During the recession, brands were concerned about appearing frivolous, but companies including Orange and Hitachi have realised the growing need to make staff events fun and engaging, as well as educational.
Last month, Hitachi Europe held an HR teambuilding event in Marlow, to enable its HR team to assess its aims and celebrate past achievements.
Orange, meanwhile, is returning to Lisbon next year for its sales kick-off conference, and wants to add a teambuilding element. Natasha Pearson, marketing director for Europe at Orange Business Services, said: "Next year we want to do something different.
We are looking at including a teambuilding element with the option to learn more about Lisbon."
Butlins Conference & Events commented that 85% of its corporate enquiries this year have featured a request for teambuilding or group activities.
Agencies have also noticed the increasing demand. "We've seen a significant increase in the demand for our teambuilding activities over the past 18 months," said Ian Taylor, Team Spirit CEO. "We're committed to developing new and original teambuilding ideas in order to keep up with our clients' ever-changing briefs and increasingly challenging business demands."
Jonny Edser, managing director of Wildgoose, agreed: "There are a few factors contributing to the increase in teambuilding. One is the economy getting better, so people have more discretionary spend. Also, good people are getting harder to find, so companies want to hold onto their staff, and part of that is rewarding them and making sure it's a fun place to work."
Ben Parkinson, director of Bluehat, added: "Clients want more than a 'just for fun' event and require their key business messages and learning outcomes to be integrated into their teambuilding experience. And people learn much more in a fun and engaging environment."
WHAT THE TWEETERS ARE SAYING...
Yes - particularly social & reward #events plus new products like The Box. Enquiries up 35% on 2014
We've seen an upsurge in enquiries for outdoor activities, particularly with a theme of rewarding staff
Teambuilding is popular in addition to large events, in breakouts & as icebreakers. Standalone also on the up
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