Conference Hack #6: How to select the right Team Building Activity

So you’ve allocated some time for a team building activity during your next offsite, but haven’t given much thought about what form it’s going to take. Here are a few pointers to think about:

First up, it’s super important to have a crystal clear objective of what you are trying to achieve from the team building session. Are you allocating this time in the runsheet to:

  • Have fun
  • Build trust
  • Improve communication
  • Get delegates out of the conference room for some fresh air and a break
  • Develop leadership
  • Develop resilience
  • Problem solving
  • Some other reason….

In the post modern era of 2019, it will come as no surprise that as soon as you mention the word “team building” many delegates will moan and groan. One of the reasons for this is that in the past(!) conference organisers have scrimped and saved on the team building activity and… like most things …. you do get what you pay for. If your budget only allows for a $50buck/head for a 2hour amazing race, don’t expect expert facilitation and deep bonding…. And this is fine if your objective is in ticking off the above points 1) or 4) (ie. Having fun or Getting delegates out of the conference room for some fresh air and a break).

If on the other hand, the objective of your team build offsite is focused on driving:

  • resilience
  • adapting to changing environments
  • innovation
  • building trust

Selecting an activity that is a real & authentic experience is much better suited. These activities provide a platform for delegates to step out of their comfort zone and showcase vulnerability (ie adventure activities like abseiling). By definition, these activities should be uncomfortable (in a high perceived, low actual risk environment). And, this is where expert facilitation (and… er… budget) comes back into play. Good facilitators know which individual and/or team buttons to push and when:


In summary, first up you need to make crystal clear what is your team build activity, then you need to choose an activity that compliments  your team build objective.

Feel free to get in touch if you’d like any more info or support in building a successful offsite for your team.