Team Building: Make It Unconventional

What’s the trick to creating a memorable team-building experience? It has everything to do with deviating from the norm. Team-building exercises are often memorable because they allow attendees see each other in a different context.

Team building should be memorable not merely getting for out of the office, and doesn’t always have to be conventional. Experiences can intellectually challenge participants in an escape room or physically challenge them during a hike during a hike. Here are a few other team-building ideas that go against the grain.

Have an Adventure!

Staying indoors while engaged in any team-building exercise can be fun, but it’s more prone to become stale. After all, attendees spend much of their time indoors as it is, so taking a break from enclosure may be welcomed; technically it’s still work for them, but taking the meeting outside will take the pressure off and remind everyone that it’s supposed to be fun.

Related: 6 Adventure Parks for Summer Team Building

While you’re outside, why not go on an adventure? There’s plenty of fun waiting to be had. Many hotels and resorts offer a broad range of activities from which to choose.

Emerson Resort & Spa in Mount Tremper, New York, has a plethora of options for fun-loving attendees, no matter the season. Just south of the property is Belleayre Mountain, where winter sports such as skiing, snowboarding and snowshoeing are offered; and there’s just as much to do for summer lovers, including hiking, mountain biking and swimming.

Seascape Resort in Monterey Bay, California also offers many outdoor activities. Attendees who love to spend time in the water can take surfing and stand-up paddleboard lessons or go on a kayak voyage if they’re feeling particularly risky. If it’s action-packed competition you’re looking for, there’s archery tag—a cross between dodge-ball and paintball—played with bows and foam-tipped arrows.

Escape!

If being in a room is a requirement—because it’s raining, for example— your team-building meeting, what’s better y than to make the room a game? One option, escape rooms, a relatively new, creative and intellectually challenging way to get attendees together— were introduced to North America in 2012 and have been gaining popularity ever since. There are escape rooms across the globe, from Los Angeles to Kyoto, Japan, and each provide their own twist to the game.

An escape room is a physical adventure game that involves players solving riddles and puzzles using hints and clues that are found in the room. Groups of three to 10 players are given a nerve-wracking, one-hour time limit to escape. Each escape room has its own distinct theme, with its own backstory that answers why you’re there to begin with. Escape rooms offer a unique team-building experience. They’re an inventive way for attendees to learn about their team members, and more interestingly, learn how they think under pressure.

Hotels have noticed the attention escape rooms bring. Greece is home to two hotels that feature escape rooms, Apollo Resort Art Hotel in Kiparissia and Elysium Resort & Spa in Faliraki. Apollo Resort features one escape room, Immortality. Elysium features two escape rooms, The Alchemist, which also has immortality as its theme, and Taken.

Cruise and Build

A cruise is an adventure in itself—add some team-building activities, and you have a party. Cruise lines, such as Celebrity Cruises, provide a host of F&B experiences and many activities for attendees to enjoy, from treasure hunting to lawn club games, such as bocce ball and cornhole, to classes on ballroom and line dancing.

For attendees who would rather not get physical, there is still much from which to choose. You can awaken the true artist in them with a hands-on hot glass class, where they work with a gaffer to create glass art. They can test their knowledge on a wide range of topics, including daily trivia or on popular game shows, such as Family Feud.

The F&B experiences allow attendees to get creative and flex their culinary chops. Attendees can roll sushi, decorate a cake or even learn how to grill the perfect steak. Cocktail enthusiasts can find out how to make the alcoholic beverages from learned mixologists. If wine is more their thing, they can become vintners for a day and craft their very own wine or become a pairing expert by learning what makes the ideal wine and food combination.

Tech Out

Contrary to the claims that modern technology is the reason we’re all so disconnected (which have some basis) when used properly, it can connect attendees through heavy engagement and collaboration. Activities such as video games can bring everyone together when there is a mutual goal in mind—to win.

By using virtual reality, team-building company Play with a Purpose has been able to bring team members closer through collaboration and healthy competition. The team-building company’s The Infinite Loop is a virtual reality game involving a rescue mission that requires individuals to work together if they want to come out on top. “While extremely engaging and fun, The Infinite Loop is designed for a strong learning purpose” says Sharon Fisher,” chief idea sparker for Play with a Purpose. The game enables members to learn how to communicate and work together effectively.

Digital scavenger hunts mix the age-old game of clue-finding with the ever-present Internet, and its vessel, the smartphone. There are plenty of apps for scavenger hunts, such as City SmartHunt, in which each team is given a tablet and must explore their city, looking for clues to beat other teams. The teams must travel around, find items and landmarks, and document their adventures (or misadventures), with the use of text messaging, GPS and FaceTime to help complete challenges.

Related: 11 Event Tech Trends That Shaped 2018

Team building can help companies and organizations create a work team that functions together efficiently. When planning your event next time, go outside of the box. It can create lifelong friendships among team members, as well as make that lasting impression you’re seeking.

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