Meeting attendees can have fun riding an airboat in the Florida Everglades or watching The Apprentice or The Hunger Games. They can also incorporate these activities into events that help them learn about themselves and their co-workers, says Hillary Smith, CMP/CSEP, partner at Koncept Events. Team building at Bonaventure Resort & Spa is serious fun, especially with the resort’s new partnership with Smith’s company.
From offices at the 23-acre resort in Weston, near the Florida Everglades west of Fort Lauderdale, Koncept’s planners craft team building experiences inspired by cultural touchstones like hit movies and TV shows and adding fun elements like airboat rides, golf carts and bicycles. They also incorporate smartphones and iPads into the program.
“We love to stay relevant,” says Smith, who believes team building engages participants most effectively when it contains elements they can identify with.
Airboat rides go from merely fun to meaningful—and become a reward for doing good work—when they take attendees to an Everglades restoration project replacing invasive plants with natives. Attendees break 1-inch boards with their bare hands, similar to a scene in The Hunger Games. The reality show The Apprentice inspires the “Strive to Survive” game.
Smith says Koncept Events clients ask for team building events more than any other. “It’s probably our biggest ask,” she says. An effective team building event can have lasting positive effects, she says, citing the Hunger Games activity. “Watching the expressions on their faces as they break the board, I see a real sense of accomplishment.”
Not all team activities are serious and profound, even if their results are. Koncept Events uses the Bonaventure grounds for cooking contests, games and scavenger hunts, and even has a cocktail party ice-breaker in which attendees race miniature slot cars in a NASCAR-like competition. Golf carts and bicycles are essential elements of scavenger hunts and other competitions.
The important thing is to stay relevant, Smith says:
“Meeting planners and management demand productive, relevant and innovative team building platforms. We must evolve with our attendees in order to capture their attention and get the results that the organization is investing in and counting on.”