The entire Sidekick group recently got together at the beautiful Aoraki Mt Cook for our annual conference!

During November, 55 of our team members from all corners of the South Island all convened at the beautiful Hermitage Hotel for a few days away together to bond, strategise, learn and have fun in one of the most stunning locations in the country! 

With all the Covid-19 restrictions and lockdowns this year, it was touch and go whether we would be able to host our conference. Luckily, with the South Island remaining at Alert Level 2 throughout November, we were able to go ahead with it. We owe the Hermitage a big thank you not only for their wonderful hospitality, but for their support in helping us safely run our event with our group bubble whilst adhering to Level 2 restrictions. Our group was safely kept separate in a private conference room and dining area, with masks, scanning and hand sanitizer present throughout the communal areas of the hotel keeping us and the other guests safe. 

The theme for this conference was ascent. This tied in with the location being at the base of New Zealand’s tallest peak, as well as our continued growth as individuals and a group. We used this theme of ascent to further our discussion about where we want to go as a group, and how we can best ascend towards those goals. Over the three days and two nights we took part in a number of activities. We had Kiwi legend Jamie Fitzgerald giving a fascinating keynote presentation on day 1. On day 2 we had presentations from Mark Jenkins from The Gap and Raewyn McConnell & David Bell from Xero, followed by an afternoon excursion out and about the national park. Some teams went boating around the icebergs on Tasman Lake, some went on an intrepid 4WD journey in the Tasman Valley, and the rest went on a walk through the serene Hooker Valley. The evenings were spent catching up over a beer or glass of wine and enjoying the delectable food the Hermitage has to offer. 

In a place as beautiful as Aoraki, it was hard for anyone to keep their cameras in their pocket for too long, which means we have an abundance of stunning photos, with the professional photos coming from one of team members, Craig, who is a talented photographer as well as an Accounts Administrator. You can have a scroll through the highlights below.