Shotguns, Banks and Hot Tamales – The Spark Summer 2022 Teambuilding Day

Dom By Dom

There are lots of ways to build a team. Denzel Washington used rigorous physical training and long runs to Civil War-era battlefields. George Clooney and Sandra Bullock did it by apparently calling round all their famous pals. At Spark, we like to build our team by supporting each other, recognising each other’s successes, helping out with each other’s problems, socialising, and generally being human. We also have a number of social events throughout the year, such as our annual teambuilding day. And after previous experiences with axes, rollercoasters, giant inflatables, speedboats and vats of wine, for 2022 we wanted some carefully-managed peril. We started the day with guns on our shoulders.

Rootin’ tootin’, Ready for shootin’

Personally, I’ve never been clay pigeon shooting (or any kind of shooting except for Time Crisis in the arcades) so visiting A1 Clay Shooting was a real eye-opener. Split into teams, we were each kitted out with the appropriate gear (eye protectors, ear protectors, head protectors for debris, shoulder protectors for recoil, big pockets for ammo), given the appropriate safety instructions (which are more than just “Always point it that way, don’t look down the barrel”), and guided round four separate traps to try our hand at hitting tiny discs with a spread of buckshot.

Results were mixed – some hit a few out of 28, some hit 19 or 20 – but the important thing is that it was surprisingly good fun for everyone, and nobody’s bruised shoulders lasted longer than a few days.

Next stop – lunch, charmingly supplied by DF Tacos on Tottenham Court Road. Once everyone had got the hang of the online ordering system (tech really is everywhere), we got to tuck in. Turns out that tacos are EXTREMELY filling and ordering four for yourself is an act of pure folly.

Healthy family fun

With firearms and fajitas out of the way, all that was left was boardgames – kindly provided by Monopoly Lifesized. Many of us had seen adverts for this new game across London, and we could not wait to see what it was all about. Split into teams, the first challenge was precisely what’s the level of themed team name you can get away with? Turns out that What The Duck? is a pass, but Holy Ship! is a bit too far. Shockingly, one team didn’t unite the day’s themes and go for Shootin’ Irons. We didn’t get Thimble Minds either, for that matter. Maybe next time.

Monopoly Lifesized itself is a combination of escape rooms and the Crystal Maze, but with the added bonus of auctions, gouging your friends for as much cash as possible, and backstabbing. All in the name of good, harmless fun, of course. And the most important fact is that team Gooeylicious won the day – with a Top 10 score for the month as well.

And after all that merriment, winding down at The College Arms for as long as people wanted to stay meant a perfect end to the evening. And it brought home that for all the joy and bonding caused by popping caps and sealing deals, a lot of the pleasure of work comes down to being able to spend time with people you like, chatting about whatever and whoever – whether that’s Pride, tattoo designs, just what’s wrong with West Ham, how the cocktail menu actually works, or the best places to visit with kids in Brittany.

The best thing is, that part of the Teambuilding Day is the easiest to replicate and happens fairly often. And the day as a whole summed up what we’re about as an agency – togetherness, fun, navigating challenges and learning new skills. Although guns aren’t usually involved quite so much!

If this sounds like somewhere you’d fit in, get in touch – and you could have a say in what our next Teambuilding Day will involve…