Monday, 20 March 2017

BITE - Not just for corporates

By Mark Kingston Jones

Our events not only make great team builds, they are also fantastic stand-alone activities, which can be adapted for many different scenarios…

The most extreme example of this was a pre-wedding workshop we were asked to conduct a few years ago. The grooms wanted a chance to get the two sides of their family together the day before the wedding, without all the usual awkward small talk and formality, so requested an activity that would really break the ice. Always up for a challenge we got the group creating simple feeders for the gorillas at Port Lympne Reserve with many different associated tasks, so no one felt pushed into an activity they were not comfortable with and it allowed people to move around and mingle. The other nice angle to this activity was that it allowed the group to write simple messages into the feeder blocks so the gorillas who we were building for ended up holding messages for the couple from their friends and family.

It was never our initial intention to do adult/mixed aged birthday parties, but a participant from one of our corporate workshops enjoyed the experience so much she asked if we could arrange an activity to celebrate her 50th birthday, with her friends and family. The age range went from her eight year old grandchildren, up to older members of the family. This created an interesting challenge for workshops usually involving drills and saws, but we came up with a multi-component design that allowed everyone, including the youngsters to get involved (with parental supervision) and it was a fantastic experience for all.

Over the years we have done several church and youth group workshops and from our time in zoo education departments, both Chris and I have done a lot of work with kids of all ages so we take these in our stride. As with the birthday parties the mixed age ranges can sometimes make planning a build tricky and we require a very clear breakdown of ages, and attention spans, during planning to make them successful. One of our more recent sessions was with a youth group who decided to do boys vs girls, building suspended hammocks for fossa:

A fantastic session which really encouraged our young people to work together and take pride in their work. Thank you very much to the team for meeting our needs and supporting our group so well.’ 5/5stars.

Due to the success of these previous stand alone events, we are now developing unique stag and hen do’s offerings with LIST OF LIFE EVENTS. Also perfect before a wedding at one of our primary locations, or simply for an animal lover bride or groom. Another new addition is workshops as settings for networking events. Most people find the prospect of networking even less appealing than team building, and as we're so confident in our ability to make team building an enjoyable experience (see one of our early blogs) we're sure that we can create a great networking experience too!

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