Park Spy — Fall 2017


The question: “I am interested in bringing a group from my company to do some teambuilding…”

Depending on the local market, commercial pay-to-play aerial adventure parks may have greater visibility than some experiential ropes courses in the area. As a result, corporate groups that want to engage in some sort of teambuilding exercise might confuse the two, and assume the adventure park offers the same kind of facilitated experience that traditional operations do. Plus, some commercial parks are starting to offer facilitated teambuilding, but others, well, aren’t. How do all respond to requests? We wanted to find out.

Have a question we should ask for Park Spy? Send your question to Sarah Borodaeff
([email protected]) and if we use it, you’re immune for that issue!

Park #1, NC

First contact: Female
API: Stated question.
Staff: Well, that depends. Are you looking to just have your group come and do the course, or are you looking for a more traditional teambuilding activity?
API: I’m not sure. Can you give me a bit more detail?
Staff: Well, with traditional teambuilding, you’re doing more collaborative activities, such as playing games that get you to work as a group to solve a problem. A lot of people who call us and ask about teambuilding envision working through a low ropes element to build confidence between coworkers. What we offer is a bit different. Our ropes course does accommodate groups, but it’s less about teambuilding and more about having a fun day as a group. It’s a social activity and a fun way to get out of the office and spend the day with your team.
API: Thanks, that’s really helpful.
Staff: Of course! Did you know which of those types of activities you might be looking for?
API: You know, I am not 100 percent sure. Let me go back to my team and I will give you a call back.
Staff: Sounds great. If your team has questions about what the day might be like, we have videos on our website that show people going through the course.
API: Great, thanks!

Score: 9
Comment: Website mention? Check. Good information? Check. Friendly? Check. After watching the video she suggested, I’d like to check this park out.


Park #2, AZ

First contact: Male.
API: Stated question.
Staff: Ummmm, well, we have the zip line. Is that what you wanted to do?
API: Do you offer that for teambuilding?
Staff: Well, it’s not really a team thing, ’cause, like, you go one at a time.
API: OK. Just so I can go back to my team with all the information, do you offer the zip line for groups?
Staff: Well, yeah, cuz, like, you go out as a group.
API: I thought you said we go one at a time?
Staff: Haha, well, yeah, like one at a time on the zip line, like, you can’t zip five people on the line at the same time. Hahahaha.
Staff: Yeah, l mean, like, you go onto the platforms as a group, but you only, like, zip one at a time.
API: OK, thanks.

Score: 3
Comment: Eventually we got this straight, but could you relate this to team bonding a little?


Park #3, CA

First contact: Automated machine. Chose operator.
Answering phone: Male.
API: Stated question.
Staff: Well, we don’t offer traditional teambuilding activities. Our activities are more on an individual basis, but you can move through them as a group. It’s a lot of fun to make your way through the course with friends and family, but it doesn’t offer quite the same thing as a more traditional teambuilding activity. If you are looking for corporate teambuilding I would recommend calling XYZ company. They are very close to here and offer that type of programming.
API: Thanks so much for the recommendation.
Staff: Of course, though if you do decide what you are looking for is just a group outing, please consider us.
API: Will do.

Score: 7
Comment: It’s very helpful to recommend another business when a customer calls asking for something you don’t offer. However, he could’ve sold me a little more on the group outings the park’s website promotes.


Park #4, CO

First contact: Male.
API: Stated question.
Staff: Zip lining is a great teambuilding activity! It’s a really fun way for the whole office to bond, because you work together to help anyone who might be afraid of heights overcome their fear. We also offer a free-fall element, which can be mentally daunting for some. A lot of groups work through this element together, encouraging one another to take the leap or supporting one another when someone is uncomfortable and decides not to do it.
API: Very cool, sounds like a lot of fun.
Staff: It is super fun. The whole course is a really unique way to get to know your coworkers better! Would you like me to transfer you to our group sales coordinator so you can get more information on pricing? It varies depending on the size of your group.
API: That’s OK, I’ll take this information back to my coworkers and we’ll go from there.
Staff: Great! Let us know if you have any more questions.

Score: 8
Comment: Super friendly, and even though the park’s activities aren’t traditionally for teambuilding, he did a great job of selling the idea of team bonding.


Park #5, NY

First contact: Automated machine. Chose operator.
Answering phone: Female.
API: Stated question.
Staff: Well, we don’t really offer teambuilding. We do groups if that’s what you want.
API: I guess. I mean, we would be coming out as a group.
Staff: OK, please hold. (bad on-hold music begins)
Second contact: Male.
Staff: Group sales. Please hold. (bad on-hold music, again)
Staff: Thank you for holding. How can I help you?
API: Stated question.
Staff: Are you looking to book or just find out more?
API: I am just finding out about the course at the moment, and then we are going to make a decision about where we want to go.
Staff: OK, I will be honest with you, I haven’t done our aerial activities because I am afraid of heights, hehe. So I am sorry to say that I am not the best person to answer those questions. Would it be OK if I transferred you to that department?
API: Sure.
(bad on-hold music…again)
Third contact: Female.
API: Stated question.
Staff: Let me transfer you to group sales. (Here’s that music again! Enough is enough.)

Score: 2
Comment: I hung up after the third transfer. Points to the group sales staff for listening and trying to get me to someone with answers, but being transferred around a bazillion times (yes, a bazillion) and getting nowhere is aggravating.


Park #6, TX

First contact: Automated machine. Chose operator.
Answering phone: Male.
API: Stated question.
Staff: Great! Glad you called us. Let me start by asking what your goals are for your team?
API: Well, I guess we have a couple of goals. We’re a remote company and we don’t get together in person very often, so we thought it would be fun to have a day where we all get together and get to know one another better in person.
Staff: Well, teambuilding activities are a great way to do that. How many people are we talking about?
API: It’s a small group, we’re just seven people.
Staff: Excellent. So what we typically do is, once you have booked, we connect you with one of our facilitators, who will talk more in depth about your team goals and then create a program that fits that.
API: Sounds great.
Staff: Did you have a day in mind?
API: I am just information gathering at the moment. Let me touch base with my boss and once we have a more definitive date I will call you back.
Staff: Sure thing! We’re here if you have any questions.

Score: 9
Comment: By the way he handled this call, clearly this place is prepared for groups like mine.


Park #7, IL

First contact: Female.
API: Stated question.
Staff: Teambuilding? I’m not really sure what you’re asking for.
API: We’re looking to set up a day for our office to come out and have a day to do some activities together. We all work remotely, so we thought teambuilding might be a good way for us to get to know each other better in person.
Staff: Oh, OK. Well, we do zip line tours and those only fit eight people per tour. So it’s kinda tough to do a whole office.
API: That’s fine, our company is only seven people.
Staff: Oh, OK, would you like to make a reservation?
API: Not right now, I was just calling for information.
Staff: Well, the zip line tour takes about two hours and you zip platform to platform.
API: OK, anything else I should know before taking this information back to my boss?
Staff: That’s pretty much it.
API: Thanks.

Score: 1
Comment: Try listening sometime, you might learn something. Oh, and you might also try to make a zip tour sound like it might even be fun.


Park #8, VT

First contact: Female.
API: Stated question.
Staff: Very cool! Are you looking to book a group outing or gather more information?
API: At this stage I am just gathering more information to bring back to my boss.
Staff: Excellent. Well, we have two categories of programs: team bonding and teambuilding. Teambuilding events involve adventure-based challenges designed to help you and your co-workers work on problem-solving skills, group decision making, communication, leadership, teamwork skills—those kind of things that you can take back to your office and hopefully they will help inform and improve your office relationships so you can be more productive! Team bonding, on the other hand, is a great way to have your team come out and share in an adventure together. It’s a fun way to bring groups together outside the office and create memories together. Some people use team bonding to help cement the team relationships, as you encourage each other through the obstacles, but the primary goal is to have fun together. Do you know what type of team event you might be looking to do?
API: You know, I am not sure which might be a better fit for my group.
Staff: Are there any questions I can answer about either type of activity?
API: Are these full-day activities or something we could do for a half day?
Staff: We custom design all the programs to fit your group’s needs, including how long the day is. So once you decide what kind of program you would like your team to do, or perhaps a combination of both, we can customize your day to suit!
API: Wonderful, thank you so much.
Staff: Absolutely. If you have any other questions, please call us back. You can also visit our website at for more information about the different types of team activities!
API: Thanks!

Score: 10
Comment: Is an A++ a thing? Since my question was a bit vague, she jumped right in and clearly explained the difference between team bonding and teambuilding. Not only was the information clear, but she offered two options on how to get more information if I needed it.
Identity Revealed: Arbortrek, Vt.


About Author

Sarah Borodaeff is the former research editor for Adventure Park Insider magazine and current freelance contributor. A professional ski bum and former zip guide, Sarah enjoys any excuse to talk about outdoor adventures.

Leave A Reply