10 Affordable Team Building Ideas That Won’t Break the Bank

In the initial stages of planning an event you should always determine all the major details such as number of participants, date/time, location and of course, budget. And just because you don’t have a huge budget doesn’t mean you can’t host an affordable team building event.

The many benefits of regular team building range from increased productivity and better communication to more team support and less conflicts within the workplace. According to CEO of O2E brands, Brian Scudamore, “…team building is the most important investment you can make for your people. It builds trust, mitigates conflict, encourages communication, and increases collaboration. Effective team building means more engaged employees, which is good for company culture and boosting the bottom line.” (Read more here)

But for a lot of businesses, we understand that budget can be an issue and it can be hard to make team building a priority without breaking the bank. First of all, there are plenty of affordable team building programs out there and second, instead of viewing team building as something that is only splurged on, companies should be looking at team building as an investment for the future. Friday night drinks or a team afternoon at lawn bowls are examples of more affordable team building options and great fun however tend to miss the mark in getting teams cohesively working together.

We’ve put together a list of our top 10 affordable team building ideas for those groups who have to be a little more budget conscious.

City/Resort Scramble

Photo on smart device of a team jumping

The Scramble is a modified version of our Amazing Race event for those groups tight on time and or budget. This exciting outdoor event will see teams race around the local area taking team photos, collecting scavenger items, solving IQ Tests and passing through a roadblock challenge activity site.

Teams will be issued a map of the local area showing their start, finish and roadblock location and a list of photos to take and scavenger items to collect. Teams aim to outscore their opponents with each scavenger item, team photo and correct IQ answer adding to their score. When teams arrive at the final location they submit their items, photos and answers to the Pinnacle team for marking.

Location: Outdoors – all areas around the resort or urban areas

Duration: 1.5 – 2 hours

Outcomes: Team work, problem solving

Laser Clay Pigeon Shooting

Person aiming laser clay gun

Experience the thrill and excitement of shooting clay pigeons as they fly through the air.

This dynamic and interactive activity uses authentic 12-gauge shotguns that have been converted to fire laser beams. Clays with Omni-directional tape are fired from the launcher – when the shooter scores a hit the beam is reflected back to the gun and registers a hit on the electronic scoreboard.

This activity is very popular and loads of fun for males and females of all ages, fitness levels and ability.

Location: Outdoor space approx. size of a tennis court – must be a privately-owned space (not a council park or reserve)

Duration: 1.5 – 2 hours

Outcomes: Fun, friendly competition

Archery

Archery target with arrow in bullseye

This ancient form of medieval weaponry is a great event to get your team on target! In this engaging activity a structured lesson involving technique and safety are outlined and enforced. The delegates are then divided into teams that compete aiming to outscore their opponents. All delegates will have plenty of firing time and be kept entertained as teams are involved in various competitions and games that all involve shooting arrows at the target. The event can finish with a sharpest individual shooter if you like.

As this event involves delegates firing real arrows the space available to host this activity must allow for a large firing range. We are permitted to hold the event on private land such as conference venues however most councils do not allow this event on public land.

Location: Outdoor space approx. size of 2 x tennis courts – must be a privately-owned space (not a council park or reserve)

Duration: 1.5 – 2 hours

Outcomes: Fun, friendly competition

Battle of the Minds

head shot of man with funny hate pulling a face

Battle of the Minds is the ultimate indoor team building event!

Designed to suit any conference, function or meeting room. Teams are each seated at their own table and issued with the Battle of the Minds booklet containing 45 challenges in total. The booklet contains 15 easy, 15 medium and 15 hard challenges with each challenge on a separate page. As members complete the challenge they submit for marking and continue with their next task.

The challenges vary to accommodate all brain types; mathematical, artistic, creative, scientific and engineering. Delegates choose the challenges they want to undertake aiming to score more points than the competing teams. The room turns to chaos with delegates constantly moving around the room completing challenges and submitting answers.

Location: Indoors, tables set cabaret style

Duration: 1 – 1.5 hours

Outcomes: Team work, problem solving

Escape

Coded padlock with escape heading in the middle

Can your team escape? This exciting Escape the Room challenge is the ultimate team building event that will test the sharpest minds. Each team is “locked” in a room with a set time frame in which to escape before the world as we know it ceases to exist. Teams must follow the clues, solve the puzzles and unlock the secrets to ESCAPE!

For teams to be successful they must communicate, think outside the box, work together, admit to their mistakes and believe they can succeed. All this under extreme time pressure as each team has only 90 minutes to uncover the 8-digit code that will ultimately allow them to escape the room.

This event can be tailored to suit any size group by adding more rooms for more teams. We recommend each team is between 8 – 12 people with each team requiring 1 room. Rooms can be conference rooms, hotel rooms, offices, boardrooms etc. Pinnacle requires 30 minutes in each room prior to the event to set up.

Location: Indoors, 1 x room required per 8 – 12 people

Duration: 1.5 – 2 hours

Outcomes: Collaboration, lateral thinking

Project Pipeline

long winding water pipeline

This is a challenging and entertaining activity that will bring out the best in your team. Each team will be assigned a country and the task of building a pipeline to deliver a precious resource from one side to the other. On top of managing time, resources and personnel to build their Country’s, pipeline teams will also need to negotiate and innovate to connect their pipeline to all the other Country’s creating one continuous pipeline. Teams will need to work against time and conflicting objectives to achieve the whole group goal.

Delegates will have great fun, planning, negotiating, inventing and competing against the other Country’s to create their Pipeline. By the completion of the project the whole group will have built a long and winding pipeline that is put to the test when the precious resources are sent down the line.

Location: Large cleared space, can be indoors or outdoors

Duration: 1 – 1.5 hours

Outcomes: Work as one team, collaboration

Team Challenge

Team sitting around table solving a jigsaw puzzle

An indoor team building event where teams compete to earn points at a series of lateral thinking challenges.

All of the tasks in the team challenge require the entire team to plan, problem solve, communicate, think outside the square and then ultimately work together. Teams are either racing to be the first to complete or must solve the task within a designated times end.

Example challenges include:

Balloon Mascots – Teams are given modelling balloons and asked to design a mascot that best reflects their team. Points are given based on imagination and reasoning

Eddy the Egg – Teams construct a space capsule device out of straws and tape to catch a raw egg dropped from 2 metres

Foil Towers – Teams race against the clock to build the tallest tower using only foil

Nailed It – It appears impossible however if you think outside the square you can balance 12 nails on just one nail head.

Location: Indoors, tables set cabaret

Duration: 1 – 1.5 hours

Outcomes: Problem solving, team work

Musical Tubes

Group of people playing with different coloured musical tubes

Delegates enter the conference room and are greeted by the powerful sound of African drumming. Each person is invited to take a seat, pick up a musical tube and join in. At this point our facilitator orchestrates the individual contributions into one unified rhythm, through the use of layering and sound dynamics. Periodically, the group is led through warm-up stretches and light-hearted moves designed to amuse, loosen and relax. The team continues their conference, laughing, united and enthused, ready for what lies ahead, having bonded from the experience.

Musical Tubes – 20 Minutes
Visualise yourself amidst a sea of colour and rhythm! Our vibrant, colourful musical tubes are the perfect instrument when only a short setup time is available.

Location: Indoors

Duration: 20 minutes

Outcomes: Work as one team, ice breaker

Wine & Chocolate Tasting

Tasting of five wines and five chocolates

Experience the decadence of Australian made chocolate as you partner each one with the mouth-watering flavours of Tulloch Wines. This guided tasting session will take your taste buds on an amazing journey as you discover how pairing wine with chocolate can enhance two of life’s great indulgences.

This sit-down event will see participants experience 5 different wines that have been specifically paired with 5 delicious chocolates. Participants will take home knowledge of the rules of pairing so they can complement their favourite wines at home with the most appropriate chocolate.

Location: Indoors, seated at tables

Duration: 60 minutes

Outcomes: Experiential, fun

Trivia Night

A mass of colourful question marks piled on top of one another

This isn’t your average pub trivia. Pinnacle is ingenious at tailoring this interactive trivia challenge to any group. It will prove to be unlike any other trivia night you have ever attended. The games we play throughout the night are hysterical and we can guarantee that your delegates will be laughing from start to finish.

Between each round of questions the tables volunteer delegates to participate in crazy challenge activities (which makes the evening very interactive). Music trivia, movie, and TV sound tracks are on the menu as well as IQ/Brainteasers.

We will fit in with the agenda of the evening and usually fill the space between the entree and the main, the main and the dessert. At the completion of the event the results are tallied up and prizes are presented to the winning team.

Location: Indoors, with a microphone and AUX connection

Duration: 2 hours straight Trivia or throughout your meal

Outcomes: Fun, team work

 

Top 5 Ideas for Team Building in Sydney (CBD)

We are definitely spoilt for choice when it comes to conferencing and team building in Sydney. According to the latest annual ICCA country and city ratings, Sydney has once again been confirmed as Australia’s number one destination for business events. And it is no wonder with its world-class venues, glorious harbour and pristine parks and beaches. If you’re currently in the midst of planning your annual conference and lacking inspiration for team activities, we’re here to help! We’ve generously put together a list of our top 5 ideas for team building in Sydney CBD to help you on your way.

Amazing Race – The Rocks & Circular Quay

Amazing Race teams running

There is no better way to do team building in Sydney and explore the CBD than with the Amazing Race!

The Amazing Race is an action packed adventure where teams navigate their way around the local streets undertaking team based challenges. Speed is not always the deciding factor with an emphasis on teamwork, planning, problem-solving and of course having fun.

Teams will be issued with a list of cryptic clues to various locations across the local urban area. Awaiting the groups at each location are team based activities known as “roadblocks” where teams earn points towards their overall score. Teams will also be collecting scavenger items and taking team photos along the way to earn precious bonus points. All teams converge at the finale location at the same time for a final all-in team challenge before prizes are awarded to the victors!

“All of our teams had the most fantastic Afternoon. The Amazing Race was the just the best Team Activity for our diverse work group (all different ages, shapes, sizes and fitness levels). Everyone is still talking about how much fun they had. The staff were all really friendly and helpful and very fair.”

  • WWRD Australia Pty Limited

“Thank you to Mitch and his team for running a very successful event. All of our staff commented on how much fun they had while doing the different activities. It really made our teams work together throughout the activities. Our group had different levels of fitness and everyone was able to be involved.”

  • Ice Box Liquor

 

City Scramble – Darling Harbour

Photo on smart device of a team jumping

Just like the Amazing Race however The Scramble is a modified version that is best suited to those groups tight on time and or budget. This exciting outdoor event will see teams race around the local area taking team photos, collecting scavenger items, solving IQ Tests and passing through a roadblock challenge activity site.

Teams will be issued a map of the local area showing their start, finish and roadblock location and a list of photos to take and scavenger items to collect. Teams aim to outscore their opponents with each scavenger item, team photo and correct IQ answer adding to their score. When teams arrive at the final location they submit their items, photos and answers to the Pinnacle team for marking.

The event is tailored to suit the location; the City Scramble is the perfect activity for team building in Sydney CBD.

“I would like to take this opportunity to thank you for organising an amazing team event last Friday at short notice.  Phil was fantastic, very professional and made the event really fun.  I have had a lot of positive feedback from my colleagues, everyone seemed to really enjoy themselves and despite a chilly breeze, the weather was perfect. I have sent a ‘Thank You’ to Phil but also wanted to thank you for organising this at such short notice.  I would have no hesitation in using Pinnacle again.”

  • Getinge

“We held a Resort Scramble Team Building exercise over 2 days – each day had as much momentum as the other, and our staff are still raving about it!

All the Pinnacle Staff were friendly and professional which made both days relaxing and totally enjoyable. We will be using Pinnacle again without a doubt!“

  • Castle Personnel

 

Water Taxi Treasure Hunt – Sydney Harbour

Sydney Harbour city visa with bridge and boats

Sydney Harbour is ranked the best harbour in the world and the Water Taxi Treasure Hunt is the perfect way to explore the best sights of this world famous location. Teams will be competing against each other to race to the final location and uncover their team’s treasure.

Teams must navigate their driver around Sydney Harbour to various locations where challenges await. After completing each challenge teams are awarded with a piece of the map and a part of the code that will reveal the whereabouts and combination lock that contains their hidden treasure.

The Water Taxi Treasure hunt will be tailored to suit your start / finish location and time frame. All teams experience the thrill of opening their treasure chest – The quality of the treasure depends on the order in which you find it!

“Great event, the facilitator plus each check point host was very helpful, full of energy and fun to work with.  Leading up to the event, communication with Pinnacle was amazing, they were involved at each point and answered all queries.”

  • Pacific Life Re

“The team building activity that we took part in – Water Taxi Treasure Hunt was well received by the team and everyone commented on how much fun they had… thank you to the Pinnacle team for providing another great team building event.”

  • Boral

 

Carnivale – Royal Botanic Gardens

teams playing volleyball

When we picture team building in Sydney of course the famous landmarks of the Harbour Bridge & Opera House spring to mind. In the Royal Botanic Gardens you can have a view of both! And if you are looking for some competitive fun in the sun the Carnivale event is for you. This round robin style event sees teams of 10 people per team rotate through a series of activities competing for the grand prize. We work with you to choose the activities included; usually a mixture of mild sporting challenges, team work initiative tasks and fun experience activities to ensure everyone is catered for.

“Overall a great experience, not only in dealing with Pinnacle but also the day itself. Pinnacle were very patient and flexible with all our requests. The event included the perfect level of physical activity and group work that we required, and catered for all levels. We received great feedback from the participants. The Pinnable facilitators were professional and great fun.”

  • EY

“The activity was awesome. Had lots of great feedback from our employees. The Pinnacle team staff made the event very fun and ensure everyone was included no matter their ability. Thank you for a successful team building session, where everyone came together and some healthy competition.

I would recommend Pinnacle to other companies and will be looking at using you again in the future.”

  • Green Light

 

Escape – Indoors at Your Conference Venue

padlock and code

Can your team escape? This exciting Escape the Room challenge is the ultimate team building event that will test the sharpest minds. Each team is “locked” in a room with a set time frame in which to escape before the world as we know it ceases to exist. Teams must follow the clues, solve the puzzles and unlock the secrets to ESCAPE!

For teams to be successful they must communicate, think outside the box, work together, admit to their mistakes and believe they can succeed. All this under extreme time pressure as each team has only 90 minutes to uncover the 8-digit code that will ultimately allow them to escape the room.

This event can be tailored to suit any size group by adding more rooms for more teams. We recommend each team is between 8 – 12 people with each team requiring 1 room. Rooms can be conference rooms, hotel rooms, offices, boardrooms etc. Pinnacle requires 30 minutes in each room prior to the event to set up.

Our Senior Leadership Team were really impressed with this team building activity. Our CEO, Andrew McLean was amazed at how difficult and challenging the activity was, however this did not stop Sirtex from knocking the leaders off the leader board (he asked me to make sure that sheet is updated :)). Phil was incredible and I heard nothing but positive feedback from the team on his professionalism and his ability to encourage them to think outside the box.

 “Thanks Pinnacle, we are always impressed with you guys!”

  • Sirtex

“The ‘Escape’ exercise was fun and every team member contributed. Working as a team was important.”

  • Boral

Conference Venue Spotlight – Headlands Austinmer Beach

Located in Austinmer, on the picturesque south coast of New South Wales, Headlands Austinmer Beach boasts uninterrupted, panoramic views of the Pacific Ocean and is an easy 25-minute drive north of the Wollongong CBD and 90 minutes south of Sydney.

Headlands Austinmer Beach Hotel

Offering 59 low rise, self-contained serviced apartments. Featuring studio rooms through to penthouse’s, each apartment boasts luxurious & stylishly appointed furnishings. Overnight guests receive complimentary parking and free Wi-Fi.

Headlands also boasts a modern & elegant event space featuring state of the art facilities & panoramic ocean views. We can cater for all manner of celebrations & occasions from weddings & engagements, corporate conferences & business retreats, to private dinners & cocktail soirees. Capacities range from 10 to 370 guests.

Our bistro, bar & sunny beer garden offer a relaxed yet stylish environment. Inspiration for our menu comes from our close proximity to the ocean & our chef’s passion for fresh, seasonal produce.

Headlands also features a swimming pool, tennis courts, sports bar, VIP lounge, bar, beer garden and live music on weekends.

Conference Capacity:

Accommodation: 110 twin share.
Conferencing space: 270 banquet style

Number of Accommodation Rooms:

59

Unique Venue Features:

Themost unique feature would be our direct ocean-front location, the view is breathtaking and the perfect inspirational backdrop for a conference!

Testimonials:

Sally Ridges – Hi Laura. I just wanted to say thank you to you and your team for making our work retreat successful. Everybody had a lovely time and the rooms were just beautiful.

  • FMA Partners

Lisa Beaver – This email is a little overdue, but I just wanted to say thank you to you and your team for an amazing evening. The room was fantastic. The staff were amazing. My team haven’t stopped commenting on the food – delicious. Absolutely made for a wonderful time for everyone, and I can’t ask for more than that.

  • Flight Centre

For all enquiries and more information, contact Nina from the Headlands Austinmer Beach events team on:
E: [email protected]
PH: 02 4200 1099

Take 5 With Pinnacle – Sam

If you’ve ever wondered what makes a Pinnacle Team Events facilitator tick then you have come to the right place! Each month we will be taking 5 minutes to chat with each of our facilitators about their lives both inside and outside of work.

Pinnacle team events facilitator Sam Welbourne

What I love about being a Pinnacle Facilitator:
I love how the job is basically to have fun. If you’re having fun, so are the delegates and you get to meet interesting people too.

My favourite Pinnacle team event to facilitate:
So far it would have to be the Casino Night, the delegates really have a good time gambling with fake money.

Most embarrassing moment as a Pinnacle facilitator:
Nothing so far, I’m sure one can’t be too far away.

My favourite hobbies are:
Playing or watching any kind of sport.

Band I’m listening to at the moment/podcast recommendation:
I’m listening to Drake and the Hamish and Andy podcast pretty religiously at the moment.

What was the last book you read?:
I re-read my favourite book as a teenager, “Hovercar Racer”.

Favourite holiday?:
I’m pretty partial to skiing in Japan, but I went on a 5 week long motorbike road-trip around the USA and Canada last year and that is the most epic thing I’ve ever done.

Have you ever had a nickname?:
Plenty, but Sammy and Welbie are the most common.

I am frightened by _____ :
Bears, the one dangerous animal we don’t have in Australia.

Favourite movie of all time:
It’s a tie between Ferris Bueller’s Day Off and Groundhog Day.

First concert I went to:
Bombay Bicycle Club.

If you could live anywhere, where would it be?:
Newcastle/ Hunter Valley are about as good as it gets I reckon.

What makes you angry:
People who sit in the right lane and people who slow down to 10km/h under the speed limit for speed cameras.

What makes you laugh the most:
Fart jokes probably, just can’t help myself

What song would you sing at karaoke night?:
Party in the USA – Miley Cyrus.