team-building-scavenger-hunt

The Techno Rally: A Bold And Crazy Team Building Scavenger Hunt

Looking for a great way to get your group out of the meeting room and into the glorious sunlight? Imagine doing just that while also building strong working relationships in the process. These are the big draws for our ever popular Techno Rally team building scavenger hunt.

Location, Location, Location

First, pick any location. Our clients have been spotted arm-wrestling senior citizens and admiring Manic Panic hair-do’s in various parts of Los Angeles and Orange County. Any interesting location where you are having a meeting or group event is an option. Then, let us create a hilariously wacky adventure that your co-workers will thank you for arranging.

The Team Building Scavenger Hunt Is On!

Your group will be mixed into teams who will take on crazy challenges like re-enacting high school prom photo poses. So, we’ll give them a chance to cheese it up and chase each other down as they race against the clock to complete as many challenges as possible. Groups begin by picking team names that will strike fear in the hearts of their opponents. Then, each team will pick an “App Master” who will download our scavenger hunt mobile app. The app keeps the group in check as to what’s next on the timed agenda. Strategy is key because there’s no way to complete all tasks in the time allotted. Groups must wisely choose which tasks to tackle for the most points.

Finally, they’re off to snap photos with iconic local structures, interact with the locals, and other outlandish actions. Teams will be virtually race each other as they move up and down the app’s leader board throughout the event. And lastly, they must make it back to the final meeting point before the buzzer. We turn off the leader board results in the final moments, so the winner will be a surprise to all participants. The first round of drinks are on the winning team!

Personalization For The Win

Clients can add personal touches to the event with trivia questions or other checkpoint challenges related to the company. We will help you design the event to drive home a deeper team building message to everyone on your team. Contact James Bennett at james@fireflyteamevents.com to get a-movin’ and make this adventure happen!

Anaheim team events ideas

5 Fresh Ideas for Anaheim Team Events

I recently attended an expo at the Anaheim Convention Center.  It may have been a Disney fan convention.  My nerdy-ness knows no bounds.  If you are brought out to Anaheim for a sales conference or meeting, know that the city has so many unique venues for a team outing.  What was once just sprawling citrus groves is now jam-packed with entertainment options.  I’ve compiled my favorite ideas for Anaheim team events below.

1. Disneyland Scavenger Hunt

We’ll start with the giant mouse in the room.  Anaheim is most widely known as the home of Disneyland.  Its popularity is all encompassing and certain to peak with the upcoming addition of a Star Wars themed land.  I love Disneyland for all the great photo locations throughout the park.  Grab your team for FireFly’s most magical team building challenge: a scavenger hunt at Disneyland Resort.  We’ve run hunts both in the park and exclusively in the adjacent Downtown Disney shopping area so theme park admission isn’t always needed.  This option is great for staff that are bringing their families with them or teams that like to be a bit Goofy!

2. Escape Room Anaheim Team Events

FireFly’s love of escape rooms is well documented.  In fact, our facilitators have collectively completed over 50 rooms.  One of our absolute favorites is Cross Roads Escape Games, located in Anaheim!  We attempted their Hex Room together and had a blast.  Themed after the scary movie genre, we had to race to solve the case of the murderer and find our own survival tokens.  The Hex Room is unique because each participant is placed in their own room with limited communication to the rest of the team.  More so, its a unique challenge that benefits from a thorough debriefing afterwards.  Consider contracting an experienced facilitator to help your team draw meaning out of their experience.

3. Sports Go Sports!

Anaheim is home to two great sports teams.  The Angels baseball team and the Ducks hockey team.  Tickets to one of their exciting games is always a good incentive reward.  Make your team the star by booking Anaheim team events at the Honda Center or Angel Stadium.

4. OC Foodie Paradise

If you have any foodies in your group, you’ll need to visit the Anaheim Packing House. The building is one of the few remaining structures from the agricultural era of the town.  Take a culinary tour through the two story mecca of southern California cuisine.  You’ll often find local musicians performing free concerts here, so it’s a great spot for groups wanting food and entertainment on a budget.  This trendy spot is popular among locals so we recommend using Anaheim’s superior public transit to arrive stress free.

5. I.P.A. I.Q.

It might be due to the high population density of service industry workers, but Anaheim is home to some really good bars.  So if you like craft beer, Lyft over to Bottle Logic Brewing.  Craft beer made from SCIENCE!  You can even get your brew in a chemistry beaker.  I like their bar for the wide open seating area that’s perfect for mingling or as a setting for our Game Showdown.

Anaheim is a great city that extends beyond the tourist attractions.  If you’d like to enjoy the town with a kick awesome team building twist, contact us at james@fireflyteamevents.com or 877.267.1939

Christmas in July summer team building

Christmas in July Summer Team Building Ideas

As temperatures rise and summer vacation photos float around the office you may notice a drop off in employee engagement and energy.  When you think back to the holidays when everyone was excited about what lay in store for the future of the company you may wonder how to recapture that festive spirit.  Summertime is a great opportunity to promote team bonding.  You don’t need to wait until December for the office holiday party with these Christmas in July summer team building ideas.

Charity Bike Build

Most offices only consider their corporate social responsibility (CSR) commitment during the holidays, but you can do some good year round.  Firefly Team Events’ Bike Build will fill your team with holiday cheer.  At this event which can be run in the office or as part of an outing, your teams will be led through the assembly of children’s bicycles.  We also bring craft supplies out so employees can make personalized cards which turn these donations into heartfelt gifts.  Local, underprivileged kids get as excited for these gifts as they do for Christmas morning.

Ice Skating

Cool your staff off with an outing to the local ice rink.  With the high powered air conditioning, you could even pair it with an ugly sweater competition.  Many rinks have offers for private group lessons from professional trainers and former Ice Capade performers.  If your team has a competitive streak, try a game of broom ball.  Cap off your team bonding day with some hot cocoa and cookies to make everyone feel warm and cozy.

Great Bake Off

Nothing reminds me of the holidays more than baked goods exploding from every corner of the house.  Have a dessert potluck so everyone can share their favorite family recipe.  Provide recipe cards for the event.  For a bigger party rent out an industrial kitchen like The Hood Kitchen Space and have your team work together to create a full holiday feast.  Summer team building with a side of gravy- yes please!

Bit of the Bubbly

Everyone has a favorite holiday drink.  My favorite is hot buttered rum, but Food Network has lots of other suggestions.  Celebrate your Christmas inspired cocktails with FireFly’s event, Bar Fight- Mixology!  Teams answer trivia questions to earn money for ingredients to use in their creations.  We’ll bring the brave judges for the competition so everyone can participate even if they’re a non-drinker.  Part pub trivia, part mixology competition and all that’s merry and bright- Bar Fight gets your team laughing for a memorable, out of the ordinary experience.

Christmas in July Summer Team Building BONUS: Auld Lang Syne

Is your company launching a new program?  Offering a new service?  Celebrate its release with a New Year’s Eve inspired countdown.  Build up the excitement for this exciting development and allow your team to cheer for its ultimate implementation.  Noisemakers and plastic top hats strongly recommended.

For these or other Christmas in July team building ideas contact our favorite elf by emailing james@fireflyteamevents.com

Dodgeball Tournament Team Building Celebration

Dodgeball Tournament Team Building: Your Next Extreme Team Experience

You are a competitive force to be reckoned with.  You’re not interested in a Kumbaya learning moment, but a chance to demonstrate the wreckage you can cause with your kick butt team.  You need to experience our extreme Dodgeball Tournament team building event.

via GIPHY

Who: You and a handful of coworkers.

Against: The rest of the force.

Where: Literally anywhere, we’ve hosted dodgeball tournaments on the beach, in parks, and indoors.

Why: Because your team is awesome and deserves an awesome team building experience.

Setting the Stage for Dodgeball Tournament Team Building

We start off every tournament by assigning teams and gearing up.  You bring the “hoo” we’ll bring the “rah”.  Those who can’t or don’t wish to participate we’ll crown cheer captains and festoon them with more noise makers than you can shake a spirit stick at.

Next up is a group warm up led by our experienced facilitators.  Just because we’re chucking balls at each other with force doesn’t mean we actually want to injure anyone.  Once everyone’s muscles have been properly prepared your group will square off against others in a round robin style tournament to crown the ultimate victor.   You’ll need to practice the “5 D’s of Dodgeball: dodge, duck, dip, dive and dodge!”  You can choose to have larger teams with alternates to allow for some breathing time during games.  Even your strongest athletes will appreciate the respite as this sport is intense!  All games will be refereed by our trained staff. Hence there’ll be no funny business with regards to rules or safety.   We promise not to throw any wrenches at you.

So whether your team is a bunch of Average Joe’s or more like the Purple Cobras round them up at your next team outing.  Our Dodgeball Tournament team building event can be run at a variety of different venues which makes it a flexible option for sales conferences, team bonding activities or motivational meetings.  For more information about our team building events or to hear more decade old movie references contact us at james@fireflyteamevents.com.

office team building nerf battle

Office Team Building Idea: Stage a Nerf Battle!

Here’s your excuse to buy that rotating triple barrel precision shot Nerf blaster you’ve been eyeing in the toy section.  Play, such as firing foam darts, is a valuable office team building activity that can actually increase productivity by providing employee fun.  And yes, I’m serious about this.  I never joke about fun.

The Power of Play

As children we are encouraged to play to strengthen our creativity, build problem solving skills and improve communication.  Once we grow up however, we’re expected to stop playing and focus on “work”.  Work tends to involve using creativity and communication to solve problems, so why does play suddenly become unimportant once our ages pass the range listed on toy packaging?  Scientists like Stuart Brown have been studying the correlation between play and success at the National Institute for Play. Psychologists have begun encouraging adults to harness the power of play so that we can continue to reap the benefits of it.

Office Team Building Nerf Battle: A How-To

Meanwhile, foam violence has been sweeping across the offices of America with widespread popularity. Online retailers like ThinkGeek have even developed sections of their websites for the sport of Office Warfare.  Rather than stage a potential HR headache-causing battle between staff, we love Dude Perfect’s use of a challenge course and competitive play in this YouTube example-

While Dude Perfect’s intensive setup is awesome, don’t feel you need such a big production for some great office team building.

  • Try scrawling target designs on Post Its and stick them around the office.
  • Once someone hits a target, they collect it as a trophy.
  • At the end of the event you can tally up the scores by counting the collected Post Its.

For an ongoing team building game, stick targets up unannounced.  Staff can race to be the first to notice and shoot the new target.

For help getting your play on at your office, sales meeting or conference give us a call at 877.267.1939 or email james@fireflyteamevents.com.

Using Video Games as a Team Building Engagement Activity

What if you could diffuse bombs, power spaceships, and scream your lungs out for your next team building or employee engagement activity? I’ve gathered my favorite video games that can be used to explore team building concepts like communication, trust, and big picture thinking. The goal of any team building event should be to increase employee engagement. Why not use video games as that vehicle? My list is focused on challenge and puzzle based interactions. You won’t see World of Warcraft or Minecraft on the list. Those genres have obvious team interactions but take significantly more mastery of skills. If Bob in purchasing can’t pick it up in 5 minutes or less it’s not going to be fun. I chose games that require small learning curves, involve shared team effort, no special gear (2 exceptions), and are crazy fun. There are a couple of titles that snuck onto the list because they’re hilariously fun for groups. 

Remember that just because an activity requires you to work together that doesn’t mean it’s team building. Managers, if you want extract maximum value from your activity, read our post on how to  Turn ANY Office Activity Into a Team Building Event

 video game team building keep talking1. Keep Talking and Nobody Explodes

http://www.keeptalkinggame.com/

Diffuse the bombs or your team perishes in a flaming fireball. There’s nothing like immolation to push a team to new heights. This is one of my all time favorite collaborative games on a computer. Split your team into two groups the Operators and the Diffusers. Operators get to actually manipulate the bomb. Diffusers have the manual. The catch? Neither side can see what the other is looking at. If you’re on the Operator team you can’t see the manual… if you have the manual, you can’t see the Bomb. You’ll have to use your words and listening skills to collaborate and beat the clock. Failure is not an option! Search the game title on YouTube and you’ll see hilarious examples of teams, couples, friends, and roommates desperately trying to keep it together.

Team Building Notes: You need clear communication to succeed on this challenge. There are easy talking points on using specific language, making assumptions, focusing on details, big picture thinking and shared vernacular. What made you successful? What were your barriers to success?

Variations:

  • Switch Roles
  • Split the manual between multiple people.
  • Play over Skype (great option for teams that telecommute and want to team build remotely)
  • Hire Sandra Bullock to drive a bus with your Operator team on board? If she drops below 60mph everyone loses a vacation day.

blockparty gigantic mechanic2. Block Party from Gigantic Mechanic

http://www.giganticmechanic.com/project/block-party/

Gather 100 of your closest workmates, fire up the projector, and make sure you phone is charged. This Tetris-esque puzzle challenge gives each player a falling shape piece to control. You must combine your piece with other players to fill the shapes at the bottom of the screen as you try and set the highest score possible. I love the simplicity of the controls but the complexity of the interactions. It’s impossible to win at this game without interacting with your fellow players. I witnessed this game in action at Indiecade West and saw first hand the power of group play. Definitely check out the Gigantic Mechanic website and see what else they’re up to. 

Team Building Notes: Clear communication is key but trying to find process in the chaos of large groups is a fascinating challenge. Often you don’t know who is controlling what just by looking at the screen. You’ll need big picture thinking and a shared vernacular to be successful. What skills did you use to be successful? Where do you see situations like this in your daily work like? 

Variations:

  • Pair people up. 1 person controls the game piece but can’t see the screen. Their partner must verbally guide them to place the piece correctly. 
  • Great for telecommuters – Use screen sharing via skype to allow offsite employees to play.

screen capture artemis space simulator3. Artemis Spaceship bridge simulator

http://artemis.eochu.com/

This one is for my true nerds. The sci-fi geeks and Trekkies on your team will giggle like school children in anticipation of operating Artemis’s simulator. The concept is simple – each person has a role from Captain to Navigator to Weapon Control on the spaceship. One computer hosts the simulator and main screen. Each participant’s computer functions as a work station, only showing the controls for their specific role. The Captain doesn’t have a workstation but tells everyone what to do from the middle of the room ( Yes, you can call yourself Captain Kirk). It’s time to save the galaxy!

Game Notes: This does require that each person has their own computer. Also, it’s far more effective if everyone is in the same room. You may need to bribe your local IT guru to help you with the particulars.

space team game screen capture team building4. Space Team

http://spaceteam.ca/

BE PREPARED TO RAISE YOUR VOICE. This hilarious social phone based team building game will have your team trying to pilot a spaceship. The ship will tell you what to do but each player gets different instructions. AND each player has a different set of controls visible on their phone. The instructions have a time limit so you’ll need to execute them or have  team member execute them pronto quick.  The computer might tell you to “Move the Techboggle to 2”, but you don’t have a Techboggle. So you start yelling out “Set Techboggle 2!” until somebody freaking sets it (ahem… sorry)!  Most teams quickly devolve into yelling battles as they try to get their tasks completed. Play this in a coffee shop if you want to get perplexed looks and stares. As a team building professional I’d like to say I exhibit poise and well executed communication strategies when I play this, but that would be a horrible lie.   

Team Building Notes: Easy to recognize metaphors for tunnel vision, project creep, and communication styles. How did your team overcome group noise? What was your method to prioritize tasks? What parallels did you notice with communication on work projects? 

Game Notes:

  • This can only be played if everyone is on the same wifi network. So it’s not suitable for remote teams.

sound activated video game title5. Scream Team

What if you could take a room full of people and control a single character in a video game… enter Scream Team. We modified an existing “runner” “single button” style game. That means the character is in a constant state of forward motion and your job is to press the button at the right times (remember flappy bird?). In this case, our Indiana Jones style character is running through a series of caves. You must help him jump over gaps, pillars, and other obstacles. BUT, we replaced the button with a microphone. As a group you must make noise when you need the character to jump. The louder the noise, the bigger the jump. I had an opportunity to feature our game at the Steam Carnival Gala with 500 people. It was hilarious!!! It works with 1 to 1000 people. Contact james@fireflyteamevents.com for more information.

6. Group Pacman

Trying to describe Pacman to younger generations is an act of comedy. A yellow dot that eats other dots and is scared of ghosts. Despite it’s simplicity there is still a LOT that Pacman has to give. In a normal Pacman session the up,down, left right would be controlled by 1 player. What if you could assign each of those directions to different team members? Bill controls up, Tonya from accounting is down, Satchmo is Right, and Percy is Left…. All to control that beautiful yellow dot. Let the confusion err… communication begin! We have our own version of Pacman that we bring as part of our Human Arcade event. There are free versions of Pacman online that you can easily use.

Tech Note: We created a special controller so that each person has a physical button to press for their direction. That way you’re not all crowded around a little keyboard. For a quick and easy version we recommend using a **MakeyMakey controller. See the note at the end of the article.

Team Building Notes:

  • This activity easily segues into communication styles, assumptions, trust, and shared language. Consider what adjustments you had to make to your communication style to be successful. How was the team effected if you didn’t press your button? How did your team decide to move left vs right? 

Game Notes:

  • Search for Free Pacman or event Free Tetris to put this to the test.
  • Contact james@fireflyteamevents.com for more information if you’re interested in having us bring our controllers and game out.
  • You can scale up and create a tournament with teams of 4 competing to set the top score.

jackbox games logo7. JackBox Games

http://jackboxgames.com/

I’m listing these as a hilarious office interaction and not so much a team builder. We’ll file it under giggles, social credit, and engagement activity. Jackbox is the creator of the infamous You Don’t Know Jack trivia game. They’ve upgraded to the age of the internet and now you play on a single computer using your phone as a controller. It’s pretty dang cool! They even have titles that allow up to 8 people play and up to 10,000 people to spectate. They sell their games in party packs that come with 5 games. 

My favorite of their new party pack is Trivia Murder Party. It’s a fresh take on the game that put them on everyone’s radar. Players must answer trivia questions or risk being killed. Fun right?! Right? No? The premise is that you’re trying to escape from a house with a Saw movie like game master(monster?). Wrong answers force players into mini-challenges where you might have to do math, test your memory, or lose a finger. A “finger” means you are permanently barred from choosing A, B, or C depending on which finger you lose. Diabolical. The game moves at the perfect pace to keep the group engaged. It’s a fun way to break up the workday and bank some social credit with team members. 

The other favorite was Quiplash 2. It’s hilarious! At the start each person is given 2 prompts to answer secretly. Each prompt will have a possible answer from 2 of the players. They must provide an answer to the prompt that they think their teammates will vote for. Once all answers are entered, the game displays them one by one for voting. Your answer is displayed anonymously next to someone else’s for the voting.  Once the voting is finished the creators of the answers are revealed as well as who voted for them. The humor is in the answers themselves…. You may need to re-visit your HR conduct standards since people can write whatever they want.

Gameplay Variations:

  • Base all year end bonuses on the performance of employees during the game (kidding)
  • Team up players from different departments
  • Challenge different departments to a match – use the spectator function (think audience)
  • There is absolutely a team benefit to laughing together

Game Notes:

  • Working Remotely – The game is not built to be played remotely BUT we have a way. Since your controller is your phone, you can screen share the game via Skype for a remote colleague. Mind blown? We’re that good. It’s a great way to get some remote team building (loosely using the term) in on a work day. 

shackle vr game8. Shackle

http://shackle-game.com/

I made a pilgrimage to Indiecade West this year. I wanted to witness their “big games” and see what independent game developers were crafting in their underground lairs. The team behind Shackles have hatched a beautifully sadistic 2 player cooperative experience. In the game players are trapped on opposite sides of a creepy haunted room. Actions one player takes on their side of the room may affect their co-captive on the other side. Make too much noise and you might attract the attention of things that lurk in dark places. The game is played with Oculus VR headsets so the horror is very immersive. Prepare to be startled or spooked as you try and escape in this dark team building activity.

Team Building Notes:

  • Scary haunted rooms and poorly supported projects are very similar. Right?
  • Communication and trust are the obvious team aspects being put to the test.
  • You know what’s fun? Having 2 people start the game – then turn off all the lights and have everyone leave the room and go for drinks. Okay that might not be team building.

Game Notes:

  • This requires 2 Oculus Rift headsets and headphones with a mic.

Video game corporate team building screenshot9. Lovers in a Dangerous Space Time

http://www.loversinadangerousspacetime.com/

I pestered Laura E. Hall to see if she had a line on some good collaborative titles. She immediately responded back with “Lovers in a Dangerous Space Time”. And it’s perfect. You and 3 teammates are cruising through a neon galaxy, in your own battleship, trying to defeat the enemies of love. You’ll have to operate the guns, fly the ship and position shields in a hectic good time mess of space war. In between battles you find poignant moments of appreciation for the effort, communication, and multitasking that you and your team had to employ. You’ll find yourself calling out enemies and high fiving teammates when they make a great shot. The makers call this game a “couch co-op” and we love it. Succeeding in this game means you’ve got a solid team platform.

Team Building Notes:

  • Multitasking, trust, communication and resource management are major factors in success. Can you see parallels between how your team handled this game and the way they approach real world projects?

 

** The Makey Makey

makey makey controllerAs a team building professional I can devise some beautiful interactions for the Makey Makey. It’s a controller that lets you turn anything into a button. What I love is that it also allows you to move the buttons away from the computer. As I mentioned above, it’s a great way to turn a game like Tetris or Pacman into a cooperative game and team building activity. To learn how to use the Makey Makey, check out their website at http://makeymakey.com/  – I recommend their “classic” version.

Honorable Mentions:

I haven’t had a chance to vette the titles below.  They make the list because they have cooperative gameplay elements. That means they’re great for teams. 

bff or die video game 10. BFF or Die

.http://www.honeytribestudios.com/studio-news/bff-or-die

Help each other or die. The only way you can win this game is to work together solving puzzles, strategizing, and kicking butt. No single player can do all the things so you’ll need to rely on each other. It’s cute and dangerous and I can’t wait to play.

 

overcooked video game11. Overcooked

.http://www.ghosttowngames.com/overcooked/

You and your team of cooks must prepare and serve meals to your waitings guest. Will your kitchen be a well oiled machine? Or a kitchen nightmare that no one can recover from? Responsibility for success at this game come from all 4 players.

BIG THANKS to Laura E Hall for querying her room full of games for some of the suggestions on this list. Also thanks to an awesome game programmer Christian Scandariato who also chimed in for me.  And a long time evil genius Jason Le

About the Author:

I am a HUGE fan of game mechanics especially as it relates to teams and team building. My passion is working with hundreds of teams every year as the CEO of Firefly Team Events. I scour the world for new group activities, interactions, and challenges that I can modify to help teams elevate their performance. I am a team building nerd. You can reach me at james@fireflyteamevents.com

Amazing Race with TJX – Orange County Team Building

team buidlingWe had a great time partnering with TJX Companies! We met them in Laguna Beach at the Surf and Sand Hotel to kick off an Amazing Race  style team building event! It was early but the crew from TJX tackled the rally books we gave them like champions. After some laughs and a brief strategy session they were off and running down Pacific Coast Highway solving clues, finding photos, and answering trivia questions. Thanks TJX!

Want to plan your own team building Amazing Race Style event? Contact us at 877.267.1939 or james@fireflyteamevents.com

Read about our version of Amazing Race – The Throwdown Challenge

Defending Your Cubicle – Office Warfare

Fun is a HUGE facet of our business. We can’t put together a team building event without it. Teams don’t succeed without it. That’s why office warfare is so important to FireFly Team Events. Office warfare is a necessity when combatting highly stressful deadlines or a long workweek. We want to arm you with the best and coolest ways to successfully defend your cubicle or office against attack.

Kicking off this new blog feature is our favorite office projectile – the desktop Rocket Launcher. Connect to it via bluetooth and you have a defense system that you can swivel and fire right from your phone or computer. AMAZING! Cecil from accounting will think twice before sneaking up on You!

You can purchase one here -> http://www.amazon.com/Dream-Cheeky-358-Electronic-Reference/dp/B006R15P3S/ref=pd_sim_t_2

Or Here if you prefer a USB version – http://www.dreamcheeky.com/thunder-missile-launcher