Whew! You've chosen a stellar company to provide a teambuilding activity designed to bring out the best in your colleagues. Now you can relax, right? Not so fast—how do you now make sure to get the best out of that provider?
At Watson Adventures, we stage about 2,000 corporate scavenger hunts each year, and we've been at it since 1999, so we've learned a lot from collaborating with superstar event organizers. How do they get the best out of us? How can you get the best out of any event provider? We've boiled it down to seven tips.
1. Don't buy a dog if you’re going to bark yourself.
When you hire experts, listen to them. Your provider has presumably spent years mastering all aspects of the activity it offers. Be open to suggestions. Micromanage only the fear that you need to micromanage.
2. Your teambuilding expert can be only as organized as you are.
When we stage a scavenger hunt in which all the gears mesh beautifully, it's often because we're working with a client who is a master of details. He or she reads communications carefully, gets back to us promptly, and organizes the group before arriving.
3. Get real. Or realistic.
If you are planning an activity for 100 people in March in New York, maybe Central Park isn't the best location. If your colleagues tend to run behind schedule, don't try to squeeze in a late-afternoon scavenger hunt at a museum closing at 5 p.m. If the boss wants to speak to everyone at the end of the teambuilding game, don't finish at a loud bar.
4. Know thy group.
The better you know what excites your group members, the better you will match them with the perfect activity. Do they hate walking? Are they super competitive? Do they like to be silly? Help the consultant help you. Choose an activity with variety to it, so it can appeal to different types of people. If the grumps don't like games, don't lock them in a room with puzzles. Instead, consider a game that also gives them a tour of a fascinating place.
5. Ward off problems with communication.
Make sure your group has all of the details it needs before the event. Ask your activity provider what the participants need to know. Do they need to dress in any particular way? Will there be a place to stow briefcases or coats? Do they need a map to find the meeting place or a bar after the event?
6. Spread the appreciation, reap the rewards.
If the event is going well, express that to the people running it. Do people perform better when they feel appreciated? Well, don't you? And the more appreciation you send out, the more you get back.
7. Relax and have fun!
People always love seeing the person who organized the day having fun with them. They reflect the mood and energy from you! Enjoy yourself!