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An Expert’s Guide:
How to Pick the Best Team Building Event for Your Remote Team

In a virtual or hybrid workplace, events can shape your team’s view of the whole company. While often remote employees work alone day-to-day, the times when your team does get together make a huge impact on their culture and performance. You may not have events very often, so picking the right one is critical!

 

With so many ideas out there, it can be hard to find the right event for your team. Here are our five steps to picking an event that will keep your team smiling for weeks!

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Step 1: Identify Your Goal for the Event

 

Picking the right team building event starts with establishing your team’s goal. Are you hoping to celebrate a team accomplishment? Or hoping to improve team communication? Boost engagement? Or are you looking to just have fun together?

 

While you may be tempted to say your event should do all of these things (and to some degree, it should!), it’s best to have one main goal in mind. Having one goal as a primary target can help steer you to an event that really leans into and provides what your team needs most.

 

Tell your goals to your event host. They should be able to tailor the experience to match your goals.

 

If you’re looking to boost team engagement, don’t pick an event where teams are only watching a performance. If you’re looking to increase communication skills, don’t do an activity that has teams broken into too many groups. And if you’re looking to celebrate, don’t book a personal development class.  

 

Here are a few sample goals and events that may match with them:

Celebrate: Digital shows, food tastings, holiday events (check out Ghosts of Craven Manor)

Get to Know Each Other: Ice breaker games, social decision-making games (our SPIES Against CRIMES experience is great for this!)

Boost Engagement: Team Olympics style games, Escape Rooms, Murder Mysteries (Deadly Dining)

Improve Communication: Escape Rooms, games where each player has a role (Space Defenders)

Spark Creative Problem Solving: Team Challenge games, adventure games (Dark Tower)

 

Step 2: Pull Your Team Together, Not Apart

You’re doing a team building event to get your team working together and like each other more—not to push them apart! Make sure the main activity of your event is focused on creating comradery, and not silo-ing team members.

 

While competitive events can be fun for some, a heated competition may rub some members of your team the wrong way. Many workplace environments are already very competitive, and your event should focus on making the team excited about working together to achieve a common goal—not pound each other to the ground to achieve victory!

 

Some competitive events may do the opposite of what you were hoping for long-term. While one winner is declared, other team members who are “losers” may feel resentful, discouraged, or less valued than other team members who scored better during the event.

 

Competitive events have your team practice seeing each other as the enemy of their success, instead of building on each other’s strengths.

 

Similarly, avoid events that are not accessible to your whole group. While an event about medieval renaissance trivia may be one person’s passion, if others won’t know any answers, the trivia game will just leave people feeling bored at best…or excluded at worst.

 

Likewise, if you have someone lactose intolerant, skip the chocolate tasting. Check in with your team and make sure everyone would be able to participate.

 

Step 3: Lean into Past Success

Did your team love their last murder mystery event? Find another one where this time they get to play the suspects. Did they love your sci-fi, May-the-Fourth be with you company party? Pick a similarly themed space event.

 

Did they love getting a gift card to order food or drinks, or other little gifts? Save room in the budget to repeat the gift. If they didn’t seem to enjoy a prior event, that’s a good sign to find something significantly different.

 

By doing events similar to those your team previously enjoyed, you show your team that you’re listening to their feedback. By doing something they like again, you demonstrate that you care about giving them events they want, and value their desires.

 

Let’s say you have a friend whose birthday is coming up, and they tell you that they like action movies. Are you going to get them tickets to a romantic comedy show instead? No, you’ll get them tickets to an action movie—because you know they like those. It shows you listened, thought about it, and cared. Your team is the same way.

 

Remember the events your team loved most, and search for bonding events similar to those.

 

Many companies have a go-to event they do each year as part of an anniversary or holiday tradition. This builds a company culture around the event, solidifies team bonds, and makes your team stronger year after year.

 

Step 4: Let Everyone Participate

Pick an event where everyone can participate. Avoid scheduling an event on someone’s day off. Also avoid scheduling it close to an important meeting that may run long, which could cause someone to miss part of the event.

 

Pick a bonding event that allows everyone to actively participate. While watching a show or movie together may be fun, it doesn’t get your team feeling like, well, a team. Similarly, events where you’re working on a craft by yourself can be fun, but don’t connect you with others.

 

Avoid events with “team captains” or similar titles for virtual events—this often means one person is doing all the fun stuff, while others watch.

 

To improve a movie party, open up a chat for people to react during it. Many shows will ask for audience suggestions, which is a good way to engage your team as a whole.

 

Make sure that your team gets to interact not just with the event, but also each other—that’s why you’re bringing them together in the first place.

 

Step 5: Have an Expert Plan It for You!

 

Your team’s event can set the tone for your team dynamics and culture for the next quarter, or in some cases, even the next year.

 

Finding the right team building event can take hours of planning time. Every team is unique, and finding the right fit for your team can be a challenge.

 

Getting an event planning expert can save you hours of time. It also takes the risk out of picking the wrong event that doesn’t match your goals.

 

You can get a free 15 minute consult with one of our expert hosts. Our experts have run team building events for years, and can pick out the perfect event specifically for your team.

 

Even if we don’t have the perfect event for you, we’ll point you in the right direction…or make you a custom event ourselves!

OR tell us about your dream event here!

You're one step closer to an amazing team building adventure!

We'll reach out to you soon.

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