TEAM-BUILDING HIGHLIGHTS INDIVIDUALS’ SKILLS, lets groups interact and boosts employee morale, all while participating in something unique and exciting. This season, try your hand at any of these five local activities to grow as a team and beat the winter blahs.
Minnesota Teambuilding and American Outback Adventures and Events
With more than 40 team-building activities to choose from, Minnesota Teambuilding and American Outback Adventures and Events gives groups plenty of opportunities to branch out of the office and away from their comfort zones.
"Our team-building activities allow people to step off the work train and allow them to think about things differently," explains Philip Keen, director of corporate development. "They get to take a step back, have fun and bring down some of the barriers that exist in an office."
The company offers three different types of events-Fun Team Building Events, Employee Training Programs and Corporate Entertainment Solutions-each of which can be customized to any company, location, group and time of year.
The Paint Pub
The Paint Pub specializes in two-hour art instructions focused on a specific painting, with an added bonus of sipping on beer or wine; and that combination of art and alcohol makes for a creative and relaxing team-bonding experience.
"It’s all about the fun and entertainment," says owner Tom Tufano. "There’s a little bit of a competitive nature with whose painting is going to turn out a little bit better than their neighbors." The art studio/café can hold groups of up to 50 people. Guests can either select a painting when they preregister or vote on a painting once they show up.
"The thing that sets The Paint Pub apart from other team-building activities is that you get a nice finished painting after the two hours," explains Tufano. "You walk away with something that you created and can be happy with."
The Go Game
"The Go Game is a perfect combination of play, a little bit of competition and shared challenges," describes Michelle Honchariw, managing director. "The combination makes the team feel like they’ve gone through something together."
The Go Game, created 12 years ago, produces high-tech adventure games that bring people together in the real world, highlighting the latest technology and the players themselves. "The technology draws people out in really special ways," explains Honchariw.
With games like a scavenger hunt through Nicollet Mall, or for the colder months, creating a short film indoors, The Go Game adds surprise, intrigue and delight to successful team-building activities. "We’ve honed it into an art over the last 12 years," adds Honchariw. "We know what can translate back into the workplace."
Watson Adventures - Minnesota Scavenger Hunts
Highlighting intellectually challenging questions over athleticism separates the scavenger hunts at Watson Adventures from a lot of other teambuilding activities. "It’s all about brainpower over physical power," explains Julie Jacobs, chief development officer. "The crazy thing is that you can get so caught up in the game part of it that you forget you’re learning."
Watson Adventures originated in New York City at the Metropolitan Museum of Art as a way to get people excited about going the museum. It’s now expanded to 18 cities, including Minneapolis where it offers three events: The MIA Mania Scavenger Hunt at the Minneapolis Institute of Arts, The Murder at the Minneapolis Institute of Arts Scavenger Hunt and The Grab ’n’ Go Minneapolis Scavenger Hunt that takes place outdoors throughout the city.
"We take pride in really researching a city and coming up with questions that are very smart, very clever," says Jacobs. "People really appreciate that it’s not just silly and goofy all the time, but we also cater to an intellectual crowd."
"Our main goal is to spread art and ensure that people have fun while doing it," explains John Bedard, CEO of the Woodbury-based company. "Our number one focus is on customer service."
The art and entertainment company opened in February 2013 and offers a variety of public and private painting classes, as well as open studio time.
"People just seem to open up, laugh and talk," says Bedard. "It’s a friendly atmosphere, there’s no pressure, no right or wrong. It’s really tranquil and peaceful, but at the same time fun; it calms your soul."