Breaking The Ice – Organising Groups For Team Building

You’ve been tasked by your manager to plan a team building activity as part of the companies annual conference. You’re told it must promote the company’s vision for the year ahead as well as team work. On top of your ambiguous brief, you have a diverse audience to work with; colleagues from overseas offices, a variety of cultures and harbouring a range of thoughts towards the event. It truly is an unenviable position to find oneself in.

We’ve been helping event organisers plan memorable meeting and conference events with team building activities for over 15 years, ranging from SME’s to Global Corporations and know that without proper organisation and forethought a lot of money can be wasted and reputations can be severely bruised! And so we’ve put together a list of our top tips for organising and facilitating team building activities at meeting and conference events.

Drumming

  1. Name Badges & Group Lists. These are two very basic elements but absolutely vital if participants are unfamiliar or have never met. The level of unknown can range in complexity such as the marketing and accounts department who work on different floors to the EMEA and North American operations teams. Either way name badges help participants to break the ice with each other whilst group lists are necessary if you plan on mixing up the different departments/teams. Group lists also have the added bonus of preinforming people who they’ll be meeting. Recently there have been a lot of technological advancements to this type of management which I’ll mention at the end of this post.
  2. Communicate Key Points Of Contacts. If you have a large number participating in your event then it may not be possible for everyone to work in the same room or on the same activity. Therefore it’s sometimes necessary to split the group into smaller ‘slots’. When done properly this makes your overarching job of organising the activity a lot easier, with smaller manageable chunks. Within each slot there must be a Key Contact whose job it is to have participants where they need to be as well as deal with any issues. This point is particularly valid when participants are moving around a large venue such as during a conference treasure hunt. It’s vital that these Key Points of Contact are clearly communicated to all participants otherwise they’ll feel very much like an unguided flock and you’ll have a mutinous delegation to deal with. No one likes to feel like their time’s being wasted on a pointless exercise. Of course if you’re using an Events Company there’ll always be the right number of Event Managers in place to ensure the event runs without a hitch.
  3. Tempo Is Key. If delegates are checking their emails or, CEO forbid, on Facebook then you know that the participants interest levels are dwindling. The main aim of a team building event is to communicate a message or through interaction, improve a functioning element of a team such as communication or creativity. So it goes without saying that if they’re not interacting with each other then the event isn’t going to achieve it’s objectives. Thank the Technology Gods that smart-phones were invented because they’re a great way to gauge the interest levels of your audience.
  4. Set-Up Event Feedback. It needn’t be a case of setting up fruitless and helpless ROI measurements for events. The evaluation not only helps prove your capableness to your manager but also identify the successful and not so successful areas of your event. With delegate tracking you can send out tailored post event surveys. This can help you plan even more effective team building activities in the future as you gain a better understanding of the different cultures within your company.
Conference Treasure Hunt

Technological advances have also helped improve delegate events and are especially useful for networking and facilitation. For events on a grand scale, Android and iPhone apps have created a new and interesting method for checking in and delegation tracking too. These advances when combined with clear communication and plenty of planning can ensure identify problem areas in the day’s itineraries as well as ensure that everyone gets the best out of a fantastic team building activity.

The good news is we’ve made it easy for events organisers as we offer the most exciting and innovative team building activities on Earth! We always offer an unbiased service to our clients with suggestions that match their requirements. Our event managers are always on hand throughout the activities to take the stress out on the day. We also offer unlimited pre-event client liaison and recommend site visits before the event to ensure that our services fit perfectly.

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