making music at a team building party

Who doesn’t love a party? Well, actually some people say they don’t like parties. But in reality, everyone likes parties that they like. Sound like a riddle? If you’re at a party that’s fun for you; if you’re at a place or with a crowd you feel comfortable with, then you’ll have a good time. So yes, you do like parties.

You just have to be at the right kind of party for you. Team building parties are the same way. They can be good, bad, happy or sad. Team building parties can make you feel isolated or out of your element. Or they can give you confidence and help you feel a better sense of belonging and camaraderie.

Are Team Building Parties Even A Thing?

Team building is definitely a thing. Sometimes your team’s goals or challenges dictate that you need a serious sort of team building. That could include working through interpersonal issues or exploring your mission and methods. If this is where you’re at, you’ll need to work with a qualified facilitator who can lead a process with a beginning, middle and end to help your team overcome problems or better define your goals.

Fun team building is also a thing. And a valid thing at that. Sometimes you just need to spend quality time having fun with your co-workers outside of your workspace.

Think of the great memories you have of fun times with friends. Could be a memorable concert, hot dogs and beer at a ballgame, hiking or going to an art gallery. This type of fun experience creates shared memories and builds trust.

This is true for your work team too. Think how much easier it is to get through a hard day or challenging project when you can work with people you share an affinity with.

Finding Fun For Everyone

I gotta be real. There’s never one thing that’s fun for everyone. You can only do the best you can do. So here are some tips to keep in mind when you’re looking for team building party ideas.

  • Don’t be too scary – Talk to your team members and try to rule out activities that will absolutely alienate someone. If someone has a genuine fear of heights, bungee jumping is not a good idea.
  • Location can be an issue – Try to plan your event so that a team member won’t have to spend two hours in rush hour traffic each way. This is especially true if only one or two people have to travel a long distance. They’ll resent the people who were able to roll out of bed at the last minute and show up. If a remote event is compelling enough that travel is worth it, provide a comfortable way for the group to travel together.
  • Not just your idea of fun – Not that there’s anything wrong with your idea of fun. But what if you skew toward the really silly, or slightly raunchy? Team building parties can be great without having to prove too much. Don’t seek out a different or exotic activity just to be different. It’s okay to go with the tried and true. There’s a reason it’s tried and true. That’s not to say you shouldn’t do something no one’s done before. Just don’t be too wacky when you’re searching for event ideas.

If you want to learn more about planning a successful team build, here’s a guide that will help you figure out what to look for and how to find what you’re looking for.

Here Are Some Party Ideas

  • VR – I just stumbled onto this while doing research for this blog post. Virtual reality as a team building event. It will definitely be something new for a lot of your team. And it’s fun. You can integrate your experience with food and drinks. Sounds kinda like a party!
  • Laser tag; really? – I know, laser tag seems so 4th grade. But a few weeks ago, I worked with a client who had just come from an afternoon of laser tag with his team. I rolled my eyes when he told me but he said it was really fun. Relaxed, active, sort of silly and not too much pressure. You can compete without getting to intense. Actually, it seems like an ideal party.
  • Take me out to the ballgame – When you’re looking for team building on the party side, going to a sporting event can work well. The thrill of victory, the agony of defeat and everything in between. Drama, fun, food, drink, cheers, team songs; sporting events have it all. There’s one caveat. If there are people on your team who hate football or think ice hockey is the same as going to a fight, you’ll need to talk with that person to find out if they can be open minded about going to a game. Invite them to view the event through the eyes of their colleagues who may be devoted fans. But sometimes, you just can’t win (pardon the pun).
  • Cooking – There are lots of culinary team building programs. In fact, cooking is a staple in the team building world. If your goal is a team building party, cooking could be a great fit. This program feels a lot like the parties you attend in your personal life. Hanging out with people, preparing and sharing a meal is basically just a party. But here’s a caution about planning a cooking event. Make sure you balance the food and drink. I recently spoke with someone who told me they’d never do another team building cooking program because everyone drank so much before they ate that no one could remember much about the evening. RULES are okay – even at parties!
  • Making Music – Full disclosure; this is what my company does. Our team building events are all about music. Like cooking or sports, most of us associate music with social activities. So for the fun side of team building music is a great fit. You can’t go too far wrong with a music based team building activity. Music is a universal language. Even if you can’t carry a tune, I know that you have favorite songs that are an important part of your life. Everyone does. Through songwriting, you and your team members can create your own musical memories and party like real musicians too!

Remember, team building doesn’t have to suck. Making memories, building trust, letting off steam and recharging your team should be fun. Make it a party.

About Billy Kirsch

Billy is a Grammy & Emmy nominated, CMA & ACM award winning songwriter with numerous Top 10 hits to his credit. His team building programs and keynote speaking presentations help people tap into their creative abilities to become more innovative and engaged in their work. Clients include Fortune 100 companies and organizations throughout the world.