BREAKOUT66 . www.conference-news.co.uk . June 2012May "As there's nothing like this in London, to the same level of detail or credibility, an organiser will certainly not hear 'Oh, we've done that before,' from participants. So, from that perspective, it enhances their own reputation and ability to choose something different. It's probably also the only thing offering sex, violence, treachery and betrayal that won't result in disciplinary action being brought about!," replies Mr X with a sidewards glance. When asked if Mr X could divulge some brands that have run these tours he said with complete seriousness: "I could tell you but then I'd have to."Mr X was allowed, under the cone of silence, to give away some of the trade secrets. "Private sector clients have included a well-known global engineering company, who I have enjoyed a continuing relationship with since the trail began in 2009," he says. "But, groups also come from the Civil Service and select military/security personnel. There's also been a foreign embassy; one of the 'friendlies' of course."Saying our goodbyes with a secret handshake we ventured out into the darkness with a whole new outlook on what had happened on the streets of St James and Westminster. Hopefully our Conference News cover hasn't be blown in this hostile territory. Over and out!"The eagle fl ies at midnight," we were told on a cold and damp night in London by our guide, who set the scene well in a standard espionage uniform of a long leather trench coat and brown paper package labelled 'Top Secret'. For the night, he is Mr X. The teambuilding activity centres around the intelligence and espionage capital of the world, London. Sex, intrigue, scandal and betrayal are all themes for the night's trail as we follow the history of Britain's intelligence services who fought against their targets over the last century. This in-depth guided walk, which works best with groups of up to 20 but can stretch to 30 delegates, visits the locations where important decisions and operations were undertaken, to fi nd out what really happened. The tour focuses on real events away from the world's of James Bond, George Smiley and Harry Pearce. So why does this type of teambuilding work for corporates? "After a day of being stuck behind a desk or sat in a conference arena, the trail is a great antidote," says Mr X, who is a former politics and economics lecturer. "There's fresh air and some gentle exercise without pressuring people to get into their lycra or safety helmets. It's impossible to alienate people by simply going on a walk, whereas it can be with other outdoor activities. "There are lots of opportunities to chat with colleagues or delegates along the way, which isn't really possible at a theatre performance, for instance. "And let's face it: the subject matter is something that always arouses interest. So there are defi nite plus points." He says that if some "fun competition is required", this can be arranged afterwards with the post-trail quiz at one of several locations, including London's spy haunt and now luxury St Ermin's Hotel. I could tell you but then I'd have to.Covert teambuilding Team Conference News heads out in disguise for a teambuilding idea that covers the world of MI5, MI6 and the infamous KGB: The Intelligence Trail in London's spy haunts
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