How to Choose Between a Facilitated and Non-Facilitated Team Building Event

two teams competing in a team building activity

When you begin planning your next team building activity, one of the first questions to tackle is whether to do a facilitated or a non-facilitated team building event. A facilitated event is an event in which a representative from another organization comes in to, well… facilitate, the event. A non-facilitated event, on the other hand, is an event that is coordinated within the company without an outside facilitator. In this article, I’ll breakdown the benefits and drawbacks of both types of team building events, and hopefully by the end you will know which type of event is right for your company.

Facilitated Team Building Events

A facilitated team building event is a surefire way to have a team building activity that is both enjoyable and professional for your coworkers. These events can take place in the form of planned scavenger hunts, a company barbeque/picnic, or collectively participating in a charity event.

Here are some great reasons to choose a facilitated event:

Planning is done by the facilitator rather than the company

Having an outside facilitator plan your company event saves both time and energy that you can spend being productive. Instead of making several phone calls and sending emails to plan your company event, hiring a facilitator saves the headache of coordinating many moving parts to ensure your event runs smoothly.

Low risk of failure

There’s nothing worse than planning an entire event for your office only for it to be a huge bust. Playing charades and eating store bought cake in the conference room? Get ready to be met with moans and groans. A facilitated company barbeque? Bingo! Be sure to please your coworkers when going with a facilitated event.

Facilitators bring a unique skillset

Facilitators can often bring a unique skillset during a team building activity. Many companies bring in facilitators to discuss company culture, core values, and how teams can work together more productively. Choosing to bring in a facilitator for these reasons can quickly and efficiently boost productivity in your office!

Of course, these events often come at a cost – a cost that is quite expensive. For companies that can afford to do so, a facilitated event is potentially a good option, and one that will cause minimal worry for those in charge of planning the event. However, for companies looking for a more budget-friendly option, exploring a non-facilitated team building event is likely a good idea.

Here are a couple reasons you may want to shy away from a facilitated event:

Very expensive

While facilitated events can be a smash hit, they are likely to run up a hefty tab. Facilitated events can often run over $100 per person, meaning your company should have a pretty substantial budget before making the call to an event facilitator.

Little creative control

If you do opt to go with a facilitated event for your company, do not expect to have much creative control over how the event runs. Event facilitators have specific programs that have little leeway for customization. If that’s something your company is okay with, perfect! However, if you want to have a little creative control over your event, it may be best to plan your own.

Non-Facilitated Events

A non-facilitated event offers more flexibility in terms of pricing and event options, but with the added uncertainty of planning an event yourself. A non-facilitated team building event could be something as simple as a game of Office Trivia or something as extravagant as attending a local professional sporting event.

Here are a few reasons to make your next event non-facilitated:

Flexibility to plan whatever event you want

If you have the event-planning-chops necessary to plan an event for your office, you have sole creative control over what the event is and how it goes! Do your coworkers have unique interests like an obsession with horror movies? Plan an escape room excursion! Are your coworkers nuts for baseball? Check out the local ballpark for a game!

Low cost

Of course, if you are planning your own event you’ll be able to keep costs within your budget. There are plenty of low cost options for team building events that are just as effective as expensive facilitated events. A game or problem solving activity that encourages teamwork such as a difficult riddle can be just as impactful as taking the entire office out to a concert or show, but much less expensive.

While non-facilitated events can often fit your budget better than a facilitated event, there are also some drawbacks to facilitating your own team building activity.

Takes time away from normal duties

Team building events take some time to plan. Successful team building events require even more time, effort and planning. Without a facilitator, all of the time spent planning your next team building activity takes time away from other day to day duties of the business.

Difficult to put on a professional looking activity

Unfortunately, facilitating your own event will often come with some kinks. When doing a non-facilitated team building event, it is difficult to make the event seem smooth and professional. Often times small details will be overlooked and fixes will have to come on the spot. Don’t let this discourage you from doing your own event! Even if your event is not the most well-oiled machine, your coworkers will still appreciate the effort!

Looking for a team building activity that YOU can facilitate with ease? Try Team Building Kits! No outside facilitator required and ready to play anywhere!