There's nothing like interactive team programs to add energy to training sessions. But making everyone feel included is just as important as theexercises themselves.
* Create an even playing field--During every training session, some people will have bonded; others will feel left out. Break up cliques so different people get to learn about each other.
* Be inclusive--If your team event involves a physical activity and you have an attendee who is physically challenged, a good solution is to make that person a team captain. This role keeps him or her involved in the team's strategy and coordination without drawing undue attention to physical limitations.
* Bring in the right staff--Know how many staff people you need for each activity and make sure they are trained. Bring staff to inform guests of game rules and make sure they're playing accordingly, to tally scores, and to distribute prizes. Guests quickly lose focus when the action stops, so have staff to keep them energized and the event moving along.
* Dress the part--The staff and team captains become the living decor for an event. Use hats to identify team captains (vital in a room of 200 people). Have staff wear shirts that follow the event's theme.
* Make sure everyone's a winner--A mini awards ceremony is a great capper to an interactive program. Even the team with the poorest showing can be recognized with a prize for "Came in Last, But Had the Most Fun!" Any little prize will do.
* Follow up and follow through--Use a written or e-mail survey to evaluate the program's success. Did the activity reach expressed goals? Was it a good match for the participants? Would participants want to do it again? No matter how many times you hold a teambuilding event, ask for constructive criticism.
Five Tips to Take Away 1. Mix up guests as they enter the site by randomly handing out different colored wristbands. Teams are then made up of guests sporting the same color wristband. Eight is a good number of members on a team for balance and manageability.
2. Book your staff three weeks in advance and send out a confirmation letter about a week and a half before the event date.
3. Stage a trial run of new interactive activities with friends and associates to learn how much staff is required.
4. Ask your staff to dress consistently in neutral colors (black or khaki pants, for example), so all you need to do is provide shirts.
5. Always send thank yous and program evaluations to everyone involved: the key organizers, staff, and participants.