Change your meetings from a boring snooze-fest to a time the whole team looks forward to. These 40 team meeting ideas will liven up your discussions and build team rapport—virtual team meeting ideas included!
Interesting Stats on Meetings:
- People perceive 71% of meetings as unproductive.
- Remote workers feel that 55% of meetings could have been an email.
- 30% of workers think their thoughts are shut down in meetings.
- The number of meetings increased by 12.9% from 2020 to 2021.
Let’s make these meetings awesome.
Fun Team Meeting Ideas
#1 Monday Reset
Get the week started with a meeting everyone will look forward to, the Monday Reset. You can focus on building emotional intelligence with this simple team meeting.
Emotional Intelligence: Ask, “How are you feeling about the work week?” and pass around an emotions pillow. Allow each person to identify their emotions and dig deeper to identify the secondary and even tertiary emotions. Make this exercise semi-optional. Not everyone has to answer verbally, but each person should take a moment to determine what they are feeling.
Then ask, “Is there anything I can do to help you this week, or is there any extra support you need from the team?”
You can provide a couple of minutes for people to jot down their thoughts and even make a course of action for the week. Studies show that journaling improves mental health.
Even though technically it is journaling, call this time “brainstorming” so those who have a bias against journaling won’t be resistant to the activity.
#2 Unique Skill Sharing Meeting
This team-building meeting is a fun chance for everyone to share their unique, obscure, and fantastic skills. Whether it’s a skill like sharpening knives, moonwalking, lighting a match with one hand, or botanical drawing, ask them to share their talents with the team.
Offer a signup list with set dates through the year that you’ll be holding the skill-sharing meetings.
Keep the meeting on the shorter side—around 15-20 minutes—so it doesn’t cut into the work day too much but provides a brain break midday.
#3 Outdoor Meeting
How many times have you stared longingly out your window at work? Or wished you just had a window! You imagine the birds singing, the sun shining, the breeze blowing unfettered by work and deadlines.
So take your next team meeting to the company picnic table. Whether it’s Stanford University, the British Medical Bulletin, or the American Psychological Association, they all agree that working outdoors benefits mental and physical health.
If your team is comfortable sitting close and being very informal, bring a blanket to spread on the grass. Take some time to enjoy the sun and fresh air. If you can, take a stroll under the trees and breathe deeply.
A great icebreaker for this meeting could be asking what everyone’s favorite outdoor location is. Do they have a favorite trail, park, or beach?
Problem Solving or Brainstorming: Take your tablets or computers to avoid papers getting blown around, or skip the tech altogether and brainstorm by tossing a ball back and forth.
Plan the meeting right before the lunch break and order food to arrive at a set time so you can finish up and have lunch together outside.
Pro Tip: Let everyone know you’re buying lunch, so they don’t make other lunch plans.
Level Up: Want to improve the overall health of your team? Set up an outdoor working space. If you have remote workers, offer reimbursement for a membership to their local gardens for a remote workplace.
#4 Team Expedition
Ah yes, the good old days of field trips.
You don’t need a parent permission slip for this one, but you may want to pack a lunch for an impromptu picnic or find a nice lunch spot to eat after your team expedition.
Plan a field trip considering who you are as a team and what your company or organization does.
Here are some sample ideas:
Nonprofit Expedition: Visit another local nonprofit to help refresh your vision and renew motivation and excitement on the team. Call ahead to organize a tour of their premises, and if they work directly with the public, you could ask if the team can volunteer for an hour.
Marketing/PR/Communication Expedition: Visit an art museum, artist’s colony, or the local newspaper. Remind yourselves of how vital communication is by asking why the artists and writers choose to communicate the way they do and how communication in these settings has impacted culture and history.
Food-Related Company Expedition: Go on a food crawl to find small restaurants and businesses that sell a similar food or drink to what you sell as a company. Talk with the owners, taste the food and drinks, and reconnect with the passion for what you do.
#5 Video Montage
The goal for the next meeting: create a video montage.
Divide everyone into teams of 2-3 and send them out to capture several video clips. What kind of video? That depends on your company, your current goals, and team morale.
Morale Boosting Montage: Each team must find 2-3 people in a different department to share on camera how your department positively impacts the company’s goals. Limit responses to 15 seconds max.
Assign each team to a different department so they aren’t battling for people.
After they record the video (let’s say they gathered video from the Finance department), they have to tell that person 1 thing they are grateful for about the Finance team.
Personalize the Vision Montage: Help your department connect with the company’s vision by personalizing it. Each team of 2-3 people should brainstorm how to personalize the image and choose one spokesperson from the group to be the talking head for the video. Keep each recording to a max of 15 seconds.
Pantomime Goals Montage: Have each team brainstorm how to pantomime (record it!) one of your current goals. No talking—only props, facial expressions, and body movements are allowed.
Once each team has recorded their video, have them send it to you to compile into one video. While doing this, let everyone take a break to chat or eat snacks. Once it’s ready, play the video montage for everyone to enjoy.
Pro Tip: Take time to debrief after you watch the montage. Ask questions like:
- What surprised you about this process?
- Do you feel differently about other people on the team or in other departments?
- What did this experience illuminate for you?
- How did it feel to hear other departments talk positively about our department?
- Was it challenging to think of something positive to say about other departments? How did it feel to say something positive directly to someone in that department?
- How can we continue to build connections with other teams?
- Did the pantomime clarify anything about our goals? Or did it reveal areas we need to make more explicit or clear?
#6 Meeting Pass
If the team feels a scheduled meeting isn’t needed that week, they can decide to use their meeting pass. This must be a unanimous decision, and the team can only use the monthly meeting pass once.
Each person can choose what to do with the hour they saved. Some ideas could include:
- Volunteer at a local charity
- Leave an hour early
- Add the hour to their lunch break for an extra-long lunch
- Power through a project they haven’t had time to finish,
- An hour of professional development
#7 Upskill Meeting
Unlike strange skill sharing, this meeting focuses on learning a new skill relevant to your job.
Often necessary skills will cross over departments. You may have a Senior Graphic Designer who creates all public design work, but your Human Resources team likes to send out information to their team. In this scenario, your designer could hold an upskill meeting to teach other departments the basics of working in Canva or another simple design program, how to save an image as a PDF, and the difference between .jpg, .png, and .pdf.
The goal is to share the existing skills of one person with the whole team or with selected groups. This creates cross-departmental communication and rapport while strengthening the skills of your workers.
Pro Tip: Send out a survey to find out what skills people would like to learn and meet with the team leaders to discuss who might be able to provide instruction on the different skills.
#8 Product Testing
If you sell a product of any kind, let your team do some unofficial product testing. Gather samples of the items and either provide a goodie bag for each person at the meeting or place samples on a table and let everyone choose what they want to try.
Ask for feedback on everything, including the packaging!
Keep it fun and informal, but listen for any meaningful feedback.
Special Tip: You can also do this with a relevant or competitor’s product.
#9 Office or City Scavenger Hunt
Use this idea either for a team meeting or a mini-team retreat. If you’re holding a mini-team retreat, take the scavenger hunt into the city. If you’re using this idea for a team meeting, limit the location to the office building.
Divide your team into smaller groups to work together on the scavenger hunt and make it fun!
- Gather a list of photos, trivia, and locations.
- Plan for the scavenger hunt to take 60-90 minutes.
- Include challenges that require a team effort and require different skills to solve/find.
Get more ideas for your scavenger hunt over here.
#10 I’ve Been Wondering…
Instead of having a formal Q&A session, plan an informal meeting where each person has to start their sentence with, “I’ve been wondering…”.
Questions can be severe or funny and encourage everyone to participate with openness.
#11 Make a Product
Divide the group into teams and give each team a different set of materials to create a product that solves a problem for either your company or your team. Make this a timed activity: 5 minutes for a brainstorming session and 10 minutes for building.
- Toilet paper rolls and toothpicks
- A roll of paper tolls and duck tape
- Toothpicks and scotch tape
- Printer paper and string
- Ribbons and an empty milk carton
#12 All the Good Feels Meeting
Banish the rain clouds with this feel-good meeting focusing on all the recent good things.
- Positive Client feedback
- Encouragement from leaders
- Praise for coworkers
You could also create a Kindness Box and ask people to write it down when someone commits an act of kindness. Read the submissions at your meeting, and then pin the paper to a Kindness Board to collect all the good things over a year.
#13 Finger Painting
Alleviate some of the stress and pressure of being an adult by having a kids’ activity at your next meeting. Finger painting is one of those activities that are simple and easy to coordinate.
Introduce this as a fun, low-stress activity that may seem silly but increases cognitive function.
Pro Tip: Have aprons, so your team doesn’t have to worry about getting paint on their work clothes. You can also include gloves for those who don’t want the color on their hands.
#14 Fidget and Play
Keep pens, markers, clay, and fidget toys on the meeting table to make meetings fresh and engaging.
#15 Rotating Refreshments
Instead of grabbing the same boring snacks on your way into the office, assign meeting refreshments to your team members.
Keep a calendar of all the food brought over the year and vote for the best at your annual holiday party. Plan to give a food card or a restaurant gift certificate to the winner.
Special Tip: Invite people to bring their favorite childhood snack and share why they loved it.
#16 Paper Airplane Problem Solving
At the beginning of the month, gather to solve problems you’re facing as a team or individually.
Write your problem on paper, fold it into a paper airplane and let the joyful chaos ensue!
Make sure to toss the planes around enough that no one remembers which one is theirs. Then each person should grab a plane and brainstorm for 5 minutes on how to solve the other person’s problem. After brainstorming separately, come together as a team to present your solution and brainstorm further.
Sometimes you’re too close to a problem or sticky situation to solve it yourself. Asking someone else to provide a solution offers a fresh perspective.
#17 On Your Feet Meeting
Americans sit, on average, for 10 hours every day. Not only is this terrible for your body, but the University of California, Los Angeles (UCLA) has also found a connection between prolonged sitting and thinning of the memory region of your brain.
Next time you have a meeting, plan a stand-up gathering! Get everyone on their feet and encourage pacing or moving around the room during the session. Your brain and your body will thank you.
#18 Hire a Motivational Speaker
Hand the speaking over to someone else by hiring a motivational speaker. Whether you’re looking to boost team morale or want your team to learn a specific skill, hiring a motivational speaker has many benefits—the primary benefit being a novelty.
According to research, novelty activates pleasure centers in the brain and may enhance learning by activating memory formation.
Put simply, novelty makes us feel good, and that in turn boosts memory.
Book Vanessa to speak at your next meeting or event to increase employee engagement.
#19 Meet in a Japanese Tea Room
Build rapport as you sit together on the floor, relaxing with beautifully made tea in a Japanese tea room. The new setting will be a breath of fresh air, and most tea houses are quiet and peaceful—perfect for a calm team meeting and a relaxing outing.
If you don’t have a Japanese tea house near you, look for a cozy place serving boba tea or even a cat cafe (as long as no one on the team has a cat allergy!).
Pro Tip: Sometimes Japanese tea houses include gardens (like this one in Portland or this one in Delray Beach. That’s not something to miss, so schedule time to walk through the gardens. Alternately, hold the meeting toward the end of the work day so your teammates can spend time in the gardens afterward without a time constraint.
#20 Fishing for Sharks
Give your team a chance to pitch outlandish and big ideas similar to a Shark Tank pitch. 1-3 people can pitch each time. Even if team members don’t get a bite, keep the spirit lighthearted and fun.
Pro Tip: Want to take it seriously? Make sure the pitch relates to a business goal or the overall vision of the company. Also, check out this article to master your Shark Tank pitch skills: Learn How to Sell from Mark Cuban’s INCREDIBLE Sales Pitch
Virtual Team Meeting Ideas
#21 Lunch Partner
Pair everyone on the remote team with a partner to meet virtually for lunch (or a coffee break) at least once a month for 3 months.
Give everyone this list of conversation starters, and let each team decide what they’ll do during their virtual meetup.
At the end of the 3 months, debrief individually with your teammates. Ask how the lunch partnering went and what they learned from the experience. If it went well, switch up the pairs and give everyone a new lunch partner.
#22 Show and Tell
At the start of your next meeting, ask everyone to grab a nearby item to share with the team.
Ask why it’s meaningful to them and tell the story behind it.
As a virtual team, it’s hard to feel connected to each other. This activity is a fun and non-threatening way for a remote employee to share something personal during the meeting time.
#23 Virtual Team In-Person Meet-Up
According to research by Dropbox, even though working from home increases productivity, workers miss the human connection. Give the team a chance for in-person contact by planning a meetup.
If your team spreads across the US or even globally, this could be tricky. Even if you can’t do an all-team meeting, try grouping meetups regionally.
If you all work in the same state or city, plan a monthly in-person workday at a local cafe or coffee shop.
#24 Synchronized Collaboration
Another way to help your virtual team connect is by finding tools that make virtual collaboration more enjoyable and effective. Miro is a fun tool that makes the whiteboard experience much more cohesive than the Zoom whiteboard tool.
Explore what you need for collaboration, and then choose your tool so the whole team can contribute.
Go from this:
#25 Where Am I?
Even more, fun if you have a team of global nomads, start the meeting by guessing where everyone is.
Let the team know in advance that you’re playing a game of “Where Am I?” so each person can choose a fun or unique place to join the meeting from. As a team, guess their location!
The location doesn’t have to be dramatic or spectacular. It could even be their kids’ playroom or sitting in the grass in their backyard.
Wherever they choose, it’s a fun activity for virtual team building.
#26 GIFs Only Icebreaker
Lighten up your next information meeting with a GIFs-only icebreaker. Start the session with a fun short video, and let everyone react with GIFs. Bonus points if you can keep the response to the video going, but with GIFs only!
#27 Random Costume Meeting
Randomly show up to meetings in a costume. You’ll break through the sheer boredom and existential dread many feel when they first join a virtual team call.
Get elaborate by raiding your kid’s closet or dragging out old wigs or other costume items.
But it doesn’t have to be a full costume! Show up wearing a winter ski hat in June or bunny ears.
It’s good for a giggle and adds an element of surprise to your meetings.
#28 Word Bomb Meeting
Choose a common work word at the beginning of the meeting to avoid and replace it with a safety word. Here’s an example.
Word Bomb: Project
Safety Word: Bananas
Sentence Example: We need to finish the bananas on the deadline.
Whenever someone says the word bomb, the whole team yells the safety word.
True, it’s a silly game, but it’s also a unique way for everyone to pay attention to what is being said!
#29 Interactive Meeting
Instead of droning on endlessly during virtual meetings, encourage interaction using live polls, quizzes, and word clouds. Creating a participatory environment will enable the team to listen and gives them a chance to speak up (even without saying anything audibly).
Pro Tip: Most virtual meeting platforms include at least a poll function but look for extra tools to make the interaction more dynamic.
#30 Employee Appreciation Meeting
Cancel your next meeting!
Spend the time you had scheduled for the meeting to send out gift cards to your team. Include a thank-you card expressing your appreciation for something specific that you’ve observed in the last month.
Sending cards through the mail is a nice touch, but if you’d prefer to keep it all digital, find an e-card platform with integrated gift cards like Punchbowl.
#31 Lunch and Learn (With a Twist)
Add a twist to the standard Lunch and Learn by planning a follow-up meeting. Ask each person to share for 2-5 minutes.
This should include:
- What they learned
- How they will be implementing it
This encourages critical thinking and helps them to integrate new information into their daily work routine. It will also show you what topics resonate most with your team.
#32 Kids, Pets, and Plants Welcome
Have a casual meeting that doesn’t ban outsiders from the forum but encourages their presence.
Whether it’s kids, pets, or plants, let your team show off their loved ones with pride!
If you have coworkers who care for kids during the work day, make this part of your company culture rather than a one-off meeting.
Fun Team Meeting Topics For Discussion
Start your team meetings with these fun team topics for discussion.
#33 Team Wins Cheer Fest
Give everyone a generous helping of affirmation. After you complete a big project, take time in your next meeting to celebrate what you’ve accomplished. Focus on the positives and start the conversation by identifying what you see as the big win from the project.
#34 What are you reading right now?
Get new titles to add to your reading list, as well as insight into what your coworkers are interested in. This question is tried and true and can be asked more than once a year.
If someone is looking for a book recommendation, this is an excellent opportunity to ask coworkers for ideas of what to read.
Pro Tip: Set up an office lending library and encourage everyone to bring a book to start the lending library.
#35 If you had a magic wand, what would you change about our team or company?
More insightful than a feedback box, asking this funny question will supply you with surprisingly honest feedback. Be prepared for negatives you may not have been expecting, and remain calm if someone says something you find personally offensive as the team leader.
- How do you feel this negatively impacts the team?
- What would you do to bring about change in this area?
- Do you think this is a personal preference or affects the whole team?
#36 If you only had one project you could accomplish in your role, what would that be?
Get your team to think about what matters in their role. Are they focusing on that or getting bogged down with admin or projects that weren’t originally on their job description? Help them recenter on what is essential.
- What tasks are getting in the way of what you want to accomplish?
- Can those tasks be pushed back or reallocated?
- Do we need to hire another person to handle part of your workload?
- As a team, how can we help you succeed with this goal?
#37 What do you feel good about this week?
Instead of always focusing on the next thing on the to-do list or how much you need to accomplish, take time in meetings to shift to a positive focus. Ask your team what they feel good about to encourage positive assessments and move away from feeling overwhelmed.
#38 Roadblock Drawing Discussion
Have everyone draw a picture of a current roadblock or problem that needs to be solved and then trade it with the person next to them. Talk about the roadblock and ask for creative feedback on surmounting this obstacle.
Drawing helps to bring cohesion to your thinking by activating both your left brain and your right brain. You’ll see things more clearly or even in a new light.
#39 What’s the best part of your work week?
Maybe it’s the morning muffins or the feeling of marking a task complete. Whatever it is, you’ll learn more about each coworker and what makes them feel satisfied.
Take note of this as the team leader so you can show them appreciation based on what matters most.
#40 Team book club
Bring the team together by coordinating a team book club. Pick a book to bring new skills to the team and discuss a monthly reading. We recommend Captivate to build your communication skills!
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Looking for more questions to ask in your meetings? Check out our 20 Best Teambuilding Questions For Work (That are Non-Awkward!)