We’ve been featured on Peerspace!

Our popular Team Graffiti event was the first idea featured on Peerspace‘s “12 Creative Corporate Event Ideas near Los Angeles.” Thanks for the love, Peerspace!

Original article posted on Peerspace:

Paint the walls with Team Graffiti

Spend two to three hours learning to make street art with the experienced “graffiti crew” at Firefly Events. All you need is a large outdoor space where your team can split up into small groups to learn the basics of graffiti art. Use this as a brainstorming activity to come up with new branding ideas. You’ll end the day with a colorful canvas you can bring into the office for ongoing inspiration and conversation.

meeting attendee travel tips

Business Travel Tips to Get Out of Your Hotel Room!

Traveling for business can be a great perk, but it can also be dull and lonely at times.  When your meetings are done, solo business travelers often find themselves alone in their hotel room flipping through cable channels, missing home, contemplating the function of a rubber duck.  Avoid this sad image and utilize your time for maximum awesome. As a corporate facilitator I travel several times a month, and I’ve picked up a few business travel tips to combat boring. Following this advice your social media followers will think you’re at vacation, not a conference.

Explore the area

Even if your destination wouldn’t be featured by LonelyPlanet anytime soon, there’s still plenty of unique local sights to experience.  To get off the beaten track of museums and aquariums check out atlasobscura.com. It will show you often overlooked attractions near you.  If you have time, you could also enjoy some nature. I always bring a swimsuit and sneakers I can hike in and use the AllTrails app to help me find routes to explore.  Seeing the area will give you great conversation topics the next day when people ask how your travel has been.

Local Events

Whatever time of year it is, there’s always some sort of festival going on.  Use social media like Facebook Events to find out what’s happening the night you’re free.  Don’t be afraid to join something you wouldn’t normally. You’ve got nothing else going on and that Goat Yoga class is probably more interesting than watching Friends reruns on TBS.  For discounted tickets browse sites like Groupon, they’re often used to sell last minute tickets at bargain rates.

Connect with your colleagues

Chances are you’re not a lone wolf in your field.  Use this time away from biological family to bond with your work family.  Ask the organizing team to book a team building program for the event like Leisure Olympics or Wreck Em Rally.  It will give your group something to look forward to and break up the monotony of weeklong meetings.

Treat Yo Self

Blow that per diem like a baller.  Plan some YOU time. Me time looks like soaking with a bath bomb while binging Netflix and snacking on M&Ms.  It’s okay if you’re not staying at a luxury resort. A quick trip to Target and you can have all the relaxation essentials.  Most resorts also offer a spa or amenities pass to non guests for a small fee.

Be a Ninja

You’re alone in a town where no one knows you.  Soon you will be off on a plane to ports unknown.  You’re probably already wearing professional black.  Sounds like a ninja story to me. Fulfill your destiny with a game of Sneaky Cards.  Complete challenges without being detected and feel awesome (because you are). This and other single player games help keep your brain fully activated.  Visit a local game shop and recruit some nerds in your battle against the mundane. Fun is too important to forget.

Now that you’re armed with the best solo business travel tips, it’s time to explore all our team building options to make your next meeting or conference truly memorable. Contact us at events@fireflyteamevents.com.

Help Send Rashad and Amir to Camp Woodward

With our Ramp It Up skate board build team building event, an ultimate goal is to bring greater accessibility for youth in all walks of life to the sport of skateboarding. We came across a heartwarming campaign just as we’re preparing to facilitate another Ramp It Up event next week: Rashad and Amir are brothers in Detroit, Michigan. They took up skateboarding a little over two years ago and have flourished in the sport. The siblings have wanted to attend Camp Woodward, the ultimate summer camp for youth skateboarding since they were first introduced to the sport. As you can probably imagine, skateboarding summer camp does not come cheap. We’re sharing their GoFundMe campaign in the hopes of bringing awareness to their positive story.


The Not Impossible Labs

Graffiti is has a special role in our collective Firefly hearts. When I saw what the Not Impossible Labs was doing to help Tempt, a graffiti artist paralyzed by ALS, I had to share. Not only was I moved by the story of Tempt, I am blown away by the mindset and hustle of The Not Impossible Labs. When I travelled through India I learned the phrase, “The only thing that is impossible is No.” To me, that captures the spirit of the Not Impossible Labs. Watch out Mick Ebeling I may come knocking on your door sometime soon =)   – James B, CoFounder of FireFly Team Events

best escape rooms for team building in orange county logo corporate

5 Best Escape Rooms in Orange County [Updated for 2018]

Nearly two years ago I shared my thoughts on the top 5 Best Escape Rooms in Orange County.  What was a rising hip trend has become a fully fledged recreation industry complete with die hard enthusiasts.  You don’t have to be a Sherlock Holmes to enjoy an escape room, they’ve become a popular social activity for all groups.  With their sudden prevalence it can difficult to choose which room is right for you, especially if you’re new to the game.  I’ve sifted through the legions of escape rooms and have determined my top 5, all of which have a unique excellence that makes them worth checking out.

It’s no secret that we at Firefly Team Events love escape rooms. With so many rooms to choose from it can be daunting picking the right room for your team. With the help of my fellow escapees I compiled a short list of my favorite escape rooms in Orange County. I consider theming, creativity of puzzles, difficulty and overall entertainment value. If a room sparks your interest I encourage you to check it out, let them know who sent you and see if you can beat our time!

Read our blog on how to make escape rooms more meaningful for corporate groups http://fireflyteamevents.com/escape-rooms-corporate-team-building/

1. Red Lantern Escape Rooms – “Midnight on the Bayou”

First of all, this room design is gorgeous.  Utilizing a whopping 1,000 square feet, the crew at Red Lantern completely transport you to a sultry Bayou evening.  In a market saturated with prison breaks and cramped rooms it’s refreshing to visit an expansive, immersive environment that wouldn’t be out of place in Disneyland.  The creativity doesn’t stop with the set design, even veteran players will enjoy the unique puzzles and well crafted storyline.

2. Mission Escape Games – “Escape the Hydeout”

Speaking of Disneyland, right across the street at Anaheim’s Gardenwalk, Mission Escape Games hosts “Escape the Hydeout” which is as clever as its wordplay suggests.  Inspired by the story of Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde, teams must follow clues left by Jekyll before Hyde returns.  I enjoy the reference to literature other than Sherlock Holmes, but the real place this room shines is the puzzles and clue system.  Often rooms might brag they are “hard”, but the difficulty is just due to complete leaps of logic.  In Hydeout, the puzzles and use of tech are extremely creative and sideways thinking, but nowhere near impossible.  The staff do a great job when giving hints, not ruining the puzzle, but guiding your thought process so you still get that great “aha!” moment.

>>>Want To Work With Professional Facilitators? Try our Team Escape!<<<

3. Crossroads Escape Games – “The Fun House”

I’ve already sang my praises for Crossroad’s Hex Room, which I believe is still one of the best rooms out there.  I was hesitant to check out The Fun House because a super creepy looking clown looms over its entrance and after being scared in the Hex I was not about to subject myself to an hour trapped with the most horrifying creatures on the planet.  Well, I feel sheepish to admit it, but the Fun House is not only light hearted fun with no scariness in sight, it’s actually the best room for kids in the county.  Most escape rooms have age limits starting around 10, but the Fun House welcomes all ages as long as anyone under 13 has a grown up with them.  You’d think in a room fit for kids the puzzles would be overly simple and obvious, but I found that they were actually enjoyable for adults as well.  The room isn’t overly difficult, it’s escape rate is a comforting 40% so I recommend it especially for new players.

4. Escapade Games – “Zoe”

There’s some strong overlap between the escape room and haunt industries.  Nowhere is this influence more prevalent than with Escapade Game’s room “Zoe”.  The difficulty rating is set to Medium, but in order to escape you not only have to keep your wits in solving the clues, you’ll need to literally stop yourself from running out of the room in terror.  Seriously, they keep a tally board of teams that do this.  Throughout the game you’ll be able to travel through several immersive environments, similar to a maze at a horror event.  In order to concentrate on your clues you’ll need to take them with you to a place of safety…if that feeling is possible to achieve in such a scary place.  Many horror rooms can come off as cheesy, community theatre actors grunting in imitations of chained zombies, but Zoe has all the production value of a Hollywood thriller.

5. Unlocked – “Return of the Magician”

Escape rooms don’t all have to have elaborate sets or flashy technology to be a good experience.  When completing Unlocked’s “Return of the Magician”, you’ll repeatedly experience surprise and appreciation for the well crafted, intuitive puzzles and how well they fit the storyline.  Magic is always fun and Unlocked gives you a glimpse into the workings of several magician’s tricks leaving you feeling like a cool insider.  They also aren’t afraid to be silly, so you’ll get to expect laughter, not screams from this venue.

Escape Rooms Tips for Newbies

When your team is ready to try out an escape room make sure to be clear about the facility’s policies. Some rooms are a flat rate for the hour, while others are a per person charge which could lead to being partnered with strangers. Plan to have dinner or hit the bar after your escape since your team will want to talk about the experience. If you want to use the outing as a team building tool consider hiring a team building professional that can facilitate a debrief of your time and help your team examine how they solved the problems together. Remember that escape rooms can be stressful which may cause individuals to speak shortly to one another. If your team is stressing out have everyone take a breath. It’s meant to be fun!

As the industry develops we see lots of room types become available.  Experiences vary dramatically between fun kid’s jaunts to terrifying houses of horror. To have an escape room style experience brought to your office or convention contact us about our Team Escape! by emailing events@fireflyteamevents.com

Editor’s Note: This post was originally published in July 2016 and has been completely revamped and updated for accuracy and comprehensiveness.

Everything You Need To Know For Your Huntington Beach Conference

Planning to attend the 19th Annual International Lung Cancer Congress at the Hyatt Regency Huntington Beach from July 26-28, 2018? Have you and your group finalized your accommodations, places to see, and things to do? As a team building event company based in Huntington Beach, we’re confident that we can steer you in the right direction. Read on about experiencing the best that “Surf City, USA” has to offer during your Huntington Beach Conference.

FireFly Iron Team ChallengeTeam Building To-dos in Huntington Beach

Before we give you the 411 on the best places to stay and see in Huntington Beach during the 19th Annual International Lung Cancer Congress, what about the best things to do? Namely, the best things to do with your group of colleagues coming to the conference together? Lucky for you, dear reader, you’re looking at the greatest team building company the world has ever known (ahem) AND we’re based in Huntington Beach. Check out these team building event options our team can produce for your team to help boost camaraderie, morale, and FUN during your time in Huntington Beach.

Sandcastle Build

Sunshine, sand and water are the secret ingredients for this amazing team building event. To match the day’s theme, your team will create the ultimate sand sculpture or building. Our sculpting lesson will show you how to wet pack sand, carve, and build bigger, taller sand masterpieces. Before we set you loose on the beach, teams will be need to complete a team challenge to earn their tools. Judges will be looking for creativity, height, detail, and how well your team used the theme. Who are the Creatives on your team? the Managers? the Builders? You’ll need them all if your team is going to win!

Iron Team Challenge

Face off in a series of crazy FUN team building challenges inspired by the television show, Survivor. As your team rotates through challenge stations, they’ll have chances to earn points toward the final showdown; a little thing we call THE GAUNTLET. Along the way, they’ll have to embrace team concepts like Trust, Communication, and Leadership if they want to win. All the way through, you’ll be laughing, goofing, and high-fiving. The Iron Team Challenge is the perfect event for competitive groups!

Huntington Beach ConferencePlaces to Stay in Surf City, USA

Paséa Hotel & Spa

The Paséa Hotel & Spa is modern, clean and California coastal chic. It’s just steps from Huntington Beach Pier and adjacent to Pacific City, an outdoor shopping center with trendy retail and dining. We think it’s the perfect home base to explore the local area when you’re not at the conference. The Paséa even has some quirky and fun perks for your stay. We love the free use of their beach cruiser bicycles. Or try out the “Beach Butlers” who provide pedi-cab rides to and from the beach and also help with setting up your day on the sand and surf.

The Hilton Waterfront Beach Resort

Next door to the Paséa, The Waterfront Beach Resort is another contemporary coastal property in Huntington Beach with stunning ocean views. They recently completed impressive resort expansion on a new tower of suites, rooftop bar and restaurant. It’s location along Pacific Coast Highway allows you easy access to 10 miles of the pristine shoreline and surrounding attractions. With a chilled out beach vibe that caters equally to business and leisure travelers, the Waterfront Beach Resort is a great choice for those seeking laidback luxury during their conference stay.

Hyatt Regency Huntington Beach Resort and Spa

Rounding out our favorite Surf City coastal hotel properties is the grand dame (and actual Huntington Beach conference location), the Hyatt Regency Huntington Beach Resort and Spa. It’s a sprawling resort property that’s luxurious but not pretentious. They cater to everyone from business travelers to families. There are many on-site activities from bike rentals to surf lessons. And when you’re ready to explore outside the expansive resort, a direct walking path from the hotel to the beach.

Huntington Beach ConferencePlaces to See in Surf City, USA

Huntington Beach Pier

The historic Huntington Beach Pier is one of the longest public piers on the West Coast and the most photographed spot in the city. It’s the main landmark of Surf City, USA and symbolizes the city’s prominent beach culture. A simple stroll on the pier is a popular pastime for both locals and visitors with frequent people watching opportunities provided by the nearby surfers and sport fishing all along the pier. Cap off your stroll with a burger and milkshake at the classic Ruby’s Diner at the end of the pier to provide sustenance for your walk back!

Beaches of Huntington Beach

Did you know that Huntington Beach is actually made up of five distinct beaches that come together to create 10 miles of uninterrupted coast line? There are beaches that cater to couples, families, surfers, and even dogs. There are volleyball courts and bonfire pits dotted along the sand for you to enjoy along with the endless year-round summer weather. A paved bike trail also runs along the oceanfront, perfect for individuals on beach cruisers or a group of friends or a family on a surrey bike to take in the fresh ocean air.

Pacific City

Pacific City is just a few years old but already the epicenter of shopping, dining, and entertainment in the heart of Huntington Beach. It has some of the best views of the ocean, pier, and beach action just on the other side of Pacific Coast Highway. The shopping and dining choices are modern, on-trend, and with a distinct West Coast beach vibe. Make sure to check out LOT 579, the modern food hall within Pacific City, full of some of the most innovative eateries in Orange County. This California culinary experience is a must for all foodies visiting from the conference.

We’ll Produce Epic Team Building Events at Your Huntington Beach Conference and Beyond

We’ve seen the inside of countless hotels, boardrooms, conference centers , felt the grass at parks and sand at beaches in almost every major city. We utilize our key operations staff combined with trusted local talent to deliver 5-star customer service. Additionally, we love the challenge of creating custom events and meeting the unique needs of our clients. Contact us at 877.267.1939 or email events@fireflyteamevents.com to plan a corporate team building event with us to coincide with your next conference attendance!

culinary team building

Food Fight! A Culinary Team Building Event

When Genmark Diagnostics approached us about creating a custom team building event involving a cooking competition with a “fighting” theme, we knew it was the perfect opportunity to get our culinary creativity on. We came up with an epic fight of the food trucks culinary team building competition that took place at the beautiful Laguna Cliffs Marriott. Team competed to create unique food truck concepts and signature entree dishes. The food trucks and dishes all had to have a “fighting” theme.

culinary team buildingEach team conceptualized, prepared, plated and served a unique dish featuring a secret ingredient. They were also responsible for wowing the judges with a 1-minute presentation featuring life size renditions of their food truck designs.

We started the event by having all teams compete in an initial food-related challenge. How they placed in the challenge determined their order when it was time to choose their secret ingredient.

Once each team had their secret ingredient, the real cooking battle began. Each cooking station had the same core assortment of ingredients.  But as teams cooked, we gave them mini challenge competitions to earn “marketing dollars.” The money earned was used to purchase additional seasonings, food, and food truck marketing swag from our Marketplace Store.culinary team building

Our judges looked for flavor, presentation, and creativity in both the entree and food truck design for the winning team!

Between the presentation, the dish, and the challenges, there was something for everyone to do and each person on the team contributed to the overall success. Excellence in the kitchen requires strong communication, creativity, and the ability to remain cool under pressure. The need for these skills is also mirrored in the workplace. Does your team have what it takes to win?

culinary team buildingJoin us in the kitchen for culinary team building!

We’re so ready for the next food fight! We love getting creative and giving food for thought to design custom events. Fill out our website form or contact us directly: events@fireflyteamevents.com.



Your Childhood Game of Tag is Now a Professional Sport Called World Chase Tag

Can’t touch this.

Original article posted on Laughing Squid:

Brothers Christian and Damien Devaux founded World Chase Tag, an exhilarating competitive sport that combines parkour, obstacles, and the classic childhood game of tag.

This is a team format that is played by two teams in each match. Each team has a maximum of six athletes. The match is divided into sets. Each set consists of a pre-determined number of chases (usually 10-16 chases). Each chase is twenty seconds long and has one chaser and one evader from opposing teams. The winning athlete in each chase stays on as the evader and the losing athlete is replaced by a teammate in a new chase who comes on as the Chaser. If an athlete steps out of bounds, they lose that chase. A team is awarded one point when their athlete successfully evades their opponent for the entire duration of the chase (i.e. 20 seconds). The team with the most points after of the pre-determined number of chases wins that set. Tags must be made with the hand (i.e. NOT your foot).

Outrigger Canoe Team Building – Out-paddle the Competition!

outrigger canoe team buildingAloha! Last week we gathered with TYR Sport in Long Beach to enjoy a sunset paddle for our Outrigger Canoe Team Building Race event. Participants were treated to a brief lesson on the history of outrigger canoeing in California and a hands-on lesson in paddling. Then it was into the canoes for the tournament!

Our experienced na ho‘okele (steerers) captained each canoe and urged the teams to huki (paddle fast)! Their expertise was welcome since outrigger canoes are much more difficult to navigate than regular boats. Outrigger canoes require synchronicity and communication between teammates. Hence, outrigger racing is perfect for team building! If crews are able to work together they can get their vessels cutting quickly through the waves. Their speed when manned by a cohesive team invokes the memory that these canoes were once used as powerful war vehicles.

outrigger canoe team buildingHere in California, outrigger racing has been a popular sport since 1959. That’s when we held the inaugural race from Orange County to Avalon, Catalina and back. FireFly’s race is much shorter, spanning a football field’s length of sheltered channel. Crews gathered on the sand to cheer on the other teams and await their turn to compete. Soon the instructors shouted “HO‘OMAKAUKAU!” meaning “get ready!” Team members piled into the canoes and set off for the starting line. The chase boat followed along, directing the participants and transporting yours truly to get the best action shots of our athletes. Crews chanted to keep rhythm like dancers or drill sergeants “One, two, one, two!” I think singing Moana songs would have been equally effective. We held many heiheis (races) until we ultimately crowned the victor.

The winners showed off their medals as the sun sank below the horizon. The event was equal parts exhilarating and tranquil. The thrill of physical competition was complimented by the peaceful protected bay and gorgeous weather. Our participants worked up a hearty appetite and certainly deserved the dinner that they headed off to as they outrigger canoe team buildingtraded stories of the day.

Outrigger Canoe Team Building with FireFly Team Events

If your team is up for an adventure, contact us to schedule your own Outrigger Canoe Race and learn the ho‘owala‘au wa‘a (canoe lingo).

CEO and Co-founder, James Bennett FireFly Team Events Interview with USA Weekly

USA Weekly recently did an interview with James Bennett, CEO and co-founder of FireFly Team Events. Check out James’ FireFly Team Events interview session below.

Starting a business is a big achievement for many entrepreneurs, but maintaining one is the larger challenge. There are many standard challenges that face every business whether they are large or small. It is not easy running a company, especially in a fast-paced, ever-changing business world. Technology advances, new hiring strategies, and now, political changes coming with the new administration, all add to the existing business challenges that entrepreneurs, business owners, and executives have to deal with.

Maximizing profits, minimizing expenses and finding talented staff to keep things moving seem to be top challenges for both SMBs and large corporations. We have been interviewing companies from around the world to discover what challenges they are facing in their businesses. We also asked each company to share business advice they would give to a younger version of themselves.

Below is our interview with James Bennett, Founder and CEO at FireFly Team Events:

What does your company do?

We design interactive team building events for companies who want to improve their culture and engagement. We use play as a vehicle for teams to explore communication, trust, vulnerability, collaboration, and leadership. Our events allow your employees a safe space to explore new relationships and ideas. They also create opportunities for employees to show talents in previously unrecognized areas. Each event is designed for maximum participation so that every person has a way to meaningfully contribute to a win.

What is your role? What do you enjoy most about your role?

I’m the CEO and I take a large role in creating new programming for our clients. I LOVE that I get to shape the vision of both our company and create new experiences for our clients. My favorite client is the one who challenges me to get more out of an existing program or to create a new idea for their specific needs. We often have to be agile with both concepts and implementation but I thrive in those circumstances. I get to be creative, technical, and help other people realize their goals.

What are the biggest challenges in your business right now?

The biggest challenge we face right now is scale. We’re at a growth point where we need to invest in infrastructure in just the right amount to stimulate growth. For our company that means finding the right people for the right positions. Where can I apply my efforts to see the maximum amount of return. As a small company we have to say “no” often to insure we’re focused on the right tasks, clients, and outcomes. I haven’t found a magical solution to that yet but I have found great sources of advice.

If you could go back in time, what business advice would you give to a younger version of yourself?

There are people out there that have the business knowledge you need and will give it to you for the cost of lunch. Reach out often and be humble. Surround yourself with positive people and find a group of people going through similar business struggles. It doesn’t matter if they’re the same industry. What matters is that they understand what it means to own a business and the attached struggles. Also, don’t worry about being first just focus on being great at what you do. Often time the innovators see success that creators might miss.