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? Read more

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 corporate team building events because they offer 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. Read more

highland park bowling alley corporate events

10 Unconventional Outdoor Event Venues in Los Angeles

With summer around the corner you may be looking to host your next corporate event outside to take advantage of the warm southern California weather. We’ve assembled a list of our favorite unique outdoor venues in Los Angeles sure to wow your guests.

1. The Rooftop at The Standard Hotel

When you close your eyes and imagine the quintessential Los Angeles scene, it probably looks a lot like this rooftop party spot. Its convenient location in downtown offers panoramic views of the city to enjoy while you swim in the pool, sip on a cocktail, or lounge on a waterbed (that’s right, they have waterbeds!). Trendy without being cliche, there are state of the art sound systems and video projectors to aid in your presentation or just create an Instagram worthy dance party.

2. Iconic Los Angeles Beaches

Summertime is the best time for a day at the beach. Our favorites include The Strand at Manhattan Beach, Venice Beach, and the wide open sand of Santa Monica.  To add value to your team’s fun in the sun consider organizing a corporate team building event. We love running a competitive Team Olympics or a lesson in Sand Sculpture Building. These experiences promote team bonding by encouraging interaction that doesn’t normally occur in the office.  Parking at any beach is limited and metered so we recommend carpooling and arriving early. Even in the summer, the coastal breezes can get chilly so be sure to bring a light jacket for layering, especially if you’re sunburnt.

3. Greystone Mansion

Imagine holding a corporate dinner party in a real life haunted mansion. The Greystone Mansion is one of the most commonly filmed estates, and boasts its own sordid past of mystery and murder. The Tudor architecture and intriguing backstory make it a unique setting for an LA Film Noir themed party or fundraiser.  The living room is spacious enough for a 70 person meeting, while your breakout sessions could resemble a game of Clue (Director of Marketing with a Powerpoint in the Library!).  End the outing with elegant cocktails on the terrace.  Staff will be equal parts thrilled by the spooky stories and mesmerized by the opulent decor.

4. Corriganville Park

We all want our employees to be healthy, and what better way to encourage worker’s wellness than a walk through the movies?  Bring the team out for a company picnic complete with an Old West themed Amazing Race style competition featuring challenges and trivia inspired by the park which was at one time in history home to a bustling movie ranch. As you amble across the sandstone you’ll recognize sets from The Lone Ranger, The Adventures of Rin Tin Tin, and Star Trek to name a few.

5. The La Brea Tar Pits

Fit for an elegant gala or a wild scavenger hunt, the La Brea Tar Pits Museum hosts fossils from Ice Age creatures including mammoths and dire wolves.  After dining next to ancient fossils, move the party outside to the lush gardens where you could pack school supply kits for paleontologists of the future.  Centrally located on the Miracle Mile, parking is surprisingly easy!

6. Velaslavasay Panorama

A historic theatre featuring the exhibition of the dying art of panoramas. Step into a 360 degree painting that immerses you with audio effects and three dimensional properties. Acoustics in this round space are excellent for a meeting or presentation. Outside in the living garden you can host a quirky cocktail mixer under the stars or a daytime training workshop. We love the art deco Union Theatre building and its quirky artistic vibe it gives the city.

7. California Yacht Club
Take to the seas by chartering a cruise through the California Yacht Club. Most opt for the ritzy yacht party, but we enjoy seeing teams working together to trim the sails on one of the club’s sailboats, or puttering around in the smaller dinghys. A sunset cruise is a great sales incentive trip, and in early spring you can catch the gray whale migration. You could even hire two boats and have your staff engage in the awesome sport of yacht racing.

8. Walt’s Barn
All aboard, for classic train fun. Located in Griffith Park, Walt’s Barn houses the numerous train models made and run by Walt Disney that later inspired the train that circles the Magic Kingdom. Use the grounds for a staff field day with lawn games, or charity event. A passion project by the Carolwood Foundation, the barn and exhibits will encourage staff to follow their own dreams.

BONUS: Indoor Spots to Beat the Heat
When that California sunshine gets too warm, step into these awesome spaces to relax in the A/C.

9. Highland Park Bowl

This bowling alley, built in 1927, has been recently restored to its vintage glory. Not your local franchised alley, this venue offers supple leather couches, craft beers, and artisan pizzas. An office league or a staff night would both find comfort in this classic.

10. SPiN Los Angeles

A loft space that can host up to 300 people, this venue is run by a local ping pong social club. It comes with a full A/V system, bar, restaurant and ping pong professional players to help up your game. This is your chance to hold that 80s ping pong tournament you’ve always dreamed about. This venue will keep staff active, while they have fun.

This list only scratches the surface of possibilities in Los Angeles. We skipped over the obvious ones to try and inspire your next venue search. Good luck on future projects!

For help planning a staff engagement activity, outing, or team building event at these or other locations, contact us by emailing james@fireflyteamevents.com!

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

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 Las Vegas scavenger hunts are so wild you won’t have to worry about staff “checking out” to hit the slots. Las Vegas team building activities don’t have to be limited to the card tables. 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

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

Las Vegas Team Building

3 Fun Las Vegas Team Building Ideas

During your next conference in Las Vegas make memories you don’t mind sharing outside the city. Las Vegas team building activities help your group experience the town, engage their competitive drive, and give back to the community, but most of all your co-workers will reconnect, engage and have fun. With the excitement of sin city at your doorstep, you should look for an experience that’s just as high energy as your surroundings in order to attract and keep the attention of your team. These ideas are just the tip of the iceberg in terms of options for Las Vegas team building,  just like some of the local casinos, there’s no limit.

Vegas Photo Scavenger Hunt

Your coworkers are likely very excited to be visiting Las Vegas as it’s been popularized in movies and TV shows for decades. Set them loose and let them explore. On a photo scavenger hunt they’ll run around the Strip in teams as they complete challenges. One challenge might have them walking like Egyptians under the Luxor pyramid, while another could require them to get a photo behind the bar at one of Vegas’s many lounges . Photo Scavenger hunts have the benefit of allowing your team to enjoy the sights and sounds of the tourist destination while working together to earn points. At the end of the program you’ll leave with a thick photo album of memories, or blackmail depending on your point of view.

Team Olympics

Las Vegas is more than casinos and stage shows. Nestled in the Sierra Nevada Desert, the views are breathtaking. Minutes from the Strip lies the Red Rock Recreation Area. Get out and enjoy the outdoors while annihilating the competition. Team Olympics gives groups the chance to be more active, while not requiring any particularly impressive physical prowess. Furthermore the challenges in a Team Olympics aren’t traditional sporting events, but physical brain teasers requiring communication, strategy, leadership and teamwork. If you want to have a meaningful debrief with your team about group dynamics and how you work together this is the best event to facilitate that discussion.

Charity Events

If your company is looking to give back to the community, Las Vegas has several worthwhile local charities to partner with. Many of these events have the added benefit of being able to be conducted inside (in the A/C!) when temperatures get too hot outside. Make the most of your commitment to contribute with a fun event for your staff coupled with your donation. Enhance a Las Vegas bike build by having teams complete small challenges to win parts for the bicycle. When giving to a food bank we’ve had teams construct mini golf courses from the canned goods. Be creative and have fun. Celebrate the good fortune of your company by helping others. Who knows, the good karma that comes from it might reward you on the casino floor.

Whatever team building event you decide is best for your group keep in mind your surroundings. Las Vegas can extremely hot. We make sure to bring sunscreen and water to our outdoor events so make sure your team stays safe and goes home happy and healthy.  Contact our team today at 877.267.1939 or email michael@fireflygroupevents.com to help you win big with your Las Vegas team building event.

Team Building canned food

Golf Themed Charity Team Building Event – CSR

Argyle socks and a putter are the key ingredients to our golf themed CSR team building activity for charity.  Your team will design, build, and market a minature golf hole that even Tiger Woods would want to play. To win you’ll have to prove your creation is playable and convince our judges why yours is the most innovative hole on the market. We’ve seen teams build the classic golf windmill under the hot sun in Las Vegas and others have constructed water features on the event lawn at Pelican Hill Resort in Orange County. The magic of this event is that your team must include non-perishable food items in their structure. At the end of the event the food is donated to a local charity or food bank like Second Harvest in Irvine, Ca. This is the perfect event for a group that wants a CSR experience with a little creative competition and a lot of heart.

If you’d like to discuss charitable team building options  in Las Vegas, Los Angeles, Orange County, Portland, Seattle, or anywere else in the United States contact us james@fireflyteamevents.com

corporate escape rooms

Escape Rooms and Corporate Team Building – Do They Work?

If your pulse is pounding, the door is locked, a zombie is chained to the wall, and the only way out is to solve a puzzle then you know you’re in an Escape Room. It’s the latest craze to capture the interest of companies that want a unique team building experience. Many escape rooms are advertising their experience as a “team building” opportunity. It’s true that escape rooms require groups to communicate, collaborate, vie for leadership, solve problems, and produce results under pressure… But the shared experience alone is not enough to have a true impact on your team and their workplace performance.

In team building the experience is only a vehicle.   Whether you’re escaping a room or assembling bikes for charity, the true impact occurs when teams reflect on their experience: why they made certain choices, how they approach conflict, who stepped into leadership roles, what language they used. ”Team building” occurs when the group reflects and finds meaning in the experience, and applies it to their patterns of behavior in the workplace. An escape room can be a valuable tool for team building when utilized properly.

Making an Escape Room a True Team Building Experience

Here are a few tips for getting the most out of an escape experience.

Partner with a Professional Facilitator :  A facilitator will work with the escape room to explore challenges the team will be facing, methods of observation, and formulate a plan for processing the experience.   Following the team’s escape the facilitator will help the group reflect and draw meaning from the experience.

Book More Time: Most escape experiences last about an hour. If you’re partnering with a facilitator consider tacking on at least an extra hour to debrief the experience.

Consider 2 Escapes: After the first room your team will be armed with new insights that they can test in the second escape. A second escape creates more data that will help illuminate behavior patterns, breakdowns in communication, or team strengths.

Is an Escape Room Right For Your Team?

Escape rooms are not a perfect fit for every group. It’s a tool or sometimes a pleasant distraction and should be fitted to the group.  Here’s a few points to consider when escape rooms are an option:

Puzzles, Puzzles, and Puzzles:  The people drawn to escape rooms are puzzle people because escape rooms focus on puzzles.  In a corporate event you’ll have a mix of people that love puzzles and those that don’t. Because this is a “work event” your non-puzzlers can’t opt out. If they’re not engaged then they can become a distraction or at the very least feel like they can’t contribute.

Require People to “Pretend”: I love a good theme but it shouldn’t cross the line into acting. When I approach any event design I make sure we’re designing for the group personality and not an individual’s. I’ve found that most group personalities do not appreciate being asked to “pretend” or suspend disbelief. I get the most rolled eyeballs from people when they recall an event where they had to pretend to be secret agents or cross a river of lava.

Can We Supersize That: Consider that most rooms have a participation cap of 3-10 people. You will occasionally find some with 15 and the rare one that can handle 15+.

Escape rooms are a great way to engage and challenge your team in a unique environment. If handled properly they can be a great tool for team building. Before you face down the zombie consider what it might represent in your business. What rooms has your team locked themselves in? What does escaping the room represent on your team’s journey?

We’ve recently added an escape style event to our roster. As life long game designers escape rooms fit like a glove. Schedule your next team building adventure with us – 877.267.7149

We love working with team building groups in Las Vegas, Orange County, San Francisco, Los Angeles, Seattle, Portland and San Diego.