CHAPTER 4: FINDINGS

INTRODUCTION

Having established the methodology used in the study, in this chapter the findings will be presented. The aim is to give a simple, clear and complete account of the results. Giving a huge mass of data will be avoided and only items considered to be important will be shown. The interview transcripts have been reduced to lists, summaries and quotations in order to extract the full meaning. This chapter shows just the facts; extended discussion of the meaning of the data is made in Chapter 5.


Taking full advantage of Team building events as Event Tourism  resources or existing attractions
•    Typology and nature of TEAM BUILDING EVENTS
•    Team building event participants and consumer organizations
•    TEAM BUILDING EVENTS and the Event Tourism industry

Table 4.1  Core categories of the study, Diego (2006)

Each table of refined data is followed by a brief interpretation of that data. The letter after each item denotes the groups of interviewee from which it came. The letters will be used only to denote concepts on which all the group members agree. As summarized in table 4.2 the groups of interviewee are as follows:

Groups of interviewee    Letter
Providers/ Organisers    A
Consumers / Buyers    B
End users/ Participants    C

Table 4.2  Groups of interviewee
Diego (2006)

Category 1: Typology and nature of Team Building Events

Typology and nature of Team building events
•    Profile of TEAM BUILDING EVENTS (A, B, C)
•    Activities used for TEAM BUILDING EVENTS (A, B, C)
•    Learning models used for TEAM BUILDING EVENTS (A)







Table 4.3 Category 1
Diego (2006)
Profile of Team building events

Providers of TEAM BUILDING EVENTS expressed that the generic title Team building event is in fairly common usage in the UK to describe training events that often involve engaging in Experiential Learning, or learning by doing with reflection which is intensified by the use of a wide variety of indoor and outdoor leisure and entertainment activities, incentives, competitions, and challenges with the major purpose of increasing team effectiveness. TEAM BUILDING EVENTS may take place in different venues, settings and destinations

The following classification of TEAM BUILDING EVENTS integrates both supply and demand parameters as emerged from the data (A, B, C):

•    Participatory events (versus spectator)
•    Private events (as opposed to public, festive events)
•    Learning events (including authentic cultural experiences)
•    Once-in-a-lifetime opportunities (as opposed to periodic events)
•    Socialising events (opportunities for meeting and seeing people)

The following parameters are typically but not necessarily found in TEAM BUILDING EVENTS (A, B, C):

•    Leisure events (pleasurable, featuring fun)
•    Uniqueness (opportunities to experience something different)
•    Tourist events (that is, events with a tourism value)
Length of the event and event demand periods

The TEAM BUILDING EVENTS industry has an all-year-round activity (A). Yet, the consumer demand for these events is mostly concentrated in the low demand periods for the traditional leisure tourism industry (A, B). February and March are the periods of less activity (A, B).

TEAM BUILDING EVENTS vary in duration from two hours up to a few days (A). 

Activities for Team building events

As summarized from the input of various providers, participants of TEAM BUILDING EVENTS may engage in activities such as rock climbing, high ropes, sailing, kayaking, abseiling, raft building, white-water rafting, mountain biking, off road driving, orienteering, outdoor survival, bushcraft activities, caving, indoor/outdoor games and activities such as treasure hunts, murder mystery, food and wine testing and a wide variety of multidisciplinary indoor/outdoor problem solving tasks.

A TEAM BUILDING EVENTS will begin by clarifying objectives with managers, participants and providers, in accordance to what is hoped will be achieved (A). This stage will be followed by occasional theory inputs if relevant, and review processes to ensure that the event achieve its aims (A).

TEAM BUILDING EVENTS strive for designing events which are emotionally engaging but do not have an ‘off-putting’ effect on their participants, as negative emotions may inhibit learning (B). Thereby, activities are carefully selected to match specific participant groups (B). To quote a Managing Director with extensive international experience as a provider of TEAM BUILDING EVENTS:
    “TEAM BUILDING EVENTS need to be emotionally engaging for the client group. That is key. City Traders for example, they are not likely to be engaged by doing a few basic team tasks and having a flipchart for the afternoon, whereas stick them on a helicopter that’s going to engage them”

Learning models used for Team building events

There is a wide range of learning models and tools that can be applied to TEAM BUILDING EVENTS (B). However, the learning model known as Experiential Learning is certainly the most widely used (B).  The great majority of providers expressed that Experiential Learning-based TEAM BUILDING EVENTS represent a vast proportion of their work as TEAM BUILDING EVENTS organisers. However, only one provider expressed that this learning model is an essential component of TEAM BUILDING EVENTS and therefore, an indispensable element for an event to be referred as A TEAM BUILDING EVENTS. Most providers emphasised that emotional engagement of participants intensified by the use of activities, is a key component of the learning process in TEAM BUILDING EVENTS.
An appropriated use of complementary learning models or tools may enhance the overall learning process (A); psychometrics such as Myers Briggs™ or Belbin Interplace™ (probably the most popular) are occasionally used in Experiential Learning-based TEAM BUILDING EVENTS (B).

Category 2: Team building event participants and consumer organizations

Team Building Events participants and consumer organizations

Client and participant profiles (A, B, C)
Client/organizational needs
•    Increase team effectiveness (A, B)
•    Organizational internal communication needs (A, B)
•    Corporate/ Organizational leisure needs (B)
•    Networking and socialising needs (A, B)
•    Employee rewarding and motivational needs (A, B)
Client and participant demands
•    Achieve event objectives (B)
•    Innovative and creative events (B, C)
•    Deliver within tight budgets (B)
•    Deliver within tight deadlines (B)
•    More enjoyable, more pleasurable, more fun (C)

Table 4.4 Category 2
Diego (2006)
Client and participant profiles

This study distinguishes between ‘end users’ (i.e. event participants) and ‘consumers’ (i.e. client or buyer) of TEAM BUILDING EVENTS. Providers stated that TEAM BUILDING EVENTS participants are often senior managers from public and private organizations with great level of responsibility (B). However, a good number of TEAM BUILDING EVENTS being run today in the UK involve all sorts of employees as participants (A). All providers interviewed indicated that non UK residents from all over the world participate in TEAM BUILDING EVENTS delivered in the UK on a regular basis (A).

Many providers expressed that companies operating in the financial services, pharmaceutical and information technology sectors are among the leading clients of TEAM BUILDING EVENTS in the UK. Likewise, public organizations such as NHS or Home Office are also important clients.

As expressed by many event organizers, the number of participants in a Team building event may be said is typically 15-20 participants. However, there is no consensus among providers and this number may vary from 5-6 up to over 100.




Client/Organizational needs

Increase team effectiveness

Buyers and providers of TEAM BUILDING EVENTS expressed that the organizational need of improving team effectiveness is the major purpose and underlie ultimately most TEAM BUILDING EVENTS (A, B)

Organizational internal communication needs

Organizational clients and end users expressed that TEAM BUILDING EVENTS are “an exceptional tool to put across virtually any internal organizational message” and underlined the capacity of such events to assist in the process of implementing an organizations mission, vision and values (B, C); implementing the corporate culture of an organization (B, C); and shape the organizational internal image (C). To quote, for example, a corporate buyer:

     “TEAM BUILDING EVENTS make you feel that you are part of the company’s family and therefore the company’s goals become to a certain extent your goals. So you want to work harder to achieve that. Participants get that feeling of possession and then they pass it on to the external clients”

Organizational leisure needs

Corporate buyers, make occasional use of TEAM BUILDING EVENTS as a medium to satisfy particular organizational leisure needs, whilst addressing at the same time additional goals such as, for example, those featured in table 4.5. To quote an organizational client interviewed:
 
    “I believe they are a very good vehicle for leisure. But I don’t think it is leisure in itself and they should not be seen as that. There are goals to be achieved.  However, I do consider that TEAM BUILDING EVENTS need to be fun and pleasurable. Yes absolutely, undoubtedly, 110%”

Providers of TEAM BUILDING EVENTS expressed that an element of fun contributes to the learning process (B). Furthermore, many of those expressed that TEAM BUILDING EVENTS need to be fun as “enjoyable” (A). However, there is not general consensus among providers in considering TEAM BUILDING EVENTS a medium for leisure. Event participants are clear on this topic; TEAM BUILDING EVENTS need to be fun and pleasurable (C).

    “The key is to be able to create a fun culture but still deal with serious issues. When people are in a happy place you can do a lot more with them”

(Managing Director of a firm provider of TEAM BUILDING EVENTS)

Networking and socialising needs

As expressed by many buyers, providers and participants of TEAM BUILDING EVENTS, these events are an exceptional tool for networking and socialising. Furthermore, corporate buyers expressed that networking and socializing are often among the principal organizational motivations to run a TEAM BUILDING EVENTS (A)

Employee rewarding needs

Organizational clients describe TEAM BUILDING EVENTS as a valuable tool for employee reward provided that those events are hold in exceptional environments. The relevance of factors such as the quality of the accommodation, food and beverage and travel were equally highlighted (B). Most providers expressed that TEAM BUILDING EVENTS can be a good medium for employee reward provided that they are specifically designed to meet the client group needs (B).

Employee incentive needs

Organizational buyers do not consider TEAM BUILDING EVENTS as effective incentives to motivate their employees (B). TEAM BUILDING EVENTS will not make them want to produce an extra effort and achieve an exceptional performance within the organization (B). As expressed by the responsible for booking TEAM BUILDING EVENTS within a multinational corporation “after all they are working”. Most Team building event organisers shared the same view (A).
Client and participant demands
As expressed by those consumers of TEAM BUILDING EVENTS who participated in this study, TEAM BUILDING EVENTS need to achieve the specific objectives that have been previously shaped and agreed between both client and event organiser (A). Yet, the demand of clients is often centred upon creative events i.e. wanting things that have never been tried before, the requirement to meet extremely tight deadlines and even tighter budgets (B). The responsible for booking TEAM BUILDING EVENTS within a multinational corporation with subsidiaries in the UK expressed that many TEAM BUILDING EVENTS are largely known and therefore not innovative.

Participants are clear on this issue; they demand creative and innovative events and more fun without loosing, however their learning outcomes (C).

Category 3: Team building events & the Event Tourism industry

Team building events and the Event Tourism industry

•    The existing connection with MICE industry (A, B, C)
•    Consumer behaviour: relevant issues (A, B, C)







Table 4.5 Category 3
Diego (2006)
The connection with the MICE industry


TEAM BUILDING EVENTS may be standalone events or being parts of a bigger event typically meetings, but also small conferences and other type MICE events (A, B, C). Providers and buyers expressed that TEAM BUILDING EVENTS depending on the goals to be achieved may be either fit into the conference programme or added at the end.

Depending on the provider interviewed, from 5% to over 50% of TEAM BUILDING EVENTS are part of bigger events principally meetings and conferences but also other type of MICE events (B); Organizational clients and participants of TEAM BUILDING EVENTS were not precise in their appreciations although these were around 50% (B, C).

Relevant issues in consumer behaviour

Firstly, all providers interviewed indicated that the delivery of TEAM BUILDING EVENTS in a location out of the natural working area for the client organisations is regular practice for them. This may mean occasionally travelling relatively long distances (A). Secondly, the great majority of providers expressed that TEAM BUILDING EVENTS are occasionally delivered in overseas destinations for UK based companies or global companies with subsidiaries in the UK.