Coming up with company event ideas to build camaraderie among co-workers can be a daunting task. Fortunately, Spring is around the corner, so there are ample opportunities for outdoor and indoor activities. Here are some company event ideas that your staff can enjoy even if the ground is still a little soggy and the air is still a little cool.
Scavenger hunts can take place anywhere: A public park, across your whole city, or even just around the office. If you have to stay inside, a very simple game to play is alphabet hunt, which involves splitting into teams and searching for 26 objects around the office that begin with a different letter of the alphabet. To make things more fun, you can give team members riddles and let them figure out what they're supposed to look for. For example, what has three hands and a face but no legs? An analog clock, of course. Save yourself the headache of organizing the event by using Goosechase’s scavenger hunt app. As long as at least one person from each group has a smartphone, you’re good to go.
Be Tourists in Your Own Town
When you live and work somewhere for years, it's easy to take your surroundings for granted. People residing in tourist-heavy areas especially tend to avoid touristy things like museums, monuments and guided expeditions. Ask around the office or send out a survey and make a list of things that people say they always wanted to do but haven't gotten around to yet, and use it to make your itinerary. Despite living in Boston for…. ahem… quite a few years, I’ve not yet been on the Freedom Trail, to the Tea Party Museum, or quite a few other touristy places. Or, you could ask them what they’d recommend to tourists who are visiting your city or town. The most important part of visiting a new place is trying new food, so don't forget to hit up some local eateries. You could have appetizers at one location, a meal at second location, and dessert at a third!
Make Art Together
Look for a local art gallery or ceramics studio that hosts one-time classes or painting parties. You don't have to be a da Vinci; there are places that let you pick out pre-made pottery, so all you have to do is make it colorful. Some studios even let you bring alcohol to help lubricate your creative juices. Here in Boston we have a few that I’m a fan of, like Boston paint party meca The Paint Bar and Made by Me, which is a pottery painting studio in Cambridge. See if there’s similar locations in your city or town?
Play Miniature Golf
If you have an energetic group, you could try something more ambitious like paintball or dodge ball, but miniature golf is a great game because anyone can play and no one is good at it. You can make the game competitive by giving prizes to the highest scorers, best/worst costumes, or just mingle and enjoy the wacky courses. Some places have other attractions like go-karts, laser tag, and arcade games all in the same facility, so there's something to enjoy for all personality types.
A person's taste in music says a lot about them (for better or worse),and karaoke is an open invitation to let your guard down and be silly on purpose. Some people may be shy and not want to show off their stuff, in which case we would suggest picking out a few group songs. Pick up some glow sticks, cheapo sunglasses, colorful wigs, and anything else you can think of to help amplify the fun and silly factor.
Video game arcades are back in style and popping up all over the country. Most newer arcades are actually aimed at adults, so they often serve alcohol. Playing games together can encourage both teamwork and healthy competition, and doing something nostalgic is a great way to get people talking about childhood memories. To heighten the excitement, you can give away prizes for highest score and lowest score. Pretty much anyone can play Pac-Man, so let your inner child run wild for an evening.
Ask a local homeless shelter, soup kitchen or another non-profit organization that does good for your community if they have need for a team of volunteers. Working together on a common project to benefit others is a great way to build group cohesion. Helping others also makes people feel good about themselves, and it could be good PR for your business. For a hands-free organizing experience, we highly recommend the volunteering group One Brick. One Brick partners with local volunteering opportunities to provide one-time volunteers. With One Brick, there’s no commitment to future events or any prior knowledge or training required.
Attend a Sporting Event
Not everyone can be an athlete, but anyone can be a spectator. Many leagues offer discounts for groups, but if professional game tickets are out of your price range, patronize a local college or recreational team. Rather than limiting yourself to obvious sports like baseball and basketball; consider introducing your coworkers to roller derby or, ahem, “professional” wrestling. Live sports are more exciting to watch in person, but a group outing to a sports bar to watch a big game can be fun too.
When in Doubt, Cookout
Get a grill, some hot dogs, buns and condiments, and you'll have everything you need to implement one of the easiest company event ideas ever. If you want your coworkers to bring their kids, have things to play with like balls, bubbles and hula hoops. If you can afford it, look into renting a bouncy castle. Also, make sure to have veggie burgers for non-meat eaters.
All of your great company event ideas won't please everyone. The key to a great company event is less about the event itself and more about boosting morale and helping people get to know each other. The best company event ideas usually come from the people you expect to attend, so ask your colleagues for input on what kind things they would like to do. Better yet, include coworkers in the planning process; event planning is yet another fantastic way to foster friendship and teamwork.