Unusual Team-Building Activities for Your Marketing Team

Unusual Team-Building Activities for Your Marketing Team

Team-building activities have a bad reputation. They are perceived as pointless diversions from work duties that make people look ridiculous. Nevertheless, pushing people a little outside of their comfort zone is part of what makes the experience valuable. Team-building helps to build important aspects of a successful team, such as trust and camaraderie. It helps you get to know your teammates as human beings, which in turn helps you to function as a cohesive group rather than a bunch of disjointed individuals. It gives you a chance to practice problem-solving skills in a risk-free environment and take a break from the usual daily routine to have fun and blow off some steam.

Despite the potential benefits of team-building activities, there are some that are overused and should be retired. It may be easier to interest your team in activities that are fresh and new. Here are some unique ideas.

Olive Oil Tasting

An olive oil tasting is similar to a wine tasting. Both involve trying out important products from the Mediterranean. Olive oil tasting is different, and potentially better for a team-building exercise at work, because there is no chance of anyone getting drunk and no need to spit out the olive oil as you typically would at a wine tasting to stay alert. Otherwise, it is similar in some respects to a wine tasting in that there are specific steps you take to complete the exercise. Olive oil tasting can help team members bond and communicate more effectively by coming up with a shared vocabulary to describe what they are tasting. A virtual olive oil tasting involves sending the materials to team members at home and holding the gathering via video conferencing.

Cooking Class

Cooking is a collaborative activity in which each member of the team needs to perform his or her responsibilities correctly or the end result will not turn out right. It is also an exercise in following directions and delegating responsibilities. Once the class is complete, team members can have fun sharing their creations with one another. If you decide to take a cooking class as a team-building activity, be aware of any food allergies or sensitivities that team members may have.

Trivia Night

You can arrange your own game of trivia at your office or the home of one of your team members, or you can find a bar or restaurant in your community that hosts trivia games. If you sign up for a trivia night at a local spot, keep in mind that the number of team members is often limited, so if you have a large group, you may have to split up into several teams. Trivia encourages teamwork and friendly competition. It gives individual team members a chance to show off arcane knowledge. This can spark conversations about how a team member learned something particularly obscure, which can help team members get to know each other better and gain a deeper appreciation for co-workers.

Improv Class

Improvisational comedy involves a lot of skills that are useful in the workplace, such as effective communication and quick thinking. It is also an opportunity to defuse some tension by laughing together. Improv helps to put everyone on the same level. Everyone is a hero at times and everyone is a fool most of the time. Since everyone looks foolish at some point during the exercise, improv can help put all teammates on an equal footing with one another.


Working together for a cause that is greater than any one individual can be a way to help build perspective. It feels good to help people by volunteering, and when you take on a project as a group, the shared sense of accomplishment can help bring you closer together as a team.

These team-building activities may work particularly well outside of work. There are others that you can do on a normal weekday or during a company meeting. The activity should be appropriate to the setting.