Gumbo Cook-Off: Video of the Week

Imagine if in addition to rapidly crafting a recipe and cooking a delectable dish, the contestants on your favorite cooking competition television show – perhaps Top Chef or Iron Chef – also had to create a funny and informative commercial for their creation! And what if they wrote a clever song or chant and performed it along with their team of sous-chefs, all while showing off their artistic skills with posters they’ve decorated? Why, it would be nothing but fun: delicious, hilarious fun!

Imagine no longer; our Gumbo Cook-Off program brings old-world New Orleans style to your team-building event, with lots more creativity and interactivity to offer than Chopped ever could! Check out the video!

Biggest Scavenger Hunt Ever?

“Individual commitment to a group effort, that is what makes a team work, a company work, a society work, a civilization work.” -Vince Lombardi

Just how big can one our high-tech SmartHunts get? Prepare to be wowed. We have the technology – iPads, a proprietary app, and top-notch staff throughout the country – to handle upwards of 750 participants with ease.  Recently, we facilitated a SmartHunt for 16 teams both on foot and using water taxis to play in Baltimore’s Inner-Harbor; our system tracked every team, on land and on sea!  And when we recently were asked if Best TeamBuilding and Corporate Events has the capability to facilitate a SmartHunts program in 6 cities simultaneously, with all the teams competing and communicating in real time with each other, we knew the answer was yes, because we’ve already run incredibly successful multi-city SmartHunts.  As the largest team building company in America, we’re proud to know that we can lead your teams to cohesion and success, whatever the size of your group!

Chocolate Factory: Video of the Week

Over the years the Mars Corporation, one of the world’s largest private companies and makers of M&Ms, Snickers, and other chocolate candies, has funded quite a few ‘scientific’ studies into the health benefits of cocoa and the other ingredients in their products. But you don’t need a PhD to know that chocolate is delicious and fun.  This Chocolate Factory program combines all the best parts of a trip through a Wonka-like factory – tasting chocolate, learning about chocolate, and playing with chocolate – into one sweet team building event that includes both competition and collaboration.

2013 ADMEI Annual Conference!

Best TeamBuilding® and our sister company SmartHunts® will be delivering separate programs at this year’s ADMEI Annual Conference on Feb 7-9 at the Sheraton Centre in Montreal, Quebec.

Did you know Montreal has a second city right underneath it called RESO?

Discover RESO at ADMEI’s opening session with an exciting Conference Kickoff event featuring a high-tech SmartHunt run on Apple iPads that stream text, audio, and video! The event is FREE and starts at 3:00 pm on Thursday the 7th.

Attendees will embark from the Sheraton Centre on an exhilarating, sightseeing hunt that includes many points of interest including RESO, Montreal’s (warm) Underground City, which connects bars, restaurants, movie theaters, museums, shopping malls, hotels, and universities!

On Day 2, Best TeamBuilding partner Roy Charette will deliver our powerful Professional Development program A Manager’s Guide to Coaching and Employee Training beginning at 3:15 pm on Friday the 8th.

This marks our third year as proud sponsors of ADMEI. Best TeamBuilding LLC and SmartHunts LLC will also be holding their semi-annual Partners Meeting at the Sheraton Centre to run concurrently with the ADMEI Annual Conference.

A dozen of our partners and lead facilitators, including our DMC Division Manager, Christine Roberson, will be at the Sheraton Centre from February 6th -10th and we hope to see you all there!

Robert’s Story (A Heartwarming Bike Build Success)

“Never doubt that a small group of thoughtful, committed people can change the world. Indeed, it is the only thing that ever has.” -Margaret Mead

Over the years, our nationwide team of facilitators has led over a thousand Bike Build Donation programs, and no matter how hectic or calm the event itself, one moment never ceases to amaze us (as well as all the teams present).  Every single time kids come running in, ready to claim the bicycles that were just built for them, it is simultaneously heartwarming, beautiful, and loud!  Sometimes the story of a single bike recipient gets to us through the noise, however, and this is one we’d like to share with you.

Robert is an only child, quiet and studious.  He’s had to grow up fast; both his parents are disabled and the family is struggling financially due to medical bills.  “When we took the bike over to Robert,” said our client, “he was so excited and a bit stunned.” Robert never expected such a gift, or in fact any gift at all.  “His parents are so appreciative as they can’t get out and do things with him as much and they can’t wait for him to have a little bit of freedom with the bike,” we were told.  No matter how many team building events we have led, brightening the lives of others through our Corporate Social Responsibility programs remains one of our greatest honors.

Build-a-Raft Competition: Video of the Week

One great way to jumpstart your team into new ways of thinking – and therefore a stronger bond – is to have them work together on something that at first sounds impossible.  Check out this video: that’s exactly what this program is all about!  With just the materials provided, like duct tape and PVC pipes, teams are expected to build a working raft, transport it to a body of water, and take their sea-worthy craft for not just a test run but an actual race.  When you watch your teams succeed at a task that seemed so far out of reach, you’re also watching them gain confidence in their collaborating, which is powerful when they’re back at the office!

Cutting the Event Budget

“In teamwork, silence isn’t golden, it’s deadly.” -Mark Sanborn

BizBash Magazine recently asked professional event planners, program managers, conference producers, senior buyers, and marketing directors nationwide what is first to go (or at least change) when an event’s budget is cut.  The answers included food, flowers and other décor, and participant handouts – but not a single responder suggested scrimping on the planned program or entertainment.  Why?  We at Best TeamBuilding® and Corporate Events like to think it’s because that’s the true heart of the event; from professional development to scavenger hunts, if that doesn’t work, it doesn’t matter how pretty the centerpieces on the tables are.  We take our responsibility in this arena seriously and give our clients great value while offering the extraordinary programs that only the largest team building company in America can provide!

Great Dining Competition: Video of the Week

People who love to cook know that almost nothing is better than sitting down to a hot meal you crafted yourself from fresh ingredients.  This program captures the magic of that delectable moment while including lots of team building, puzzle solving, creativity, and enormous fun.  From the first exciting moments where teams don chef’s hats of their own design to the awarding of Culinary Excellence medals to the teams whose dishes were top rated by our judges, your group will have a blast! And this versatile program can cover a full meal, desserts, appetizers, or anything in between. All that’s left to say now is “Bon appétit!”

How Team Building is Like Sports

“It’s easy to get good players. Getting them to play together, that’s the hard part.” -Casey Stengel

A legendary team manager who brought Major League Baseball teams to victory, Stengel was quoted saying the above in reference to building a team he could count on to work together and thereby find success.

That’s the goal not just of a coach or team manager – it’s also the best case scenario for any HR representative, middle-level manager, or executive attempting to make sure that his or her employees will operate at the top of their game.  Even if you’ve never stepped onto a ball field, court, or arena in your life, the sports analogy still applies: no matter how stellar one team member’s work, it is the sum total of the team in its entirety, the smooth combination of everyone’s strength, that truly matters in the long run.

Kareem Abdul-Jabar said, “One man can be a crucial ingredient on a team, but one man cannot make a team.”  And basketball Coach Dean Smith reportedly told Michael Jordan when he started college, “Michael, if you can’t pass, you can’t play.”  Even legends need their teammates, and it’s important to build those connections between your team members regularly.  Keeping them strong and using the power that comes from a well-oiled multi-person machine (whether in a rink or a boardroom) can only mean more success!

SmartHunts®: Video of the Week

Why do we love to brag about SmartHunts®? Because it’s an experience like no other!  The various versions we offer have quickly become some of our most popular programs, thanks to our proprietary app, which turns the Apple iPads we supply for each participating team into high-tech interactive scavenger hunt treasure troves – check out this video of teams instantly uploading photos and video, getting clues and solving puzzles, and having an absolute blast!