By Sam Sutton, director of outdoor team building company www.newforestactivities.co.uk advises on making the most out of your teambuilding investments
These tips lead you to think more about your getting the best out of your events purpose, planning and booking process.
1. Consider what the objectives really are?
Sounds obvious, however to benefit most from your programme or event, you should ensure you make the objectives clear and achievable. How will you know it’s been a success if you haven’t defined what success is? Consider the participants – do they know the objectives? If everyone is on board with the idea, success is much more likely. This will also help with the feedback process.
2. How will you measure objectives?
Try and move away from subjective impressions of success and clarify how you will measure it. This is not to mention justifying the expense to the accounts department. Make sure your training or event provider know what you want and how you’re measuring it.
‘We want to communicate better’ may equal something more specific like ‘Increase productivity by 5%, by ensuring everyone knows and is motivated by the companies’ values’.
‘We want to reduce stress around the workplace’ becomes ‘Reduce absentee rates by 10% over the next six months’.
3. Think Before and After
Before: How are you prepping the delegates? What do they need to know? Put yourself in their shoes. Remember, they haven’t been as closely involved in the set-up process as you.
What assumptions are you making of the delegates and what are these based on?
After: What’s the follow up programme? Participants and organisers will both benefit from good feedback and range of follow up material – think videos, photo albums, training slides, questionnaires etc.
4. Get the most for your money.
· You want to ensure best value for money
· How will you know if you get this?
· If you’re not the fund provider, what’s your briefing?
· Can you justify to them that it’s a great return on investment?
· Is it possible to work this out?
Take a look around at the market place and get a range of quotes. What is included and what ‘hidden’ costs are involved with the programmes? Make sure you discuss with the suppliers how these costs break down. Many people pay over the odds to event companies, who simply outsource to other providers. While an element of this is unavoidable with large scale or complex programmes, it’s worth knowing who’s doing what and how much you are paying for it.
5. All the extras
Are you using an Event Management Company or running your own programme? If you are time poor or just don’t know where to start, agents and event bookers are a god send. But don’t rule out looking and organising the event yourself. As some providers will be flexible enough to help you and are happy to let you liaise and negotiate direct with their suppliers to source hotels, conference venues, transport and activities.