1) Build a Bike
Seventy people from Travel and Transport, an Omaha–based transport management company, were all smiles as they built bikes together during a meeting at Talking Stick Resort in Scottsdale, Ariz. Training firm The Leader’s Institute interspersed messages about teamwork, but attendees’ biggest takeaway was seeing the children pedal off on their newly assembled bikes.
2) Drumming Together
Another creative option at the Banff Centre in Alberta is a drumming workshop, good for all size groups. Here, participants get to experiment with various percussion instruments, and, through “serious play,” learn about collaboration—and the essential art of listening.
3) Science of Mixology
Just like a great team, a great cocktail needs its ingredients to mix well. That was the thinking behind Quixote Consulting’sidea. Teams choose to make “mocktails” (with no alcohol) or the real thing, pick a category (such as fruity or creamy) and a liquor, and start mixing. Those who aren’t making the recipe have to come up with the perfect name for their drink or create a commercial for it.
4) Take a Taste
Remember when the only “tastings” activities involved wine? Not any more: Offerings range from bourbon, to chocolate, to mustard, to cheese. And who doesn’t love cheese? The Cheese Impresario, former advertising executive Barrie Lynn, introduces event attendees to artisanal cheeses, and suggests beverage and food pairings.
5) Back to Bocce
Ask everyone to turn off the cell phones and kick back with an old-fashioned lawn game. BocceNation.com brings bocce to you. The basic package includes equipment, court and scoreboard setup and tear-down, and a uniformed BocceNation.com team to explain the rules and run all aspects of the event, including rotations and scoring.
6) Velcro Olympics
Olympics on the beach is so …’90s. With the Velcro version at the Abbey Resort in Fontana, Wis., participants wear Velcro overalls that adhere them to certain sections of the course as they struggle through the obstacles. Participants can race against time or an opponent. This event’s versatility makes it suitable for all fitness levels and group sizes.
7) Sculpt Your Idea
In addition to the traditional conference center teambuilding offerings, The Banff Centre has created a number of unusual options, including Creative Clay. When was the last time most adults played with clay? In this program, groups of four to 20 participants use clay to explore the various elements of “design thinking” and to model their best-case team and team environment.
8. Cake Chefs
With all the cake shows on TV right now, this is a hot teambuilding activity. Teams design and decorate a cake that symbolizes who they are, starting with the name they come up with for themselves. Working from a large sheet, they carve their model, then embellish it with assorted frostings and decorations. Afterward, they create a commercial to present their cake to the group (and, of course, eat it!).
Available in 114 cities across the country (or they can come to you), this outdoor teambuilding activity is a take on the popular activity of geocaching. Teams are armed with a GPS receiver, pocket PC, two-way radio, and digital camera, then set loose on a four-hour hunt, deciphering visual and written clues as they go. The company has done events for groups as small as six participants and as large as several hundred.
10. Chili Cook-Off
At Chaminade at Santa Cruz, managed by Benchmark Hospitality, meeting-goers become chili chefs as they don cowboy hats and color-coordinated bandanas, break into teams ranging from five to eight people, and compete to develop the best chili recipe, team name, and chili chant.
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