40 Company Social Events to Promote Team Building

company coworkers outdoor activityPlanning a company social event to promote team building? Good for you! Social events are a great way to encourage team collaboration, build trust and increase engagement. Let's take a look at 40 creative company social event ideas to promote team building.

Active Ideas

  1. Segway Tour - Is there anything more memorable than seeing your entire team, management included, cruising around in helmets on segways? No. The answer is no.
  2. City Walking Tour - If you live near a city with a rich history, chances are likely they have organized walking tours with tour guides included.
  3. Amazing Race - Create your own amazing race and encourage people to pair up with a person they don't know very well. Or you can hire an event planning company to set this up for you.
  4. Rock Climbing - Whether they're a seasoned rock climber or it's their first time on the ropes, rock climbing is accessible for most people at various activity levels. Anyone who isn't comfortable with heights can help with the ropes down below. Either way, they'll be communicating and working as a team.
  5. Go for a Hike - If you live near anything hike-worthy, grab the water bottles and snacks and get going. Bonus points if you plan a picnic at the peak.
  6. Set Up Relay Races - Set up some relay challenges that encourage teamwork. Whether it's a DIY event or you bring in professional help to curate something truly unique, it'll be a day to remember.
  7. Join A Local Run - Check into local races. Find a neon run or a race with bands at various checkpoints. Oftentimes these races can also lend themselves to extension activities, such as race prep exercise groups and after race celebrations.
  8. Kayaking - Live near a local body of water? Rent a boat and kayaks. The vitamin D is good for everyone and the exercise will energize discussions.

Plan a series of company events with tabbed sign ups. View an Example

Food Ideas

  1. Cooking Class - Cooking class a great communal activity because it encourages conversation. Set up a class in the office kitchen, an employee's house or hire a professional catering company to host one in their prep kitchen. Just be sure to choose a menu that offers something for everyone.
  2. Wine Tasting or a Brewery Tour - You don't have to be a wine drinker to enjoy the day at a beautiful winery and the educational experience of a tour. Plus, most winery tours also include small bites and other beverages. A brewery tour might also be appealing, depending on your industry. Both wine and beer tours are usually casual and fun. Truly something for everyone.
  3. Unique Dining Experience - Do you live near a fun, themed restaurant such as a dinner theatre, a Medieval Times or a dining in the dark restaurant? It'll be an evening they'll talk about until the next company event.
  4. Special Local Food Tour - What makes your city unique? Are you known for incredible food truck extravaganzas? Do you have the best deep-dish pizza? Find the best unique local food attraction and experience it together as a team. Or, go all in and book a private dining room for your company only.

Cultural Ideas

  1. Cultural Festival - What about attending a cultural festival to really broaden the horizons of your staff? Find a Greek festival and enjoy delicious Greek food together or channel your inner Italian at the Italian street fair. One thing's for sure — they won't go hungry at a cultural festival. Delicioso!
  2. Visit a Local Landmark - Don't forget to find an expert who can give a speech on the landmark and the reasons why it is important. Grab some company photo ops to remember this special occasion.
  3. Local Speaker - You can hire a local speaker on lots of subjects, from company-specific trainings to local authors who will do private readings just for you. It can be incredibly motivating to learn from a successful person in a different industry and see how you can apply their principles to your career goals.

Wellness Ideas

  1. Meditation Experience - Sometimes silence is the best bonding experience. If your company specializes in an industry that involves a lot of interaction, enjoy some downtime. You can go to a local meditation center or hire a local expert to take you through some meditation or breathing exercises.
  2. Yoga Event - If you want more movement, go for a full yoga event. Either hire a yogi to do a private yoga event in a unique location, like the beach or a local park. There are tons of options for a restorative experience everyone will enjoy. Or you could surprise your employees with cat yoga or goat yoga, where animals roam freely during the exercises.
  3. Spa Day - Spa trips are a wonderful way to relax. Oftentimes people will start to open up and become more reflective when they are relaxed. Spas usually offer corporate packages and special additions for large groups, such as lunch or group treatments.

Coordinate an office summer potluck with a sign up. View an Example

Sports Ideas

  1. Attend a Local Game - Come together as you cheer on another team. Sports events have a way of really bringing people together.
  2. Hire a Coach - Bring the game to you, with a local coach hired to speak about team building and lead your team through a series of exercises or to coach a company game.
  3. Invite an Athlete - Your company may be inspired by hearing from an athlete. Many former athletes and Olympians do speaking engagements that will encourage employees to put it all on the field.

Artistic Ideas

  1. Painting Class - If you've seen those wine and canvas nights, you get the idea. Either take over an entire guided painting class or hire an art teacher to create one just for your team. You could even ask for a painting inspired by your company.
  2. Attend Live Music - During the summer, many towns have a live music series where you could attend a local concert for free.

Charitable Ideas

  1. Volunteer at a Food Kitchen - Giving back is a great way to bring people together. Volunteering at a local food kitchen is also a wonderful way to connect with your community.
  2. Build Houses - Is there a chapter of Habitat for Humanity near you? Whether you join a pre-existing group or contact them to do a special company day, you'll work together for a very important common goal.
  3. Organize Donations - What is the need in your area? Do foster children need coats? Plan a coat collection donation drive. Is there a huge homeless population? Pack and deliver lunches or blankets in the winter. Do some research as a team to decide which local issue you would like to focus on and do something about it.
  4. Sponsor a School - Many schools are underfunded. Is there a school near your company that is in need of supplies, technology, materials or ground maintenance? Your team could work with the school to paint or plant flowers and trees, or you could collect donations to fill an important need, such as sponsoring an activity or providing much-needed items.
  5. Volunteer at an Animal Shelter - Animal shelters need more help than we realize. Spending a day bathing, petting, walking and loving on some animals will make everyone feel good.

Recruit members for planning committees with a sign up. View an Example

Budget-Friendly Ideas

  1. Game Night - Use the biggest room you have and ask everyone to bring their favorite game and their families. Make sure there are plenty of snacks, good music and no distractions so everyone can take turns playing their favorites and trying new ones.
  2. Murder Mystery Night - Murder mystery games are so much fun. You can buy and download kits online, complete with everything from character descriptions, costume recommendations and more. It'll be a mysteriously good time.
  3. Outdoor Cinema - DIY an outdoor movie theater with a big screen and projector, stringed lights, space heater, a rented popcorn machine and lots of treats. Or, go all out and rent a movie theater to play whatever you want all night.
  4. Host a Picnic - Go old school and make the picnic a potluck, or hire the big dogs to cater something spectacular. Either way, it'll be a cozy and comfortable time to relax with one another.

Silly Ideas

  1. Laser Quest - Maybe the group isn't up for a paintball challenge, so play it safe with laser tag or laser quest. Yes, these are still around. And they're still just as fun.
  2. Dodgeball - Play it on a court or at one of those trampoline places for an extra kick. Dodgeball is a game that is part skill, part speed and part brute force. See who has what it takes when the balls start flying.
  3. Food Eating Competition - Sounds old school, but they're classics for a reason. Go with the standby pie-eating contest or make something inspired by the TV show Man vs. Food. It'll be a tasty afternoon.
  4. Sumo Wrestling - Rent sumo suits and a ring or get the inflatable bumper suits and go head-to-head with a sumo wrestling challenge that is anybody's game. Suits are great equalizers and put everyone on an equal playing field.
  5. Axe Throwing - Look up this adventurous activity and book an experience for your team. See who can hit the bullseye!

Luxury Ideas

  1. Hire a Yacht - Make an impression with a rented yacht for a bay cruise. Live music and catered delights are the icing on the cake. Oh, and you should definitely have cake and some music, too.
  2. Dream Trip - Hire a corporate event specialist to use their international travel skills to curate an incredible dream trip. From hiking Machu Picchu to swimming in Hawaiian waterfalls, treat your staff to a trip they'll never forget.
  3. Special Guest - It's rumored that Google hires top talent for their annual Christmas party. Take note from Google and put on a concert or live event with a special guest that will wow your employees.
Sometimes you'll be looking for an active event that creates the maximum level of interaction, while other times attending a common event will be enough to spark new conversations and create memories. Try different social event ideas over time and see what inspires the best reactions.

Erica Jabali is a freelance writer and blogs over at ispyfabulous.com.