Donna provides these tips for meeting planners about team building events designated to accelerate peer to peer relationships. These ideas are useful and should be considered by any team building specialist or meeting event professional. Here’s my belief summary – understand your audience – every program should include at least a basic needs assessment identify what is most important – clarify the outcome and begin with the end in mind leverage buy in – use interal team members to create a leadership dynamic do something unexpected – increase retention through an emotionally charges unique experience And lastly, give back – foster community and contribution Let Grand Dynamics International help you to optimize your next team building experience. 5 Tips to Create Successful Team-Building Activities Thursday, June 3, 2010 by Donna Kastner TeamOne challenge for meeting planners is helping attendees who don’t typically see each other on a day-to-day basis suddenly create solid connections with each other. Team-building activities can be very effective in accelerating peer-to-peer relationships, but preparation is key. Here are five tips to keep in mind as you develop your team-building activity: 1. Know Your Audience: You might have a great list of activities, but first, you need to have a conversation with the team leader to learn more about the personalities in your audience. Find out about past team-building experiences – both good and bad – as well as other relevant history for the group. If you’re considering an activity that’s more physically demanding, make sure this group is up to the challenge. 2. Identify ONE Most Critical Objective: This should be discussed in that initial conversation with the team leader. Are you looking to help attendees meet as many new people as possible? Or are you looking to strengthen existing relationships? How will this objective tie back to their day-to-day work world? Will they come away from this exercise with a deeper list of SMEs (subject matter experts) to engage in the future? Be sure to communicate the WHY factor from the start to get folks on board. 3. Prime the Pump: Select your most charismatic and respected team members to serve as small group leaders. Schedule a call with this group BEFORE your event to share more about their role in this activity. This will go a long way in diffusing the resistors – and trust me, there will be resistors. Funny, but when a team-building activity is executed well, your best testimonials often come from folks who initially were a bit resistant. 4. Do Something Unexpected: Scavenger hunt? Yawn, we’ve all done that one before, but what new element can you introduce to refresh a classic? Will they motor through town on Segways? Will you incorporate a relay race element in the hunt? Will you have celebrities roaming about with clues? 5. Add a Charitable Element: It’s great if the product of this team-building activity might be something that can be donated to a group in need. Perhaps the teams will create colorful artwork for a youth center? Or maybe you’ll get sponsors who will make a donation to the winning team’s favorite charity?