9 Unforgettable Team Building Events And Office Parties From The Best Employers

Microsoft's employees are nostalgic about all-company office parties and barbecues they had back in the 90's. As the company grew, the parties became less wild, and new companies emerged as trendsetters in corporate events. Here we gathered examples of the best corporate parties from the best employers. We hope that you can implement some of these ideas in your next corporate event.
1. A corporate event built for extraverts: comedy show, karaoke, fancy photo props

One day Amazon gathered their team of 22 000 employees for a luxurious corporate party at Seattle's largest event center. The event was packed with fun team bonding activities which helped to promote the company's values: 'be peculiar' and 'have fun'. The event was such a success that many people used #microsoftneedstolearn hashtag, suggesting that Amazon has beaten Microsoft's legendary events.
What can you adopt from Amazon's evening?

Team games:
- A giant kicker game (12 persons can play simultaneously)
- Real soccer contest

Social media wall: people post their photos in Instagram with the event's hashtag, and the photos immediately appear on a giant screen to be viewed by everyone

Express-yourself zones:
- Game of Thrones themed photo zone
- Karaoke zone
- Comedy show run by employees (a free mic)

Light show (spherical light bulbs 'dance' in the air)

Probably you won't involve Imagine Dragons, but there's a lot of activities that will fit any budget!
2. Alice in Wonderland-themed Halloween party

Google corporate parties are no doubt spectaculous. Imagine how it feels when you find yourself in the desert with a giant snow globe in front of you?
Fake snow
Image credit: https://www.instagram.com/mbplove/
Of course these parties have plenty of great food and bar options, but what really makes them stand out is how different activities during the party help improve the team dynamics. There are many examples of how themed events allowed companies to facilitate team building in a playful way. Google's Halloween bash was once Alice-themed, and all the activities were matching the style, while the guests were encouraged to dress accordingly.
If you would like to repeat the party, look for everything crazy, playful, and colorful at once. And of course, don't hesitate to include giant mushrooms, stripes, and caterpillars!
Cool activities:
- Pink flamingo crocket
- Bounce house (for adults)

Slower-paced games:
- The game of chess
- White rabbits (an interactive zoo, where you can pet rabbits, and make selfies with them)

Wonderland Treats:
- 'Eat me' cupcakes and cookies
- Cake pops that were decorated to look like mushrooms
- Colorful cocktails

Cirque du Soleil show with fancy-dressed gymnasts
And if you aren't inspired yet' check out this photozone with Alice's giant legs, and Cheshire Cat himself near the big pillow!
Alice's giant legs
Image credit: https://www.instagram.com/brianbarnhart/
4. A luxurious Art Deco-themed party

Some companies let their employees set the work aside, and carelessly have fun with the help of oversized games. And we aren't talking about Giant Jenga or human-sized chess.

A large California based company offered their employees a corporate event full of giant games which allowed team members to establish new connections and have great fun. Starting from a Guess Who with giant cards, they added several vintage arcades, and topped it up with a bright decoration: oversized ice cream cones hanging from the ceiling.

What can appear in your "playful party" set:

Gaming activities:
- Oversized card games
- Vintage games on giant screens - Donkey Kong, PacMan (some guests will play, while other guests can watch)
- Merry-go-round

Cool decorations:
- Stairs decorated with bright mottos
- Giant ice cream cones
- A room full of balloons

Enticing cocktails and treats:
- Use a lot of sprinkles
- Small packed treats

Is there a better way to encourage everyone to dream big than an old good game?
4. A luxurious Art Deco-themed party

Not Google alone engages its employees in legendary costume parties. Facebook gathers its teams at annual events which also involve fancy dresses and decorations.

For one of their corporate events they have recreated the roaring '20s style. It is hard to find a posh location with heavy wooden furniture, a piano, and crystal chandeliers, so the location was made from scratch. They used giant tents and lots of ornate jazz-age decor like gold-leafed palm trees. Even the decorated Facebook logo looked correspondingly.

Here are some ideas on how to involve your employees in a Great Gatsby-themed corporate party:

Gambling and activities:
- Casino games: poker, baccarat, roulette
- Dancing masterclasses: swing, foxtrot, etc.

Dress and décor:
- Hostess girls dressed as flappers
- Art deco signs
- Dress code for the guests

Speakeasy-style bar:
- Gin based cocktails as a reference to Prohibition times
- Show
- Jazz music
- Trapeze artists in 20's style dresses
The Great Gatsby theme seems so up-to-date in our times, when internet startups bring their owners wealth and power in a short time.
5. A corporate music video and a "Grammy" award

Silicon Valley based companies attract top talent from all over the world, and create advanced corporate culture to build solid teams. Simple activities just won't work for this incredibly savvy crowd. So what companies like Uber, Adidas, Salesforce, and Imgur do for team building events?

Some of them engage team building companies to host one of the most curious activities ever. In a music video team building company's employees turn into pop stars, and record their own music video, unleashing their creative minds. The company chooses the style, music, and song, and the rest is all fun.
What does a 'Music Video' team building game look like?

- Multimedia equipment and props like giant earrings, disco wigs, etc.
- Creative role play, encouraging employees to freely show themselves, dance, and sing
- Event is filmed by a professional cameraman. After the Game, the host edits the record, and does some programming necessary to match every lip sync
- Epic "Grammy" award ceremony, where colleagues watch their masterpieces together

A collective music video becomes a part of corporate history, along with tons of cool photos and memories to share.

Music video team building
Image credit: https://www.thegogame.com/team-building-activity/m...
6. Food trucks contest - a business game for team building

One of the challenges during corporate events is to promote communication and new connections among the company's staff. The food truck activity is designed to bond people together even if earlier they never worked together in the same team.

Dunnhumby company held their annual team bonding event in this style. The concept of the game is to create an own food truck together as a team, and to earn as much money as possible. Teams have less than an hour to develop a promotion plan, a style, a menu, and a pitch based on their audience's profile.

The game has several steps:

1) The participants are divided into teams. Each team gets a food truck with standard ingredients, and an envelope with a complete brief of what is expected from them as food truck entrepreneurs
2) Each team builds the truck literally from scratch and decorates it based on the style of the cuisine they have chosen
3) Teams prepare street food, while professional cooks assist them
4) Then the business part takes place: teams start selling their food, research their competitors, and launch special offers. They may also promote their social media, buy ads etc.

The goal of the game is to become the most successful team of entrepreneurs.

Such corporate events help to train soft skills, as well as get to know each other better.

7. An adventure day team bonding: active games and mind challenges

Good basic concept is that teams compete in a series of challenge stations. Rafting, playing soccer in zorbs and jogging, as well as mental challenges and task solving are among the activities which promote healthy lifestyle and foster bonding between co-workers. Each station requires staff to show all their skills and takes them out of their comfort zone. It's better to prepare challenges both for athlete and non-athlete types.
Some companies like Kingfisher and Lyft go further, and engage their staff in specially designed, and very creative, team games. Such icebreakers can be highly impactful for teams who need to learn working together, and they work especially well for younger audiences.
Outdoor challenges
Image source: https://www.thegogame.com/team-building/case-studies/lyft-angel-island
Here are some examples:

- Catapult construction. Each team builds a medieval firearm using simple construction materials that can be found in any garage, like old tyres and strings. Then teams fire an aim, and get points if they succeed.
- Rube Goldberg machine construction. Teams construct together a machine that will perform the simple task in a very complicated way. An innovative mindset and thinking out of the box is required to win.
- Take over an island. All teams are delivered to an island, and organizers give them devices with a special application to guide them. The adventure starts: the teams seek for actors, complete their tasks, and compete with each other.

Escape rooms. Using a set of clues, a team needs to find an exit from a closed room. The game often involves some roleplay, with teams acting as bank robbers who try to open a vault, or adventurers who run away from a vampire castle. The puzzles are very versatile, so every team member can contribute.

8. Secret agents: work teams in a search of a stolen value
Another example of a really cool team bonding game popular among big brands like Adobe and Nike. The plot of the game is the following: something important is stolen from your company. The teams will have to find this MacGuffin using their analytical skills, solving tricky tasks, hacking some systems, and finding out the truth. A professional host will guide participants giving them clues in case they're stuck.
9. Meditainment: stress management day for CEOs

Senior managers of major companies live on a busy schedule, and the most common problem they face is stress. A mindfulness day is an activity that was organized for commercial banking directors of the Royal Bank of Scotland to relieve stress, and facilitate networking during an international event.

When attendees entered the conference room, they heard relaxing music and saw calming videos. After that they were offered to complete a short stretching. The core idea of the activity was to break ice between people who didn't know each other, provide managers with comprehensive tools of stress management, and let them focus their attention before a conference.

What happened that day?

- The delegates entered the conference room, the lights were dimmed, and screens were showing meditative video records
- After the team was engaged in a gentle stretching workout, they were offered to vote for one of the meditative journeys using their remote control devices
- Then, a meditation of their choice started. Delegates were offered to close their eyes, and follow the music and the voice
- After the activity, the team could discuss their collective experience, and focus on the conference

This mix of entertainment, meditation, and training worked great as an icebreaker for senior management teams, because it addressed the problem they all share.

We hope that these ideas will help you to host fun and impactful events for your team!

Create a great corporate party trivia quiz with myQuiz!
Follow us
Subscribe to our monthly newsletter to get updates about new myQuiz releases, best practices, and featured events