2020 proved to be a year like no other; it's been a long journey that required tenacity, teamwork, diligence and compassion around an emerging socio-economic situation and a good dose of humour.
Exclusive Collection is getting back in to the swing of things and although many of our service parameters have changed, we are establishing a new set of traditions as we balance the need for physical distancing in a business that thrives on a house full of guests and a busy, buzzing team.
In 2019 we founded a network for our key clients; a community called Flock where we shared insight from a stellar line up of speakers including Eddie Jones and Jonny Wilkinson and we encouraged friends of Flock to interact and share their best commercial practices with each other.
As we move to a new phase in the business world we’re embracing online and temporarily migrating Flock to become an online community. The same premise applies; networking, standout speakers and insights. Practical learnings for everyone.
Elite sport is an important element of our business and coupled with a protracted 2020 where the business goals changed regularly, without notice and with none of the history or data we are all used to, it led us to draw on the lessons and learnings of endurance sport for our next chapter of Flock. Think of what it takes to swim around Great Britain, to run an ultra-marathon or, as I’m a keen cyclist, to take on the Tour de France.
In January we will be starting Flock | Go The Distance a virtual cycling challenge for business leaders to meet, ride and interact. Once again there will be lots of content from a great line up of speakers as well as fitness and wellbeing activities for us all to benefit from at the start of the year. Our content will focus on the core values of high performing teams, innovation, sustainability and wellness.
You can join as a team or we can introduce you to others as we’d like to encourage our teams to raise money for a charity during the programme. We will be working towards our own online endurance event on Zwift and putting into practice some of the lessons we’ve learned.
During the 3-month programme we are being supported by Keith Prowse, the UK’s leading supplier of hospitality and business experiences. Keith Prowse, like Exclusive, has a keen eye on sport and creating world class experiences making it a fantastic partnership. We’ll also be using new technology that we’ve installed at Pennyhill Park, and we’ll be showcasing some of the innovations and other positives outcomes that 2020 has afforded us.
I very much hope you will join Flock and hope the following information will answer any questions you may have. I certainly look forward to a time when I can personally welcome you back to one our hotels, but in the meantime, I hope to see you online very soon.
a virtual cycling challenge
This virtual cycling challenge for business leaders to meet, ride and interact
The 3-month programme has been devised to raise money for charity, and to help boost individual and team health & wellbeing and draws on the theme of endurance.
Through a series of structured webinars and written content we will give learnings and insights on the correlation between sport and business performance.
The programme is open to individuals at every competency; whether your pace is more ‘fun’ than ‘flat out’ or whether you ‘drop to aero’ or ‘snack on Aero’ we simply don’t mind!
Our premise is to share with you the learnings from elite and endurance athletes and to apply these to a new world order while having fun and helping support a range of worthwhile causes.
WHAT KIT DO I NEED TO BE ABLE TO TAKE PART?
You will require a bike set up for indoor cycling. This can be on a turbo, a smart turbo on a Wattbike or an alternative. The programme is all about being indoors which means your training is weather proofed until April. You will require access to Zwift. The Zwift platform enables you to link your turbo trainer to your computer or mobile device, letting you ride with other cyclists in a virtual environment.
The basic list of equipment you need is:
- A bike (or smart bike)
- Either a turbo trainer, a set of rollers or a smart trainer
- Bluetooth or an ANT+ or a measurement tool such as a power meter, smart trainer or speed/cadence sensor
- A computer, smartphone or tablet with Bluetooth or ANT+ (or an ANT+ USB dongle)
I DON’T HAVE A TURBO
Turbos are often heavily discounted online and can range from £60 for a basic system to more than £1,000 for a Smart Turbo Trainer which reacts automatically with the gradients of the hills on Zwift!
It doesn’t matter which turbo you opt for to participate in Flock.
WHAT IS ZWIFT?
Zwift is online cycling in a virtual landscape that enables you to cycle, train and even race with thousands of others from the privacy of your own home.
It’s totally up to you how much of an expert you’d like to become on Zwift: enjoy a leisurely cycle around London without the fear of traffic, boast to your friends how you conquered an Alp or pit your power in one of the online pro-races.
The important thing to remember is that Flock | Go the Distance is a community for business leaders to collaborate and to share insight and expertise.
There are no egos, no wrong questions and no expectations about how much you use Zwift.
COUNT ME IN - WHAT’S NEXT?
If you are not already part of our community, sign up on line and we will give you access to lots of content from previous Flock events. To participate in this event, fill in the online form and we’ll let you know who else is set to Go the Distance and start putting dates in your diary for 2021’s online events
WHAT WILL I GET OUT OF THIS?
Flock | Go the Distance is a network and community of business leaders.
There will be exciting, organised cycling sessions on Zwift and important content and insight from speakers and partners who are experienced in endurance racing, who will share the important analogies and learnings between sport and business.
We will all be working towards a final ‘challenge’ in the spring for all participants and this is a great opportunity to raise money for your team’s chosen charity.
The Zwift platform is fun and can also deliver serious results – Flock | Go the Distance is a well-timed initiative after Christmas and it’s up to you how far you take your online cycling. Just don’t forget you are also aiming to raise money for your team’s charity. In addition, you’ll benefit from:
- CONTENT & INSIGHT
On a monthly basis, streamed content will be shared with Friends of Flock from a notable endurance athlete or sportsperson. The content will focus on key attributes of endurance and high performance: goal setting, contingency planning, mind over matter and countering the feeling of emptiness when the goal has been achieved.
The content will draw on Exclusive Collection’s key values:
- High performing teams
- FITNESS & PERSONAL WELLBEING
During the programme you will be given the opportunity to undertake a basic fitness test on your bike, a Functional Threshold Power test (FTP). Your individual FTP measures the best power you can sustain on a bike for an hour in a race scenario. It’s a fantastic benchmark of where you personally started and what you’ve achieved over the 3 months.
Zwift has hundreds of workouts which we will use over the course of the programme and we will aim to improve your fitness, enrich your knowledge and widen your network.
Teams can be made up of 4 to 6 people to include a Captain. If you don’t have a full team we can help start the networking at the outset by joining you up to other Friends of Flock.
Just remember, the final challenge is a team event and many hands (or should that be feet!) make light work!
HOW OFTEN DO I NEED TO CYCLE?
Over the duration of the programme, there will be organised 1 hour online cycling sessions. If you can’t join the meet up, you have the freedom to complete the session whenever suits you. It doesn’t matter if you want to cycle at dawn or midnight or if you miss a session entirely, we understand this is your free time, but we would like you to engage as much as possible and certainly make the most of the knowledge our speakers and partners will be sharing online.
CAN I RAISE MONEY FOR ANY CHARITY?
As many of you will have a dedicated company charity for the year, we’d encourage you to raise for them and to get your colleagues rooting for you. Endurance sport is a long hard slog, and your colleagues, friends and family are sure to get behind you as you seek to break your own personal barriers.
The team captained by Danny will be raising money for Hospitality Action, and we would like to suggest this charity for any teams we help create with individual participants.
I’M ALREADY ON ZWIFT AND RIDE WITH MY OWN GROUP
That’s great and we don’t want to get in the way of any training plans you may be working towards. We will have a weekly group ride and if you already have an FTP, you can cycle at your own cadence and watts and we will set the group ride to keep everyone together and we will keep quiet if you are smashing out like a Cat A Racer.
HOW DOES ZWIFT WORK?
Without getting too techy; Zwift takes the input from your bike (either via a power meter, a smart trainer or just a speed/cadence sensor using ANT+ or Bluetooth) and uses an algorithm to translate your input data into your avatar’s speed on the virtual course.
It considers your weight, your power or calculated power, the road gradient and the draft, or lack thereof, from other riders.