NOV 2023

Unlock effective team building strategies for Chicago's diverse business landscape.

It can be tough organizing an effective team building event in Chicago, with so many options to choose from. 

Allow us to make it easier for you. 

This blog post will guide you through everything you need to know, from figuring out which activities would meet your group's specific needs to the final touches that make your event successful. 

Whether you're planning an indoor or outdoor event, on-site or off-site, we've got you covered. 

Let's dive in and find out how to create a team building event that everyone will remember.

Why team building matters

The importance of team building.

In Chicago's fast-paced business environment, team building is crucial for enhancing teamwork and collaboration. 

It's not just about group activities; it's a strategic approach to boosting productivity, where engaged and connected team members contribute to a vibrant, high-performing workplace. 

Furthermore, these activities are instrumental in shaping company culture, promoting mutual respect, open communication, and shared goals. 

In short, team building is essential to cultivate a collaborative, productive, and positive dynamic in your organization.

How team building shapes company culture

Effective team events directly influence company culture by embedding a spirit of collaboration and trust. 

They emphasize qualities like emotional intelligence and problem-solving - some of the best-kept teamwork secrets, and nudge group members to be more supportive and understanding of each other.

Organizing a team-building event in Chicago - a 7-step guide

Step-by-step guide to organize a team event.

Organizing an effective team building event in Chicago requires thoughtful planning and a strategic approach. Here's a streamlined guide:

  • Define objectives: Identify what you aim to achieve with the event.

  • Involve others in planning: Collaborate with a team for diverse perspectives and shared responsibilities.

  • Decide the timeline: Choose a suitable date and time for maximum attendance.

  • Set a budget: Establish financial boundaries to guide your planning. Think of the event as an investment in your team - that’ll help you budget properly.

  • Select activities and venues: Pick activities that align with your team's interests and goals. We will take a look at some of Chicago’s top team building activities later on in this blog post.

  • Plan the details: Organize logistics from start to finish for a smooth event.

  • Gather feedback: Collect insights post-event for continuous improvement. We’ll discuss getting feedback towards the end.

For further details on this, you can refer to our blog post on planning a team building event.

Factors to consider when choosing your team activity


  • Aligning activities with objectives: Choose activities that directly support your team's goals, whether it's improving communication, leadership, or problem-solving skills.

  • Team size: Select an activity that suits the team size, ensuring everyone can participate and contribute effectively.

  • Team dynamics: Your chosen activity should complement your group’s unique dynamics and personalities, fostering a comfortable and inclusive environment.

  • Accessibility: Ensure all team members can take part, considering physical abilities and comfort levels.

  • Event location: Decide between indoor and outdoor, and at-office versus off-site events - each has its own pros and cons. We will talk a little more about this in a bit.

Indoor events vs. Outdoor events


A glimpse of the excitement you can expect from an indoor team activity (with us!)

As you may already know, this choice is more than just whether it’s beastly hot, pouring rain, or shivering cold outside.

If you’re looking for features like access to advanced technological setups and a controlled environment conducive to focused, detail-oriented activities, go for Chicago’s indoor team events.

These settings are particularly beneficial for workshops, seminars, or activities that require uninterrupted attention and a formal atmosphere.

Outdoor events, conversely, provide a natural backdrop that can stimulate creativity and a sense of freedom. 

They are ideal for encouraging exploration, team bonding, and physical engagement in a relaxed setting.

Point to consider - Which does your team prefer and why?

Weather considerations in Chicago


Yeah…when Lake Michigan’s frozen over…

The climate around here ranges from hot, humid summers to cold, snowy winters, which will of course, influence your choice of activities and venues. 

For example, outdoor events in summer offer a vibrant atmosphere but require considerations for hydration and sun protection, while winter activities might need indoor alternatives or warm, engaging exercises to maintain team spirits. 

Amid these considerations, it's essential to stay updated with the latest leadership skills, ensuring that your team building events are not just weather-appropriate but also aligned with contemporary team dynamics and leadership trends.

On-site events vs. Off-site events

Which do you prefer - at-office or at a venue?

Yep, you can have cool team events at your office too!

On-site or at-office team building activities leverage the convenience and familiarity of your usual workspace, often simplifying logistics and reducing costs. 

These activities can seamlessly integrate into the workday, causing minimal disruption to regular business operations.

On the other hand, the merits of off-site team events include a change of scenery that can invigorate your team, fostering creativity and a sense of adventure. 

Such events, especially when planned with attention to logistics like venue suitability and transportation, can significantly enhance team dynamics.

Logistics and planning for off-site events


Ensure the off-site venue accommodates your team's size and the specific requirements of your chosen activities. 

Say you’re planning team building in the Loop - what are some of the critical steps you need to take?

One, arrange convenient transportation to the venue, keeping accessibility and comfort for all team members in mind. 

Two, if you’ve planned an outdoor event, try to have an indoor backup option, especially during times of unpredictable weather.

Three, coordinate with the venue in advance to ensure all necessary equipment and facilities are available and set up.

Point to consider - What else would you plan for when organizing an off-site team outing?

Chicago's top team building options

The best team building choices in the Windy City!

Wondering where that is? Hint - consider the initials “FIAB”.

Chicago's vibrant business community - drawing from our entrepreneurial spirit and diversity - includes an array of unique team building options. 

Whether you're a large corporation like PepsiCo or Deloitte, a regional company, or a local business, there's an activity that meets your specific needs. 

Chicago’s top team building options include escape rooms, cooking classes, scavenger hunts, and so on. 

They’re a lot of fun and boost different qualities like collaboration, productivity, leadership, emotional intelligence, and so on - which are crucial to building a high-performing team.

Escape rooms


That’s from one of our events!

Escape rooms offer a unique blend of fun and challenges that test and enhance key team skills. 

Set against a clock to “escape”, players sharpen their time and stress management abilities, essential for navigating the complexities of a fast-paced business environment. 

But the benefits of escape room team building don’t end there.

The intricate scenarios of escape rooms foster improved communication and emotional intelligence, while the dramatic nature of the experience prods players to step up to the plate, drawing out leadership qualities.

Culinary activities (like cooking classes)


Cooking classes in Chicago offer a delightful and engaging way to break the ice and foster team bonding. 

In the kitchen, team members collaborate creatively, finding new ways to tackle recipes and culinary challenges, melting away stress and building camaraderie. 

This blend of creativity and collaboration in a relaxed setting not only enhances team spirit but also underscores the importance of why fun matters in team building.

Scavenger hunts