If you are going to be planning and running a team building activity there are of course lots of things that you will need to do. One of the main challenges is going to be finding a suitable venue and so we thought we would provide a few hints and tips to help you along the way!
1. What does your event consist of?
Having a good idea of what your event is going to consist of if the first step in finding the right venue. Is your event going to be made up of just a team building activity or are you going to be holding some meetings before/after the activity? If you are, you need to make sure your chosen venue is able to accommodate you and has sufficient room available.
2. Is your team building activity indoors or outdoors?
Different venues will have different spaces available for team building and whilst many hotels and conference venues may have superb indoor facilities, they don’t always have much room outdoors.
If your event is going to take place outside it is important that you speak to the company providing your team building activities and understand exactly what the requirements are for your chosen activity.
Do they just need a large open area or does it need to be perfectly flat?
Do they need to be within easy reach of a local town/city (for events like the Apprentice Challenge or GPS Treasure Hunts for example)?
Is a grass surface suitable or do they require some form of hard surface for the event?
Is there a wet weather option?
If your event is going to be taking place indoors then you will need to consider some additional points such as access and room set-up.
If your chosen team building activity requires a lot of heavy equipment, access to the event room needs to be easy and things like flights of stairs or narrow corridors could cause a real headache on the day.
Also think about how the room needs to be set-up and how much space is actually needed for the event. Remember; when you are speaking with venues they will allocate your room based on traditional meeting room layouts which may not provide you with sufficient space for a team building activity.
3. How many rooms and areas do you require?
Depending upon the type of team building activities you choose, you may need more than one room or area to use. For events like Da Vinci Code, The Torn Identity, and Crystal Quest which are made up of a variety of different challenges, it is preferable to have a variety of rooms and areas that can be used.
Many venues will charge for using additional rooms and outdoor spaces and so it is important to take this into consideration when choosing your venue and your activity.
4. Do you need any additional facilities from your chosen venue?
Do you require overnight accommodation, tee & coffee breaks, catering, audio visual equipment etc? These are all things that need to be considered before making your final choice.
A majority of venues will be able to accommodate these requests but having a good idea of exactly what you need from your venue will help you negotiate a good rate and also make sure you don’t miss anything out.
If you do require tea & coffee breaks, lunch, and/or overnight accommodation, a Day Delegate Rate or 24 Hour Rate will often be the best solution and is usually a set cost per person which includes all of these items. This allows you to budget more accurately and also means you aren’t faced with any unexpected invoices at the end of your event!
5. Think about logistics!
Thinking about how your day is going to run will help you highlight any potential problem areas when it comes to the logistics of the day.
Make sure you allow sufficient time for your team building provider to set-up for your activity and also to clear down at the end. Also consider where your delegates are going to be and what they will be doing during this time, particularly if you will be using the same room for a morning meeting and afternoon team build.
It is often possible for delegates to have lunch in the venues restaurant although if your numbers are particularly high (of your venues is quite small), they may not be able to accommodate this. In this case a “working lunch” may be served in the main meeting room which means there is no space and/or time for your team building supplier to set-up for your event.
In circumstances like this it is often better to hire another room within the venue which can be used solely for the team building activity. This means that the set-up and breakdown can be done easily and without disturbing your meetings.