Using games to infuse fun into corporate events
It’s no surprise that people love to get out of the office – but there’s also a number of business benefits to hosting corporate events. When done right, corporate events will help build relationships, boost employee morale, and cultivate creativity. They’ve even been shown to increase employee retention!
Think beyond a corporate happy hour – consider getting out of the office and into a new space for your next meeting. Something as simple as shifting employees to a different surrounding can have a notable impact on their collective performance.
Different surroundings can spark fresh discussions and generate ideas that might not have come from the confinement of your team’s everyday work area. In addition to providing a new perspective, it can relax employees, help with problem solving, and forge stronger working relationships. And, it shows your workforce that you’re willing to invest in new, and perhaps better, ways of working for them.
If you’re looking for something beyond a new meeting space, planning a fun corporate outing can be a little tricky. In order to be energizing and rewarding, your event needs to be fun, interactive, and engaging. Our suggestion? Consider incorporating games into your next gathering.
To get the atmosphere going and put attendees at ease, open up with an activity that involves interaction and team work – prompt them to find a solution or work together to figure out an answer. As an added bonus, this type of game will subtly replicate the kind of dynamic needed back at the office.
Put everyone into teams, give each group a set of numbered envelopes with the same clues enclosed, and challenge everyone to ‘breakout’ of a mythical room by solving each hint. This will ensure everyone has to get talking - without forcing it - and will get their creative cogs turning.
To add a bit of tension, you could set a countdown clock on a big screen to really channel everyone’s inner competitor and get the energy pumping.
An alternative icebreaker could be the traditional quiz. It’s another easy way to get everyone interacting and it’s simple to set up. To make sure it doesn’t lose its spark, keep the questions fairly light-hearted, keep up a good pace, and include some polls that tie into the theme of the event.
To take it to the next level, consider giving each team a funny buzzer to sound when they think they’ve got the right answer - it’ll soon get people chuckling, and the competition among teams to push their button first will spice things up a bit.
Every event has some natural down time, but the last thing you want is for the energy in the room to go stale during these periods. To prevent this, it’s a good idea to have optional activities sprinkled around the room.
To put an enticing spin on what could otherwise be seen as lame board games, think big and supersize them! From Connect 4 and chess to yard pong and giant Jenga, we can make lots of giant sized games available to you.
Because of their supersized stature, they’ll soon draw people in and get people engaged and mingling during the times when you’re not hosting.
A round or two of bingo is a great way to sprinkle some corporate information into your event while maintaining the fun factor. You can tailor the contents of your bingo cards to anything you want - past success, key learnings, employee awards, short or long-term goals. But, be sure you pick out an entertaining emcee who can keep people engaged. Just because the content might be corporate, it doesn’t mean you can’t put your own spin on the traditional bingo approach.
Inject a bit of nostalgia by creating a corner dedicated to some old school classics, like Pacman, Twister, Hungry Hippos, or Monopoly . The trip down memory lane alone will spark discussion and get people sharing their past times, which is a great way for attendees to naturally build on new or existing relationships.
If a classic game corner isn’t your thing, or if you’ve got enough room to segregate multiple activity areas, a makeshift casino could be the perfect set-up. Simply provide everyone with a limited number of make belief casino chips and let their risk taking sides shine -- after all, taking risks is a big part of business too.
If you can, try and think of clever ways to tie the odds back to your company. For example, instead of using 21 as the magic number in Blackjack, could you change it to an iconic number relevant to your business? Like how many year’s you’ve been in business for or how many employees you have?
To encourage participation and healthy competition, remember to provide some prizes. They don’t have to cost a fortune - it’s the thought that counts, but they’ll bring out the inner-competitor in everyone and increase all-round uptake at your event.
To keep them on topic, your prizes could be something self-branded (like a cupcake or stationery, for example) or something free from a sponsor or exhibitor.