Maybe you’ve been doing event coordination for a while and know that there are limited types of activities in the city, especially in the downtown core. You’ve tried out axe throwing, escape rooms, archery tag, and been to the ROM or Ontario Science Centre more than you care to remember. And of course, innumerable bars and restaurants, which invariably lean towards a night out more so than a team building event. Your choices are not just limited, but finding an activity suitable for everyone makes things even more difficult.
Fortunately, there are a few ways for you to find the newest and trendy activities:
- Social Media. By following influencers, and even other organizations, you may get a sense of what other people are doing.
- Social groups like Bunz Friend Zone on Facebook may allow you to see where people like to hang out.
- Event Listing websites like eventsource.ca
- When searching, use alternative keywords. Many vendors target the same keywords, such as team building exercises, team building games in Toronto, group events in Toronto, Birthday parties in Toronto (you will be surprised that many places that do birthday parties offer corporate event packages as well).
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Most companies want events that are fun, interesting and can accelerate building trust between team members. Naturally, these events would also want to include alcohol and food. Many places may not offer the total package, therefore event coordinators sometimes have to contact multiple vendors to ensure team building events are successful. At the end of the day, the goal is to make employees happy, satisfied and leave them craving for the next event. In order to have the total package you can do the following:
- Keep a running list of trusted caterers that offer food, alcohol, and service. Our top pick is The Food Dudes/Pantry. Their service is terrific, their portions are very filling, and most importantly the food is tremendous.
- Always ask for alcohol or food along with your inquiry. Many venues will accommodate your request but may not list it as an option on their website.
- Always do a site visit to make sure there’s enough space to socialize, maybe even going so far as to request a clearly labelled floor map to get a sense of the space.
Whether it’s the season, venue or profitability of the project, department, or the company as a whole, budget can fluctuate even for large corporations. To prevent your events from being negatively impacted by business, you should always do budget planning for the fiscal year and include team events in the budget forecast. While maybe doing this will not prevent all budget cuts, it will help in managing employees’ expectations and in making the best out of what you can spend. There are a few rules of thumb to follow. Never set the expectations too high (always remember the maxim of underpromise and over-deliver), never share budget numbers to anyone, and never announce team events too early. Usually, 2 or 3 weeks in advance is a good amount of time. And lastly, make sure to let it be known that these things are your way of building a culture of rewarding employees and that they’re special events.
No two people are alike, and finding a suitable activity for a majority of people is difficult not just because of a lack of new activities, but also because people’s tastes and expectations change. While people may have liked previous activities, you have to be aware that some may not like similar activities again because they always like to try new things and especially trendy activities.
To circumvent this challenge, you can try the following:
- Follow local trendy blogs or publications like NotableLife or BlogTO.
- Make friends with other event coordinators or office administrators in other companies on Linkedin and always share and exchange your event ideas.
- Don’t give too many event options for employees to choose from. Two options for each event should suffice.
- And, as always, listen to your people.
If you found this article useful, consider reading our other blog post with 7 tips for having successful team building events.