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How to arrange team building event for team builders?

How to make something fun for your own team if the everyone knows well tricks and activities for creating events? We interviewed Siivi from adventure company 360 degrees to find out how things have been solved to bring fun into annual gatherings.

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How long  you have the responsibility to arrange annual event for your colleagues in 360 degrees?
Let me think about it. I think it has been three years.

 In 360 degrees annual event is held in winter. What challenges poses organizing this type of event off-season?
Spring, summer and autumn are busier seasons for people in outdoor company. Finding a date that could work for most is easier in winter. There are 70-80 participants and still, as with every event, you can’t find one date that matches everyone’s plans.

Weather is also a challenge. It can be cold and snowy and I have to find a¬†balance between indoor and outdoor activities. We have had our annual get together in deep snow but also¬†with green grass. We have outdoor activities and games departments separately and¬†people are different. Some are not into hiking and don’t have equipment to take part in event fully set in wilderness. In winter even for outdoorsy people spending¬†some event time indoors is a nice¬†option. So finding a balance between different interests can be a challenge also.

What activities you have to motivate people to participate?
We have had aim to introduce one another departments new games or activities each year.

Is that fun for people whose work it is every day? How much they enjoy trying playing game type they conduct for clients regularly?
Yes, I think so. It has turned out people like it. There is a difference between conducting a game and participating one. Last year we had “Home video” type of game. Most tried playing this game¬†first¬†time¬†and it made eyes sparkle and people enjoyed themselves. This year we will be having new type of game on smart devices involving listening to music.

What about activities provided outside company?
There have been some, yes. Like last year we had workshop for making a reflector and we had quest speaker talking about his mountain trip. In everyday work we don’t meet many colleagues¬†so often so there is always important to leave portion of time for chatting.

Her colleague, ¬†Toomas, adds laughing from the side : That is what you say now, but programme will still be so tight we will drop dead tired after the event. ”

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How long time before  next annual event you start to gather ideas?
I usually propose the time-schedule myself. Also we have set budget- it is not the case “to do everything with nothing”. Set budget allows to involve some extra activities outside 360 degrees. Options what to arrange¬†are left free and I usually consult with some colleagues about their ideas and wishes. Personally I find that the location should be special or different- something you really want to go and visit.

What 360 own event what has been you favourite?
I think best atmosphere was in outdoor event in Varbola hill fort. ¬†Weather was crisp cold and we “poured lead” for luck. Really cosy was also event when we had¬†accordion musician playing in one indoor event Luhtre. As our staff consists equally of men and women, we could spend night dancing.

Thinking over Siivi’s description about arranging the event we can conclude that
best tips to arrange fun event for your own team could be:

  • -find a coworker who enjoys extra arranging and leave their hands free to create something to enjoy herself/himself and colleagues.
  • propose a reasonable budget to bring in interesting activities your company hasn’t dealt with: handicraft workshop, quest speaker, live musician.¬†
  • motivate people to participate by finding special venue or different beautiful natural location
  • use games that encourage people to discover off-work facts about each other
  • or use you own company games or activities as an opportunity to show people what is the main thing their colleagues work on. Trying your own company activities is much different than conducting the activities yourself

What have been your best ideas to arrange event for your own team? How does it differ from arranging one for clients? Share your thoughts in comments.

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