Here are 10 things to consider when requesting more information from team building companies.
1. Are they a viable commercial proposition?
With low barriers to entry anyone can set up a team building company relatively easily. It’s very common for individuals to have a hobby such as pottery which they decide would be a great team building activity and subsequently advertise themselves on the internet. Running a business with the processes in place to meet the needs of multinational companies or public sector bodies is a very different proposition and these smaller providers can become overwhelmed quickly especially in the busy few weeks when you need them for your annual event.
2. What do they know about team building?
Sometimes the brief for team building companies is one of pure fun, perhaps a thank you for a job well done however sometimes CEO’s want more from the annual team building event. Choosing a supplier that is able to underpin a fun activity with meaning and generate actionable takeaways from your session is pivotal to having the event you’ve booked deemed a success.
3. Do they seem too cheap?
At EML Team we receive about 10 panicked calls per year from clients whose team event is in a few days and their chosen provider is not answering the phone. Commercial viability aside sometimes small providers that have promised to deliver an event day for £200 get a better offer. The owners of very small team building companies can only sell their own time once and with families to feed they will very often prefer to make their apologies with little or no notice should a better offer come along.
4. Is the risk properly managed?
We often hear from clients who have decided to organise an event themselves to save money. EML offers £10 million public liability insurance specifically honed to our range of team building activities, all of our activities are properly risk assessed and all of the electrical event equipment that we take onto third party locations is annually PAT tested – are you covered to this extent? If not, why not?
5. Are they able to offer office support throughout my booking experience?
“My Boss wants to say a few words after lunch”, “Can you help with finding a venue?, I need to book a coach transfer but I’m out of time” – smaller team building companies are typically run by owner operators and when they are on a live event you may get a call answering service when you call them for extra support on your forthcoming event.
6. Do they work with anyone in my organisation?
One of the fastest and most effective ways of selecting team building companies is through internal references. Team building companies often have to become registered as a supplier to larger organisations so ask them at the proposal stage if they have worked within your organisation before.
7. Will they save me time?
Good team building companies should be working hard to make your life easier. Client organisers should not feel like they are reinventing the wheel every time they make a simple request regarding their forthcoming team event. The right team building companies should be giving you the peace of mind to get on with your day job.
8. Are they competitively priced?
Price is incredibly important. In today’s business climate budgets are always tight and good team building companies will always be keen to be flexible on cost wherever possible. Always get a selection of comparable quotes from the marketplace but for a few reasons outlined above be wary of those providers that seem way too cheap.
9. Do I feel comfortable with them on an interpersonal basis?
Team building events often hinge on the quality and personality of the lead facilitator on your live day. Ask to speak to the facilitator earmarked for you in the run up to your event. Do they sound credible, experienced, friendly…? A poor facilitator can ruin a team building event and leave you wishing that you’d chosen another team building company.
10. Is the team event any good?
There is always pressure to do something different every year so do your research. Bounce the proposals from several team building companies off your colleagues to identify the right one for this year. Don’t fall into the trap of booking something too outlandish entirely off your own bat after all a Peruvian Pan Pipe Orchestra may not be everyone’s cup of tea!
We at EML Team would like to through our hat in the ring for your next team building event. There are a lot of team building companies and providers out there but with 17 years of experience and thousands of events delivered to clients all over the World we would love to help you build a great team.
Neil Cleaver, Director & Co-Founder of EML Team Workshops and Events.