Pro Tips: Keys to Planning a Successful Team-Building Event

Watson Adventures Google HuntWhether you’re wrangling 20 employees or 200, executing a team-building event that succeeds on all fronts can be a daunting task. Different personalities, varying interests, multiple goals. How do you balance everything to pull together an effective, memorable activity?

After 15 years of planning scavenger hunts, Julie Jacobs has avoided many an event-planning pitfall and fumble. As our Chief Development Officer, she has overseen thousands of corporate scavenger hunts for the likes of Prudential, Google, Boeing, PricewaterhouseCoopers, and many more. Read on for her tips for having worry-free, fun-filled outings, and contact us to book your own fully customizable scavenger hunt.

Mix It Up

Mix up your small groups in an effective way. The great thing about our hunts is that the groups are small, so the interaction is high. I always suggest spreading out the “cheerleader” types and the “negative nelly” types.

We once had a team where the negative nelly was complaining about the weather and that she was hungry and so on. But the group started hunting, and the enthusiasm of the rest of the team squashed her mood.

Also, if you have a group that has some locals and some non-locals, make sure to put a local on every team. Not only will they be able to navigate more quickly, but they can provide some local flavor to the team. (Not that you need a local on our hunts—all directions are clear and easy to follow—but a competitive edge never hurts!)

We always say that everyone brings a different kind of skill to the team. On one hunt in New York City, for example, a team had a local on it who loved that his ability to navigate Greenwich Village finally came in handy in a work environment.

Watson Adventures McKinsey Hunt

Play to Personalities

Think of the overall personality of the group. Are they extremely competitive? Are they active? Do they already know each other, or is that something to emphasize? Are they motivated by creative activities or by intellectual challenges?

We recently had a group of actuaries doing a hunt, and it was very clear that they needed an extra challenge to keep them engaged. So we gave them our Brain Squeeze hunt, which adds an extra level of trivia to each challenge. Another time we had a group of designers doing a hunt who got very excited doing our Photo Challenge, since it got their creative juices flowing.

Keep the Overall Event in Mind

If this team-building event is part of a longer event or meeting, think about these points when choosing the right activity:

  • Will they have been sitting for a long time, so you need them to be active?
  • Are they visiting this city but haven’t had a chance to see highlights?
  • Will they get hungry at some point or will they have just been fed?

We had a group who wanted to do a hunt after a long meeting. It was clear that we needed to get them outside and moving around. We suggested our Munch Around the Chinatown and North Beach Hunt in San Francisco. Having a few bites while doing the activity raised their energy level, and they came back from hunting happy and sated.

Watson Adventures Corporate Hunt

Have a Backup Plan

Outings in the great outdoors can be glorious, until they aren’t. It is important to have a rain plan in place early. With Watson Adventures, we decide on your rain plan upfront so we can move you inside if need be. We have had many groups be very thankful they were happily hunting indoors while it rained cats and dogs outside.

But you need to be realistic.  If you have 200 people and want to do an after-party, it is probably better to start with an indoor plan from the get-go.  You will need to put down a deposit at your venue and you don’t want to end up going over budget because you had to transport people to a changed venue.

Team-Building the Watson Way

Are there important elements of your company or the meeting you want to incorporate into the team-building activity?  With our hunts, we can customize the challenges to include meeting themes, advertising slogans, corporate values, and more.

For example, we had a client who wanted to make sure his staff all knew how various social media sites worked, so we created a challenge they could only access by following and responding to a Twitter feed. No problem!

Now it’s your turn to get in the game! Contact us to learn more about our challenging, clever, customizable corporate scavenger hunts.