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14 Venues for Building Team Spirit





There may be no “I” in team, but there’s plenty of “U” and “I” in team-building, a necessary component for groups to assess how they work best together. In fact, Forbes called team-building “the most important investment you’ll make” in a recent article, commending any type of activity that “builds trust, mitigates conflict, encourages communication, and increases collaboration.” But like any good team sport, there are some rules involved in planning a team-building opportunity. 

First, you’ll want to make it spontaneous. Giving too many details (especially for the more adventurous activities) gives attendees time to overthink it and possibly back out of the event altogether. For this reason you’ll also want to incorporate different tiers of participation that are welcoming to every personality type—from the bold extroverts to the natural born leaders to the shy benchwarmers and the cynical analysts, too. Simply inform guests that there will be a period of group activity on the itinerary and recommend any special clothing or gear they might need.

Second, and most important, the outing can’t feel like a regular day at the office. The best team-building activities break out of the norm and therefore break down walls. If the setting is too comfortable or too routine, it can feel like work and people will default to their normal work roles. You also want to steer clear of the same-old activities that people have done since the dawn of team-building (so long, awkward ice breaker questions), but rather think outside the box when it comes to options. Non-traditional venues are a great fit for planning team-building activities because, like their place of business, they have a unique roster of ideas, from cooking competitions to boat races. Here are fourteen of our favorite spots and the ideas they offer.
 
The College of William and Mary
Williamsburg, VA
Silver Bay YMCA - Lake George
Silver Bay, NY
Southern New Hampshire University
Manchester, NH
Illinois State University
Normal, IL
UCLA Lake Arrowhead Conference Center
Lake Arrowhead, CA
Simon Fraser University - Burnaby
Burnaby, BC
Sylvan Dale Guest Ranch
Loveland, CO
Springfield College
Springfield, MA
Frost Valley YMCA Retreat & Conference Center
Claryville, NY
The Penn Stater Hotel and Conference Center
State College, PA
Willowdale Estate
Topsfield, MA
Pickwick Gardens Conference Center
Burbank, CA
Mission Bay Conference Center @ UCSF
San Francisco, CA
Colorado State University
Fort Collins, CO
Talk to a Venue Specialist: 1-877-244-6110