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 interest.tech 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 perfect.charity 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.

Team Bonding & Why It’s Important

When I hear trainers who conduct serious team building events say that team bonding activities aren’t important, I start to resemble our wild hare mascot, Wild Harry. My nose starts twitching and I thump my foot down in frustration.

Yes, it’s beneficial to companies to host skills-based programs to enhance team knowledge. But, it’s equally beneficial to host play-based events to enhance team bonding. And, here is why:


Team bonding activities allow employees to, well – bond!

And, to see one another as real, flesh-and-blood people. They’re no longer “that number cruncher from Accounting.” They’re now Alan with two kids who has a hysterical sense of humor. It’s easy to let “the number cruncher from Accounting” down. But, it’s not as easy to let Alan down. That’s what really well planned and effective team building activities can do.

team bonding activities games

Team bonding activities – fun & games get people to interact outside the cubicle.

It’s hard to feel close to your team when you work in a cubicle or remotely all day.

Technology is a beautiful thing, but email means you can interact with fellow employees without the need to see or speak to a human being all day. If you want your people to care about your company and their fellow employees, they have to interact face-to-face and team bonding activities allow them to do just that.


Team bonding activities are a fun way to get to know your colleagues.

Team bonding games and activities are fun! Fun energizes your team. Fun makes people happy.

Think about a typical school day. Teachers know they need to educate students with skills-based activities. Teachers know students have to work. But, teachers also know students need to blow off steam at recess. In fact, according to Stanford research, recess helps students feel more engaged and positive about their day. Just because we’re grown up, doesn’t mean we don’t still need recess. And, don’t you want your employees to feel more engaged and positive about their day?


Hosting team bonding events can make your employees feel more appreciated.

When you host a skills-based activity, they know your investment went towards making them better at their job, which translates into money for your company. But, when you host a team bonding event, they know that investment didn’t go directly towards the bottom line. It lets them know you are investing in perks and making them happy. Interestingly enough, however…

team bonding activities hospital art

Hospital art is a team bonding activity that your people will appreciate as it helps a good cause, which makes them feel good.

Team bonding activities do help your bottom line!

When employees are happy, like the people they work with and feel that their company cares about them, they stay at their job. Recruiting and training new employees takes a lot of time and money, so why wouldn’t you want to encourage team bonding?


Finally, don’t believe those trainers and academic types who tell you that team bonding activities don’t build skills. They do!

Yes, a treasure hunt is a team bonding activity, but clues can reinforce company information and help people hone their problem-solving skills. Sure, your employees may get a little silly when they do a creative event, like a “make a movie” team bonding activity. But, the theme of the movies can focus on corporate goals or product benefits and even showcase your team’s hidden talents! Host a variety of team bonding activities to put their different abilities into play each time.

team bonding activities treasure hunt

A team bonding activity to treasure – teams explore a theme park with a hunt!

team bonding activities creative events

Our Make a Scene movie-making event is one of many creative team bonding activities that pack a punch!

And, what does the company that plans team building events for a living do as a group to encourage team bonding? We’ve treated ourselves to a spa day, gone shoe shopping, walked together in a 5K, had a girl’s game night, done a charitable team bonding experience at Fallin’ Pines Critter Rescue,  and, challenged ourselves with Escape Room experiences to name a few! And, today we did it again!  We had lunch, took new head shots and team photos, got massages and broke out the Easter baskets.  Come on, admit it…doesn’t it make you want to work here too (just a little bit)?  And,  that is the importance of team bonding!

team bonding activities Wildly Different team

The Wildly Different team bonding before Easter and emulating their mascot, Wild Harry!

Team Building in Phoenix and Scottsdale

Wildly Different, which offers events worldwide, has a history of operating team building in Phoenix and Scottsdale for years.

But, we’re happy to announce that we now have an office based in the area, making it even easier for us to offer team building in Phoenix!

Our very own Manager of Making It Happen, McKenzie Kaufeld Counts moved to the area in November. She’s been busy making contacts and learning as much as possible about her new home. Here are some insights she’s made that may help if you’re looking to host a team building in Phoenix or Scottsdale:

team building in Scottsdale, AZ

McKenzie scoping out Old Town Scottsdale for a team building in Phoenix area

It’s possible to do team building in Phoenix that goes beyond the Jeep tour

Many groups love to take a Jeep tour for their team building in Phoenix. We think it’s a “hot” (in more ways than one) activity too! But, it does have its limitations. For instance, you’d be hard pressed to take a large group out, as the number of Jeeps are limited. Thankfully, Wildly Different has options for team building in Phoenix and Scottsdale that can be done at or around your event venue in the Valley including:

Hunts that allow you to explore while doing a team building in Phoenix & Scottsdale & beyond

There are so many places to visit in the area – from Phoenix, to Old Town Scottsdale, downtown Tempe, or even the beautiful Papago Park etc. And, there are equally as many different types of hunts you could host for your team building in Phoenix. It all depends on the profile of your group. Traditional team building treasure hunts are an ideal way to get your team to use creativity, strategic thinking and communication skills. They’re also a great way to weave in company information! But, if you simply want your team to have fun and explore the area, something like our Epic Selfie Quest would be perfect, as teams simply have to collect photos and scavenger hunt items. For those looking for a high-tech option, our iTech Trek outlines a variety of challenges on a team iPad. And, we’ve hosted Amazing Race-themed events that are, well…amazing!

team building activities phoenix

Teams participating in The Great Race in Tempe

Western-themed events – the perfect theme for a team building in Phoenix & Scottsdale

Some of the favorites that we’ve hosted here include an event that has guests making chuck wagons out of fruits, vegetables and other parts and then racing them on a track! Or, if you prefer something more life-sized, there’s Wagons Ho, which has teams transforming a regular cart into a wagon and their people into horses that pull it and a rider along a race route. Another one you can lasso is our Make a Scene event. It puts your team’s creativity to the test, as teams must recreate a famous western film with a company themed twist.  And for those who like to puzzle out conundrums instead of using their creative flair, there’s Escape The Gold Mine.  This popular favorite builds on the popularity of Escape Rooms, but can be done for any size group! If you need team building in Phoenix or Scottsdale, Wildly Different has a host of options or we can create a custom themed team building event just for you.

team building Phoenix

Getting ready for teams to enjoy a Wildly Different western team building event in Phoenix

A golf-themed team building event in Phoenix & Scottsdale is a no-brainer!

Teams can build their own golf course using items that are donated to charity afterwards. Or, they could build their own 19th hole in our event that has teams creating their own tiki bar. There’s also our Golf Game Show that is a duffer’s delight, but wouldn’t tee off any non-golfers either.

You can do your team building in Phoenix at your event venue

There’s no need to go offsite to do your team building event in Phoenix. That just adds on a lot of additional expense and time to your event schedule. Most event venues have huge ballrooms and beautiful outdoor spaces. We have events that work well in ballrooms, outside, or a combination of the two.

team building in phoenix az

McKenzie sitting pretty in one of the area’s local haunts!

If you’d like to talk to our expert on team building in Phoenix and Scottsdale, don’t hesitate to “butt in” (pun to accompany the photo above) and reach out to McKenzie! Simply contact us and mention that you read this blog and would like more information.