Coming together for a Corporate Feud

Hi everyone! It’s November! I haven’t blogged in a while, but here is my latest guest blog post for Chicago’s Corporate Event Interactive. They had a pretty cool client teambuilding activity recently based on Family Feud … who doesn’t love this show, whether you are a fan of the original or the new comeback with Steve Harvey.  Enjoy!

When was the last time your Corporate Feud was a funny, engaging one? Our teambuilding activity (based on the widely-known, long-running Family Feud game show) was exactly that for one of our valued clients, Brightstar Corp.  On October 15th, 2015, we ran The Brightstar Game Show Medley at the welcoming DoubleTree Hotel.

“Teams face off at the buzzer”
“Teams face off at the buzzer”

This brought their department together as a “family”, a corporate family. It allowed each individual to depend on each other, engage with one another, in answering the best they could to the different survey questions being posed within an allotted time frame. It was a funny way for everyone to learn to rely on each other outside their day-to-day office space. Yet, it still helped to meet the end goal: the importance of coming together, regardless of the specific environment, to complete tasks that result in successful business outcomes. The more you trust your co-workers, the better your working relationships will be. Creating for better everyday business practices.

If you can’t trust your family, who can you trust?

"The winning team!"
“The winning team!”

The day proved this as the different activities rolled out. There were winners and there were good sports (who earned a delicious box of Rice Roni … perfect for dinner that night, we might add). What really counts is that they were able to work as a team and deliver results … together.

"The good sports ... still winners in our eyes!"
“The good sports … still winners in our eyes!”

“It was great. Everyone had a good time. It was a GREAT experience and everyone enjoyed themselves!!! Thank you!” ~ Brightstar Corp.

Not Your Typical Easter Bunny Scavenger Hunts …

Teambuilding - Urban Techno Hunt
Teambuilding – The Urban Techno Hunt

With Easter five weeks away, parents everywhere are planning their kids’ scavenger hunts this year. Using those small real chocolate eggs (and/or the colourful plastic ones too). And kids everywhere are excited to be on the search to collect the most eggs e-ver (or at least for this year!).

With the Spring (officially arrives March 20th!) weather nearing, Chicago’s Corporate Event Interactive (CEI) offers a variety of scavenger hunts for all those “big kids at heart” out there. From Elvis Has Left The Building to 80’s Time Machine, there are plenty of team-building activities that will fit your corporate objectives. With The Hunt for Sam & Frank; A Culinary Adeventure, you get to scour all over town as teams to solve clues in finding these two villains. Meanwhile, The Urban Techno Hunt lets teams hit the city streets in search of historic and interesting locations and new challenges, equipped with a pre-loaded iPad. There are so many outdoor (and indoor) team events to pick from!

Teambuilding fun!
Teambuilding fun!

So hop on over to see for yourself CEI’s complete listing of team-oriented programming offerings. Baskets and buckets are optional.

Happy Easter everyone!

Team-building and Team Bonding – What’s the Difference?

Smart Tribes Book, By Christine Comaford
Smart Tribes Book, By Christine Comaford

What’s the purpose of your next team-oriented event? How do you want your team members to come together? We came across this book, SmartTribes: How Teams Become Brilliant Together, that helps event meeting professionals to answer such questions. According to New York Times best-selling author, Christine Comaford, she helps to explain the significance between team-building and team bonding attributes.

Comaford says “We use a team-building event in order to further the ability to work together.” She adds that “gaining new skills, fostering trust, shifting behaviors and designing a shared future are characteristics of a team-building event. We are investing in building and enhancing the performance of the team.”

While Comaford explains “team bonding is an opportunity to build deeper relationships, play and let off steam. Here we are investing in the team’s understanding of and connection to one another via a shared experience.”

With CEI, the company offers a wide range of teambuilding events that foster the importance of working together, building trust and developing continuous confidence. From scavenger hunts to socially-responsible events to workshops and retreats, CEI can work with you in choosing the right fit for your organizational needs. The CEI team is here to help. Contact them today to get started!

Source: http://www.smartmeetings.com/event-planning-magazine/2014/02/team-building-building-and-bonding

Welcome the cold in!

Happy New Year! Welcome 2015! Don’t let the snow, slush, gusty wind and cold weather stop you from taking your team outdoors this winter. Get out there and teambuild!

CEI offers a lot of outdoor events (as well as indoor for all you hibernators!). Consider booking any of the following to get your team venturing in the cool, crisp, fresh frosty air.

Picture This! Photo and Scavenger Hunt – Each team will receive a package including (1) a list of theme photos to be taken, (2) unique items to collect, (3) an instant photo camera and (4) a team mascot that must be included in all photos. Traveling within specified boundaries, teams will strive to capture the perfect photos and find their scavenger items to be crowned the winner!

CEI Teambuilding adventures
CEI Teambuilding adventures

The Great Teapot Exchange – Trade It Up! – Teams have a limited amount of time to traverse their city, make trades, and bring back the most valuable item(s) possible. They’ll work together to take photos of each transaction to document the adventure. Nothing other than the treasured teapot can be traded anything and items obtained from trades of the teapot. Upon return, they’ll decorate a storyboard with photos and promote the final item(s) collected for judging.

The Book of Secrets: A Museum Based Adventure Hunt – For all you looking to teambuild indoors this winter season, this one is for you! Teams receive their Book of Secrets and an iPad (1 per team) from an Adventure Guide and are released into the museum’s exhibits to discover hidden treasures and secret information. Once all the clues in their Book of Secrets are solved, teams turn in their completed books to find out who the winner is!

And when you’re done for the day, you’ll be feeling all warm and fuzzy from having spent those adventurous hours bonding and building trust amongst your team. Creating for an even warmer work environment moving forward.

A Holiday Party like no other!

Toy building at its best ... for your local charity choice.
Toy building at its best … for your local charity choice.

Adios Summer…. it was nice while it lasted …. now Fall moves in. Welcome hot bowls of homemade chili and soups, wooly socks and knitted sweaters (again!).

And with the official start of Fall (last Tuesday September 23rd), come thoughts of planning the Holiday Party and/or Employee Appreciation event. It’s that time of the year to recognize all the hard work and efforts your fellow employees have contributed over the business year.

Corporate Event Interactive (CEI) can help! There are so many teambuilding activities for employees to indulge in (instead of the usual sit down dinner). Get your employees (and their guests) to partake in cooking or dessert making or an outdoor ice skate fest ….. Get them interacting with each other instead of awkwardly staring at each other from across the dinner table. Here are some suggestions that surely will get your employees out of their seats:

Creative Cocktails
Who doesn’t like to indulge on a refreshing drink? As guests enter, they must complete various riddles to find the event’s secret code, which they are then given their mixology parameters. Let the fun begin in creating their concoctions before being presented to a panel of judges who will have the “last sip”.

Toy Building Workshop
Your event space is transformed into its very own toy building workshop, allowing guests to build and create toys for a local children’s charity. How cool is that! With the help of tools and friendly elves from the North Pole, guests will have the opportunity to interact with each other all the while creating toys for lucky children, just in time for the Holidays!

International Culinary Cookoff
Your cooking skills are put to the test in this unique teambuilding challenge. Guests are broken into culinary teams and compete in a cooking/company trivia contest to earn extra ingredients and cooking supplies to create their ethnic masterpieces. They will work together in cooking an international feast based on various ethnic regions … a fun and delicious event not to be missed!

Get them dreaming of a Holiday Party like one they’ve never attended before with any of CEI’s teambuilding offerings.

The months of November, December and January book up fast so contact CEI today to get started planning!

Ready, Set, Go! Planning for Teambuilding Adventures

Summer 2014 has officially arrived! Plans are underway at most companies for their corporate BBQs, employee company picnics and teambuilding activities. It’s been a long, harsh winter so everyone has eagerly been waiting for the hot, warm weather to arrive, I bet.

At CEI, the wide range of teambuilding adventure offerings can be held both indoor and outdoor. If you are thinking of engaging your employees this summer, there’s no better way than sending them off on a friendly-competitive scavenger hunt.

Art & Architecture Orienteering, CEI teambuilding adventure
Art & Architecture Orienteering, CEI teambuilding adventure

Why not consider any of the following for your next teambuilding day out:

The Great Race – helps team members build cognitive thinking, fast decision-making and maximum team communication

Art and Architecture Orienterring – team players discover Chicago’s hidden art and architectural landmarks amongst Chicago’s urban landscape

The Great Teapot Exchange – Trade it up – teams learn to be savvy marketers and network, negotiate and barter with locals in return for upgraded treasures like hot in-demand tickets and gift certificates

Call CEI to get started on planning for your group’s next teambuilding outing – Ready, Set, Go!

Technology on the Run!

Spring has sprung forward! Finally! Team building events provide a unique way to engage your group in fun ways outdoors. Technology is continuously reinventing itself – with iPads, smartphones, and QR Codes, companies are upgrading the traditional scavenger hunts to keep up by incorporating technological devices. Corporate Event Interactive (CEI) is one of them – staying ahead in the event technology race! The following two activities allow teams to be competitive while focusing on the end goal – having fun and engaging with one another.

In the Amazing Windy City Challenge, each team receives an iPad pre-loaded with apps, riddles and puzzles and an interactive digital map. As they traverse Chicago, teams encounter Roadblock Challenges and gather portions of the Windy City Phrase. Teams receive messages and challenges from their office headquarters, requesting them to take creative photos and interact with locals, tourists and even other teams. Photos are rated on accuracy and creativity. All the while, teams collect points to help them become the winning team!

New high-tech scavenger hunts
New high-tech scavenger hunts

CEI also offers the Urban Techno-Hunt where teams hit the streets of Chicago in search of historic locations and fun challenges. Again, using a pre-loaded iPad equipped with riddle and puzzle clues, the teams are set off to discover Chicago’s history with a 21st century spin! Teams remain in constant communication with headquarters, receiving messages updating them on bonus challenges to earn extra points, and trivia questionsanout either their surroundings or industry, or both. At the end, teams re-group and final scores are tallied so the day’s most tech-savvy team can be crowned!

Call CEI today to book either of these two challenges and get your teams running the pavement, moving their fingers, feet and minds, and enjoying the Spring after this long winter!

Fresh Team Building Events for a New Year

Happy New Year! It’s a brand new year with a new outlook. Companies that put on events for their clients and employees may be interested in a recent BizBash article, 2014 Preview: Predicting the Most Overrated and Underrated Event Trends. Words such as “thought-provoking”, “interactive”, “casual” and “local” are the new mindset when approaching the value and benefits guests will get by attending events and activities this coming year. In appealing to a wide range of guests companies must keep in mind the value of offering events that include corporate social responsibility elements, yet are trendy and fresh.

Source: BizBash.com
Source: BizBash.com

CEI not only offers team building activities but also events that give back to the community at large. CEI’s Bright Horizons allows teams to work together to paint pre-drawn murals to brighten up walls of local underprivileged schools, healthcare facilities, children’s shelters or senior centers. With Innovation Stations, teams pull their creativity together to work on a variety of projects and challenges. These imaginative activities help boost morale, stimulate communication and spark imagination; important to enhance overall employee relations on an everyday basis.

What’s an event without food! Beat this harsh winter we’re having with the hot Sassy Salsa Showdown team building event. With every “spicy” riddle and puzzle clue completed, each correct answer earns teams an ingredient to create their mouth-watering salsa creations. Before serving their salsa mixtures to their peers, each team will create a special sales kit geared towards a 60-second advertisement spot on their local super-station.

This year offers a world of possibilities for companies looking to continue fostering strong employee engagement within their companies as well as developing stronger client relationships. Which events do you want to put on? Memorable, engaging, and interactive ones? CEI can help!

Stand out! Try a Teambuilding Activity for your 2013 Corporate Holiday Party

If you haven’t reserved any venues for your company’s employee holiday party yet, it’s not too late. According to Bizbash Magazine, after the recession hit, companies have been more interested in encouraging their staff to meet one another by participating in fun team activities, as opposed to the formal sit-down dinners of the past. CEI can confirm this trend as the company has seen interest in team building activities spike in recent years. The company has over 125 fun events, and two in particular are highlighted below:

Murder, Mystery and Intrigue – Murder, Mystery, and Intrigue is an interactive and improvisational game. It’s an opportunity for employees to put their Sherlock Holmes investigative skills to the test while actors in costumes enhance the mood of the room by revealing clues.

Sassy Salsa Showdown – If you are looking to throw a hot, fun-filled fiesta for your employees, why not incorporate the Sassy Salsa Showdown. In the showdown, guests will be divided into culinary teams where they must complete a series of “spicy” riddles, puzzles, and clues. With every correct answer, teams earn an ingredient from the “super market” to be added to their salsa creations.

BizBash has reported that this holiday season “employee appreciation and charitable efforts are top priorities.” CEI has many offerings that fit this category. For example, Operation Toy Box allows for a team of approximately ten people to be creative in building a children’s toy box that doubles as a bench. Teams complete challenges to earn toys for their box which are then donated to local children’s charities. In another activity, Goodwill Hunters, teams of hunters are given a tote bag to collect donations along with clues that lead them to specially selected locations. Teams are given challenges that by completing enable them to earn toys, games, books, and non-perishable goods.

For a full listing of the various charitable teambuilding events that CEI offers throughout the year, please visit Corpevent.comNovember blog.

I want to wish everyone a wonderful and safe Holiday season! Best wishes for 2014!

Think Outside the Tank

Summer is almost done … Welcome Fall. With September upon us, it is time of a renewal of sorts after some much needed vacation time. Some companies are also starting to think of their Christmas/Holiday Cards (and even ordering them!) as well as planning for their Holiday Corporate parties. There’s always the thought: how are we going to top last year’s party? How can we make it unique, more fun and engaging to say “Thank You” to their employees for all their hard work throughout the year?

Chicago's John G. Shedd Aquarium
Chicago’s John G. Shedd Aquarium

In Chicago’s downtown area, consider hosting your next event at Chicago’s John G. Shedd Aquarium. It holds more than 32,500 animals housed in the aquarium. How cool would that be to watch dolphins and whales swim by the glass as you mingle and dine with your co-workers!  Shedd has an in-house events and catering team that will work with the needs of each company. Whether your event is for 50 or 1,200 guests, Shedd has seven additional event spaces available in different sizes to work with your needs.  There’s also Shedd’s Phelps Auditorium that is equipped with state-of-the-art audiovisual technology which can be used for meetings, award ceremonies, etc.

The aquatic animals will provide hours of entertainment as the guests watch in awe of their beauty and mysterious yet charming behaviours!

For more information on booking this unique venue space, please visit: http://www.sheddaquarium.org/plan_private_event.html