Want to ensure that your next event is the perfect picture of team building and not the zany plot of a workplace comedy? Proper planning can ensure there are no plot twists.
To illustrate this for you, I’d like to take a page from the corporate playbook and lead by example; enter Chuck, President of Lockdata Technologies. Chuck is a 30+ year veteran of team leadership, 20-year veteran of business ownership and most importantly, a pro at putting together positive event experiences for his teams. With Team building initiatives woven into the fabric of day to day life at Lockdata, frequent office celebrations, and an annual picnic – just to name a few, I can’t think of a better person to show you the Do’s of putting together this kind of event.
Let’s look at Chuck's event and three fundamentals at the core of planning a team building event:
Click HERE to view the event details
- Know your audience and define your goal: It goes without saying that there is no event without attendees so, successful planning must start with them. Like Schoolhouse Rock taught the children of my generation, “Knowledge is power” and the knowledge of your attendees’ wants and needs will allow you to center your event around them.
In our example, Chuck was challenged to bring together two diverse teams, The Shubert organization located in New York City and LockData Technologies of Lakeville, Pennsylvania to participate in a weekend getaway at Woodloch Pines Resort in Hawley, Pennsylvania. This would allow the team members to meet and collaborate in person, more so than the usual video conferencing, phone calls and emails that the team had been used to. The goal: Create shared experiences that will strengthen existing bonds and generate new ones between clients and associates working on the project.
- Focus on smart selection and scheduling: While selecting activities, dates, and times may seem like the simplest stage of planning, it can actually be quite a feat. You must navigate the calendars and commitments of each group member all while considering which activities can help you achieve the goal of the event.
For this event, Chuck scheduled smarter. Taking into account the availability of key stakeholders to define the dates for the events and working the schedule to accommodate the availability of the whole group. The first day of the event ensured that the goal was accomplished by keeping all activities within working hours. Effectively making the event part of the work day ensured that all members were given the opportunity to participate and keeping the schedule centered around more casual experiences allowed for personal bonding to occur. In keeping the off-site elements optional, it communicated to the members that both their time and their role on the team are valued.
- Deliver on the details and make it easy for your attendees: With the major features of the event determined, the focus of successful planning now shifts to the smaller details and logistics of the event. This is where your event comes to life as you share your vision and begin to engage your attendees. Keep these small details together and present them in a manner that is true to the brand for your business. Don’t forget, being invested, intuitive and easily accessible to the group is paramount to your success!
Rather than using disconnected methods for managing the event, Chuck used GroupTools. This platform allowed him to present each feature of the event to his attendees on an eye-catching, custom page that allowed the attendees to seamlessly respond to the invitation. Each attendee was able to easily opt-in to the features they would be attending, providing Chuck with the proper counts to plan for. They could also respond to a survey Chuck created providing him with detailed information on their dietary needs so that the meals provided were inclusive to each team member. They were also able to access forms with detailed activity information, as well as a streamlined itinerary, so that the attendees own process of preparing for the event was painless.
From the initial concept through to the completion of the event, Chuck’s planning made a memorable experience for all those who attended! Keeping the three concepts we’ve explored in this article at the heart of your planning will help ensure that your next foray into the world of Team Building will be just as memorable. Need further proof? Take a look below to see photos from the event: