9 Ways To Have a More Gender-Neutral Wedding
Looking to host a gender-inclusive wedding? Here are a few things to think of when wedding-planning – from embracing a more gender-neutral lexicon to opening up the bouquet toss to everyone!
Cultivating a highly productive, strong team is an artform. Hiring the right people is just one half of the equation; fostering an atmosphere of respect, friendship, and cooperation is the other. The latter part is arguably the most challenging, but sometimes, creating a strong culture of kinship in the office requires stepping outside of it. Enter the team-building workshop – a one-day event that’ll encourage your team to think outside the box, learn something new, and connect with one another.
And no, we’re not talking about your typical, run-of-the-mill training. Instead, think of fun activities like scavenger hunts and meditation sessions. Thinking of hosting your event in sunny California? Look no further than Flora’s unique venue in San Diego. Its location in the heart of downtown makes it easy to head into the city for your team-building activity and come back to Flora for the rest of the afternoon. Here, Flora’s experts share their top ideas and advice on putting together an event that’ll bring your team together – while having a boatload of fun.
Before you begin any aspect of your planning process, sit down and determine what you want to accomplish through the event. “Is the goal to have the team get to know each other better? Is it to raise awareness about a topic? Is it purely for fun?” Flora’s experts say. Once you think of a clear goal (and don’t worry, it can be more than one), write it down. Everything that you plan should feed into these goals. Want to improve your team’s cooperation skills? Plan an Amazing Race-style challenge, with clues they have to decipher scattered throughout the city. Want to boost their creativity? Give them an art challenge – with post-it notes! In short, make sure your activities align with your goals.
Once you’ve settled on your goals and have an idea of what you’d like to plan, think of a central theme to tie everything together – from decor to food to post-workshop cocktails. A theme will ensure your event is more cohesive and well-thought-out, from start to finish. For example, if you’re thinking of a pizza-making workshop, extend the Italian theme to the rest of the party, and transport your guests to the streets of Napoli with handheld apps and aperitifs (Limoncello! A cool spritz! Wine!). If you’re hosting a scavenger hunt, plan it around the theme of “historic buildings.” Psst: Flora’s own venue is tucked inside a 100-year-old property, which would make it an on-theme gathering spot before and after the main activity.
Whether you’re planning a cooking challenge or a relaxing vinyasa followed by a sound bath, the key to creating successful team-building moments is finding the right person to lead the activity. If you’re hiring a chef to lead a culinary class, make sure they have the right skills to teach both novices and experts. If you’re challenging your team members with a friendly competition, make sure the gamemaster is able to set clear expectations, pick up on nonverbal clues, and gauge participants’ understanding of the game. “Whoever the MC or speaker is, make sure they are enthusiastic and engaging,” Flora’s experts say. “They set the tone of the event.”
Nothing will help you achieve a more fun-filled, seamless event more than knowing your audience – really understanding what they like and dislike, and what their idea of a good time actually is. Are you creating an atmosphere they’ll enjoy? Are you planning activities that will make them feel happy and entertained? “Get the temperature of the team,” Flora’s experts recommend. “Is it something everyone will actively participate in? For example, if you planned a karaoke night, would everyone be comfortable singing? Would some people not participate?”
Don’t assume you can send your evite a few days before the event and have your whole team show up. (Is there anything more panic-inducing than a last-minute, unexpected obligation?) The jury’s out on how well in advance you’ll need to tell your crew about your event, but give them at least a few weeks’ notice. This is especially important if you’re planning a special activity. “If you’ll be doing anything active outdoors, make sure you let the team know the appropriate attire for the activities they will participate in,” Flora’s experts say. Let them know they’ll need to bring comfy shoes and a jacket to stay warm in cold weather.
Sometimes, the weather can flip the script and throw a wrench into your well-planned-out itinerary. Sometimes, even the most engaging activities don’t sit well with a group. And other times, it’s the guests themselves who just can’t seem to mingle with their fellow partygoers. Quell any nerves by having a plan B. Come up with some indoor options – just in case. Think of a few ice-breakers for the post-workshop cocktail hour. (Don’t have the gift of repartee? That’s where a quick-witted MC comes in.) Know that some hiccups are inevitable, and consider hiring a day-of coordinator to keep things running smoothly. Flora offers day-of coordination services, which will help you stay focused on what’s important: bonding with your team.
At the end of the day, you’re going to want your team to remember the day you spent so much time planning! (And of course, all the fun they had!) This is also a great way to share – and show off – your awesome company culture on social media. “Provide your guests with polaroid cameras and a checklist or bingo cards with photo opportunities,” Flora’s experts suggest. “For example, take a photo under Flora’s tree or next to the fireplace. Have a push-pin board up where they can pin their photos and make a collage that can be displayed in the office. Or have a hashtag that employees can use on social media. Then, use our projector to create a slideshow of the photos.” With top-tier sound and projector systems, customizable lighting, and moveable partitions, Flora’s turn-key venue is the perfect playground for your next team-building workshop.