Everyone likes a booster poster Everyone likes a booster, but sometimes you don’t have the budget. Although it would appear that we are beginning to emerge from the economic turmoil of recent years, learning and development budgets are still under great pressure – having been a soft target for businesses looking to cut costs and stay competitive.

A survey from Knowledge Pool highlighted the number of learning and development managers who were steeling themselves for further cuts to their already smaller budgets, with 61% agreeing that cuts to their businesses had hit the training budget hard. And within a training context team building exercises and events are often considered of lesser importance than some more traditional routes to learning and development. So if you have been tasked with organising a team building event but haven’t got much of a budget what are your options?

One of the best ways to initially cut unnecessary costs at these events is to look at travel and venue costs and ensure that your delegates don’t have to travel too far and that the venue is as central as possible. One of the main budget influencers is how many people you have in your group. It’s difficult to make an event for less than 10 people cost effective but once you get past 30 people the cost per person really does start to come down. Could you link up with another department and share an event? Might there be additional benefits, in terms of communication between departments, if you did that?

Ensure that the activities work hard for you. Treasure hunts are a great low cost event choice and we now have state of the art tablets which have an event pre-loaded and come up with challenges only when you are in a hot spot vicinity. If you have a larger group a Treasure Hunt can become really cost effective.

Whatever your budget team building still offers a great way to create better working relationships, getting individuals to work collaboratively and solve problems. Other reported benefits include a greater understanding and appreciation among the group of each other as well as improved levels of enthusiasm and trust. If you see team building events in that light you start to realise that they are not so much a cost as an investment.