As a venue finder, here at Absolute Venues, we can help you find the perfect venue for your corporate event, whether it is a conference, meeting, an awards night, or any number of other networking scenarios.
No matter the occasion, one thing that these events have in common is that they can all benefit from injecting some fun. Even better, this fun can have multiple benefits for your workforce. So, when you find your perfect venue, why not consider these team building exercises for your event.
85 team building exercises for your corporate event
1. Bridge building
Depending on the size of the team, this can be done as an individual person or in small groups. Each person must build a bridge using the provided materials. This could be spaghetti and marshmallows, building blocks, Lego, or random objects.
In doing so, you will encourage collaboration skills and critical thinking. You can also develop working under pressure and time management by introducing a time limit of anything from 20-30 minutes, or even 30-60 minutes, depending on the available time frame.
2. Landmark challenge
This team building activity is perfect for groups of 6-20 people, or any group large enough that you can divide the participants into smaller teams. Each group will use paper, sticks, spaghetti, marshmallows, tape, or whatever creative objects you have to hand, to create a sculpture of a famous landmark.
The landmark you choose is up to you! It could be something that is nationally recognised, such as Tower Bridge or Big Ben, or something more personal to the company or training session.
3. One-minute challenge
Give each person a single minute to explain something without stopping. This will challenge participants to speak clearly and effectively, choosing their words carefully in order to explain things as concisely as possible. This is particularly effective for seminars tackling public speaking, leadership, and presentations.
4. Heads up
You might recognise this one from your school days. In this fun throwback, participants sit on a chair with their heads back, with outstretched thumbs behind their heads and their eyes closed. One person will then be tasked with squeezing the thumbs from behind.
The participants will then open their eyes and try to guess who squeezed their thumbs. A bit of fun – this game will allow teams to better understand their colleague’s body language, improving employee engagement and communication.
5. Scavenger hunt
Set up a scavenger hunt around the venue or conference room. The employees will then need to find as many items as possible, using clues written out by the team leader.
Team building games such as this will help to develop communication skills and leadership skills, as well as critical thinking.
6. Two truths and a lie
Go around the room, asking members of the team to say two truths and one lie about themselves. The other members will then try to guess which statement was the lie. For groups of 8-24 people, you might consider splitting participants into smaller groups if you are under a time constraint.
7. Egg basket challenge
Set a time limit for teams to come up with a protective solution for a raw egg, using unconventional materials commonly found around the office. The aim of the game is to stop the egg from breaking if it is dropped, using unconventional thinking. Once the baskets are built, test them out (on an easily cleanable surface!), and whoever’s egg is the most protected, wins.
8. Guess the drawing
Take it in turns to draw someone in the room. The rest of the participants will then need to guess who the drawing is of. The artist will then detail why they drew the portrait the way that they did, and why they included a certain object within the sketch. This allows colleagues a chance to better get to know one another.
Everyone knows how to play charades, which makes it an excellent addition to your team building games. Having to think on your feet to come up with non-verbal signs to describe a book or movie helps to develop creative thinking skills under pressure, as well as having fun!
10. Trust circle
Gather everyone, or groups of 10+, into a tight circle. One person will then do a ‘trust fall’ towards the members of the circle, closing their eyes and falling backwards. The team will then gently catch the person and bounce them around the circle. As the name suggests, any of these trust fall variation team building exercises foster an unspoken trust between teams.
11. Bridge building (version 2!)
Whereas before, teams were provided with building materials; this time, teams will have to build their bridge entirely out of sheets of paper and sticky tape. The piece of paper can be crumpled, cut, and shaped, but it cannot be reinforced in any way.
The team that manages to build the longest, free-standing bridge, made entirely out of paper, is the winner. If bridges are taped to the desk or are made primarily of sellotape, the bridges will be disqualified.
12. Pub quiz
Test the general knowledge of your team with a fun pub-style quiz. The questions should be easy enough that it is not too taxing, and with plenty of room for laughs, but also difficult enough that teams need to discuss answers amongst themselves.
13. How well do you know your colleagues?
Instead of general knowledge, you could gear the questions around the individuals in the team. Questions might ask where someone went to university or what their favourite hobby is, testing how well employees know their colleagues or listened to the participants during the mingling.
Mingling is an easy, quick team building activity that involves the entire team. It is particularly useful for remote teams who might not have met before or had the chance to properly chat with their colleagues during the pandemic.
Of course, mingling will not comprise an entire event – but it’s important to be mindful when planning a successful business event to leave opportunities in the schedule for people to mix.
One person will draw something on a sheet of paper, thinking creatively about how they might portray the given word or phrase. The team will then have to guess what it is that the artist has drawn.
16. Escape room
Escape rooms are all the rage at the moment, so why not lean into the hype by creating your very own escape room-like experience? The topics covered can be more tailored towards the conference you are hosting, allowing participants to problem solve and think critically in real time.
17. Trust fall
Similar to the trust circle above, sometimes simple is the most effective! So, if you don’t have the numbers to form a full trust circle, not to worry – either on a slightly raised platform or from the ground, you only need a minimum of two for a trust fall to work.
Trust falls have been used in team building for decades, so you can be sure that this team bonding experience is tried and tested.
18. Icebreaker introductions
If the participants are total strangers, go around the room asking people to introduce themselves and present a short fact about their life. This can be anything from their age, their location, their job, or something more out of the box like their Hogwarts house.
19. Trivia quiz
Whether you write the quiz yourself, grab a template off the internet, or settle down for a game of Trivial Pursuit, a trivia quiz is a fantastic team building game for a corporate event. People can work individually, in pairs, or in small groups to answer general knowledge or subject-related questions to see who knows the most trivia facts.
20. Tower building
Ask participants to build a stable tower, using sticks, marshmallows, spaghetti, or even paper. The aim of the game is to build the tallest tower possible, without the structure toppling over. The person or team with the tallest tower at the end will be declared the winner. Once the winner is announced, they can explain to the team their building technique, and why it was the most successful.
21. The floor is lava
Though this might be a popular children’s game (and a hit TV series) there is nothing to stop adults from enjoying it too! Not only is this a fun game to play, but it also encourages teams to work together in order to overcome the problem at hand.
As the name suggests, you must imagine that the floor is lava. When the game is in play, participants must use chairs and tables to escape the lava, and thus cannot put their feet on the floor.
22. Playing card tower
Provide each team or player with a deck of cards. Then, each participant should attempt to build a tower using the playing cards, typically resembling a pyramid shape. As they are notoriously difficult and fragile, it takes a lot of teamwork, listening, and trust in order to complete. All in all, it is a great way to bond with your team.
23. Simon says
Another childhood classic that is still surprisingly fun in team building environments – play a classic game of ‘Simon says’ to test out listening skills and leadership skills.
‘Simon’ is the leader, who will start commands with ‘Simon says…’, after which all participants must copy them. However, if the command does not begin with the phrase, the followers should not copy the leader, so it is crucial that everyone pays attention throughout.
24. Trust walk
Split everyone into pairs. One person will be blindfolded, and the other will have their hands tied behind their backs. The person who can see will need to guide the blindfolded person over to the other side of the room to pick something up and return to the starting place, using only verbal commands. This will improve trust and communication.
25. All aboard
Firstly, map out a shape on the floor using a rope or some tape. Then, the team will need to work together to problem solve so that everyone can fit in the shape. To make the task more difficult, and thus test collaboration even more, make the shape increasingly smaller each time.
26. Balloon sculptures
Ask the team to summarise in their mind how their team works. Then, they need to shape a balloon to represent how they perceive their team. For example, different interconnected nodes might represent different departments working together in tandem, and bumps might signify any difficulties.
27. Age line up
Task the participants with lining up in age order, from youngest to oldest. This will require everyone to discuss amongst themselves how old they are so that they can quickly work out the correct order. It might also offer an opportunity for you to find out people’s birthdays and who has ages and birthdays in common, allowing everyone to celebrate one another in the future.
28. Height line up
Similar to the challenge above, the participants will need to discuss with the rest of the team how tall they are and line up in height order from tallest to shortest. The key here is to promote clear, accurate, and effective communication.
29. Balance the ball on a parachute
All you will need is a parachute and a ball! Ask the group to hold the edges of the parachute and place the ball in the middle. The aim of the game is to keep the ball balanced on the parachute, rolling it around the circle, without it falling off. It truly is a test of teamwork, coordination, and concentration.
30. Tower of shoes
Ask everyone to remove their shoes, and then try to create the tallest tower possible. The tower must be stable, so this encourages the group to work together to come up with a creative solution, testing their problem-solving skills and collaboration.
31. Photo finish
This works best in smaller groups or teams. Mark a finish line on the floor using a rope or tape. The team will then line up along the rope as if they are runners in a race. They will then attempt to cross the line at the exact same time, just as in a photo finish. This requires teamwork, communication, and trust.
32. Wind in the willows
The wind in the willows is similar to the trust circle mentioned earlier. Teams will create a small, tight circle, and one person will stand in the middle. They will then fall back, being caught by the group. This time, the person in the middle must stay rooted to the centre of the circle like a tree has its roots.
33. Desert island
Everyone will need to determine what they would like to have if they were stranded on a desert island. This might be one thing, or even ten, depending on your time constraints. They will present their item to the group, trying to persuade them that their item is the best to be marooned with.
This is a fun way to get to know your colleague’s wants, in a dire situation, and test out their pitching skills.
34. Car building challenge
Get some old Lego from home, including some wheels of course! Teams will have to design and construct a stable (and mobile!) car out of the materials to hand, considering both motion and design. You can then have a race at the end to see which car was built the best.
35. Sink the balloon
It goes without saying that balloons don’t sink in water! Task the group with finding a solution to make the balloon stay underwater, without physically holding it there with their hands. You can provide unconventional materials for the challenge to make it more fun.
36. Draw what you hear
Think ‘Chinese whispers’. However, instead of the person at the end having to shout out what they heard, the person at the end must draw it. A fun combination of whispers and Pictionary, this is a surefire way to entertain the team and develop clear communication.
Mark several X’s on the floor, which represent ‘mines’. Someone should volunteer to be blindfolded, with the aim of crossing the ‘minefield’ without setting off any mines. The team must clearly communicate directions to the person crossing the minefield, without talking over the top of one another.
38. Three-legged race
Everyone knows how to complete a 3-legged race! Split into pairs and tie the adjacent legs together, giving the impression of 3 legs. The pair to the finish line first wins, which typically requires collaboration, communication, and strategic planning prior to the race.
39. Follow the leader
Develop leadership skills and foster a trusting workplace environment by playing a game of ‘follow the leader’. Instead of asking the team to complete things, the group will have to keep their eye on your actions and copy every move as quickly and responsively as possible.
40. Dragon’s Den
Based on the hit TV show, Dragon’s Den, split the group up into smaller teams, who will then come up with a new, innovative product to meet a brief. After brainstorming and building a prototype, each team will pitch their idea to the group to see who’s idea has the best response.
41. Musical chairs
Ask the group to circle around the conference room whilst music starts playing. When the music stops, they will need to find a seat and sit down as quickly as possible. Each round, one seat will be removed from the table, and the slowest person to respond will find themselves eliminated from the game.
Twister requires a ‘can do’ problem-solving attitude and encourages employees to be comfortable around one another. Not only can this help with team building, but it can also improve overall employee engagement, and foster a positive workplace culture.
43. Giant Jenga
Get yourself a giant Jenga set that is typically made as a garden game. To ensure that the tower doesn’t fall, participants must think a few steps ahead and develop a strategic approach. However, as others make their moves, they will have to adapt and overcome the new challenges as they come.
44. Wheelbarrow race
Split the group into pairs. One person will use their hands to propel them forwards, whilst the other person holds their feet off the ground. The pairs will need to work together and effectively communicate in order to win the race, not to mention having to trust that their partner won’t drop them!
45. Egg and spoon race
Another classic game from our childhood is an egg and spoon race. The nostalgia alone is enough to boost overall morale, but it can also help to foster critical thinking, problem solving, improved concentration, and encouragement from within the team. You can make this more of a trust exercise by blindfolding the person on the course, who will be guided to the finish line by the group.
46. Blindfolded obstacle course
Create a series of objects around your corporate venue, with a path leading from one side of the room to the other. The group will need to be split into pairs, with one person volunteering to be blindfolded and the other to give directions. This requires trust between the partnership, collaboration, and clear, direct communication.
47. Paper aeroplane
Give everyone one piece of paper each. They will then have to craft a paper aeroplane by folding the paper. It cannot be cut, scrunched, or reinforced. Then, set up a competition to see who’s plane flies the farthest. Teams are allowed to test and improve their planes depending on their results, encouraging analytical thinking and creative problem solving.
48. Tug of war
All you will need is a rope, some tape, and a ribbon. Tie the ribbon halfway down the rope and place a line on the floor. Two teams will take it in turns to try to pull the rope all the way over the line to their side. It requires teams to think strategically, competitively, critically, and collaboratively, as well as have a good time.
49. Juggling competition
Challenge the group to see who can juggle for the longest time. Not only is this fun, but it takes a lot of concentration and multitasking skills. To up the ante, ask people to stand in a circle and throw a ball around, keeping it off the floor. Then add in more and more balls for a group juggling challenge.
50. Giant jigsaw
Completing a giant jigsaw puzzle requires teamwork, communication, critical thinking, and thinking of the bigger picture. Thus, puzzles can be a fantastic team building tool, as teams can organise themselves to accurately lay each puzzle piece.
51. Under, over
Stand teams in lines and give each a ball or balloon. The first person passes it through their legs, the second person over their head, and so on. The person at the back runs to the front with the ball, and the chain starts again. The winner is the first team to have the original person back at the front of the queue with the ball.
52. Pass the ball with no hands
It’s exactly what it says on the tin! Participants will line up. They will then need to pass the ball along the line without dropping it and without using their hands.
53. Sell the object
Give teams an ordinary object, such as a piece of fruit, a stapler, a pen, or another type of office stationery, for example. The teams will then be tasked with coming up with a new way of using the product that has never been thought of before. These creative ideas will be presented to the wider team, and the winner will be selected.
54. Market the object
Splitting the group into teams, each will act as a marketing team for an unconventional or ordinary object, such as a piece of fruit or an item of office stationery. The teams will then explain how they might market the object to make it stand out from the competition. This will require participants to approach ordinary things from an entirely different perspective.
55. Nerf war
You might hear about laser quest or paintballing being good team building exercises, but we can do you one better. Grab some Nerf guns with soft, foam pellets and have a friendly, action-packed Nerf war in your corporate venue.
Rent a karaoke machine and let everyone cut loose! This will encourage team members to be more comfortable around one another, which will boost employee morale.
57. Teach a skill
More interactive – and hopefully more fun! – than your typical business training session or venue hire. Ask everyone to think of something they are skilled at, which others might not be. Then, split the group up into pairs. Each person will then teach their pair their chosen skill, and vice versa. Not only will this help your team building, but it will also help to diversify the skills within your workforce.
Depending on the skills your team ends up choosing, this activity can work within an office environment or, for more adventurous skill sets or just for a change of scene, this activity works well on a corporate away day.
58. Bake Off
In the style of everyone’s favourite baking show, ask everyone to bring a baked good with them to the session. During the coffee break, you can then rate the bakes, award the coveted ‘Star Baker’ award, and then tuck into some delicious cakes and pastries as you have your morning cuppa.
59. Battle of the Bands
As a little bit of fun, split the group into band-sized groups. Between themselves, they will work out who plays which instrument – by instrument, though, we mean like an air guitar! Then, stick on some music, and rock out!
60. Tell us a secret
This is a fantastic icebreaker and a way for colleagues to learn more about each other. Let everyone tell the rest of the group something about themselves that they wouldn’t know already. It doesn’t have to necessarily be a secret, but something that they haven’t already divulged, such as a talent or hobby.
61. Truth or dare
Of course, this can only be done with strict rules so it doesn’t go off the rails! Apart from that, it is pretty self-explanatory. Each person must choose ‘truth’ or ‘dare’ and then do the action they have committed to.
62. I went to the shop and I bought…
This is a listening and memory game – you might recognise it from its appearance on the first season of the TV show Succession. The first person will say “I went to the shop and I bought” an item of their choice. The next person will repeat this, and add an item of their choice, and so on. Each person must remember what the person before them said, plus think of something new on the spot.
63. The minister’s cat
Similar to the game above, this is another listening and memory game. However this time, each person will add in another adjective for the cat, which will be added to by the person after, and so on.
64. Zip, zap, zoom
Zip, zap, zoom is a game that takes a lot of concentration, listening skills, and quick thinking. People will stand in a circle facing one another, with their arms outstretched and palms pressed together. A player will then move their hands to the left and shout ‘zip’. The next player can continue around the circle with ‘zip’, or swap the direction with ‘zap’. You can also shoot it across the circle with ‘zoom’. If you do not react promptly, you are out.
65. Who am I?
Ask everyone to write down the name of a famous person on a post-it note. Then, each person will pick a post-it note at random and stick it to their forehead without looking. You will then take it in turns to ask yes or no questions about the person you have chosen, before guessing who you are.
For those on a budget, hangman arguably requires the least amount of props. Even better, it involves items you will already have in your office or boardroom. All you need is a flipchart and a marker, or the digital equivalent. Then, take it in turns to play hangman, using either fun words you thought of on the spot or topics relative to the field you work in.
Battleships is a one-on-one board game that involves planning ahead, strategy, trial and error, and critical thinking. Thus, battleships can be a fantastic team building exercise for all kinds of corporate events.
68. Wizard’s Chess
If you are a fan of the Harry Potter franchise, you might recognise the game of Wizard’s Chess. Although, of course, our Muggle version is much more tame, but no less magical! Using a giant chess board on the floor, some people will act as the pieces on the chess board – costumes and improv included. The rest of the people will be divided into two teams, who will instruct the ‘pieces’ to move around the board, trying to win the game.
69. Murder mystery
There are a few ways in which you can incorporate solving a murder mystery into your team building, be it with a true crime case file experience, a wink murder children’s game, or a quick round of Cluedo! Whichever you choose, your team will have to work together to solve the mystery, thus improving their collaboration skills.
70. Guess the song
Play a selection of clips from famous songs. This might be the first 30 seconds of the intro, or the chorus, depending on how difficult you want to make it. The only equipment you will need is your smartphone, a playlist, and the appropriate audio-visual hardware in the venue. You can award one point for each correct song title, and even some bonus points if some people guess the names of the artists too.
71. Paper boat
Hand out a single piece of paper to each participant. Then, each person will construct a boat by folding their paper. The paper cannot be cut, crumpled, or reinforced – it must only be constructed by folding the paper. You can then bring in a basin of water and test how well the boats stay upright and afloat. The person with the most sturdy and stable boat overall is the winner.
Boules is a game of competitive strategy. Not only do you need to get your own balls close to the set target, but you also need to knock your opponents further away from the target in the process. The team with the most balls closest to the target at the end wins, proving that their strategy was the most successful, whilst encouraging team spirit.
Instead of heading off to a bowling alley, set up a quick game of skittles in the venue. Skittles requires teamwork, critical thinking, and strategy, all of which are useful transferable skills in the business world. It will also allow participants to get out of their seats and get their blood pumping. After all, no one is at their most productive when they have been sitting down for too long without a brain break.
74. Eggs in the basket
On one side of the room, place a bucket of balls or balloons. Participants will then need to transfer all the balls from one side of the room to the other without using their hands. Whichever team does so the quickest wins
75. Relay race
You might be thinking, running inside?! Bear with us! During your work life, you will need to pass projects off to other people and hand over certain obligations. These handovers need to be effective in order to streamline the business practices. So, what better way to demonstrate this than with a relay race? Participants need to pass the baton quickly and smoothly in order to win the race.
76. Pot luck
Eating food with our loved ones is one of the ways that we bond with our family and friends – so why not with your colleagues too? Make the conference more interactive and informal by encouraging each guest to bring a dish of their choice. Maybe it’s a family recipe or a dish that really means something to them. As you all share the food, you can converse about the dishes you are sharing for a true team bonding experience.
77. Draw the ‘vision’
Ask participants to define the vision of the company or brand. However, instead of asking them to describe it using words, they must instead produce a drawing. Each team will then present the drawing to the group, explaining how each choice represents the company’s vision.
78. Guess the movie
The leader should play a short clip of a movie or the beginning of an iconic song from the soundtrack. Individuals or teams will then guess which movie the soundbite came from. You can award bonus points if they know the director!
79. No man’s land
Imagine that there is a valley along the floor. The aim of the game is to get an object from one side of the valley to the other, using a range of unconventional materials and office stationery. The solution should not be held up by human hands, and cannot involve anyone standing in the section marked as no man’s land. Thus, a solution requires creative and critical thinking, as well as collaborative problem solving.
80. Bean bag toss
Another mainstay of kids’ sports days, the bean bag toss is another classic game. By getting everyone up out of their chairs, being active, and having fun, this will get everyone’s bodies and minds raring to go, and ready to learn and contribute.
81. Stepping stones
Similar to the floor is lava, you must imagine that the floor is, in this case, water! The team needs to be able to cross the water to the other side, using only a limited number of stepping stones, represented by pieces of paper. The team must work together to solve the problem and ensure everyone makes it to the other side safely.
82. Team coat of arms
Each group should design their own coat of arms, which should represent their strengths, goals, and values. You might also ask people to design a coat of arms that represents the company and the brand message.
83. Create your own activity
Split the group into smaller teams. Each team will then come up with a new game or activity that they believe will help build the team. Then, each group will lead the others in the exercise that they have devised amongst themselves.
84. Chinese whispers
Get everyone to line up, one after the other. The first person in line will then pass a phrase to the person behind them in a whisper, which will then be passed on to the next person, and so on. The person at the end then announces the phrase given to them, and you can see how close it was to the original phrase. This encourages the teams to listen and communicate effectively.
85. Find your pair
At the start of the planned event, each person will be paired up with someone that they have never met before. However, in order to determine who they are paired with, participants will need to mingle, strike conversations, and generally network with each other until they find out who they are paired with.
You can make this even harder by asking people to remove their name badges, so everyone has to ask one another their names.
Choose Absolute Venues for your next team bonding day
For more information about what Absolute Venues has to offer and how we can support team building days, or bonding segments, within a wider event, just get in touch with us today to speak to a member of the team.