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Team Building Checklist: How to Plan the Perfect Event in 11 Simple Steps

Planning a team building activity is a big job. But with some careful planning, a few key considerations, and our 11-point team building checklist, you can make sure your event goes perfectly. Team building activities...

Planning a team building activity is a big job. But with some careful planning, a few key considerations, and our 11-point team building checklist, you can make sure your event goes perfectly.

Team building activities are a great way to improve team morale, boost communication, and increase collaboration within your organization. When done correctly, these activities can provide a much-needed break from work, promote teamwork, increase motivation, and can even help your team hone valuable professional skills.

However, planning a team building activity can also be a bit overwhelming if you’re not sure where to start. So, to help you make sure your event is flawless, we’ve put together a comprehensive team building checklist. Check it out.

Define Your Goals and Objectives

The first step in planning a team building activity is to define your goals and objectives. This can be anything from building key skills, like communication and collaboration, to rewarding high performance or even simply letting people socialize to build bonds. The five "W" questions are a great jumping-off point to help you define your goal. When answering each question, try to be as specific as possible and answer with as much detail as you can.

For example, here are sample answers to the five "W" questions:

  • Who: Sales team of 45 people
  • What: Fun activity
  • Where: New York City
  • Why: Reward event for an awesome quarter
  • When: August

Put that all together, and here’s a clearly defined objective for a team building event: "We want to reward our sales team of 45 people for an awesome quarter with a fun activity this August in New York City."

Consider Your Team’s Size and Interests

Once your goals are defined, it’s important to think about how many people will be attending the event as well as the general interests that your group shares. The larger your team is, the more planning you’ll need to put into your activity. On the other hand, if you have a small team of 4 to 6 people, you may want to opt for a more intimate activity.

Your team’s interests are also a key consideration for your team building activity. After all, you want to ensure everyone’s going to have a great time together. One great way to figure out what everyone’s into is to send a few options around by email when you start planning your event. Using a tool like SurveyMonkey, you can poll your colleagues on the type of activity they like best. This way, everyone has their say in the event—this, in turn, ensures they’re going to have a good time, but it also helps relieve your stress and worry as the event planner!

Set a Budget (And Be Detailed)

Your budget will impact the type and scale of the activity you can plan. If you weren’t given a specific number to work for, it’s worth looking into some options to get an idea of what you can afford. Our team recommends budgeting for the following items:

  • Transportation and parking
  • Venue booking and permits
  • Activity providers
  • Food and beverage
  • Insurance
  • Fees

Try to keep your budget realistic but leave a little wiggle room for unexpected expenses.

Pick a Date and Time

Picking a date and time may seem easy at first, but you want to ensure that you take busy calendars into consideration before finalizing these details. This is especially true if you work on a hybrid team with colleagues that will need to travel to attend your event. It’s also important to take seasonality and weather into account. Say your whole team is really set on doing an outdoor activity, it’ll be important for you to pick a time of year that traditionally has good weather. We recommend leaving at least 14 days to plan your event, but the longer, the better.

Choose a Location for Your Team Building Activity

The right venue or location can make or break your team building activity. It can also be one of the highest-priced items in your budget—and the price will only get higher the closer you get to your event, so make sure this is one of the highest priorities in your planning process. For example, you’ll want to avoid venues that won’t be able to accommodate your group or activity. You’ll also want to find a venue or location that isn’t too far away to cut down on travel time and costs.

If your team is fully remote, you don’t need to worry about your venue. You can just host a virtual team building activity where everyone can attend via video conferencing platform from wherever they may be. Unsure where to start with finding a venue? Don’t worry, we wrote an article that explains how to pick the perfect venue for your team building activity.

Select the Perfect Team Building Activity

Once you’ve worked through the first five steps of this team building activity checklist, it’s time for the fun part: picking the perfect team building activity for your group. Before you choose your activity, reflect back on your goals.

3 Team Building Activities for In-Person Groups

If your whole team will be attending your team building activity together in person, here are a few events you’ll love.

Hollywood Murder Mystery

image For teams that want to prioritize collaboration and communication while testing their problem-solving skills, this is the ideal activity. An up-and-coming actress has been found dead in her hotel room the morning after an awards show. Now, you and your team need to channel your inner detectives as you review the evidence, assess potential suspects, and determine the method, motive, and murderer in the crime.

Wild Goose Chase

image If you’re looking for something fun, high-energy, and outdoors, you can’t go wrong with Wild Goose Chase. In this scavenger hunt activity, your team can get out of the office and explore your city in a whole new way. Together, your team will need to think outside the box, bond as a group, and venture outside into the community in order to complete a series of fun and unique photo and video challenges.

Charity Bike Buildathon

image Looking to give back and make a difference with your group? Then a philanthropic team building activity is optimal for you. The perfect balance of business lessons and philanthropy, Charity Bike Buildathon will bring your team together to collaborate with their colleagues, bond as a group, exercise creativity, put their business sense to work, and give back to their community. In this activity, teams will decorate and assemble bikes to be donated to kids in your community.

3 Team Building Activities for Remote or Hybrid Teams

For fully remote work teams or hybrid teams with a mix of in-person and virtual event attendees, virtual team building activities are a perfect, simple solution. Here are a few to consider.

Virtual Friendly Feud Social

If you’ve ever wanted to take part in your own Family Feud-style competition, this is your chance! With Virtual Friendly Feud Social, you and your colleagues will break out into teams to compete through survey questions focused on culture and human nature. And, as an added social element within the game, each round of questions will be followed by a guided social mixer where you’ll have the chance to take part in a group discussion and more deeply explore the survey questions from the previous round.

Virtual Escape Room: Mummy’s Curse

image In this activity, your remote team has been transported into a pyramid cursed by a restless mummy. Now you must uncover the secrets of Ancient Egypt in order to lift the mummy’s curse and return before the portal closes forever. Your team’s problem-solving, collaboration, and communication skills will be put to the test, as they race against the clock (and their peers) to solve the mummy’s complex clues and puzzles. Does your team have what it takes to lift this ancient curse, once and for all?

Virtual Happy Hour Trivia

image Hamish will host two rounds of virtual pub trivia, featuring four themed categories of your choice. With 20 category options to choose from, you’ll be sure to find the perfect themes for your remote team - from Are You Smarter Than a 5th Grader to Sports, Food & Drink, or even Celebrity Real Estate. With pub soundscapes, visual surprises, and warm-hearted humor, Hamish McDuff makes your guests feel like they just had a memorable happy hour with friends in a real pub, like the good ol’ days. This virtual pub trivia game is guaranteed to produce plenty of laughs and lift team “spirits.” It might even include a few special surprises.

If you’re not sure about the right team building activity to achieve your goals, reach out to our Employee Engagement Consultants today. They can help you find the perfect event.

Plan Out Your Logistics

After the larger elements have been decided, you can focus on the smaller day-of logistics surrounding your event. By putting together a detailed checklist, and you can help prevent important things from falling through the cracks on the day. Here are a few items to consider including on your logistics checklist:

  • Transportation: Will the company take care of transportation or will participants be responsible for getting themselves to the activity?
  • Food & Drinks: Will the company provide food or drinks?
  • Liability Waivers: Will participants need to sign a waiver to attend?
  • Accommodation: Will participants be staying at an off-site location overnight?
  • What to Bring: What do participants need to know in advance? For example, should they bring clothing for wet weather?
  • Special Circumstances: What arrangements are needed for employees with disabilities or injuries?

Develop an Event Day Agenda

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Your team will most likely want to know what they’re doing for your team building activity. An agenda can help you schedule out the day and easily communicate to your colleagues what will be happening during the event. Your agenda should highlight everything employees will be doing, from arrival and departure times to the duration of the activity, to meeting points. Our team recommends distributing the agenda to participants in the weeks leading up to the event, with notice that it may be subject to change. Not only will this help prepare attendees’ expectations for the day, but it will also serve to get people excited about what they’ll be doing.

Finalize Your Guestlist and Send Out Your Invitations

With all the preliminary details confirmed, it’s time to create a guestlist and send out your invitations. Make sure to provide clear details about the date, time, location, and any required attire or equipment. Encourage everyone to RSVP in a timely manner, so you can get an accurate headcount and make any necessary arrangements.

Cross Your T’s and Dot Your I’s

In the days leading up to the activity, make sure to prepare thoroughly. Confirm details with any vendors or suppliers, and make sure that everyone knows what they need to do to get ready. If you’re holding the activity at an off-site location, make sure that everyone knows how to get there, and consider providing transportation if necessary.

Evaluate the Success of Your Activity

After the activity, take some time to evaluate its success. Was the activity well-received by your team members? Did it meet your goals and objectives? Did it improve teamwork, communication, or morale? Take note of what worked well and what could be improved for future activities.

Planning a team building activity can seem like a daunting task, but with a team building activity checklist, you can make sure yours goes off without a hitch. Does your organization do any team building activities? How do you plan and prepare for them? Let us know in the comments below!

Learn about the perfect team building activity to achieve your goals. If you’ve got questions about how to pick the perfect team building activity for your workgroup, reach out to an Employee Engagement Consultant.

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