Team Building Events Mean Business

Last week on April 14th we were proud to participate in Global Meetings Industry Day, a day when leaders from across the meetings and events industry united to showcase the real impact the industry has on business, the economy and the community. Our own McKenzie Kaufeld Counts, Manager of Making It Happen, sat on a panel as part of Greater Orlando’s Meeting Professionals International chapter that discussed why meetings matter.

In Person Meetings Builds Relationships

If you’re trying to convince your colleagues that it’s important to hold an in-person meeting or event, Meetings Mean Business provides a great GMID Talking Points document that will help. Our favorites, which echo our sentiments on why you should host in-person team building events as well, include:

  • “Personal relationships are at the core of every business decision and face-to-face meetings provide professionals with that personal interaction, which leads to deeper relationships.” That’s why our networking events are so popular – they encourage people to interact with new people they may have never come into contact with before in a non-threatening way.
networking activities orlando

With a networking activity meeting new people CAN be fun!

  • “When people meet face-to-face, relationships are developed in a way that technology cannot recreate or match.” The only exception is if you can use technology in your team building event to strengthen relationships! For instance, in our iTech Trek events teams use an iPad to work together to explore an area while completing on-iPad challenges.

    iTech Trek

    iTech Trek – connecting people with technology.

  • “Meetings create a shared sense of missions and purpose, foster empathy across organizational lines and create camaraderie that positions an organization for success.” All of this is a key component in a face-to-face team building event like our Make a Scene event. In it, teams’ missions are to create a commercial for their company that shows their purpose (what sets them apart from all others). The camaraderie that’s developed in writing, directing and acting in the commercial strengthens what they need to focus on for success.

    make a scene

    Set up for our Make a Scene event. Teams are ready for their close up…

  • “The ability to sit down one-on-one with colleagues provides for instant collaboration and real-time productivity.” We especially love team building events that inspire people to work together to beat a deadline, such as our Escape program that challenges teams to be the first to solve problems in the form of clues and puzzles to escape a series of rooms they’re held captive in.

    team building escape game

    Can your team “Escape” in 90 minutes?

  • “These events serve as critical education platforms for professionals and are key components for developing advanced skills for workforce training.” And, education delivered in as fun format is more likely to be remembered. Remember Schoolhouse Rock? I never would have remembered the preamble to the Constitution without singing “We the people, in order to form a more perfect union…” That’s why many of our team building events, such as our Not Your Typical Game Show, incorporate our client’s training information – to ensure the information sings in their heads for years to come!Not Your Typical Game Show – not your typical training activity!

Greater Meetings Industry Day also talked about the economic value the meetings and events industry contributes, highlighting these facts from Oxford Economics – 1) companies that invested more in business travel during the economic downturn grew the fastest and 2) every dollar invested in business travel realizes $9.50 in new revenue and produces $2.90 in profits. Good news for us, as we were on the road conducting team building events again this week!   Aeme’s suitcase is getting some wear and tear as she opened the week conducting a Red Wagon Brigade event for 250 people in Las Vegas and will close it in Miami delivering a jewelry-making charitable event to benefit Dress For Success – just doing our part to support the economy!

wildly different vegas

Aeme getting wildly different in Las Vegas

Theme Park Team Building Activities

When planning a meeting in a location where there is a theme park – or in our case (Orlando) many theme parks – our clients are conflicted on what to plan for their group. There’s a certain “attraction” to allowing their group to enjoy the theme park. But, they don’t want their attendees to simply scatter to do so. What’s the answer? Host a team building event in the theme park!

Do’s and Don’ts For Team Building at a Theme Park

Some things to consider when doing a theme park team building event include:

  • Pick an event that will enhance your attendee’s theme park experience. Something like a treasure hunt or an Amazing Race-themed event allows them to explore the theme park.
  • Ensure you’re not disrupting other guests’ visit. Theme parks are busy places and although the theme park is in the amusement business, they will not be amused if you upset others’ enjoyment of the park. Some good rules of thumb are:

….Tell teams you’ll deduct points from their score if they’re spotted running in the park. Although I mentioned we do Amazing Race-themed events in theme parks, we give teams points for completing challenges well rather than for doing them the quickest.

…Don’t create challenges that require attendees to bother others, such as taking photos with or getting items from strangers or employees working in the park.

…Ensure all challenges can be completed in open public areas, rather than inside stores, restaurants or attractions.

…If you aren’t booking private event space through the theme park you’ll want to plan your event kick off and ending off-site. You can kick the event off at your meeting location before transferring your group to the theme park. Allow teams to review team building event materials, such as rules, as they’re being transported. And, end the event by having one person from each team turn in materials at a meeting spot within the theme park, but reveal the results and award prizes later on in your meeting.

  • Don’t require teams to ride an attraction. You never know how long the lines will be on the day of your event and some people won’t be able to ride because of motion sickness, a bad back, pregnancy, etc. The last thing you want to do is upset your people.
  • Consider hosting an event later in the day, as many theme parks offer discounted tickets after a certain hour.
  • Conduct a site visit of the theme park at the time of day you’ll host the event, so you’ll get a sense for what your group’s experience will be. Are the places you want teams to visit open at that time? Will a parade shut down the street just at the time you want materials to be turned in?
theme park team building

Gaby & Kerri doing a site inspection at Epcot

Make Sure Your Event Has A Theme

The word “theme” is in “theme park,” so theming the event should be easy! However, with a “wildly different” imagination you can integrate any theme or company information into your team building event! For instance, when we did a hunt for a movie organization, we had them check in with event staff at locations throughout the theme park to get a clue that led them to reveal the name of a movie. Can you figure out what movie this clue related to? The answer is at the end of the next paragraph!

corporate team building orlando

What movie is hinted at here?

In “short” (hint, hint), a theme park team building event is the ideal way to get your group to connect with one another in a fun way while enjoying all the attraction has to offer. Do it right and it’s sure to be a fun ride! Oh – and the answer to the clue above? It’s The Big Short, of course!