This year, 2018, marks Sabre’s 30th year in business. Despite the fact that 3 decades have passed, Sabre’s enthusiasm, professionalism and commitment to remaining at the cutting edge remain unchanged.
We delivered our very first corporate team event in 1988 on The Gold Coast at the Sheraton Mirage for Sheraton’s global management meeting nicknamed “The War College”.
Our early days were then characterised by military themed corporate team building activities built around the creative ideas and experiences of founder and Managing Director Talan Miller. His time working in adventure sports like Paintball as a young man, then as a Young Officer in the Australian Army flavoured these early approaches.
The fledgling team from Adventure Conventions (eventually branded Sabre) would playfully kidnap conference groups and transport them to the Gold Coast War Museum for a mix of military themed team challenge games, paintball and the famous Strike Force assault course. The famous evening MASH parties also became the stuff of legend, with much fun had at Sabre’s full-scale replica of the 4077th MASH.
A string of early clients like Kelwin Carpets, Woolworths, Nestle, Coca Cola, XXXX and Pepsi attracted some media attention from the Bulletin Magazine, Hinch and The Today Show which helped promote the early approaches to a bigger market. Starting slowly, and on a small scale (Sabre's core team still running corporate gigs as a moonlighting thing between other jobs, even Army commitments) the job requests became more and more frequent and Sabre's schedule got busier and capabilities became broader.
The blend of theatrical flair and humour with military trappings like real tanks, jeeps and also pyrotechnics caught the attention of the conference market. Team building as a profession was in its infancy and Sabre was in the vanguard of innovation in this field, and 30 years later it still is.
Sabre soon expanded its repertoire to incorporate many other themes and also more structured learning and development options including The Belbin Team Role Profiles (for whom Sabre is now Australian Distributor).
Interstate events started to call the Sabre team to cities and conference venues all across Australia and then also to overseas venues for clients keen to experience Sabre’s unique approaches and skills.
To this day Sabre works Australia wide and also overseas both directly and via international partners that use Sabre’s methods under license.
To survive and thrive across three decades in business is a rare achievement, and one that Sabre is proud of. Here’s to many more years of fun and adventure.
The team building market and the world have changed a great deal in 30 years, check out some other stuff that was happening in 1988:
The Australia Prime Minister was Bob Hawke, and the UK’s was Margaret Thatcher. George Bush Senior was US President and Russia was still had Mikhail Gorbachev at the helm. It was the Bicentennial Year. World Expo 88 was on in Brisbane. Crocodile Dundee 2, Die Hard, Beetlejuice, and a Fish Called Wanda were on at the movies. The first episode of Home and Away was aired. The Brisbane Broncos played their first game. The 88 Summer Olympics were held in Seoul. Canterbury won the NRL Grand Final and Hawthorn won the VFL Premiership. The Soviets withdraw from Afghanistan. Stephen Hawking published “A Brief History of Time”. Van Halen, UB40, The Escape Club, Yazz, Guns N Roses, George Michael, Morrissey, Enya, Robert Palmer, Bros, Kylie Minogue, U2, and Erasure were on the music charts.