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In Tough Economic Times, Team Building Makes More Sense Than Ever

The calendar and the tax man may say the New Year starts in January, but for most of us, the return from summer vacation is the real start of the business year. We come back (hopefully) relaxed, refreshed, and ready to move forward with career or business goals. That’s why the coming months can be a great time to consider a team-building event at your company. With a workforce well-rested and ready for new challenges and new ideas, you can make the most of the team-building process and end the fiscal year on a high note.

But what is team building? Well, it’s not just free pizza and pop for Friday lunch. Of course, that’s a welcome treat and a nice, informal way to say ‘thanks for your hard work’, but it’s unlikely to deliver the unified sense of purpose and bonding that comes with a custom-designed team building exercise. Promoting camaraderie and building trust in our colleague’s abilities are the ideal outcomes of successful team-building. You need something that brings people together and gives individuals a chance to showcase their skills. A successful team-building event usually features some friendly team competition and a chance to socialize at the end.

At Bright Ideas we like to mix up the typical company’s personnel so that different departments get a chance to work together to solve problems. As an example, during a recent car rally event, rather than have departments competing against each other, we made sure each team was made up of people from a variety of areas in the company. They forged new relationships and everyone had an opportunity to bring their unique skill set to the challenge.

In tough economic times, layoffs, downsizing, and reduced budgets can have a real impact on staff morale. You may not have the budget right now to send staff to expensive conferences or industry seminars. But just as business experts caution that a downturn is the wrong time to cut your advertising spending, it’s also dangerous to ignore staff development. Why not take an afternoon or evening for a local team building event? Bright Ideas’ programs such as our ‘Party Hats’ theme (see below) combine the key principles of team-building with a fun atmosphere and can be customized to meet your budget. Want motivated staff and a ‘can-do’ attitude at your organization? Let Bright Ideas design a custom team-building event for you. Give us a call or request a quote.

Party Hats – Fun is Always in Fashion

All of a sudden hats are fashionable. Whether it’s the ‘fascinator’, made popular by royal bride Kate Middleton, retro-style trilbys and fedoras on pop stars, or something to protect us from the damaging effects of too much sun, the hat is back. Bright Ideas is way ahead on this trend. Our Party Hats theme event has been a popular choice for corporate events for a number of years. We take teams ranging from two guests to a table-full, and let them pick the Party Hat design of their choice. Then with the help of our skilled ‘Partyologists’ they get to work making the most beautiful, outrageous, or unusual hat they can imagine. It’s a proven winner, even with the guys, and an event that’s perfect for team-building, as each everybody collaborates on their creation, offering ideas, crafting skill, and assembly workflow advice – according to their skills and experience. Your creation may not end up atop the head of a princess, but a Party Hat event is definitely a great way to treat your guests like royalty!


The Events We Remember – Staff Pick of the Month

Each month we will showcase a staff member and share their favorite event. Here is Sandra’s pick for July:

Rock N Roll BBQ on the Beach

“I loved so many things about this event I don’t know where to begin! First of all, I loved getting dressed in my Poodle Skirt costume and am a huge fan of the old 1950’s cars that were on display at this event. The Rock N Roll band was fantastic; the 1950’s crafts were creative and fun. Scarf decorating, yo-yo contests and 1950’s themed food all made this day so unique and memorable to me. And the best part was winning a BC Event Award for all of our hard work and creativity!”

Ask An Event Planner

How long should a team building exercise last?

Well, that depends on what is happening for the rest of the event. If team building is the sole purpose of the event I say 90 – 120 minutes is lots. If the team building is woven into a day or weekend event, you can implement a variety of unique of team building exercises throughout the time.

What is the biggest mistake I can make when planning my team building activity?

Not matching the team building activity to your participants. It’s not a good idea to take the whole company on an “Amazing Race” team building exercise when 90% of them may not enjoy a physically demanding event. It won’t be enjoyable for anyone.

How will I know that I succeeded with my team building activity?

You will know by the smiles on their faces or the interactive camaraderie taking place during the event. After the event, I would also suggest sending out an anonymous electronic survey to all involved, so that they can offer you their feedback.

Top Three Team Building Events

Car Rally

A stopwatch, a set of clues, a Polaroid camera, and a limo for each team meant a great day of visiting local landmarks and watering holes. Teams vied to create the best scrapbook of pictures and souvenirs from each checkpoint, competing for their chance to win a 15 lb car-shaped solid chocolate trophy!

Casino Night

A round-robin of casino games had each team competing against time and Lady Luck, to see who could build the biggest bankroll, which they used to buy raffle tickets for a variety of valuable prizes. For the novices, helpful dealers coached them through popular games such as Texas Hold ‘Em and Blackjack.


We kept it fair, by randomly assigning teams as everyone arrived, and then captains led their ‘country’ through a series of goofy games, promoting teamwork and creativity. Victory (and a delicious chocolate medal!) didn’t go to the fittest or fastest, but to those groups which parleyed individual skills and strengths into a winning team effort.

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