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Category: News

On Thursday, May 5, 100 employees from Dominion Energy gathered in Chester, Virginia to build 22 wheelchairs for disabled veterans and low-income residents in the community. They had a great time, contributed to two great causes, and enhanced their relationships with coworkers through collaboration.

In this video from WTRV-CBS6, photojournalist Chris Jenkins hears from Dina Takhchi, Chair, Dominion Energy Diversity Council about the activity and the plans to donate 11 of the wheelchairs to Chapter 50 of the Disabled American Veterans (DAV), with the remaining 11 going to the Powhatan County Sheriff’s Office. Sheriff’s Office spokesperson Ben Nice expresses his gratitude and explains that his department will use the wheelchairs to aid low-income residents in the county.

Best Corporate Events facilitator Eric Nodler keeps the action of the Build-a-Wheelchair® program moving, handing out tools and parts to the teams as they earn them through answering trivia questions and other activities, and setting up a wheelchair race among participants to test their finished assemblies.

The WWBT-NBC12 news team also covered the event. Reporter Ashley Hendricks spoke with Ralph Baskerville, Commander of DAV Chapter 50, who explained the need for the wheelchairs and expressed gratitude to Dominion Energy and its employees for this donation.

As Dina Takhchi noted, many Dominion employees are veterans or have family serving in the military. They took pride in giving back to those who have given so much for our country, while improving their teamwork skills and having some fun on a beautiful spring day.

In the past, it was all too easy to take company culture for granted and focus on other HR issues, like creating safe working conditions. But given the pandemic and the tremendous shift to remote work, businesses must work hard to develop what happens organically in an office setting – a sense of belonging and inclusion.

So how can you make remote workers feel like a genuine part of the company’s fabric, even if they’re at home? Keep reading to find out the best strategies.

1. Tap Into Multi-Channel Communication

Being in an office affords plenty of opportunities for communication and interaction. However, these opportunities disappear at home, causing employees to feel disconnected from their workplace.

Effective communication is critical in a remote environment, and a multi-channel approach is the best way to stay in contact. Video calls and team meetings are a vital pillar of this different communication style, and sending more audio messages instead of emails can be helpful as well.

But perhaps most critically, you want to focus on our next point.

2. Encourage Watercooler Chat

Spontaneous opportunities to get to know your coworkers also disappear when you work from home. There’s no chatting in the elevator on your way to the office or in the kitchen during lunch breaks – practices that build camaraderie among coworkers.

Since watercooler chat is not happening organically, schedule time for it. Allow a few minutes at the start of virtual meetings to talk about non-work related topics. Encourage employees to chat about other things at the beginning of their calls, too.

3. Keep Communication Open

Team members feel connected when they feel heard, and what’s the best way to ensure that? Keep an open line of communication, even if you can’t see or interact with your colleagues in-person.

Hold regular check-in meetings to ensure everything is running smoothly and that everyone has what they need. Doing so helps everyone feel seen, heard, and appreciated. Similarly, encourage employees to ask questions or voice concerns. If they are comfortable being honest and their voice is heard, they are likely to feel more connected.

4. Use Calendars

When you’re in the office, it’s easy to get a sense of whether someone needs to focus. Maybe their door is closed, or perhaps they’re giving off strong “in the zone” vibes. Things change when working remotely; believe it or not, many people struggle with distraction.

To safeguard everyone’s time, encourage your team to use their calendars. They can schedule blocks of time if they need to focus, allowing others to check if their colleagues are busy.

5. Listen to Employee Feedback

Another excellent way to make remote workers feel included is to ask them what you can do better! We all want to be heard, so asking your workers for input is an excellent way to strengthen ties to the company. Prioritize getting feedback from employees, let them know that you’re around to listen, and take action when necessary.

There are many ways to solicit employee feedback, such as:
Pulse surveys
Employee feedback tools
Chatbots

6. Redefine the Vision

Has your company’s vision switched to mere survival since the start of the pandemic? You’re not alone. But even if you’re in survival mode, your employees need a purpose to connect with – a reason to “show up” for work.

Now’s the perfect time to realign your vision to fit the times. It should be rooted in a higher purpose for the community, environment, or your customers. Plus, it’s also helpful if your vision can match the current pandemic-mandated remote work situation.

For example, your new vision might be to ensure safe working conditions to keep everyone healthy while moving forward.

7. Use Social Media

Leverage social media to bring remote workers closer together – and no, we don’t mean you need to be friends with all your colleagues on Facebook.

Instead, sites like LinkedIn are an ideal place for sharing snippets of what employees are doing at work. Some companies even use WhatsApp team chats to stay in touch.

Whatever the platform, the important thing is encouraging employees to keep each other updated and having conversations. Used carefully, social media can help foster a richer, more connected workplace.

8. Carve out Time for Fun

With the pandemic, lots of fun, in-person work traditions (like pizza day or monthly birthday celebrations) have been put on the backburner. But just because your employees are remote doesn’t mean that they have to miss out on fun events at the office. Make sure to schedule some time for fun – even if it is virtual.

Companies are choosing all kinds of creative virtual hangouts, like trivia, happy hour, online games, and virtual scavenger hunts. Some even organize virtual meals with food delivered to employees! Team building virtually has been our focus at BEST for almost a year now, and we have over 40 different programs to do something fun virtually with your team. The bottom line? A little effort goes a long way, and a bit of fun can make everyone feel connected.

Get Connected!

Whether your company just recently made the switch to remote work or you are looking to strengthen the connection with your long-term remote workers, these tips will help everyone feel heard and included. Start a meeting with your team and discuss what strategies they would like to implement. Stay connected, even at a distance!

Cristi Waterson is a guest writer for BEST.  She is an advocate for business advice and workplace rights. She has written for Strategics360, New York Jobs, and ZipJob among various other websites. She actively seeks to spread awareness for employee-related issues through her articles throughout the internet.

This weekend marks the start of Daylight Saving Time.  DST is some people’s favorite time of year due to the added daylight that is gained each day.  People will move their clocks forward one-hour beginning Sunday, March 10th. Summer days are longer, leaving more time to do the things you love outdoors. But how and why did this practice of changing the clocks start?

Where it began

Benjamin Franklin’s “An Economical Project,” written in 1784, is the earliest known proposal to “save” daylight. He wrote this in an effort to save on candlelight.

William Willet is also noted as the first true supporter of the idea.  Mr. Willet noticed in London that hours of daylight were wasted each year and wanted a solution to this problem. It began by putting clocks ahead 20 minutes each of the four Sundays in April. Then the reverse of this by putting clocks back each Sunday in September.  

During World War 1 the government wanted to conserve coal used for heating homes. Germans were the first to make these changes, followed by Britain who changed their clocks to an hour ahead from May to October. The United States joined in 1918 when Congress passed the Standard Time Act. President Woodrow Wilson asked voters for this time change in an effort to have more hours of light to work in the day.  He cited this change would improve the economy.  Many farmers objected the change, sighting they were forced to work outdoors in the dark in order to accomplish all the chores on their farms.

It ended in 1920 and then reappeared during World War 2 when clocks were once again set one hour ahead to encourage saving on fuel. Since the war ended in 1945, Daylight Saving Time begins being used on and off on different days in different states.

After many bills and acts of legislation, Congress passed the Energy Policy Act of 2005, which went into effect in 2007.  As a result, most Americans now spring forward (turn clocks ahead and lose an hour) on the second Sunday in March and fall back (turn clocks back and gain an hour) on the first Sunday in November

Sources:

https://www.almanac.com/content/when-daylight-saving-time

https://www.timeanddate.com/time/change/usa/new-york?year=2019

It’s the time of year, Super Bowl, when the final two teams remain in the NFL.  The AFC and NFC champions, New England Patriots versus the Los Angeles Rams, will battle it out on Sunday, February 3rd what is commonly known as Super Bowl Sunday.  What started with 32 teams and 17 weeks of regular season games, only the best two teams remain.

Super Bowl Sunday has become a American tradition whether you understand the game or not.  There are the infamous funny commercials, tasty food and parties to celebrate.

Here are a few fun Super Bowl statistics to get you prepared for the upcoming big game.

  • In total, 20 different teams have held the title as Super Bowl Champions.
  • The Pittsburgh Steelers have won the most Super Bowls with six championships. Followed by the New England Patriots, the Dallas Cowboys and the San Francisco 49ers having 5 wins each.
  • The player to win the most Super Bowls is tied between Quarterback Tom Brady and pass rusher Charles Haley each winning five Super Bowl rings.  
  • Brady has won all five of his Super Bowls with the Patriots during his 18-year career.
  • The team with the most appearances at the Super Bowl is the New England Patriots with 11 including Super Bowl 2019.
  • You can catch the big game on CBS at 6:30pm.
  • It will be held at Mercedes-Benz Stadium in Atlanta.

Another tradition that comes with Super Bowl Sunday is tuning in for the commercials.  When Super Bowl began in 1967, a 30-second commercial costs about $40,000. A 30-second spot reportedly costs between $5 million and $5.5 million in 2019. These ads become iconic and well-known and often talked about for days following the game. Major brands like Coca Cola, Doritos and Budweiser find the Super Bowl a perfect time to market their products. The Super Bowl is the United States most watched television broadcast with an average of 114 million viewers.

Lastly, preparing the menu for your Super Bowl party is just as exciting as watching the game.  Popular foods include hot wings, pizza and chips and dips. With so many unhealthy choices, people are looking for more healthier game day snacks not to interfere with their healthy eating habits. Check out these guilt-free Super Bowl snacks we found here. snacks

 

Sources:

https://greatist.com/health/super-bowl-recipes-

https://www.10news.com/sports/fast-facts-things-to-know-about-the-super-bowl

Winter is upon us

Today marks the official first day of winter, also known as the winter solstice.  On December 21st each year, the points on the horizon where the sun rises and sets advance southward each day; the high point in the Sun’s daily path across the sky, which occurs at local noon, also moves southward each day.  So for us non-scientist, what does this mean?

The Sun’s path has reached its southernmost position.  The days are the shortest of the year and temperatures are at their lowest. 

“As the Earth moves around the sun, each hemisphere experiences winter when it is tilted away from the sun and summer when it is tilted toward the sun,” CNN senior meteorologist Dave Hennen said. “Scientists are not entirely sure how this occurred, but they think that billions of years ago, as the solar system was taking shape, the earth was subject to violent collisions that caused the axis to tilt.”

Thanks to the Earth’s tilt, we experience the four seasons.  Except of course in the south.  On a “winter” day in January in Florida; temperatures can average as high as 76 while in the northern states they experience below freezing temperatures.  This is the time of year the Best Corporate Events staff appreciates that our corporate office is in Florida although we are executing team building events across the country year round. 

Fun facts:

  • The solstice occurs at the same moment everywhere on Earth, but it is observed at 24 different times of day because of the world’s 24 time zones, according to National Geographic.
  • The Apollo 8 spacecraft launched on December 21, 1968, becoming the first manned moon mission.
  • Pilgrims arrived at Plymouth on December 21, 1620.  
  • The word solstice derived from the Latin sol, meaning “sun” and sister meaning “to make a standstill”.

Sources:

https://www.currentresults.com/Weather/Florida/florida-temperatures-in-january.php

So, it’s National Sandwich Day!

But before you run out and get your favorite compilation of ingredients in between two pieces of bread, let’s talk about five of our favorite sandwich fun facts!

1. The average American will have consumed 1,500 PB&Js by the time they graduate high school. 

You heard it here first folks! Can you imagine stacking all of those containers of peanut butter and jelly into a neat pyramid, or maybe a log cabin?

2. The world’s largest sandwich weighed 5,440 pounds.

Move over CARS, the worlds largest sandwich weighs about a thousand pounds more than you!

3. The most expensive sandwich ever sold was a grilled toast sandwich that appeared to have an image of the Virgin Mary on it. It sold for $28,000 in 2004.

I hope that sandwich can also do your taxes and pay rent for six months.

4. Americans eat more than 300 million sandwiches every day – an impressive statistic given that there are slightly just more than 300 million Americans.

If you got a penny for each sandwich someone ate, that would be 3 million dollars a day!

5. The most popular sandwich in America is the standard ham sandwich (ham, cheese, and mustard or mayonnaise), followed by the BLT.

Ah, the classics. Which is your favorite?

BONUS FACT

Best Corporate Events offers a team building program that features sandwiches, that’s right! It’s the Food Truck Face Off Program, so if you like sandwiches, you should definitely check it out.

Enjoy your sandwiches and happy Friday!

 

source: https://mobile-cuisine.com/did-you-know/sandwich-fun-facts/

Has the digital age replaced a good old handshake?

In business, it is the norm to shake hands with someone you meet to make that initial connection and start a relationship.  Whether it’s a good hearty handshake or a weaker one, you can judge a person by their handshake.  This may or may not be a good idea.

In the current day in age, LinkedIn is the new handshake, a very non-personal form of a handshake.  There is still that fear of rejection, although perhaps not as immediately painful as reaching out a hand to someone who keeps their hand stiffly at their side.  Still, LinkedIn is the newest way to connect, where you can virtually meet and “shake hands” with someone on the other side of the world.

Best Corporate Events and SmartHunts on Linkedin

LinkedIn proves to be a very precious tool in finding new Best Corporate Events and SmartHunts clients. At both companies, we use it on a daily basis to research companies, people, and business trends.  After attending conferences, like IMEX America last week in Las Vegas, we used LinkedIn to follow up with new relationships we made at the event.  

It is helpful to make connections with others who hold the same interests and are in similar industries such as CSR and Team Building.  You can then further your connections by seeing who these people are linked to and make additional valuable connections. On a personal level, when you change jobs, professions or locations, LinkedIn is the easiest way to notify all of your contacts at once.
 
The Premium LinkedIn version offers different features vs. the free LinkedIn version.  One of these benefits is you can see who is looking at your profile.  Often, this can be helpful to extend an invitation directly to that person to connect with you right away.

The Premium version also allows you to connect with more people and has no use limitations that the free version does. This is a great feature for our business profiles on LinkedIn.

Check out the latest on LinkedIn

We came across this interesting article about new features LinkedIn plans to launch and thought we would share.  Not only will you be able to link with people, but then also have a conversation a lot easier.  LinkedIn boosts it’s messaging and more. Read Article Here

LinkedIn, The New Handshake by Linda Davis, DMC Relationship Manager

Follow Best Corporate Event’s LinkedIn page here

We are growing fast. Not only is Best Corporate Events expanding nationwide with new offices and production facilities around the country, but our headquarters just got bigger too! Our new offices are in the beautiful town of Dunedin on the Gulf of Mexico,

Our New Headquarters in Dunedin FL | Best Corporate Events, LLC

just 2 miles north of Clearwater Beach, Florida.

We christened our new meeting room with an East Coast Regional Directors’ brainstorming session about the integration of our iPads into 15 of our most popular team building programs.

newoffice13Our East Coast Directors seated left to right: Roy Charette (Northeast Regional Partner), Celia Delgo (National Sales), Joe Groves (Director of Facilitation), Ray Assanti (Southeast Regional Partner), Scott Flynn (Founder and CEO), Thomas Boles (Accounting and Statistics), Diane Hendricks (Information Technology), Trish Flynn (Executive Assistant), Cathy Ruales (Business Manager), and Christine Roberson (National DMC Sales Manager). Missing from our East Coast directors meeting are Paul Petrus (National Sales – Orlando) and Bryan Burns (COO of SmartHunts – Boston).

We will be posting a video walk-through of our entire new facility in July when we have our semi-annual national conference for Best Corporate Events and SmartHunts!

“It is better to have one person working with you than three people working for you.” -Dwight D. Eisenhower

Have you heard? The exit survey from last year’s incredible IMEX America trade show, where we debuted our 7-foot iPad to great acclaim, has revealed that as a result of the conference, $3.3 billion in business is expected.  This is a 17.5% increase from the previous year and a great indicator of the reported upswing in spending on corporate events, destination travel, and meetings.  Our team had an absolute blast meeting so many industry leaders at IMEX and look forward to a fruitful year based in part on those connections forged!

IMEX-America-2012

 

Welcome to the BEST blog, a collection of team building articles, industry insights and news about our large collection of programs and events offered in locations across North America.

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    If you have immediate questions, please contact us at:

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    Email: Sales@BestCorporateEvents.com

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    Programs can be delivered anywhere in North America.

      If you have immediate questions, please contact us at:

      Phone: 800.849.8326
      Email: Sales@BestCorporateEvents.com

      What is a Keynote Speaker?

      Keynote Speaker is an often-misunderstood term associated with simply a motivational speaker, breakout speaker, industry expert, etc. Most professional speakers are not actual trained Keynote Speakers, who are specialists, therefore in much lower supply, and in higher demand.

      Keynote Speakers are experienced, professional communicators who engage an audience, capturing the essence of a client’s meeting. They are able to highlight it to their audience while simultaneously delivering their own key concepts and proprietary content in an entertaining and impactful way. Most companies understand that this specialization is very much worth the time (around an hour) and the investment.

      In order to capture the perfect essence, a Keynote Speaker spends the necessary time researching a client’s industry, their issues, and their audience to craft a customized presentation into a unique and distinctive moment specifically for the client’s event.

      As a top Keynote Speaker, Tom Leu strategically uses compelling storytelling, humor, powerful visuals, audio and video clips, and audience participation elements to weave an impactful message into your event in a fun and memorable way. Tom can also pair his Keynote with Best Corporate Events programming, laying a foundation and setting a tone that best prepares participants for maximum engagement in the forthcoming team events that day.