No matter what industry or business you’re in, the size of your company, or the demographics of your staff, any enterprise will gain with a strong, cooperative, and trusting team. But building a thriving team takes effort and a willingness among everyone to be open, honest, and genuinely into a team building process.

Team building events at Monona Terrace are taking place more than ever as people return to working together in person. And events now include a hybrid option that combines on-site gatherings with a virtual component for individuals that work remotely. If a team building event is something you’ve been thinking about, consider the benefits:

Improves communication: Teams that communicate well understand their responsibilities and what other team members need from them. People tend to collaborate better and are more likely to assist other team members in completion of tasks.

Improves performance and productivity: Strong teams share tasks, stay more active on work related tasks, and are more likely to acquire new skills as they work with their colleagues.

Promotes collaboration: Teams that work well together share more information and develop more personal relationships. This enhances their willingness to listen to ideas, share more willingly, and have a deeper trust with their coworkers.

Encourages conflict resolution: No matter how successful a team is, there will be occasional conflict. Teams that work well together resolve their differences more effectively and with less personal fallout.

Improves company culture: Teams that clearly enjoy working together are less stressed during the workday. And word spreads. If your company is a great place to work, you’ll attract better talent to fill open roles.

Don’t worry. Be happy! A happy team means happy customers and clients. This can reduce turnover in the company, increase customer/client loyalty, and save the company money due to less turnover and new customer/client acquisition.

And healthy teams are literally healthy teams: People who are less stressed on the job and enjoy their workplace environment tend to be healthier, both physically and mentally. They can focus more clearly on tasks and enjoy a better work/life balance.

If you’re planning the event, there are a few things to keep in mind.

Schedule the event on a workday
No one wants to work on a Saturday or into the evening. Make it seem like a reward, like a field trip! A big part of a successful team building event is ensuring the staff approaches it positively. Schedule your event on a workday and include breakfast, snacks or lunch. The catering team at Monona Terrace is here to assist with refreshing, delicious food your team will love.

Get help and suggestions
Make sure your team is involved in the planning. In fact, many team building exercises require pre-planning and development, so allow some of your staff to volunteer to help. Encourage and use their input, and they’ll be more likely to eagerly anticipate the event and participate.

Identify what you’re developing
Your team building event should happen for a specific purpose. Do you want to improve communication? Trust? Time management? Identify what you need and develop activities to improve the outcome.

Make it collaborative and supportive
Ideally, your exercises and activities promote working together, sharing, and understanding one another’s strengths and weaknesses. Create an environment where your staff feels comfortable and nurtured by each other.

Okay, so scheduling and booking a team building event space at Monona Terrace is the easy part. Now for the hard part – developing the exercises! Here are some fun, collaborative, and inclusive ideas that don’t require a lot of budget or time.

Icebreaker Bingo
Think Bingo but with life experience facts – has bungee jumped, has met a celebrity, is a black belt, does awesome karaoke… whatever. This can be played with individual cards or as small teams. The idea is that anyone who says “Bingo” has to dish. There are plenty of online bingo generators for this. 

Gone in 60 seconds
There are hundreds of fun, interactive challenges that take 60 seconds. Keep a balloon in the air, ping pong ball bounces, stacking cups/cards… the list goes on

Amazing Race
Divide into teams. You’ll provide a list of tasks for each team. The team assigns a team member(s) to complete a particular task (individually or as a group). Use your phone’s stopwatch, because the first team to complete all the tasks wins. But accuracy is important too, so dock a team some time for incorrect or poorly completed tasks. Ideally, the tasks have clues that add up to solving a puzzle or riddle.

The floor is lava
Or shark infested water or acid (or paperwork!). We all played a version as kids. For adults it’s even more fun. Tape off a section of the floor, no more than 2 square feet per person. Give each team 5 minutes to plan and get everyone in the safe zone or you know what. But don’t worry. No lava or sharks here at Monona Terrace.

The wall is social media!
Some pre-planning is required but worth it. Take photos around the office and print them. Have the staff take photos as well. On the day of the event, have tape, sticky notes, markers and a dry erase board (which we can provide). Tape up the photos and write some appropriate company headlines. The attendees “comment”, “like”, and post their own “content.” People can participate throughout the event. Take a photo of the board to share after the event or as centerpiece for a group photo.

You remember “telephone” right?. Start with a long sentence that’s appropriate to what your company does or something that would be familiar to the staff. Each staff member whispers it into the ear of a co-worker, who does the same to the next person and so on. The last person says the sentence out loud. You won’t believe how much it changes (or not!).

Mad Libs
We all did mad libs growing up. This is something you’ll write and print before the event. Write a SHORT story or anecdote about a “day in the life” of your workplace. Leave plenty of blanks to fill in. You can divide up into teams or do this individually, but you have to read them aloud.

If you’re thinking about physical activities, this is one that can get the mind clear and the heart rate up. Gift your team yoga mats and ask them to wear comfortable clothes. Monona Terrace already hosts Yoga Core and we can help set up a session for your group.

Rock climbing
The expansive space in Monona Terrace’s Exhibition Hall presents the perfect opportunity for something unique and adventurous. Boulders Climbing Gym, just 2 blocks from our location, has a portable climbing wall. Talk about getting to the top. Check it out here.

Lastly, remember to take plenty of photos and videos of the exercises so your team can enjoy watching later and reflect on what they learned. Also, consider offering tangible, useful prizes for winners, winning teams, and door prizes. This is one “participation trophy” that’s well deserved!

Whatever you come up with, the event staff here at Monona Terrace can help you realize your team building dreams. After all, “teamwork makes the dream work” (We had to say it!). We have 30 well-appointed rooms from 350 sqft to 30,000 sqft in size, as well as state-of-the-art audio/visual equipment and an expert team to execute whatever you have in mind.

Contact us today and let us help plan the ultimate team building event for your company.