From Teamwork to Team Building: How to Get 200 Execs Better Acquainted

Every business and every employee is familiar with the concept of a tall order. Ship 500 pallets of hula-hoops by end of day! Fulfill a thousand orders of Snuggies in one minute! Work retail on Black Friday without going insane!

We’re no exception here at Watson Adventures. Even though we offer more than 700 different scavenger hunts and other corporate team building games, we still get the occasional client request that surprises even us. And that’s just what happened when we got a call a few weeks ago: “Hi, can you come up with a totally new set of games to help 200 young CEOs get to know each other better, in real time, in one room of a resort hotel?”

The Challenge

That might not sound so difficult, but the request comes with a few wrinkles. The first, obviously, was that the client wanted new games from us, not adaptations of our many, many existing games. That part alone is easy—we’re always creating new games and hunts.

The second part makes things trickier. We’ve run scavenger hunts and trivia games for 200 people—but they’ve never involved throwing all 200 people together to learn more about each other’s lives. That’s pretty bonkers! Oh, and everyone’s pretty much in the same room the whole time? Oh, AND you want everyone sharing these facts in the moment, instead of providing information in advance so we can build something more structured? OK then!


The Process

So with all that in mind, we started sifting through the possibilities, and after a few days of throwing ideas around, we had some prototype versions of various games. So we invited a dozen or so remote colleagues to the office, bribed them with a huge pile of food, and played games together. Unsurprisingly, this collaborative, all-our-heads together “beta test” worked out the bugs, unearthed cool new ideas the writers had never thought of, and left us with a more or less finished product (after some polishing, of course).

But would a few mini-games that amused a dozen co-workers translate to a ballroom full of people?


The Results

Since this blog post isn’t titled “Watson Adventures Fails Real Bad, Ruins Client’s Day,” you can probably guess how things went. The challenge resulted in our new Better Get Acquainted Game, which includes such creative challenges as…

  • Two Truths and a Lie, where each player finds a recent photo on their phone and shares two honest facts and one lie about the picture. Opposing players earn points for correctly guessing the fibs—and in the process, everyone shares fun facts about their lives.
  • Tell Us a Story gets even more in depth, with players repeating a brief personal story told by another player, doing their best to retell the tale and earn points by using secret words.
  • And in One of a Kind, players reveal interesting details about themselves and win points for being unique. You could learn about your teammates’ notable travels, hidden talents, special skills, weird things they’ve eaten, and more!

And according to hunt host Joshua Bott, the event was a hit.

“Teams were very competitive, he said, “and one hunter who told me he hates this sort of thing ended up involved and loving the challenges he had been opposed to.”

The executives playing the games learned some truly unusual things about each other. Who knew their fellow players had eaten water bugs and monkey brains, or were licensed boat captains and certified sitar players?

“The stories that came out,” Joshua added, “were very funny, and also some very blue. There were lots of drunk stories, and other tales felt more James Bond than scavenger hunt! The group really liked this.”

OK, so it’s not for everybody, perhaps, but the new Better Get Acquainted Game makes for a successful team building event of any size—and it came about thanks to a hearty dose of teamwork to begin with!