The challenge of engaging conference delegates in team building exercises can be tricky enough, but when the weather turns cold and the rain starts drifting in, it can be even harder to generate enthusiasm for getting active and involved.
Here are five ideas to defrost the brain and add some much-needed warm and fuzzy feelings to your next team building event.
LET IT SNOW
Bring the outdoors in by theming your team building event to the weather outside. Challenge people to construct a six-foot snowman out of paper, sellotape, cotton wool and marker pens, or hold a competition to create a winter scene, complete with paper snowflakes, cotton wool penguins and frosty trees and leaves. If that is too ‘cute’ for your target audience, set a winter-related quiz with questions around seasonal traditions, weather references in popular songs and facts from the Winter Olympics.
ON YOUR MARKS
Encourage resilience by facing the winter weather and braving the cold. Venture outside to make snowmen and snow angels. Challenge teams to build and race a sledge down an icy slope, but always be mindful of health and safety considerations. Get everyone to grab their cameras or phones and hold a competition to see who can take the most evocative wintery photograph. Ignore the rain and go out in coats and wellies to measure rainfall and identify cloud formations.
LOOKING A LOT LIKE CHRISTMAS
Take inspiration from the approaching festive season and allow people time out to chat about Christmas. Discuss present ideas, decorations, family meals and traditions, A great ice-breaker topic would be a short chat about the Christmases of everyone’s past – perhaps have each person share one thing they remember about the celebrations of their youth.
If the facilities allow, you could encourage people to come up with a winter menu and then cook some simple, warming food together, such as soup or a casserole. You could even bring in cookery experts to lead a course on making specialist seasonal dishes. Or concoct warning drinks, such as spiced hot chocolate or uniquely flavoured coffees. Everyone could create a different dish or drink and then share it with the group over a ‘pot-luck’ lunch.
A WORLD OF PURE IMAGINATION
Use the season to inspire some creativity. Set a story writing task or lead some themed role play to introduce new ideas. Discuss how your different target audiences and stakeholders might be affected by the winter, both positively and negatively and then talk about how your organisation might be able to adjust its approach to take your discussion findings into account. As a new year creeps closer, this could also be the perfect opportunity to work out your goals and aspirations for 2018 and beyond. Use the season to plan ahead.