Organising the best team building event ever

Organising the best team building event ever

Organising team building events seems to be one task that most assistants are asked to manage, which is not much of a surprise considering we are pretty awesome at organising events! However, team building is actually pretty tricky. There are many elements to consider. Think about it. Firstly, you have to know exactly why your team needs building – getting objectives for any event can be really difficult. A lot of managers will be given a budget for team building because that is what organisations do, but they have not thought through the areas that are causing concern within the team and how an event can help rectify those issues. Next, you have to know what the budget is. Again – not easy.  Once you have an idea of how much you can spend you actually have to organise the event and that includes venue, activities, which members of staff are invited, catering, how to incorporate fun, overnight accommodation, transport and literally everything in between. So, how can you go about organising the best team building event ever? Here is how you get started!

Organising the best team building event ever is not easy!

But, it is possible. It just takes a lot of planning. As I’ve always said organising events is a full time job and PAs are often asked to organise something while also managing all of their other day to day tasks. So, it is important when organising a team building event you get some help from the professionals. In today’s blog post I’ve pulled together a great list of resources that will help you organise the best team building event ever.

Return on investment 

  1. Ask your team what they want to do. In this article from Plan Your Meetings, they suggest that you conduct a survey prior to the event so that you get a clear idea of what the team want to achieve through the team building event. The post also makes a good point about documenting the day – some people will just see this as a day off so if you ask everyone to write a brief summary about the outcomes from the day this will ensure they take things a little more seriously and will help justify the cost. ROI people!
  2. Bizbash have a great article on how you can extend your team building activities through collaboration and communication. You know that fuzzy feeling you get after a team building event? Well, these tips ensure peeps bring it back to the office.

Team building activities 

Okay, here is the fun stuff. This is a list of brilliant fun ideas for team building activities.

Some general tips on great team building events


Here are 5 questions to ask when contacting a venue about a team building event

  1. Has the venue regularly held team building events? Team building events have many elements and the venue needs to know what it is doing to ensure they are a success.
  2. Is there enough space to hold everything and everyone? A lot of team building venues are situated outside of cities, so there is more space to host all of the different activities including private dining, outdoor pursuits, training and meetings.
  3. Are there other guests or does your group have the entire venue? Again, this can make a difference when you book the venue. Do you want total privacy or are you happy to use the space with other teams?
  4. Is overnight accommodation needed and is it provided by the venue? If you expect your team to be together into the evening you might want to think about overnight accommodation and it certainly makes it easier if they are in the same place.
  5. What are the hidden extras? I’m sure your team building venue can and will say they can pull all of your requirements together, but it is always worth checking if this is included in the price or extra. If you agree to all of their suggestions just make sure you have the budget for it.

Organising the best team building event ever is a lot of work, but it is a great way for you to show off some of your awesome skills. It is a really visible task and, in my experience, one that can lead to a whole new level of appreciation from colleagues and other members of staff.

Organising your Outlook folders

Organising your Outlook folders

If you are anything like me, you will live your life by Outlook. Sad but true, right? I literally wouldn’t know what I was doing without my inbox and calendar organised just so. For me, Outlook is key to the work that I do – it was even more important when I was working as an EA. I’ve written a few blogs in the past about maximising Outlook for productivity and filing paperwork, but today I wanted to focus specifically on organising your outlook folders. This is a little excerpt of a blog I wrote back in 2012 while working as an EA to three directors, I included a picture of my Outlook filing system which gives a good overview of how I filed stuff.

Read More
Seven tips: What to look for in an event supplier

Seven tips: What to look for in an event supplier

Recently, the OpenMeet team had the pleasure of participating in the annual Practically Perfect PA Assist Conference 2017, where we ran a few workshops. The discussions amongst our workshop participants were so interesting that we decided it would be a shame to restrict the knowledge we gained for the people in the room!

Instead, we are going to share what we learned over the next few OpenMeet blogs, so stay tuned!

We used a combination of iPads and Post-it notes to ask our workshop attendees questions about what makes an event supplier great, and what makes them not-so-great…

What does a good event supplier do?

  • Excellent communication skills, keep in touch with their clients
  • Upfront about service costs, no hidden fees
  • Client-focused service, listen to client needs
  • Professional, fulfils agreed expectations

What is frustrating from an event supplier?

  • Lack of appreciation for the client relationship, e.g. Not understanding the client’s needs, or not rewarding repeat business
  • Issues with deadline management, e.g. Meeting deadlines or having unclear invoice deadlines
  • Poor service, being unreliable and not communicating

Event supplier ‘Red Lines’ – things to avoid!

  • Asking for the full payment before providing their services
  • The supplier can’t prove previous successful services
  • The supplier won’t accept feedback

In summary, our 7 key tips for choosing a great event supplier are to make sure that your supplier:

  1. Has strong communication skills, keeps in regular contact with their clients and provides prompt updates
  2. Is upfront about what their services cost
  3. Will respond to your needs and provide solutions
  4. Will meet deadlines
  5. Can demonstrate their past successful services (for instance, they can refer you to other clients)
  6. Does not demand full payment up front (a deposit is reasonable)
  7. Accepts feedback, including criticism. Bonus points if they display this feedback somewhere prominent for prospective clients to read!

In terms of ensuring that you are choosing a supplier who will do these things, a certain amount can be determined by internet research and by preliminary meetings with the supplier. However, sometimes nothing is better than experience and word-of-mouth, so take advantage of PA networks as much as possible!

Our next few blogs will be based on the insightful information we gathered from our workshop participants at the Assist Conference, covering topics such as how to ensure career development is central to the PA role, and how to ensure organisations value the work PAs do.

For more information on OpenMeet technology, please contact us here, or visit our blog to read more tips and advice about how to improve audience engagement at your meetings and events.

Travel Planning for Others – Putting Yourself in Your Traveler’s Shoes


Every admin wears many hats: office manager, personal assistant, life coach, travel planner. And each hat requires a different set of skills and a different set of tools. Every time your manager is heading out of town, it’s time for you to don your travel planner hat, slip into your traveler’s shoes, and equip yourself with your suite of travel planning tools. TRAVO’s goal is to boil down your arsenal of travel tools, ranging from sticky notes to Excel spreadsheets, to one single booking and planning platform. Our inspiration and drive for this goal has stemmed directly from conversations from admins just like yourself!

Read More