Having created, planned and hosted thousands of team building activities we’ve uncovered all the common mistakes organisers make when planning team events for their colleagues and delegates. Hindsight and experience have become our best friend as we now know exactly how to navigate the challenges that come with planning an event for your team so we wanted to pen some of these mistakes and offer food for thought for next time!

If you are planning either an activity for inside your conference agenda or a stand-alone activity for your team have a read through our commonly made mistakes and some suggestions to avoid them.

First and foremost:


The temptation is real! Organisers, rightly so, want to get the biggest for their buck so the tendency is to try and jam-pack activities with just too much but this actually has a detrimental outcome to the overall experience of the event. Our goal is to always finish on a high and that high comes with achieving. – fatigue doesn’t feel like achievement! Many team building activities by their very nature are designed to test participants, stretch their minds and force them to analyse their personalities when put into a high-stress situation. This does cause mental fatigue. Mix this mental fatigue into a conference environment where they are also being fed a lot of other content and it makes for a group who’s heads will be spinning – it’s text book mental overload!

Our recommendation, regardless of the content is no more than three to three-and-a-half hours for stand-alone events and anywhere for one-and-a-half to two-and-half hours for conference activities. This gives us enough time to get across some great fun activities but to point where we’ll leave your team feeling amazing and still laughing.


This includes making your participants walk in sand for an hour! Understandably, the concept of a fun beach activity sounds wonderful but walking in sand even for a short period is hard work. If you’re lucky enough to have a coastal location for your team event, make it just up from the beach and keep the amount of time you have participants on sand to a minimum!

Away from the beach all our activities have this taken into account but if it does inherently have any kind of physical element (for example The Amazing Race or Survivor) it needs to be designed to minimise the physical exertion of participants at all costs. In an Amazing Race, keep it close – we measure our games and keep them to the equivalent of a shopping trip around a centre. In a game like Survivor, the vast majority of challenges are more about team work, strategy and any physical games are kept to an absolute minimum and never require a full teams’ participation!

In line with our previous point of not making it too long, keeping any physical nature to a minimum is paramount or you’ll be in a real danger of creating both mental and physical fatigue.


Your team culture should be founded on inclusivity. If your work culture is based on Friday afternoon drinks, to be blunt, you’re doing it wrong! Don’t get me wrong, some social time at the pub does attribute to team relations and there’s always time for a beer or softie afterwards but it shouldn’t be centred around it. Likewise, a game of touch footy at lunch time is great for some extra fitness but can be excluding for some workmates. Our activities are designed with EVERYONE in mind. Every one of your colleagues, regardless of age, fitness levels and interests are able to participate in our events because they are designed to be all about what you’re doing as opposed to physical ability. In the same way we design our events to have challenges that appeal to different personality types we also ensure we include challenges that appeal to all capabilities.

Interestingly and possibly counterintuitively when talking about inclusivity is one of our most popular activities: The Amazing Race with Bars! We understand that a couple of drinks is an appealing way to encourage many teams to get involved so we created our Amazing Race with Bars in a way that offers the best of both worlds. Appealing to non-drinkers with a fun activity while at the same time offering participants who don’t mind having a drink an outlet is why this game is so popular. It’s a common misconception that in our Amazing Race with Bars you’d just be pub-crawling your way around but that is definitely not inclusive! Instead, it’s a very similar design to our Classic (or non-bar version) of the Amazing Race but two of the checkpoints will have a cryptic puzzle to solve that just so happens to be solved in a bar so if participants want to grab a cheeky vino at the same time they can but it’s not a part of the actual game… the challenge isn’t to skull a beer in quickest time or do shots – it’s a clever cryptic puzzle that requires your team to work it out.

We see just as many participants who don’t drink still do our Amazing Race with Bars, love it, and get just as much out of it as their colleagues who do!


There’s a very fine balance in making a team building activity challenging enough whilst also not making it too hard. Our formula is a 100% completion rate and an 80% correct rate! To break that down every single team will complete our challenges, no one fails, but the nuance in that is that the majority of teams will also have completed 80% of the challenges within the task as well which will define a winning team. If it’s too hard, you walk away feeling dejected. This is the building part of team building! We want everyone to feel they have achieved even if at the end regardless of whether or not they happen to be the one real winning team. For full disclosure, we’ve made this mistake before! If it’s too challenging or too ‘heady’ all we are going to do is make people feel dumb forcing disengagement.

This is where our expertise or in layman’s terms our vast experience with trial and error really comes into play. It’s a fine balancing act to get it right, but when you do, the result is best defined as memorable!


Our events are already perfectly designed to include fantastic team building outcomes and are, of course, are great fun. While there is always some space to include work content we always want to ensure it’s not overladen with too much. Keep it fun. Your team are clever and don’t need to be beaten over the head what they’re supposed to get out of it – let it happen naturally. We compare our events to children’s breakfast cereal – the good stuff is in there we just hide it beneath the chocolate!


Rule No. 1 when it comes to timing – don’t make our activity the morning after your gala dinner J Attendance rates drop immediately and sore heads leave us pushing the proverbial uphill!

Our events are perfectly timed as a Day One, first up ice-breaker/energiser or as a wrap up in the afternoon. If you have a lot of heavy content in your agenda we are a great way to break them out of a heavy headspace and designed as some time dedicated to fun and engagement.

For stand-alone team building events we typically recommend placing our activities to be timed around food! Timed to finish up in time for lunch, for example a 10:00AM-12:30PM or straight after lunch, for example 1:30PM-4:30PM.

Our events feel like a celebration so remember when we finish up to allow some extra time just to hang and chat. There’s always lots to reflect on and awesome, funny moments to share and discuss.