Sweden’s archipelagos are so diverse and plentiful that you can actually rent an island for your event, and many planners do.
On the West Coast, the rugged Weather Islands are a haven for small corporate groups, which generally hunker down in the main island’s pilothouse-turned-guesthouse. Adventurous team building happens across the islands, whether an after-dark tour, geocaching jaunt through the Tanum World Heritage site and its 3,000-year-old rock carvings or through the archipelago and its cluster of 200 explorable islands (one holds the late actress Ingrid Bergman’s former summer home) via RIB boat or kayak.
Groups can also experience an archaeologist-led tour of “behind-the-scenes” Tanum that culminates in attendees trying their hands at creating a frottage of a carving, the process used to document rock carvings. Back at the guesthouse, meeting and incentive groups can relax in a wood-fired sauna, indulge in cheese, wine, whisky and rum tastings or head out into the wild blue wonder for a lobster safari, oyster course or crab and mackerel fishing.
Also in the west near the town of Lidkoping, the 17th century Lacko Castle, located on the site of a 13th century bishop’s fort, is another interesting option for galas and conferences. The castle hugs Lake Vanern, one of the largest in Europe that is also dotted by thousands of islands and a UNISCO Biosphere Reserve. Summer opera—Mozart to Benjamin Britten—draw locals and beyond to the Castle Courtyard in summer months, as does a growing permanent exhibition of artifacts dating back to the days of Count Magnus Gabriel De la Gardie. Groups can tour the baroque castle, and conferences, as well as lodging for smaller groups, take place at the nearby Vanerskargarden. Here, attendees also partake in food and wine tastings with restaurateurs, ghost hunts through the castle or outdoor adventures in the countryside such as kayaking, biking, a floating sauna trip and bird safaris. The medieval castle is open May through September and also by request.
The Swedish Laplands hold their own bundle of rare joys for groups, including arctic photography workshops with award-winning photographers, midnight dinners at the Aurora Sky Station in Abisko National Park, one of the best places to view the Northern Lights, or storytelling experiences with local Sami elders.
For more planning ideas on Sweden, check out “How to Experience Stockholm Like a Nobel Laureate.”