Many of today’s teambuilding programs mine reality television shows for themes and activities that bring groups together for adrenaline-packed, strategy-building, collaborative fun.
Here are a few ways to make popular television energize your workplace:
Outwit. Outplay. Outlast
Mystery food challenges, puzzle building, memory games, and blind-folded races are all part of the “island” experience in Canadian Outback Adventures’ Corporate Castaways program. Based on the popular Survivor series, participants arrive at the opening ceremony ready to declare their tribe name, don their coloured buffs, and pick up their torches. Members of tribes are pre-assigned to ensure a strategic mix up of personalities and bonding.
Toronto Island is a favourite in-city location where groups, small to large, go head to head, working together physically and mentally to highlight individual and team strengths in up to nine challenges. No person is voted out, but torches are systematically extinguished during closing ceremony, until one team is the last survivor based on winning points. The event is completely customizable with lots of additional staging potential – some companies even bring in cast members from the TV show!
While there’s no unveiling of a secret ingredient in Iron Chef Tournaments at The Stop, teams get seriously competitive and creative vying to prepare the best dish from a basket of local, seasonal foods and a pre-chosen protein. After a briefing by head chef Chris Brown, it’s aprons on! Teams can consult chef during preparations or “buy” his talent for their team.
The non-profit community food centre’s Davenport location is ideal, where two kitchens accommodate groups of up to 30 (sending spies to the rival kitchen is not uncommon!). Additional fun includes setting team handicaps, such as no-phone or no-talking restrictions. Break the rule and monetary fines are additional dollars towards The Stop’s charitable food programs. Once the judging panel declares a winning course, teams sit down to enjoy the day’s gourmet efforts.
Let The Games Begin
A lot of positive energy and camaraderie comes from doing silly stuff! Innit 2 Winnit from Team Higherground is fast-paced and fun team play loosely based on television’s Minute to Win It! Teams participate in a series of hilarious yet challenging games designed around common objects. Try keeping balloons aloft with watergun spray! Each activity – there are about a dozen – must be completed before the one-minute clock runs out.
Following a demonstration of each challenge, teams huddle to strategize and select team members to compete on their behalf – everyone gets an active play chance. Points are won by successfully completing tasks within the 60 second allotment. As the game proceeds, challenges become increasingly more difficult and entertaining. Highest-scoring team wins the day but all participants receive the bonus of balancing collaboration and competition in a dynamic atmosphere.
You can’t get any more real than the news, which is why Mike Carbone Productions’ custom comedy programs work well in showcasing corporate happenings via a live talk show format. Whether it’s the Pretty Late Show or a Larry King-inspired CNN interview, Carbone goes one on one with company employees, from the CEO to the guy in the mail room, drilling down on messaging while using humour to bring out his guest’s best.
Highly interactive and mainly unscripted, Carbone does his pre-show homework prepping interviewees with questions that target key information and uncover personalities and interests. Based on answers, he skillfully teases out the need-to know in the live dialogue. Top 10 lists, quizzes, quirky surveys and studio audience participation are all part of the on-air reality. A full stage set includes stylin’ band, lighting, city skyline backdrops, screens and TV cameras. Consider simultaneously broadcasting the talk show to offsite employees.
Explore To Learn
There’s no roadblock big enough to stop the breadth of learning potential in Amazing Race-style teambuilding quests. Teambonders.com customizes unique clues, off-beat tasks, check points and pit stops that set teams on a journey around Toronto’s global world while reinforcing workplace messaging, interactive skills and knowledge-building.
A challenge in Chinatown may see teams competing to sell goods at an Asian market to earn their next destination clue that could send them to the Distillery District for a quizz and Segway race to find the next route marker and task. Mode of transportation ranges from limos to taxis. But most fun is the public interaction generated by foot and city transit races, especially when teams are visually identified and completing tasks in front of bemused bystanders.
The Winning Buzz
Whether as a contestant or as part of the studio audience, trivia-based game shows are an excellent way to reinforce group learning during, and post, a meeting or training session. Superior Events offers TV game show replicas that can be tailored with skill-testing corporate questions, in particular, Jeopardy-based The Challenge, and the Family Feud-like team fun of Superior Feud.
Go full game on, staging the reality glamour of a “live” game show set – lights, digital screens, music, high-tech contestant podiums, buzzers, and gregarious TV host. Questions and answers based on key messaging are prepared beforehand and fed into the staging’s electronic system. Points accrue for correct answers, with winning high scorer the one who was obviously listening and taking notes in the seminar!