How to run a team-building activity day

14th April 2020
How to run a team-building activity day

Last time we told our readers about why to run a team-building activity day. We highlighted that team-building activity days are a way for your team to get to know each other, build communication skills and ultimately this can work as an investment in your team.

This time, we want to look at how to go about running a successful team-building activity day. So here are our top-nine team-building suggestions.

1. Set a goal

The first step when planning any team-building event is to set your goal. In many cases, there will be a number of goals, but many will lead back to the central idea of improving communication and collaboration amongst members of your team.

Be clear with yourself and your team around what your goal is and why you are choosing to run a team-building day. If you need help articulating a goal, do read our last article on why to run a team-building day.

2. Set your budget

With a clear goal in mind you will also need to set a budget. It’s all too easy to think up ideas for a fantastic team-building day but without a realistic budget in mind your ideas risk getting derailed. The budget should be set as an investment rather than a cost. This will help you to tie the budget to the intended goal, ensuring that you understand the value that achieving the goal will bring and therefore setting a realistic budget that ultimately delivers some sort of return.

3. Organise a planning team

Whether you are a large organisation or a small team, team-building events sometimes suffer from being considered as extracurricular; team members are reluctant to take on the responsibility for planning the event when they have their ‘day jobs’ to worry about.

Attempt to tackle this stigma early in the process. Don’t let the responsibility for planning fall into the hands of the person least likely to reject it. Instead set a team, dish out responsibilities and treat the event like the serious and positive force it will be.

The event should always be led by a single person who maintains a view over everything that is happening, but that person should be supported by a capable team. Work shared is work halved and this is the approach that should be taken. The event needn’t take weeks to plan. Some well-organised planning sessions with team leads or representatives from across your organisation will ensure that all requirements are taken into consideration from each different viewpoint.

4. Plan your attendee list

As soon as you understand how many people will be attending your team-building event, you’ll be able to combine it with your budget to calculate a budget per head. Having a budget per head will be critical in helping you to choose the correct location and organise activities that are financially viable.

Desk Layout


5. Set date, time and location

Now that you know your budget per head and ultimately the number of people you need to cater for as well as the desired outcome from the day, you can start to shortlist and choose your date, time and location.

Consider whether you would like to plan an indoor or outdoor team-building event. Outdoor events always feel extra special and so team-building events lend themselves well to the warmer months. To secure the best summer date, book your venue early before it gets booked up by other organisations.

6. Organise transport

When choosing your location, it’s likely that you considered the logistics of getting your team from the place of work to the team-building venue. Some organisations choose to host events relatively far away from the normal place of work, so as to magnify the idea of getting away from ‘the norm’.

Consider how your team will travel to the venue. Where the budget is tight, choose a venue that is as easy to reach as your normal place of work. If you have more to spend, consider getting away from your normal place of work and organise transport to the venue.

7. Plan the activities

Now comes the fun part. The activities are ultimately what will be remembered from your team-building day. Choosing a diverse range of activities is the best way to extract value from the day from across your team.

Here at The Great Barn, we specialise in running activity days that help our guests escape to the countryside for a day and do things they don’t usually get to do.

Here are a few of our favourite things to plan for a team activity day:

Clay shooting

A classic game of skill, and not something your team are likely to get to do very often. Guided by experienced instructors who provide full safety briefings and monitor the event. Six shooting stands mean team members can split into groups and enjoy the process of learning a new skill and testing themselves. 

Clay Shooting


Another classic game of skill that can’t help but encourage good-natured competition. Similarly to clay shooting, teams will be given a full safety briefing and will get the opportunity to try their hand at hitting life-size or moving targets. Another activity that always gets a laugh and sometimes helps uncover a skill someone didn’t know they had!

Crystal challenge

For fans of the popular television series, The Crystal Maze. Your team will be able to work together to collect crystals by competing in physical, mental and spatial team-building challenges. The grand-finale sees teams enter the inflatable crystal dome to collect as many tokens as they can in the time allowed. Huge fun and very valuable as a way to build camaraderie.



Crystal Challenge

Raft building

Perfect for teams large and small, the challenge here is simple; work as a team to build a raft that can take everyone across the lake, around an island and back again! Equipped with barrels, poles and ropes each team must work together to design a raft that’s up to the challenge. It’s a fantastic way to bring out the best in each team member’s personality.

Treasure hunt

A more leisurely team challenge is our popular treasure hunt around our 250-acre estate. Teams are provided with a map of the estate, grid references, a list of items to collect, pictures to take and cryptic challenges to solve. You can even take part in a driven treasure hunt!


Treasure Hunt On Site

8. Prepare an agenda for the day

Planning the agenda for the day usually hinges on the activities you’ve chosen. Regardless, there are a few things you’ll want to include in your agenda. Firstly a welcome meetup where all guests can come together, have a coffee and hear from the team leaders about the plan for the day. Guests can organise themselves into smaller groups if needed at this point.

The bulk of your day will consist of the activities. For a large team, activities will probably run on a cycle with groups switching between events throughout the day. Make sure you schedule and provide lunch and somewhere for guests to have a break.

Finally, plan a closedown meetup where guests can have a drink and discuss the day. Most venues will help teams to organise their day and keep everything running on schedule, so work with them where you can.

9. Gather feedback after the event

Don’t forget, the event may have finished, but the benefit to be gained isn’t over. It always pays to gather feedback, whether that’s formal feedback or informal team catch-ups to gauge how everyone found the team-building day. Ensure that managers report back on how the team has responded following the team-building day and make a note as a business about what worked and what could have been done even better.

Team-building events can be incredibly valuable, so taking time to learn from previous events will always pay off when the time comes to plan your next event!

Thinking about planning a team-building day? Get in touch with us and we’ll be happy to help you to organise everything you need.