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Giving back with teambuilding

Teambuilding not only improves team morale, but can provide benefits in other ways. Martin Fullard looks at how it can give back

Ben Parkinson has been helping companies deliver their corporate messages through innovative experiences for over 20 years. As a co-founder of Blue Hat Teambuilding, his company has provided more than one million people in 50 countries with some manner of teambuilding experience. 

In 2019, Parkinson and his Blue Hat team partnered with Confex North, with the idea of combining a teambuilding activity with networking, which would in turn raise money for charity B1G1. So successful was the event that the partnership will resume at International Confex, which takes place in February 2020.

I spoke to Parkinson to learn more about how the concept of teambuilding that gives back came about. “It all started almost 10 years ago,” says Parkinson. “While analysing our clients wants and needs, we were aware of a continuing increase on companies wishing to run fun and engaging activities for their teams that had a give-back theme. With our total focus on innovating within the team building space, we introduced a methodology that enabled any event to become a give-back event.

“Why did we do this? The traditional Ground Force or gift box packing style events are often not a practical solution for many groups. Plus, having many unique teambuilding events already in our portfolio that are engaging, highly interactive and flexible, it seemed a shame for clients not to utilise them when a give-back theme was requested.”

Parkinson adds that the answer came with a unique ‘give-back portal’ that enabled him to swap ‘points for IMPACTS’. He says: “We introduced this to the UK teambuilding industry. An IMPACT is a positive deed for someone in need, somewhere around the world. There are hundreds to choose from. The focus is on how the IMPACT enables the individual to benefit, rather than the monetary value of the impact itself. Since its introduction, our clients have generated over 1.4m IMPACTS – a significant achievement.”

So how did this end up with a partnership with Confex? Parkinson adds: “Having supported the team at Confex over the years with the Eventice and various other interactive team building displays and events, Mash Media, the new owners of the show, approached us to help them with a speed networking concept to add value to both event buyers and event suppliers. 

“We looked to create a setting that would immerse both buyers and suppliers into the activity and get as much out of it as they could. Part of this engagement included a scoring system that awarded IMPACT tokens for positive interactions. 

“The tokens were collected in at the end of each session and totalled up. Over the two days, participants provided safe drinking water to families in Cambodia for 24,800 days, sent a child living in slum conditions in India to school for 238 days and provided 18,520 days’ worth of support to farmers in a Kenyan village by sponsoring an irrigation system.”

Find out how you can get involved in 2020 by visiting www.international-confex.com 

Top teambuilding tip offs

Off Limits Group has been providing teambuilding activities for more than 25 years. Martin Stephens, director of Off Limits Group, states: “Work out what you want to gain from a teambuilding day: whether that’s team cohesion, development of leadership skills, time management or maybe it’s to boost morale. Once you know your objectives, it’s important to consider the dynamics of the group against the suitability of the event you are looking at. Think about how active the event is and whether it is indoor or outdoor.” 

Off Limits not limited to… 

Indoor Crystal Quest – Immerse into several areas of challenges and successfully complete the task to gain a crystal for the team. This activity helps build team communication, leadership and cohesion. You don’t even need to leave the office for this one. 

Human Bingo – This type of bingo is all about talking and networking. Can you find enough people to be able to call 'bingo'? The bingo card is full of questions that you must find the answers for. A great way to get all delegates meeting each other and finding out interesting facts.  

Tricky Triangles – Work together as a team to complete the tricky triangle challenge. Teams must turn over one triangle at a time to find the next number in order starting from 1. If the next number is not found it is turned back face down and the next team member has their go. Remembering what numbers have been shown and where they are on the board is the ‘tricky’ part.  

Food Bank Dominos – A fantastic event to give back to the local community. Teams use boxes of food to create the biggest dominos rally, either around the office, warehouse or meeting room anywhere goes. Help the environment by recycling and increasing CSR by giving the food to local food banks. 

Right Angle's Angle of Death

If you’ve ever wondered what life might be like if your boss met a grisly end, then Right Angle Corporate is an agency specialising in crime-related teambuilding activities. 

The Killing - created by senior Ex-Scotland Yard detectives and forensic scientists, this is an immersive and thrilling crime experience. Your team is put through a series of forensic challenges involving psychological profiling and fingerprinting, giving them the opportunity to solve cases through the actual methods employed by real Crime Scene Investigators.

Investigators are initially detailed with a brief regarding a heinous crime that has taken place. The remainder of the experience will take guests through a stimulating, hands-on process investigating the motive, method and means for the murder.

To make the experience that even more realistic, guests are provided with equipment such as bodysuits, masks and gloves and will follow the procedures real-life CSI use.

Silverstone: high on octane

If you think your team might benefit from something a little more adrenaline-packed, then look no further than the home of British Motorsport: Silverstone.

Silverstone Circuits is offering businesses the chance to drive around its world-famous Formula One circuit with its teambuilding packages. 

Both half day experiences give delegates the chance to drive Silverstone’s fleet of high-powered cars around the track under the guidance of one of the venue’s professional drivers, including rides in an Aston Martin, BMW M2 and Caterham Drift, while the Adrenaline Fuelled package includes a spin in an Aston Martin V8 Vantage, BMW M2 and Ferrari F430 Coupes. 

Silverstone also offers a number of alternative teambuilding activities, from off-road 4x4 driving experiences and blindfolded driving tests, to the Pit Stop challenge, where teams are up against the clock and each other to change all four tyres on a replica F1 car.