team building game olympics corporate event

Team Building at Newport Dunes Resort

We never turn down sun, sand, and waterfront based team building. When our client One Legacy asked us to host our Iron Team Challenge at Newport Dunes resort we did a little dance. Newport Dunes has it all! We grabbed our team and headed down to their corporate meeting space with our big bag of team building tricks.

corporate team building group in Orange County cheering

Winner of the Rock, Paper, Scissors energizer

We started the group off with our hilarious rock, paper, scissors battle on the lawn. The group was cheering and yelling and lifting victors into the air. We LOVED this group. We then challenged the group to dig a little deeper. Studies have proven that high performing teams excel at connecting on a personal level. One of the first steps is moving beyond “How was your day?”

Once we had the group divided into teams we unleashed them on our Iron Team Challenges. It’s our version of a team building Olympics. Each round teams rotate to a new challenge and face a new opponent. The challenges require teams to work together, communicate, and trust if they’re going to win. We’ve designed them so dominant skills or personalities can’t hijack the game.

newport dunes corporate group

Team building on one of the lawns next to the bay at Newport Dunes

After the mayhem and laughter of the Iron Team we moved into the meeting space. We primed the groups with prompts that allowed them to reflect on the experience and share highlights with people on other teams. Gathering them back into their teams we lead a discussion to discover what the takeaways for the day were. What can they take from the day’s activities that is relevant to their day to day responsibilities?

If you’d like to explore team building with your group – email james@fireflyteamevents.com or visit http://www.fireflyteamevents.com.

newport dunes aerial marina photo

Newport Dunes – Glamping, Camping, and Corporate Retreats

newportDunes LogoGrowing up in Southern California I spent many summer nights camping at the beach side resort of Newport Dunes. What was once a quiet staycation spot for local families, has become a popular event destination. The amenities offered has extended from the cold showers and bicycle rentals of my youth to decadent catering, business support and a full water park. Kids of today don’t know how good they have it! But we don’t need to be jealous. Today I indulge my nostalgia and explore how we can have more fun than the kids with team building events or incentive trips at Newport Dunes.

Newport Dunes isn’t just for camping. Back in my day a trip to Newport Dunes meant sleeping bags and mom’s propane stove. They still have tent camping available, but far more common are the large RV sites with full hookups. Even more comfortable- beach side cottages with indoor plumbing! Now this is “glamping”. If staying outdoors isn’t your thing, the dunes is located only 8 miles from John Wayne Airport and is surrounded by the luxury hotels you’d expect to populate Orange County. There are so many possible activities to keep your team occupied, you won’t care where you’re resting your head at night.

newport dunes corporate group

Team building on one of the lawns next to the bay at Newport Dunes

After breakfast, my family would strap on our roller blades and skate onto the ferry that would take us between Balboa Island and Peninsula. There you can find amusement park rides, history exhibits and the famous ice cream treat “Balboa Bars”. We’ve hosted plenty of scavenger hunts in this area, roller blades not required. If you want to stay dry for your team building there are spacious picnic pavilions that could house a Minute to Win it, Bike Build, or hula hoop competition! Keep it casual with a BBQ dinner or go all out with the Dunes’ event space and catered meals.

Many meeting or incentive planners when coming from out of state say they want the “California experience”. I can’t think of a more essential Californian experience than evening s’mores at a beach bonfire. Newport Dunes offers laid back summer fun, but still has the amenities corporate groups require for a successful conference.

For information on team building contact james@fireflyteamevents.com or visit http://www.fireflyteamevents.com

title graphic team building

How Bowling is Ruining Corporate Team Building

I  work in an industry that focuses on growth and being positive. But sometimes you need to practice tough love. People of Corporate America! Bowling is NOT team building. You will not see productivity increase because your company went bowling. You haven’t increased cohesion. You failed to address problem solving, communication or innovation. Worse, you’ve set the bar so low that your company will begin a downward spiral into mediocrity, thinking that for the cost of 2 hours lane time, a bowling shoe rental, and soggy nachos they’re “team building”.

Many social activities like to tack on the buzz phrase “team building” to their marketing schemes without bothering to actually offer anything actually useful to team development beyond a fun time.  Bowling is a common offender and I’m calling them out.  So what exactly should you look for in team building activities that bowling doesn’t have?

There Is No Teamwork At the Line

Teamwork is another buzzword, but one that most already understand.  Bowling, though occasionally played with teams, requires no teamwork.  I suck at bowling, and there is absolutely nothing my team can do during the match to help me be better.  They can’t help me hold the ball, or knock my pins down.  My success during each frame is solely my responsibility.  Now sure, there’s something to be said for owning your own accomplishments, but how does one person’s successes or failures bring a team together, especially if each person’s success means another’s failure?  In true team building activities challenges require team members to rely on one another.  A success is the result of the team effort, not the one super star.

7-10 Splits Don’t Equal Problem Solving

What’s the biggest problem in bowling?  The dreaded 7/10 split.  Unless you possess a great deal of hand/eye coordination and a physics degree you’ll be hard pressed to overcome that problem.  Proper team building allows teams to solve problems.  To examine a challenge, make a plan of action, and most importantly- fail, then try again.  Chuck your bowling ball down the lane and hope for the best as it ricochets back and forth against the gutter bumper rail.  What has your team learned from this challenge?  Back at the office should they use the same strategy of wild guessing and blind luck?

Bowling Reeks of Minimal Effort

Changes in the office have your staff stressed out.  You want to plan an outing to brighten the mood and unite the team.  So you take them to the neighborhood bowling alley and shell out for pizza and maybe a pitcher of beer.  You already put in the work to get results in business, and the same rings true for team building.  I’m not saying you need to spend a load of money to impress your staff.  But bowling reeks of minimal effort, and you’ll get out what you put in.

Small Talk Isn’t Enough

Throwing your staff at each other and hoping they’ll make small talk in between frames does not promise any team bonding and does even less to improve communication strategies. Instead: brainstorm ideas, debate plans, give directions, ask questions, cheer, yell, laugh, cry.  Team building engages staff in conversations about the activity, which opens communication channels later on.

What Does Bowling Even Mean?

When asked what my profession is I often quip “I play with a purpose.”  It usually gets a chuckle, but it’s an accurate description of team building.  After an event I always debrief the activity with the teams I’m playing with.  I lead them in a discussion of their strengths and weaknesses, how their communication worked, why they attempted the challenge a certain way and above all – What will they take with them back to the office. The activity itself is neutral. It only has value when viewed the workplace lens.

Team building can be used to unite staff, solve workplace issues, improve communication and so much more.  It makes sense places want to advertise with it, but a group activity does NOT a team building program make.  At Firefly, we know we can gamify anything for teams.  So if you have your heart set on bowling, why not make it team bowling?  A new challenge presented each frame, that requires communication and collaboration.  To improve these skills, they need to be practiced.  Before you take your team out to play, we challenge you to play with purpose.

For team building activities that I think are better than bowling, contact James@fireflyteamevents.com

group cheering on the beach

Finding Value at the Beach With Team Building

What can a group take away from an employee outing playing in the surf and sand? When teams are looking for a summer team building activity in Los Angeles or Orange County we LOVE recommending our Beach Olympics. This spirited competition challenges staff to work together in unique ways leading to improved communication and office engagement. So what can you expect from your team during a Beach Olympics?

Creative Problem Solving
Our challenges aren’t just simple lawn games you’ve probably played at a dozen family picnics. Each event will require players to think outside the box in mastering the zany activities we set up. When our facilitators explain the objective of the game we set conditions restricting players from the more obvious, simple solutions. For instance, when we play soccer Our cleats are 3 person wooden skis that teams use to travel down the field. Using our skis, team member must develop a strategy for navigating the field and scoring goals. It’s unconventional and deliciously challenging.

Team Spirit
Don’t worry, nobody is going to start singing “Kumbaya.”  We encourage team bonding through friendly competition. By randomly placing participants in teams we circumvent cliques and forge new connections. Even those who don’t think they’re the “hoo rah!” type get caught up in the cheering. Each round of the Beach Olympics gets teams closer to the final Gauntlet, a fast paced relay style race for victory that has everyone laughing and rooting for the top teams.

Uncovering Hidden Talent
When you remove labels and classifications from your staff, you’ll find them performing in interesting ways. Employees who are normally quiet and reserved might step forward and lead the group during challenges. An event like this allows people to demonstrate aptitude in a areas like leadership, creative thinking, management, and connection. Watch your team closely and you may find your next product manager or thought leader.

At the end of the event our event lead will review the action with your group. What were the higlights? What did your team excel at? How does this apply to what you do in the office? What can we use to be successfull moving forward? We’ll help your team recognize the value and discuss how to apply it to the office.

A day at the beach is always fun, but your can supersize your return on investment by partnering with us.  Get your game face on with a Beach Olympics team building in Los Angeles, Orange County, and San Diego.  To engage your staff in a fun, active summer outing contact us james@fireflyteamevents.com

santa monica pier at sunset

Corporate Event Planning Tips for Santa Monica

We love Santa Monica for corporate team building events because it offers the laid back California experience, without the hassles that plague the rest of Los Angeles. Santa Monica feels like a small town beach village, but it has all the luxuries of a major city. Pedestrian shopping districts, upscale resorts and event venues, and the world famous pier make Santa Monica a great spot for your next sales meeting or excursion.

No Rental Car Needed
In Santa Monica, cars are truly not needed. That might sound crazy in car saturated Southern California. However, Only 8 miles from the LAX airport, most resorts offer a shuttle. You won’t have to worry about the crazy Los Angeles freeways. Once you’re in town, you’ll find Santa Monica extremely pedestrian friendly. Third Street Promenade, the popular outdoor shopping district, is a car free zone. We feel at ease hosting our team building Scavenger Hunts in Santa Monica, knowing all the attractions are easily walk-able and nobody will be dodging around traffic.

Iconic Venues
The sky’s the limit rings true for group events in Santa Monica because the town is home to the historic Barker Hangar. This 35,000 sq ft hangar has a ceiling that reaches 43 ft at the center. It houses some of the biggest, coolest events in southern California. It has been used for galas, award ceremonies, runway shows, and concerts.The resorts themselves offer great meeting spaces along with luxurious accommodations. Host a mixer at the poolside cabanas at the Viceroy to have everyone feeling like an A-List celebrity. If you’ll need tech support for a virtual conference call or important video screening, check out the Huntley. They employ an army of A/V technicians to oversee it’s fleet of smart TVs, projectors, sound systems, and poly-com conference phones. Santa Monica even has hip, convenient co working locations like Coloft that you would usually find in much larger cities.

Famous Attractions
Nobody should leave California without spending a day on the beach. Santa Monica’s beach is one of the best. The waves offer good surfing and we love running a Team Building Olympics on the sand. Watch the future Arnold Schwarzenegger work out on the gymnastics equipment on the original Muscle Beach. When the sun sets, the beach lights up from the iconic Ferris wheel on the pier where you’ll also find an amusement park, aquarium, and tasty restaurants.

If you want to hit the sand with your team and have some fun while visiting Santa Monica, email us

team building graffiti group of adults posed in front of graffiti mural for corporate event

Team Building with Creativity, Color, and Graffiti

Put a spray paint can in your team members hands for an unforgettable graffiti team building outing!

Amazon.com’s App Store team asked us for a unique team outing in Dana Point. They’re a new team that works well together but their manager is working to elevate them to amazing. He wanted to dig a little deeper using creativity as a vehicle for interaction. Our Team Graffiti paired them up with a facilitator and a world class graffiti artist, ManOne Graffiti Artist. The team explored the concept of individual identity through graffiti “tags’ in Lantern Bay Park by the Laguna Cliffs Marriott. Each member created their own graffiti name, called a “tag” in the graffiti world. A tag is more than just a name it’s an identity much like a corporate brand. Colors, letter style, and writing style are important to establishing identity. As they shared their new tags with each other ManOne offered tips and technique mixed with colorful graffiti history. Markers in hand they turned our graffiti walls into a colorful feast for the eyes.

Graffiti artist writing tag names for team building event

Corporate Teams in the Graffiti World

The graffiti equivalent of a team is known as a crew. Every artist has a one or more crews that they identify with. Crews provide safety, inspiration, help on large pieces, and family. The correlation with a project team resonated strongly with Amazon. The Amazon.com group was now a graffiti crew and ManOne graduated them to spray paint. After an interactive graffiti lesson, together they chose a word that has meaning and relevance to the team and their goals at work. Using the word “craft” the crew chose their colors for their final masterpiece on canvas. ManOne sketched it out in paint on a primed cotton canvas and the crew took over. They filled in the piece taking turns using the colors they’d chosen. ManOne took over after all the color was filled in and showed us why he’s a master of his craft. Hey added outlines and depth that made the canvas come to life.

3 adults standing around table for graffiti team building corporate eventEngage Your Team

Building engagement amongst team members is more than theme days in the office. It takes effort and additional investment by management. Finding unique ways like our Team Building Graffiti event is a great direction to go. Ready to plan your next meeting? Call us and let us help you get the most out of your team – Firefly Team Events – 877.267.1939

 

woman spray painting on canvas during graffiti team building corporate event

group cheering on the beach

Stay Engaged With These 3 San Diego Team Building Ideas

If your group is lucky enough to be in San Diego we have some great team building ideas for you. Of course there’s the beach, Sea World, the Wild Animal Park, and Comic Con, but when you really want to learn more about both the town and your team consider these San Diego team building activity suggestions.

Scavenger Hunt in Balboa Park or Gaslamp District
San Diego is a big city made up of awesome areas and neighborhoods. Our favorites are Balboa Park and the Gaslamp District. In Balboa Park you’ll explore the lush gardens, Spanish architecture, and numerous museums. If you’re wanting an evening team building activity we’ll send you on a culinary adventure through the Gaslamp District. Hop on the trolley to see the sights and enjoy the culture of the town. Our San Diego scavenger hunts don’t just send you to look at cool stuff though, you’ll be completing challenges and snapping pictures to win your team 1st place.

Beach Olympics
Fun in the sun is the idea behind our Beach Olympics. Gather your crew, slather on the sunscreen, and hit the beach ready beat the competition in team building challenges you’ve definitely never played before. Get to know your team in a totally different environment and engage in friendly competition.  Our Beach Olympics will have teams cheering as they build trust, communication and strategy.

Mural Madness
As you explore the city you may notice beautiful works of art spray painted around the town. Our professional graffiti artist joins us to help your team create a custom street art image. Teams enjoy expressing their personality while having fun with the paint. This unique lesson in creativity  will spark conversations on innovation and vision. Engage your team with this unqiue San Diego team building activity.

To book your San Diego team building event click here.

 

3 Hilarious Las Vegas Scavenger Hunts

So your team has made it to Las Vegas for your sales meeting or conference, you want to engage with them in a team building event, but you’ll need something as flashy and exciting as Sin City to keep everyone actively involved. Our scavenger hunts are so wild you won’t have to worry about staff “checking out” to hit the slots. Below we’ve compiled our three favorite hunts to celebrate the spirit of the Strip.

Crazy Eighties
Break out your leg warmers and neon spandex to jazzercise your way through the casinos. We take it back to the super rad ’80s with hip trivia, wacky props and funky challenges. Creative costumes abound, we’ve seen everything from Exercise Barbies to Top Gun. This scavenger hunt is always the most talked about time on the agenda at conferences, a great time to let your hair down (before styling it way way up) and let your competitive spirit out.

Hangover
If your convention goers want to experience Las Vegas we’ve got the hook ups with photo challenges that will take teams to all the best iconic locations in the city. We know team building is best when you focus on the fun so we’ll unleash your team on the Strip to get up to hijinks worthy of the Hangover films. All you have to do is snap photographic evidence of your team completing the zany challenges. The more you can make us laugh the more points your team will win. After the event you’ll have great pictures, better memories, and an intimate knowledge of Las Vegas.

Techno Rally
Our original scavenger hunt, the Techno Rally, focuses on the team building. We’ll set up checkpoint challenges where your team will need to work together to complete the objective in addition to location trivia and photo quests. Arm wrestle a child, pose with a statue, dance by a fountain and more to win your team the most points. You can add your own theme to the event, or skip the costumes if that’s your jam. You bring the people, we’ll bring the fun.

To get your team out on the town contact us at james@fireflyteamevents.com.  We’ll help you choose the scavenger hunt or team building event that’s right for your group.

adults wearing neon clothing posed for team building scavenger hunt group of adults dressed like the eighties for team building scavenger hunt

Women in front of baskets filled with donation items for team building charity

Give Back With Charity Team Building in Los Angeles

If your corporate team is looking to give back, Los Angeles is home to many deserving charities in need of your service. We work to ensure your charitable giving is matched with enthusiasm and energy. We infuse these events with extra fun challenges to “win” the supplies to complete the donation. Charity team building events fulfill corporate social responsibility and promote pride in the staff attending. Los Angeles is home to plenty of good causes. In the past we’ve partnered with charities such as Boys and Girls Club, Families Forward, local children’s hospitals and Together We Rise to produce team building experiences like these:

Bike Builds

Bicycles are often the first sign of independence for children. Learning to ride takes bravery and commitment, which is rewarded by the exhilarating freedom of being able to travel under their own power. Many children are not given this experience simply because of their families’ socioeconomic standing. We bring in bicycles for teams to build and toss in some fun challenges as well. Once construction is complete we encourage teams to deliver marketing pitches for their bicycles which usually degenerates into giggle inducing skits. Craft supplies are provided for teams to create cards to include with the bicycles for the lucky recipient. Our charity bike builds are the perfect way to incorporate CSR into your meeting.

Super Hero Starter Kits

Many children are forced to face challenges too scary for most adults in the form of chronic or terminal illness. Luckily Los Angeles is home to an amazing children’s hospital St. Jude’s as well as neighbor to Children’s Hospital of Orange County (CHOC). We celebrate these young patients’ bravery with our Super Hero Starter Kits. Kids are thrilled to open these packages containing a mask, cardboard shield and craft supplies. They love decorating their super hero shields to suit their own personality. Teams can help kids fight their battle by assembling these kits during our high spirited super hero team events.

Care Package Builds

Sometimes it’s basic items like school supplies or canned food that are the most appreciated. Our care package builds for team building can be customized to suit your team’s interests. We’ve hosted Minute to Win It competitions where items are won through challenges and recently, we had teams create miniature golf courses out of the pantry items that were being donated to Second Harvest.  Care package builds are always well organized with each team donating their own package, identical to the others save for any decorations team members may have been added.  We love seeing teams having a good time, while giving back to the community.

Charity events are always an excellent team building experience as groups have a fun, memorable time while doing something worthwhile. To find out how you can give back to your community and plan a charity event contact us at james@fireflyteamevents.com

team building escape room

Spotlight – Escape Room Team Building

Neogov stepped up to the challenge in our newest Los Angeles team building event – Team Escape. Based on the concept of an escape room it features elements from escape rooms, scavenger hunts, and amazing race style challenges. In our version your team is racing to disarm our countdown clock with the correct code. They’ll have to divide and conquer if they want to win. Communication, cooperation, and ingenuity are key components of this adventure. Any team competing in today’s agile marketplace is familiar with all three. If you’d like to challenge your team with a unique team building adventure in Orange County, Los Angeles, or San Diego give us a call. This experience is mobile and can currently accommodate up to 6 teams.  http://www.fireflyteamevents.com

Escape Room Team Building Escape Room Team building Escape Room Team Building