Assembling the Troops to Feed a Community!

Happy New Year everyone! Welcome 2016! Hope you all had a relaxing Holiday season.

This is my latest blog post for Chicago’s Corporate Event Interactive.

 

For December Blog

On November 4th, 2015, Corporate Event Interactive (CEI) produced Feeding Chicago for its client, the Meetings & Incentives Worldwide(M&IW). It was a team building meets CSR event during their Annual Meeting. M&IW employees took part in a series of team building challenges and trivia while building camaraderie and at the same time, giving back to the community. After each challenge was completed, teams received food vouchers which were redeemed at the “general store” for food items. Teams assembled and decorated boxed lunches and wrote inspirational messages to be included. How fitting!

For December Blog

The boxed lunches/dinners were then donated to Cornerstone Community Outreach which offers shelter and services to homeless and low-income families in Chicago’s Uptown neighborhood. A representative from Cornerstone visited during the event to thank the teams for building awareness and to generously accept the appreciated donations.

The clients really enjoyed participating in the day’s activities, especially assembling the boxed lunches/dinners. They also brought extra non-perishable food items themselves from home to donate to Cornerstone.

Way to go M&IW team!

For December Blog

It was awesome and everyone had a great time! Another successful event!!!” – Jean Johnson, President & CEO Meetings & Incentives Worldwide

 

Give the “Gift of Hope” this Christmas Season!

Give-the-Gift-of-Hope
Holiday season is upon us now that it is officially November! Invites to Holiday corporate parties and festive get togethers are already on their way.

If you are planning to do a ‘Secret Santa’ with your co-workers and/or family this year, why not consider something different …. like donating to a special cause as a group.  Instead of giving “Sue” another funny mug or “Ted” a set of wacky plaid socks, consider making a donation in their name or in your group’s name. Whether your group is your department or family members. A touching way to give back to the business community you work and play in!

Many national and local charities are running great campaigns to build awareness to help families and children in need.

Remember “Giving Tuesday” is Tuesday December 1st … but you don’t have to wait until then to make your gift count.

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These are some organizations that could benefit from your Christmas donation, whatever the amount.

Operation Christmas Child – Samaritan’s Purse Canada
My son’s school did this last year and it really resonated with me. Knowing you are sending simple items like soap, toothbrushes, and, school supplies to children that really need them overseas. Items that we have at our disposal can bring children overseas so much joy and relief.

We’ve already packed our shoebox for this year’s donation.

Check their website for a drop-off location within your community.


CityKidz
You can sponsor a child in your region, whether you are in Ottawa, Regina or in Hamilton. Your money will reach a child near you; knowing you are doing your part to make your community a better place. And if you’d like to make a general donation, know it will be going to enhance the programs they offer such as Kinder Kidz and Junior Leadership. Shaping minds for the future!

Music Counts
I spotted an advertisement while I sat and waited for Koba Entertainment’s Bubble Guppies show at Hamilton Place a few weekends ago. The ad was catchy and effective, enough for me to remember to tell some of my musician friends. This powerful cause is determined in saving music programs within our Canadian schools. I tried piano and clarinet when I was in grade school … that was the extent of my musical abilities. But I’ve always appreciated those that can read and make beautiful music.


Poverty Revolution – Food for the Hungry Canada

Food for the Hungry is a Christian non-profit organization, based in Abbotsford, British Columbia, dedicated to ending poverty – one community at a time. By sponsoring a child, or giving unique gifts such as livestock, garden tools, school classroom supplies, and medical equipment; all these are practical in helping communities become independent and sustainable.  From buying a cow or goat, to a sewing machine or sports equipment, these will benefit the young and old in strengthening their overall communities.

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Do you know of any other national or local charitable events? Please feel free to share in the comments! We’d love to hear from you!

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.

Nominated for the Newbie Blogging Liebster Award!!

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We’ve been nominated for the Newbie Blogging Liebster Award! Very honoured for this opportunity.

Big THANK YOU to Ivy Goyena-Napata of Living a Simple Life for nominating me!

The Liebster award is a way of connecting with bloggers in the internet world …. and bringing new bloggers together! It is for bloggers that have less than 200 followers.

How does it work? Well, the person who nominates you will pose questions for you to answer …. and in turn, you will then nominate newbie bloggers and pose similar or different questions to them.

So let’s get started!  Let me start off by answering Ivy’s questions:

  1. What is your vision for your blog?
    My vision is to keep growing the readership base so my business can grow and develop more. To keep it interesting, informative and engaging!
  2. What are your reasons for blogging?
    My services are visual when it comes to graphic design and interior design. So it’s a nice way to promote my projects to keep my readers informed of what I have been up to and what I can offer.  We love referrals!
  3. What are your plans in the next five years for your blog?
    The more I blog, the more my readers can see the caliber of services we provide …. from content writing to graphic design to interior design. Keep promoting our variety of skills!
  4. How many children do you want to have? Why?
    I have a little boy and girl.  They keep me busy!
  5. Where do you want to retire?
    I would love to retire somewhere in Europe … but realistically, where my grown kids will be so I can help with the grandchildren.
  6. Where is your dream vacation place?
    Paris, France!
  7. What are your plans to grow your financial life?
    Keep saving and spending wisely.
  8. What is the best decision you ever did as an individual, wife or mother?
    When we knew we wanted to start a family, we moved back to my hometown to be closer to my parents.  As they are retired, we knew they’d be able to help us with babysitting. And now as they are aging, we are close by to help them too.
  9. Do you prefer your child/ren to be homeschooled or to attend the regular school? Why?
    My little guy is in regular school.  This way he’s met the kids from the neighbourhood, which has helped him grow as an individual, academically and socially.
  10. What makes you happy and sad?
    What makes me happy is being with my family …. and sad, when I just feel overwhelmed and stressed.

I initially said I’d nominate only five newbies … but all the blogs were sooo great, I couldn’t resist and nominated you all! Congratulations!

Christin Rypstra Mueller of The Auburn Fox

Davina Ngei of Business Broken Down

Lana Coronado of  Lana Lou Who

Melanie Frost of Enjoy Freebies 

Annie Marie Hockert Chapin of Plus Size to Downsized

Sylvia Usher of Professional Girl on the Go

Jennifer Coffill Peters of Because I’m Cheap

Stephanie Benton of Cohesive Fitness


Below are the questions, I’m asking these nominees:

1. Why did you start blogging?
2. How long have you been blogging?
3. Do you have any kids? pets?
4. How do you juggle work/life balance?
5. Are you taking any educational classes to keep you up-to-date?
6. What do you do with your weekends?
7. What would be your dream vacation?
8. Who do you admire most in this world?
9. Who was/were your role model(s) when you were growing up?
10. When do you feel the most at peace?

Let’s support each other and follow each other’s blogs to further build our blogging community!

~

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!