The R.O.I on Team-Building at Events

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Bailey Roth, President of Redstone Agency, was recently featured in Corporate & Incentive Travel on the topic of team-building in the meetings and events industry. Teambuilding (both in your office and at events) can carry huge value to your meeting or event attendees, and yet is sometimes overlooked.

Check out the full article, Connecting through Teambuilding by Maura Keller here, or read the interview below:

Bailey’s interview with Maura Keller, author at www.themeetingmagazines.com  

Maura: What are you seeing in terms of the amount of team building activities that are utilized within the corporate & incentive meeting industry? Are team building activities still popular? 

Bailey: The short answer is that team-building will always be popular, because collaboration and professional relationships will always be important. But the reality is a bit more nuanced: there are different kinds of teams, and there are different kinds of team-building. The first and more typical kind of team-building involves enhancing collaboration and relationships within a corporate environment.  Another type of “team-building” employs activities at events to make participants experience a connection to a cause or mission. As corporate event planners, we are always asking whether participants feel like they belong at our events. Do they share the cause? Are they engaged with other participants? As long as we are asking those questions, there will be a need for (effective) team-building.

M: How has team-building evolved over the years within the meeting/events industry? 

B: Team-building has grown up. These days it’s more than just playing interactive – and, let’s be honest, sometimes silly – games. In the corporate world in particular, organizations want to create a culture that’s broadly relevant. In practice that has meant a shift towards using team-building to develop longer-term relationships and communities based on a shared culture and mission, rather than short-term relationships based on transient factors. People want to build professional relationships that can last beyond a single conference or event. There’s no relay race for that.

M: What role does technology play in team building activities? How are planners using technology within their team building initiatives? 

B: Technology is absolutely critical and, used effectively, can help foster the type of relationships and communities I’ve described. Technology allows people to connect pre- and post-event, facilitating connections beyond the breakfast buffet. And it doesn’t have to be complicated. A tool as simple and accessible as an Instagram hashtag can go a long way. For those interested in exploring more sophisticated online community apps, I’d recommend looking at Poken by GES.

M: What trends are you seeing with regard to team building? What’s hot? What’s not? 

B: At the moment, activities that account for work-life blend are popular, especially when they connect people based on a shared objective such as wellness or mindfulness. Examples include spin classes and other group fitness classes, volunteering as a group, and activities that are intellectually stimulating like escape rooms. The trend very much favours activities involving a single, united group – so “colour wars” and other competitions involving multiple teams are out of favour. That’s a positive development, in my view, because connections based on shared objectives are more likely to foster loyalty and appreciation of culture than those based on assignment to a given team in a competition.

M: What do you think the future holds for team building with the corporate & incentive travel market?

B: The reality is that people are experiencing a strain on their time – at Redstone, there are never enough hours in the day, and that’s true elsewhere. Team-building that acknowledges the value of participants’ limited time is very important. I predict that team-building that serves a secondary purpose, such as being active, will become increasingly popular in the coming years, as demands on time continue to be a factor.

For more information on how you can incorporate team building activities in your next meeting or event, contact us.

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