Teambuilding activities can go one of two ways: Unfortunate or unforgettable. In Central and West Tennessee, you can arrange collective creativity and collaborative experiences that your team will embrace—and remember—for years to come.
Depending on the group’s goals, meeting planners have a variety of ideas to choose from when meeting in Nashville, Memphis, Jackson or Hardin County.
Nashville Teambuilding Activities
Nashville is famous for music, and planners can infuse twangy and trendy tunes into a songwriting experience for a unique teambuilding activity.
“Attendees are guided by an experienced songwriter either during a general session or in small groups,” said Deana Ivey, executive vice president/chief marketing officer for Nashville Convention & Visitors Corp. “Songs can be about the conference, a particular topic of interest or anything the attendees choose.”
There are several companies to choose from, including Songs From the Heart Events and Kidbilly Music.
Nashville is also a Southern culinary gem. Groups can tap into the local food and beverage scene via various delicious experiences.
During a class at the Goo Goo Shop and Dessert Bar, for example, attendees will learn the history of the Goo Goo, the world’s first combination chocolate candy bar, and get to make their very own candy creation.
“The Goo Goo history and story is unique to Nashville, and attendees creating their own Goo Goo is a fun, hands-on experience that also gives them a sweet treat to take home and share a piece of Nashville with their family and friends,” Ivey said.
If your group prefers a cocktail activity, check out Mint Julep Experiences, which offers customized interactive tours that explore local purveyors of spirits, like Jack Daniels and George Dickel.
“Tennessee is home to many classic whiskey distilleries,” Ivey said. “Touring, tasting and learning the history of the various spirits distilled in the state makes for a great afternoon.”
More Nashville Teambuilding Fun
We’d be remiss if we didn’t include sports and arts activities. Enjoy one of these team experiences at your next meeting:
- TopGolf is ideal for corporate events. Non-golfers can still have fun by enjoying a full menu of tasty bites or cheering on their favorite team in the sports bar.
- Hip Hues offers parties during which attendees can screen print a personalized design on a take-home t-shirt or tote bag.
- Fort Houston, a creative arts facility, is home to classes in woodworking, dance, painting and more.
Memphis Teambuilding Activities
Located in the heart of Memphis is Shelby Farms Park, which is a refreshing place for outdoor corporate and association teambuilding events, according to Holly McElyea, small meetings manager for the Memphis CVB. According to McElyea, it is one of the country’s largest parks where groups can zipline, take horseback rides, kayak and more.
“With over 4,500 acres of green space and lakes, you don’t feel like you’re in the middle of a city,” she said. “It is definitely a nice getaway from the rush of the big city without having to travel.”
It can be tricky to plan dynamic teambuilding activities around the weather, even in the South. Two indoor options for active groups year-round, regardless of weather, are Memphis Rox and High Point Climbing and Fitness, both indoor climbing facilities.
Memphis Symphony Orchestra delivers a program called “Leading From Every Chair” that explores components of working as team and producing a finished product, like musicians in the orchestra.
“It’s a hands-on workshop that lets groups work on skills like communication, teamwork and leadership,” said McElyea. “Both musicians and businesspeople have the same goals of effortlessly completing a project or assignment, which means clients can learn about teamwork from a unique perspective.”
For groups looking for something fun and simple after a meeting, head to event-capable Andy B’s Entertainment Center for a few rounds of casual bowling.
“Andy B’s allows companies to customize an experience that fits their specific needs,” McElyea said. “Also, the catering menu is a huge plus for the venue with plenty of options to please everyone on the team.”
Jackson Teambuilding Activities
Jackson, located halfway between Nashville and Memphis, is an affordable alternative to its larger convention-ready neighbors, according to Lori E. Nunnery, executive director of Visit Jackson TN.
“Our local attractions, hotels and venues focus on taking care of the meeting planner and are known for going above and beyond,” she said.
One such attraction for teambuilding is Jackson Escape Rooms. The facility has four distinct rooms to choose from, and all four can be booked to accommodate up to 45 people. Attendees must beat a timer to escape the room by solving clues together. Groups can also plan a post-escape reception in the lobby.
Another venue that promotes team bonding is the Jackson Bowling and Skating Family Fun Center, where activities include bowling, laser tag and bumper cars. The center can accommodate large groups, and planners can request a tented area for a picnic.
For golfers, planners can organize a golf tournament, either at Bent Tree Golf Club, open seasonally from March through November, or at Casey Jones Mini Golf. Keep frustrated golfers from chucking their clubs by organizing a scramble tournament, so players of all skill levels can enjoy a low-pressure game with colleagues.
Hardin County Teambuilding Activities
Pickwick Landing State Park is the hub for teambuilding activities in Hardin County. Paddleboard outings and nature hikes are relaxing group activities, and the park conveniently offers an onsite inn and meeting spaces.
Guided waterborne excursions via pontoon, canoe or kayak are particularly popular, said Beth Pippin, tourism director for Hardin County CVB.
“Skirt the shoreline to look and listen for signs of wildlife and to learn the interesting history of the park and nearby Pickwick Dam,” she said. “You can arrange to end up at a s’mores bonfire or outdoor dinner feast.”
Pickwick Landing State Park is also home to a tree-lined 18-hole championship golf course that accommodates driving range challenges and tournaments.
“Let the golf pro or tourism staff create a one-of-a-kind themed tournament with prizes and surprising hole challenges that fit your group,” Pippin said.
The park is also an ideal setting for a group scavenger hunt, during which attendees can explore and snap photos of park wildlife, resident birds, flowers, honeybees and more.
From songwriting to bowling, our curated list of teambuilding activities in Nashville, Memphis, Jackson and Hardin County offers surefire ways for you to enhance the group itinerary while encouraging some memorable team bonding.
“What’s New in Tennessee: Property Renovations, Openings and More
A tri-brand Marriott property, including an AC Hotel, SpringHill Suites and a Residence Inn, opened in January 2019 with a total of 470 guest rooms and more than 9,000 square feet of meeting space.
The 210-room Hilton Nashville Green Hills opened in January 2019 with over 4,500 square feet of indoor/outdoor meeting space.
Holiday Inn & Suites Nashville Downtown Convention Center also opened in January 2019 with 230 guest rooms and more than 9,000 square feet of meeting space.
The 168-room Dream Nashville opened in December 2018 with 8,000 square feet of event space.
JW Marriott Nashville opened in July 2018 with 533 guest rooms and 50,000 square feet of meeting space.
The 203-room Graduate Nashville is on track to open in fall 2019, featuring a 1,000-square-foot ballroom.
The 591-room Grand Hyatt Nashville is scheduled to open in fall 2020 with more than 77,000 square feet of event space.
When complete in fall 2020, the Memphis Convention Center will feature:
- A column-free, 118,000-square-foot main exhibit hall
- A new exterior concourse and pre-function space
- 46 breakout rooms
- A secondary flex space that easily converts to a 67,500-square-foot ballroom, the largest in the region
- A 28,000-square-foot ballroom
The renovation will also include public art, digital wayfinding and additional loading docks. The City of Memphis also recently signed a letter of intent with Loews Hotel, which will bring a 500-plus room convention center hotel to the downtown area.
The Inn at Pickwick Landing State Park will undergo a full renovation from August 2019 through February 2020. The project will include upgrades to guest rooms and public spaces. The dining room, private dining room and conference center will also be revamped, and a new lobby, gift shop and dining area bar will be added.