Team building activities
I get this one a lot. A planner like yourself who is in need of a team bonding exercises for work calls me up, asking about our corporate trivia offerings. We’ll talk through the specific goals for the event, as well as the audience, service packages and so-forth. However, perhaps the most urgent question comes shortly thereafter: how much time is there to book this?
My response is always the same: like any other type of event, the more time the vendor (or venue, for that matter) is given in advance, the better. There are several reasons for this. The most obvious one, of course, is simply a matter of scheduling. Is there availability on the date? Booking further in advance increases the likelihood that your vendor of choice will indeed be free on the date & time you are looking for, thus relieving stress on your end and ensuring that the vendor has adequate time to prepare. When I was working as a professional event programmer at the 92nd Street Y in Manhattan, a large cultural & community center known for its diverse year-round program offerings, it wasn’t uncommon for us to schedule events 6 months or more in advance. Officially, the reason for such a long lead time was because we had a seasonal print program catalog which had to be signed, sealed and delivered months ahead of time. This allowed for proofing, revisions and printing, as well as time necessary to get it shipped out to households before the season officially kicked off.
Another example I can cite here is a recent bar mitzvah I attended I the past year (which you can read more about here). It was an unbelievable affair, complete with top-notch vendors – however, it had been planned for two full years, if you can believe it!
For your event, do you need to do the same? No, of course not – I can probably count on one hand the number of corporate events I’ve planned in the past ten years which booked more than six months out, and can’t think of a single one which wanted a specific date a year from now. Probably the big reason you don’t have to worry about this is, for the most part team building games, group activities for work meetings and other teambuilder ideas are held during the workweek. We’ve got five days to play with, versus just two on the weekends – hence the two-year wait time for the aforementioned bar mitzvah!
Just to give you an idea, here are some of the factors taken into consideration when we schedule our events:
- Emcee Availability: Because our unique trivia team building events are hosted by professional trained corporate emcees, the first thing I must do is ensure that we do indeed have somebody available on your chosen date. This is doubly true if you are seeking a specific emcee, or one of our “Special Talent” emcees (celebrity, magician, comedian, master improviser, etc.).
- Date Overlap: Especially during our busier months, there may be times when your preferred date happens to fall on a date when we have one (or two, or even three!) other gigs booked. Generally this isn’t a problem, as TrivWorks has plenty of talented emcees and fantastic event staff to draw from. However, it still must be taken on a case-by-case basis; some events are very low-key, with only 15-20 attendees, while others might be massive, maybe 1,500 or more! Also, will I personally need to be at the event? I am based in Southern California, so unless it’s a West Coast or Western U.S. gig, I really don’t need to be there…UNLESS, that is, it’s something special, or presents a special challenge.
- Last-Minute Events: I want to make sure I draw special attention to this one. While having more time is clearly the preferred way to go – we want to make sure we have the date available, your preferred emcee, and have plenty of time to research and write the customized trivia questions we’ll be using at your gig – there are times when time is short – VERY short. Every so often, I’ll receive a call from somebody who is looking to do a gig not in the coming months or weeks, but DAYS, even HOURS! (the fastest turnaround time I’ve had was less than one day’s notice). My response to these kinds of inquiries is that yes, we can absolutely do it, provided we have the staffing available (follow this link for another useful article on booking events with limited time).
One of the things I love about trivia events for corporate groups is that they are so flexible and adaptable. We’ve got the experience and expertise to make them hugely successful every time, and our production and material needs are minimal; in both theory and practice, there’s no reason we can’t bang out our services last-minute every time. However, in order to truly guarantee an enjoyable, professional experience which demonstrates why TrivWorks is the industry leader in team trivia events nationally, we really do want to devote the time and effort which our clients’ events deserve.
I want to close by stating that when all is said and done, I am in the service business. My brand and reputation are derived solely from how well I deliver that service, and how happy you, my clients, are afterwards. When it comes to scheduling a corporate team building activity, team based games at workplace such as ours demand a level of quality which you and your attendees expect. While in a perfect world I would love to have all of the time in the world to craft flawless questions, break the groups down in just the right way, and incorporate any and all personalized details, the reality is that time is always short – especially for you, the planner. It’s my job to deliver an excellent experience, within the time frame given, and the resources I have available to me. My guarantee to you is that if I say “yes” to your event, that you will receive exactly the experience promised, without any cut corners.
But if you can book your event further out, on a date we’re not already booked, that’d be okay, too…!