Event Planning

How to Plan the Best Team Building Events

Team building events can be the spark that ignites your team into action for your upcoming projects or corporate goals. They’re also an excellent tool for getting everyone on board with the vision you have for your corporate culture.

If you’ve never planned a team building retreat or session, below are some powerful tips to help get you started.

Define Your Purpose

Like everything you plan in your business, you need to start with the end game in mind. What is the purpose of your team planning session? Your objectives have to be clear and tangible so that everyone understands the reason for the event. When setting your goals, address the following:

  • Teamwork issues that need to be overcome
  • Specific strategies for getting team members to work together to accomplish a task
  • How the event is going to improve specific organizational processes within your company
  • How the event will lead to improved team productivity and business growth

Assemble a Killer Planning Committee

The first rule in building a planning committee is to establish what needs to be done, making a list of responsibilities, and finding the right person to fill each role. Designate a single simple task to each person to keep from overloading any employee. Committee overkill can destroy your plans.

Also, try to match talented people with tasks they already enjoy doing. And lastly, don’t send out a mass email to your entire company to enlist volunteers. A better strategy is to handpick your leadership team.

Outline a Detailed Schedule of Events

Asking employees to stop what they are doing to attend a team building event can create a bit of frustration or even stress. Therefore, there should be no downtime during your session outside of lunch or small 15-minute breaks.

When all attendees arrive at the session, you should hand out a schedule of events so that everyone knows what to expect. Outlining a schedule will also help your team stay focused on their objectives.

Make Your Team Building Event Fun and Stimulating

Team building events should have an added X-factor that separates them from everyday work. It doesn’t need to feel like another day at the office. This is your opportunity to do something with your group that is fun and stimulating.

  • Plan the event off-site. Go to a park, restaurant, museum, or theme park conference room.
  • Plan fun activities or contests and games.
  • Try to avoid activities that resemble employee job descriptions or feel like responsibilities.
  • Schedule events that teach employees something they don’t already know.

Schedule a Quick Follow-Up Session

If your team building session has the impact that you hope it will, the event will take a little time to resonate with participants. Reconvene with a quick 15- to 30-minute session where you ask everyone what they learned from the event. Make sure that someone in the room is taking notes.

Three things to think about:

  1. Use this time to reinforce why you scheduled the event and what you hoped to achieve.
  2. Don’t send an email for feedback. Bring the group back together in a huddle.
  3. Avoid asking people what they learned while they are still at the event. You’ll receive more thoughtful answers if you allow everyone to mentally process what they experienced after a day or two.

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Genevieve Burke
About author

Genevieve is an administrative assistant currently working at an exciting start-up in the technology industry. In the past, she's worked for an array of companies ranging from global entertainment companies to local businesses. At the University of Chicago she studied Business Administration while working with a local bakery that has since grown into a wide spread Chicago mainstay. Outside of work she enjoys kayaking and volunteering at her local animal shelter.
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