November 01, 1998
Meetings & Conventions: Planner's Portfolio November 1998 Current Issue
November 1998 ChecklistPLANNER'S PORTFOLIO:



Choosing a Team-Building Program

The following checklist was compiled with the help of David Shackley, vice president, Compete International, Inc., 3015 Colvin St., Alexandria, Va. 22314


  • What is the size of your group, average age and gender ratio?
  • Has the group participated in a team-building activity before?
  • Why are you contemplating a team-building activity? For example, are you primarily looking for your group to bond or to walk away with a new, can-do attitude?
  • What is the culture of your group? Are they academics (teachers, researchers), professionals (bankers, lawyers, doctors, executives) or creative types (editors, illustrators, designers)?
  • Is the group comfortable together in a non-work setting, or do they rarely interact outside the office?
  • What is the overall personality of the group? Do they have a sense of humor, or are they serious?
  • Is the group intensely competitive or more laid-back?
  • Does the group prefer adventurous, outdoor pursuits, or are they inclined to indoor activities?
  • Will everyone in the group be able to participate, or will some individuals be excluded for health or physical reasons?
  • Will your group participate actively and willingly in the program, or are they resistant to the whole idea?

  • Provide the team-building company with as much information on your group as you can. Be sure to highlight the group's strengths, weaknesses, why you are considering a team-building activity and what you hope Was considerable time spent discussing your group's goals, philosophies and objectives? Ask about federal, state, and local tax charges.
  • Is the company interested in integrating personal goals into the overall team-building concept?
  • Is the supplier willing to customize a program to fit your group's particular needs?
  • What is the largest group the team-building company has handled?
  • Does the company provide post-program workshops to help attendees transfer team-building skills from the course to their jobs?
  • Did you walk away from initial discussions with a solid grasp of what each team-building activity accomplishes? If not, chances are neither will your attendees.
  • Is the company willing to accept physically challenged attendees? Do they work hard to successfully incorporate them into the activities?
  • Meet personally with the facilitator assigned to your group. Is he or she engaging and energetic?
  • Ask about safety precautions.
  • What contingency plans are in place in the event of bad weather?
  • How long has the company been in business?
  • Ask for references - and check them.
  • Ask for a breakdown of what is included in the service price.
  • Inquire about liability insurance.

  • Are the programs interesting, challenging and fun?
  • Would they appeal to your group as a whole? (While the prospect of scaling a 60-foot wall might motivate some participants, it could also demoralize more than a few.)
  • How much time is required for each program? Consider your agenda and how much time should be alloted to team-building activities.
  • Inquire if any special skills are required.
  • Are the goals of each activity clearly outlined?
  • Are they realistic?
  • If possible, have the team-building company arrange for you to observe a program. At the very least, arrange to see the course.
  • Notes:

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