Free and Low Cost Team Building Activities

How many times have you heard someone say “Team building events are too expensive.  Why don’t we just go down the pub?”

We have heard this on more than one occasion and to be honest, that’s a great idea for a small, young sales team or a similar group.  But is it really going to be suitable for a more diverse group?  Is going to the pub really suitable for all members of your team?  Is this going to provide the shared experience that you’re looking for?  Probably not.

Low cost team building activity - Hot Rods

Team building activities are a brilliant tool for promoting teamwork and having fun with your colleagues, and there are lots of benefits to a well-run and well thought out team building event.  Team building costs can be a bit of an “unknown”, and as a result, many people are unsure of how much team building activities should cost.  This, in turn, often leads to under budgeting when it comes to team building and sadly, the beloved team building event gets left out!

If you are reluctant to bin the team building activity and “The Pub” isn’t the culture you want to instil in your team, don’t panic – there are still a few options open to you!

The first option is to gather the necessary people and equipment  and run an activity “in house”.  The second option is to find a professionally run, low-cost team building event that will tick all of the boxes and leave you free to enjoy the event yourself.  Virtual team building activities are also a great option and provide a good ‘middle-ground’.  Virtual team building activities are generally a lot more cost effective due to the reduced number of staff required and also because there isn’t any equipment to transport to/from yuor chosen venue.

Let’s have a look at these options…

Option A: Free team building activities you can run in house

If you have absolutely no budget, then a free team building activity is going to be the best option.

There are lots of free team building activities available on the internet that can be run in house, providing you have a little bit of money to source the required equipment.  You will also need some willing staff members that will help you along the way (both in the run-up to the event and on the day itself).  Teampedia is an excellent source of free team building activities and ideas and breaks down different activities by group size to make it easy to find suitable activities.

Take a look at these activities to get you started:

Human Knot is a great ice breaker to use at the beginning of an event and requires no equipment whatsoever.

Helium Stick will drive your team crazy buts its a great little activity to use throughout an event.  You can keep coming back to it at various points.

The Maze is a slightly longer activity that is good for small groups, although it does require a little bit of pre-planning.

The Pipeline Challenge is an excellent option if you have some room and a little bit of money to spend on materials.

Helium Stick Free Team Building Activity
A team tackle Helium Stick! Warning – This activity is VERY frustrating!

If you are going to run a team building event yourself, there are a few things you need to think about to make the most of your chosen activity.

Choose your activity wisely!

Activity choice is vital to any team building event and will be one of the first things you do.  Make sure your chosen team building activity is going to deliver what you want it to and that it is something you think your team will enjoy.

Do you have what it takes?

We know you are made of the right stuff to plan a brilliant team building event, BUT, do you have all the equipment needed for your chosen activity?

It is relatively unlikely that you will already have everything you need. Still, it’s essential to establish what additional materials and equipment you will need to source and have a rough idea of how much it is going to cost.  Also, think about where you are going to keep everything before the event and how you are going to transport it all to the venue on the day.

Who is going to help you?

You will no doubt need some help, both in the run-up to the event and on the day.  Who is going to lend you a hand and help with the setup, clear down, and running of the activity itself?  Bear in mind that whoever is assisting you won’t usually be able to take part in the event and will miss out to a certain extent.

Think about what needs to be done on the day and during the event and try to establish how many people you think you will need on your side!

A bit boring I know but Health & Safety

Everybody hates this phrase, don’t they! We know it’s not fun, glamorous, or interesting (for a majority of people at least), but it is certainly necessary.  Many venues will want to see risk assessments and insurance certificates if you are going to be running activities on their property and so you need to be armed with all of the answers and appropriate documentation for when they ask.

Option B: Professionally run, low-cost team building activities

If you do have some budget set aside for your event, then a professionally run, low-cost team building activity would be the ideal solution.

Low-cost team building activities may be slightly more generic than some of the more expensive, bespoke activities, but they are run with just as much professionalism and are still incredibly effective.  In terms of cost, professionally run team building activities start at £1245 + VAT for a group of 10 participants, with additional participants being charged at between £25 and £45 per person, depending on the activity you have chosen.

Low cost team building activity
Teams pose with their “Wacky Racers” during a low cost team building activity!

Unlike free team building activities, a low-cost option from a reputable team building company will include everything you need for your event and should be a stress-free option.  If you are limited on time or resources, then this is the perfect solution to your team building conundrum.

A team building company will provide plenty of teams building event ideas for you to choose from and will help you choose a suitable activity based on your group and also what you are looking to get out of the event.  Once an activity has been chosen, they will work with you to plan the event and establish timings and team sizes, and will also liaise with your venue prior to the event to make sure they have all of the information they need.

On the day itself, your chosen team building company will provide all of the necessary equipment needed to run your event, as well as crew to facilitate your chosen activity, and set up before and clear down after your event.

In a nutshell, a professionally run, low cost team building activity is great if you don’t have the time or resources to plan and deliver an event yourself, or you want everyone to be included in the event (and not running it).

Option C: Virtual team building activities

Virtual team building activities are a relativley new concept but are growing hugely in poularity.  Due to these activities being run remotley, the number of staff and ammount of equipment required is dramatically reduced when compared to a typical face-to-face activity.  As you would expect, this has a significant impact on cost and makes virtual team building activities a fantatstic option if budget is a key consideration.

Another benefit of virtual team building activities is the ability to run them with people located all around the globe with realtive ease and without them leaving the comfort of their own homes or offices.  This, combined with the relativley low cost makes virtual team building events a very appealing option for many companies who are looking for great value and maximim return on their investment.

Just because an event is low cost, doesn’t mean it can’t be high impact and be great fun!  Make sure you choose your team building provider carefully and we are sure that your event will be a huge success.

Write a comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *