In this roller coaster business climate, people need “team building” more than ever, but budget is a big concern. What can you do to get the best team building experience while saving money? Here are some options—obvious and not so obvious.

  1. Stay local and use community resources to save on site rental fees and transportation. City parks are excellent places to have team building activities. They are often either free or offer very reasonable rental rates for local businesses and residents. Community Centers have meeting rooms for rent at great prices, and some come with AV extras (screen, sound, projection). You can also have incredibly fun, effective team building events right in your own office complex. Use of the parking lot or lawn areas are options too.
  2. Be flexible on dates if possible. Just like hotels and event sites, team building companies have peaks and valleys in bookings. If you are willing to hold your event during slower times, the company will be more likely to be more flexible on pricing.
  3. Negotiate. What can be done to help the cost, if anything? Don’t be afraid to ask. Some of these items have helped our customers stay within tight budgets:
    1. Switching to an event that takes less time or staffing.
    2. Providing assistants to help set-up or run the event. This works in some cases, when “extra bodies” that don’t require specialized training are needed.
    3. More participants. Combine a couple of department meetings. It costs a team building company about the same amount of money to provide an event for 8 as it does for 20. 
    4. Barter. Can you offer the team building company a service or product in exchange for their services?
  4. Do-it-yourself. You can get manuals or books with team exercises. Additionally, some team building companies provide simple, small scale activities that can be custom packaged with a facilitator’s manual provided. It does require some time to go through the event details, and it takes someone with experience running events and giving directions. But many companies have people who are qualified to do this.