By Martyn Mills, director, Berrison
Business and consumer-facing events alike increasingly incorporate fun, breakout activities – be they some sort of sport, music, or brainteasing session.
They provide a pause in proceedings: a time to take stock, reassess the event, bring people together – and essentially, provide some entertainment.
But are they strategic?
All too often, team-building and breakout events are added into an event with an ‘off the shelf’ approach – clay pigeon shooting, cocktail-making, paintballing…
However, if you or your client are investing a large sum of money in an event, it is logical to get the most out of any such activities, and therefore imperative that you look at it from a strategic point of view.
To get the most out of your team building, here are some things to keep in mind during the planning process.
What type of organisation are you?
The best breakout and team-building events take people away from their usual settings and comfort zones. That way they can reinforce your company or event messages through vivid and memorable common experiences that will allow your delegates or guests to build long-lasting relationships.
What are your wider objectives?
It has to have a purpose. Let’s not do things for the sake of it. You need to create something that helps deliver on an existing target. That way the activity can be relevant, regardless of your need, whether it is to make people more competitive or get better at communicating or manage their time more effectively. Whatever your objective, there is an activity that can be created to help with this.
What are the personalities at play?
Before you book your breakout activities, you need to take into consideration the different personalities and demographics at play and look at WHY they are being held in the first place. Events should have roles and responsibilities within them that appeal – even if completely subconsciously – to different personality traits. Nobody should feel uncomfortable in a good team-building session or at an event.
Don’t just do it as a one-off
A session that has brought your team together should be maximised! I often recommend a follow-on event or some sort of revisit further down the line. It’s key that the teams or guests remember the activity and can utilise any learnings in real life for the benefit of the company.
A team event is all about working with that team, to help them be more focused, more self-aware and productive. They should be designed and structured around clear objectives, business deliverables and budget to ensure everyone has a great time. However, in the long-term, it is the organiser or manager who should ultimately get the most out of it.