5 Ways to Plan Ahead and Ensure a Successful Holiday Team Building Event

December 9, 2021

Renata Stoica

Renata Stoica is CEO and Founder of tinyB Chocolate, which specializes in corporate gifting and team building events for leading companies, including Google, LinkedIn, SalesForce and Cisco. Founded in 2014, the company offers brigadeiro, a traditional Brazilian chocolate truffle dessert, and ships DIY chocolate-making kits to clients and customers all over the world for online and hybrid team building events.

A couple of years ago, it was possible to organize and host a team event in a week. Not ideal, probably challenging, but definitely possible. However, these days, if you want to plan and run a team building event that’s worthy of your team’s time, it’s likely impossible with the current supply chain disruptions.

You’ve no doubt seen the news headlines and most likely been impacted by the chaos of shortages of everything from raw materials to computer chips that are nearing historic levels. Global supply chains have been upended, consumers face delays, and price increases most likely will stretch well into 2022 and possibly beyond.

Here are my top tips on how to avoid the common pitfalls of planning a team event when some logistics are a bit difficult and totally out of control.

1.     Start Planning EARLY

If you fail to plan, you’ve planned to fail. It goes without saying: Starting your planning early will set you and your event up for success. No matter how big the event, starting early can significantly reduce the chance of last-minute decisions, budget blowouts, missing supplies and overall participant attrition and disappointment. It also means you’ll have everything organized on the day so you can have more fun with your team and get more out of the event.

2.     Allow For Extra Delivery Time of Supplies

If you’re ordering supplies from another part of the country or hosting a turnkey team event with supplies that are sent in advance, it’s best to allow some extra time for delivery. Even local deliveries are currently facing significant delays.

With increasing postage costs and unreliable delivery times, we recommend scheduling delivery of any supplies at least 10 days in advance of your event. That way, you’ll account for any weather impacts, damaged goods, incorrect addresses or anything else the logistics gods throw your way. Plus, there’s peace of mind in knowing all of your participants have everything they need to have a fun and rewarding team event or holiday party. 

3.     Choose Supplies That Have a Longer Shelf Life

If you’re looking to host an event that has edible and/or perishable items, opt for items that are non-perishable or have a longer shelf life, and then order them well in advance of the event. That way you’ll avoid any of the current stock disruptions, delivery delays and rescheduled events.

4.     Consider Overordering Supplies

Knowing what you use on a regular basis and keeping track of your inventory is important. When placing your next order for supplies, you may want to consider ordering more supplies than you need at the moment but that you know you will use in the future. Knowing what you repeatedly use from one event to another allows you to consider this option and avoid waste. However, it always pays to be aware of the return policies in the event that you find yourself moving in a different direction.

5.     Identify a Plan B

Over the past 18 months, companies and event planners everywhere have become accustomed to making difficult decisions in a constantly changing environment. As a result, risk management should be a part of your planning. It’s a best practice to identify backup suppliers, stakeholders, presenters and venues. It might also be worthwhile to take out any necessary insurance policies on bigger events to ensure you’re not hit with any financial consequences of canceling and rescheduling events or ordering last-minute supplies with overnight delivery.

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