boss has experience in creating a team that embodies all of the traits mentioned above – all the traits that go into a creating a winning team!

Venue Spotlight – The William Inglis Hotel

Each month for our Conference Venue Spotlight we will be giving venues the opportunity to detail an event held at their hotel or resort. This will help showcase the variety of ways their conference venue can be utilised for corporate events including spacing for conferencing, indoor & outdoor dinner options and of course, team building! This month we hear from the events team at The William Inglis Hotel

Come join the celebrations at The William Inglis Hotel on Tuesday 5th November 2019.  We will be hosting a buffet lunch in The Sales Arena whilst screening live coverage of the race that stops the nation.

The Event will be hosted by the one and only Will Mason from Pinnacle Events.

The William Inglis Hotel is the perfect venue to celebrate the Spring Racing Carnival as the venue accredits beautiful equine history throughout its facilities and function spaces.

Guests will be welcomed into the venue with a glass of bubbles served on arrival. Lunch will then take place in the renowned Sales Arena, the largest event space onsite at the property – where all the action happens during the Inglis Horse Sales.

The Sales Arena has three large inbuilt LED Screens that will show live coverage of the races. There will also be TAB facilities onsite to make sure you can place that winning bet!!

Along with the races the Melbourne Cup Lunch will also have a range of activities and entertainment for guests to get involved with.

With the cup fast approaching it is essential you have a winner outfit ready as Pinnacle events will be running a fashion on the field’s competition with plenty of great prizes to be won.

In addition to best dressed there will also be lucky door prizes and a sweep to get in on all of the racing action. Team these festivities with delicious food and you already have a winning afternoon.

Our customised menu has been designed by our executive chef. The menu features a hot and cold buffet, tasty grazing tables and live food stations where guests can interact with our chefs and learn about the unique cuisines.

For any sweet tooths out there a delightful dessert bar will also be ready for you to devour with freshly bakes cakes, fruits, petite fours and treats that are all decorated to impress.

The event will also feature pop up bars for guests to purchase refreshing beverages.

Whether you’re in it to back the winning horse, ready to show off the perfect outfit, interested in the Equine history or if you are just keen on having a fun afternoon with friends, The William Inglis Hotel is the place to be for Melbourne Cup Lunch 2019.

To purchase tickets please contact:

Email: [email protected]
Phone: 02 9058 0312.

Further information can also be found online at: https://www.williaminglis.com.au/whats-happening/melbourne-cup-lunch/

We hope to see you there!!

Take 5 With Pinnacle – Joseph

If you’ve ever wondered what makes a Pinnacle Team Events employee tick then you have come to the right place! Each month we will be taking 5 minutes to chat with each member of our staff about their lives both inside and outside of work.

What I love about being a Pinnacle Facilitator:
Meeting new people

How long I have been working for Pinnacle:
A little over a year I think.

My favourite Pinnacle team event to facilitate:
I haven’t had a chance to help run all of the events pinnacle offers, but at the moment I’ve been enjoying Survivor.

Most embarrassing moment as a Pinnacle facilitator:
Nothing embarrassing yet. Give it some time though. 

My favourite hobbies are:
Cooking, hiking, napping.

Band I’m listening to at the moment/podcast recommendation:
Music: Clipping.  /  Podcast: Critical Role

What was the last book you read?:
The god of small things – Arundhati Roy

Favourite holiday?:
What are holidays??

Have you ever had a nickname?:
Nope. Sorry. Not a very exciting answer. 

I am frightened by _____ :
Roku’s basilisk and unregulated capitalism. 

Favourite movie of all time:
Grease 2

First concert I went to:
Peter Combe

If you could live anywhere, where would it be?:

What makes you angry:
Roku’s basilisk and unregulated capitalism.

What makes you laugh the most:
A well timed Simpsons quote will always get me.

What song would you sing at karaoke night?:
Wuthering Heights – Kate Bush