A chamber board retreat should foster connections on top of whatever strategic goals you have for it. The latter will be more effective if the former happens first. But how do you get a bunch of successful adults to “bond” in the time allotted? You have to get them sharing and talking. That’s not always easy. If you need some suggestions on how to help them get to know one another read on:
Activities to Help Foster Connections at Your Next Chamber Board Retreat
What activities get people talking and connecting? The chamber pros ring in with ideas that have worked for them:
- Teamwork activity. Giving your board an exercise that gets them working together is ideal as it sets the stage for the work they’ll be doing on behalf of the chamber. It also helps you see who leads, who is a creative problem solver, and who builds consensus. Jennifer Giampapa tried this activity in her chamber. “We…did the robot pen/where you write a word on a paper but the team is blindfolded and they have duct tape, pen, and paper. I blindfolded some people, kept one no blindfold but also couldn’t talk, had one able to talk but not participate physically and so forth. They had to write (the word) “teams” and draw a smile on the paper. It went really well and they all agreed it was perfect for where we are at in our chamber.”
- Memory game. Want to challenge their memories and creativity? Use this engaging idea from Shelly Stuart at the Rockport-Fulton Chamber of Commerce to learn new things about your board and be entertained at the same time. “Give them name tags and have them pair up. Then tell each other three things about themselves. Now, switch name tags. Go to two new people. Have them repeat the three things they learned about the person whose name tag they are wearing. If they can’t remember have them make it up. Then split and repeat. After everyone has been paired up ask them to repeat out loud the three things from the beginning. Ask the original person if the three things are correct. You’ll be surprised how much they’ve changed.”
- Escape room. The South Tampa Chamber of Commerce hosted a board activity at their local Escape Room and the board members loved it. Most cities have a version of this popular attraction now. They even have board games that help you simulate the escape room experience if you don’t have a nearby attraction. With the Escape Room, they lock your group in a room together. Participants must solve the mystery with clues to find a way out before time expires. Will they do it? This activity encourages teamwork and creative problem solving, two things your board will need.
What have you done at your chamber board retreat? Share it with the group here.