7 Simple Questions to Plan the Perfect Executive Team Building Event

We get a lot of nervous calls from people who’ve been asked to plan an executive team building event for their VIPs.  It’s understandable – these are the people who they’re trying to impress day-in and day-out, so of course they want to keep them happy. So, here are some things to keep in mind if you’re planning an executive team building event…

It’s important to remember that your executives, like you and me, are people too.  And, like you and me, they want to have a good time!  Don’t get overly concerned about making the executive team building event uber-sophisticated. When calling about an executive team building event, people always say, “It can’t be anything silly.”  We get it – you don’t want your CEO to be sporting a lampshade on his or her head – they have a reputation to live up to after all.  But, don’t err on the side of caution either – you may not want to plan something silly, but you also don’t want your executives to be bored silly.  To find that happy balance, ask yourself:

  1. What is the purpose behind the executive team building event?  Are they brainstorming ideas for the future?  Then loosen up their minds by planning a creative executive team building event.  For instance, in our Make a Scene event executives receive an iPad with a movie-making app and they could be challenged with creating a sci-fi movie that touches on what the company looks like 50 or 100 years from now.  Are they problem-solving?  Then get them in that mode with an event like our Unlock The Mystery event that finds executives racing against the clock to use props to solve clues to unlock a chest.creative executive team building
  2. How well do the executives know one another?  If they know one another well, it’s okay to select an executive team building event that finds the same group of people working together throughout the event.  But, if one of the goals of the executive team building event is to allow executives to get to know one another better, you may want to pick an event like our Mix It Up event that incorporates a mixer activity between all participants at the start of the event and then pairs executives on new teams for every challenge.executive mixers
  3. Do they want to do the executive team building event on site at the retreat location, or do they want to explore the surrounding area?  If they want to go “out and about” you may want to plan something like our iTech Trek in which teams receive an iPad loaded with challenges that must be done throughout an area of hunt for executives
  4. Do they want to improve their leadership skills?  Then, consider pairing a fun speaker, like our favorite, Dave Mitchell from The Leadership Difference, with an executive team building event that puts the skills they’ve learned from Dave to the test in a fun way afterwards.Dave Mitchell leadership team building
  5. Do they want a charitable executive team building event?  Planning an event that gives back to the local community is always a safe bet – there’s nothing silly about helping others!  Know your executives.  Will they be happiest going out into the community, rolling up their shirtsleeves and getting hands on with an event such as fixing up a park?  Or, would they like to stay in a climate-controlled area and help kids become as successful as they are one day?  If so, our College Prep event, where they compete in fun challenges to win items that are assembled into laundry baskets to outfit the dorm rooms of scholarship students who need help with the basics, is event executives
  6. What are their interests and how can they be woven into an executive team building event?  For instance, we created a Talladega Nights-themed car-racing event for one client because the top executive was a fan of the movie.  Do your executives like fine wine?  Something like our Blend Together event, in which they learn about wine blending and then get to try their hand at blending, would be ideal. We can design a custom event to satisfy your needs.talledega nights event
  7. What’s going on that could be tied into the executive team building event?  Is it football season?  Plan something like our Football Frenzy event that ties in football-themed challenges.  Are they in a unique location?  Plan an activity that takes advantage of where you are.  Something like our Amazing Chase is ideal due to its adaptability.  It can wrap in challenges with an urban feel if they’re in a big city, such as trying their hand at being a Spin DJ, or it can incorporate something like paddle-boarding to a clue spot in the middle of the lake if the event is hosted in a more natural setting.

Planning the perfect executive team building event may seem like a daunting task, but if you take the time to explore these 7 simple questions, you’ll be well on your way to setting up an amazing event for your executive leadership group.

The Demographics of Team Building

Many times when we get calls from someone interested in organizing a team building activity we hear things like, “My boss loves ropes courses. Do you have anything like that?” Or, “I’ve been there and done everything, wow me with something I’ve never seen before.”

Now, I’m not saying that you should ignore what the boss wants. And, we pride ourselves on coming up with concepts that are, well, “wildly different!” But, I always want to ask these people, “What are the demographics of your group and what would make them happy?” After all, getting a big cheer from your group for the wonderful experience they had makes your boss happy and makes you look like a rock star, right?

So, today I’m going to encourage you to keep the demographics of your group in mind when planning your next team building event. Here are some questions to ask yourself:

  • What is the age range? Have a younger group? Maybe they’d love to make videos to rival those posted on YouTube in one of our Make a Scene events. Have an older group? It doesn’t always mean you shouldn’t go active (see my colleague Mac’s story below), but it does lead to the next question, which is…
  • How physically active is the group? Would they be keen to run relays? Or, is something more sedentary, like decorating plant pots to donate to the elderly in a nursing home, more their style?
  • What’s the male vs. female ratio? Just because there are men in the group doesn’t mean they won’t enjoy something like our Icing on the Cake decorating competition – remember, the Cake Boss is a man! But, if the group is mostly male, they may be more at home with an event like our Spud Racer activity where they make racecars out of fruits and vegetables, which will remind them of their scouting pinewood derby days.
diverse team building

Yes, men AND women do enjoy decorating cakes!

  • Are they a shy bunch that would cringe at the thought of having to stand in front of their peers and compete in a Karaoke-style Raise Your Voice competition? Or, are they more outgoing
  • How will they be dressed? Women in short skirts, high heels and perfectly coiffed hair may not appreciate our With Flying Colors event, which is a blast, but has players visiting activity stations and getting color thrown on them if they complete the activity successfully!
diversity team building ideas

Who, me? Get covered with color? Bring it on!

  • Do they all speak English well? If not, Treasure Hunts with cleverly worded clues may not be the ideal event for them.

Think about your group and they’ll thank you!

An Oldie But A Goodie…

As referenced above, Mac learned that being older doesn’t always mean not being active! During a recent Beach Dash event, a series of beach-themed relays, she noticed the flowery green lei team had a gentleman who was over 80 years old!    She worried about how he’d do, but whenever a new game was introduced, there he was riding a pool noodle, Hula-Hooping, or tossing fish into a team member’s hip baskets right along with the best of them. His team’s beach song presentation did not disappoint either.  Each man on the team took the stage with a beer in their hand (a practical prop, of course), and perfectly-timed choreography to go along to with their original composition.  Although he was not the lead singer during their song, his enthusiasm was contagious! This one man’s spirit kept his team motivated, got him voted most valuable player and ultimately his team went on to win the gold!

senior team building

You’re never too old to have fun!

A Doggone Great Visit with Orlando Health

Just as you have to keep your group’s demographics in mind when planning your team building event, if you’re doing a charitable event, keep the charity in mind! What do they want and need? To find out, Jane met with Theresa Eber, Manager, Corporate Giving for Orlando Health Foundation /Arnold Palmer Medical Center Foundation to ask what they could use. They spent over an hour brainstorming new charitable team building concepts that would help the organization impact lives.  A tour of their campus is being planned to inspire us even more when it comes to making our CSR events that much more impactful.

On a side note, Jane even got inspired to see if her dog, Duke, could become a therapy dog. In Jane’s words, “He has a gentleness about him and people tend to love him when they see him.” Is she partial? See the picture below and let us know what you think!

unique corporate team building events

Who can resist that face?!

team building rescue dog

Duke alert and ready to go to work as a rescue dog!


We had a couple of tearjerkers this week when…

…Mac’s client couldn’t stop crying after her group assembled care packages for the troops, which made her think of the many friends and family members she knows who are serving.

… 150 kids were jumping up and down when Aeme dropped off TOMS shoes one of our groups decorated and donated to the Jack & Jill Center. Watch this space, as rumor has it we’ll get pictures of these kids in their new kicks next week!

team building event jack and jill center

Can’t wait to see these on the little ones’ feet!

How To Pick A Charity and Charitable Team Building Event

cheer packages team building event

A few of the many donations our clients assembled this year!

I often get asked what is our most popular team building event and my answer is, it’s not just one event, but an entire genre of events – charitable team building activities. In fact, in the past year, Wildly Different has created programs that:

  • Assembled 200 red wagons
  • Decorated 220 pairs of TOMS shoes
  • Stuffed 3500 care packages
  • Built 185 bicycles
  • Crafted sculptures using 40,000 cans of food

Read more