Firstly, let’s distinguish between energisers or ice breakers and a full team building activity. Energisers are generally quick 15-30 minute sessions designed to create a dynamic start or finish to a business meeting so ideal first thing in the morning or after lunch to re-energise the delegates. A full-on team building activity is likely to take from 2-4 hours and generally involves specialist equipment and staff. In spite of this there are options to do some events yourself at very little cost.
There are many ice breakers around and most can be done in-house and at little cost. It just takes a bit of research around the web. One we have used to great effect is Helium Sticks. All you have to do as a team is to lower the stick to the ground. How hard can it be? Watch this video to find out!
Quizzes are very popular and you can download pre-set ones at very little cost from sites like Kudos Pub Quizzes.
Alternatively find someone in the company that enjoys creating quizzes, it just takes a bit of time and can be done either verbally or with a bit of PowerPoint wizardry for extra special effects, video clips etc.
Business Balls is an excellent website full of free ideas for all sorts of ice breakers, quizzes and much more and well worth checking out.
If you are looking for teambuilding with a bit of learning or skills development then look around this site Northgate Training. They have a superb range of training and business simulation games that we have used over many years. All you need is a laptop and a printer and a bit of time to rehearse. Personally, I love Decisions! Decisions! and The Wine Bar Game and have run them very successfully over many years. You will be paying about £450.00 + vat for such games but once you have it you can reuse for as long as you want so ideal for a training manager. Confidence grows as you do each one but they are well proven and talk you through the exercise.
What if you want to do a longer session, what options do you have? We have been very successful with our Challenge 100 activity over the years. With 100 tasks it is flexible to suit all group sizes, venues and ages. This is in reality a vast selection of quizzes, sodukos, puzzles, photo tasks, painting, making, etc. (think Blue Peter here!) Can it be done in-house? Without a doubt … if you have the time and inclination! And you don’t need 100 tasks. You could easily fill 2 -3 hours with just 50.
And that really is the crux of the matter – TIME! Many things can be created but in a one-off situation for a conference for example can you justify the time to create such an activity? In most cases the answer is no and that of course is why companies like Kaleidoscope exist to take this burden away from you as an event organiser.
Having said that for small groups with tight budgets then it is a real possibility. Treasure Trails have always been, and will continue to be, excellent team building exercises and most major towns and cities. At £6.99 this Oxford one provides real value for money!
Film Making provides much fun and is ideally suited to creative departments or companies. Use your own Ipads with Movie Maker app for editing and spend a bit of money on props or provide a small budget for each team to source their own. A great way to spend an afternoon and the end results are always fun to watch.
Looking for evening entertainment options then why not have a Video Horse Racing event but do it yourself? You can hire in the races from a company like this Myracenight and then all you need is the AV equipment and an energetic presenter!
It is also possible to hire in Casino Tables without croupiers and run these on a DIY basis thus saving lots of money. Funcasinohire I have done this myself at a party and it’s great fun and not too difficult as long as your maths is OK!
In fact, the more you browse the internet the more you realise just how much free advice there is out there. Even established team building companies such as Innovative Teambuilding are offering free options on how not to buy from them!
Given the time, patience and creativity there are many, many ways in which you can save money on your next staff team event and I hope this has given some useful pointers and references.