The importance of connecting with colleagues and building a network of contacts is something career counsellors never tire of stressing. Reason why firms hold an annual networking event with all employees, corporate divisions invite their clients to Christmas dinners, and colleagues organize team-building events.
Take team-building events. While the idea behind them is a very noble one – colleagues get the opportunity to interact with one another in an informal setting -, it is often the case that event ideas become monotonous, if not boring. Rather than connecting with others, participants then get the feeling that they are just wasting their time and would rather be elsewhere (e.g. the office!).
Picking the right event for a specific team of colleagues will, of course, also depend on the size of the team. One fun networking event idea for 10 to 15 people is that of a group cooking class, at the end of which participants enjoy the meal they have prepared all together.
There are several restaurants in Europe offering such classes. A good address in Bern, Switzerland, is La Table de Urs Hauri. Here are a few photos of a networking cooking class with four Mexican dishes on the menu (not very veggie, alas!):
- Shrimps with guacamole
- Fish Veracruz with a spicy tomato sauce
- Beef and potato gratin
- Banana mousse and exotic fruits