5 top teambuilding activities for conferences on a budget

This is a guest blog post by Dale Parmenter, Group CEO at drp. drp is one of the longest established, trusted and uniquely integrated communication and production specialists, recognised for creating highly engaging internal, external and experiential communications, producing award winning live events and exhibitions, compelling film and video, intuitive digital solutions and visually striking design-led print. You can learn more about them here

Team building activities are an effective way for your team to connect, communicate and work together better. Although team building games are designed to be enjoyable and challenging, they also have to coincide with company aims and objectives. It is important to choose activities that are suitable and beneficial for the client, so before you start planning a team building event you must consider:

  • Why run a team building event?
  • What are your objectives and how will you achieve them?
  • What is the best structure to achieve those objectives?

With digital, production, and technology altering how team building is executed, we have decided to strip it right back to the basics. High quality team building activities don’t have to be expensive, or full of the latest gadgets. Below are some of our favourite simple, and easy team building activities that won’t break your bank account.

1. Towering Challenge

Number of Delegates: 12 + in teams of 3+ people.

Materials: newspapers/magazines, office tape, scissors, OR, garden canes and elastic bands. A one metre ruler for measuring up the towers.

Time: 20-30 minutes.

Location: This activity can be set up anywhere that has floor space, such as a hall.

Description: The challenge is to design and construct a model tower using only newspaper, tape, and scissors. The group must be split into teams of 3-5 people (depending on the size of the group). The teams will be given limited supplies and a time limit. The tower must be as tall as they can make it, but also stable enough to stand up for longer than 10 seconds. Everyone must cooperate in their teams to find novel ways to build a good tower. The tallest and most stable tower wins.

Objectives: Communication, teamwork, competition, limited resources, time management, planning, design, strong thought processing, and cooperation under a time limit.

Tower Challenge

2. Treasure Hunt

Number of Delegates: 20 – 1000.

Materials: Paper, pens, large outdoor or indoor space, and a map of the space you are carrying out the activity in.

Time: 1 to 3 hours.

Location: This activity can be set up anywhere, however, it works really well in an outdoor space.

Description: The aim of the treasure hunt is to discover a set number of items hidden across different areas of the location where the event is being held. In teams, and within a time limit, delegates must use clues and a map to work together to find all of the items. Treasure hunts test everything from organisation and leadership to good communication in a fun and competitive setting. There are many different versions that can be created, as it is a very versatile activity.

Objectives: Forward planning, team work, time management, problem solving, critical thinking, fun, and competition.

3. Produce a Video

Number of Delegates: 10 to 100, in team sizes of 5 to 10.

Materials: Variable – paper and pens, presentation screen, rely on your delegates to use their mobile phones or provide rented cameras / iPads.

Time: 1 hour to a full day.

Location: This activity can be set up anywhere.

Description: The task is to create a film with limited resources within their teams. Each team has to storyboard an idea before assigning roles such as director, script writer, actors, cameraman, and so on. The premise of the film can be established in relation to the client and their chosen objectives for the day. All teams showcase their films at the end of the time allocated by sending it to the presentation laptop via email. This activity exercises the ability to organise themselves as a team, plan, prepare, and create a video. It requires the group to delegate and organise themselves into different roles.

Objectives: Creativity, organisation, time management, innovation, team participation, budgeting, planning, communication, fun.

4. Water Pipe Challenge

Number of Delegates: 100 +

Materials: Plastic water piping from a DIY hardware store, and water.

Time: 30 mins +

Location: This activity can be set up anywhere, ideally outdoors as it can be messy!

Description: The group has to make a rigid watertight structure with the pipes, and by the end of the game the water should be able to travel inside the piping from one side of the room to the other. This challenge starts as a task for the individual, then a small team, before the whole group works as one unit. The event encourages delegates to understand how their actions affect a larger team.

Objectives: Communication, teamwork, organisation, lateral thinking, objective focus, competition, fun.

Water Pipe Challenge

5. Rocket Design

Number of Delegates: 10 +

Materials: 2ltre coke bottle (one per team), paper, glue, colouring pens, scissors, foot pump(s), coke bottle foot pump adapter.

Time: 30 mins to 1 hour.

Location: This activity can be set up anywhere, however, it is great outside.

Description: Using the materials provided the teams create rockets designed on company branding and values. The rockets must have the coke bottle attached facing downwards for launch. The rockets are judged on quality, presentation, and height/distance of flight. With a foot pump (and a coke bottle adapter), one member from each team has to foot pump air into the coke bottle to launch it from one side of the room to the other.

Objectives: Creativity, design, time management, lateral thinking, organisation, teamwork, competition, fun.

Rocket Challenge

Photos by drp

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