Saturday, August 30, 2008

Mystery Party Centerpieces

Murder on the Menu is often asked to suggest centerpieces for our murder mystery parties. Thought I'd share some ideas, so you can do this at your 'home' mystery party.

A great centerpiece is the Board from the Clue Game. On top of this you can place votives, floral arrangements, or weapons. Weapons? Yes, easy to make or buy weapons such as bombs, dynamite (covered toilet paper insert), noose, knife, pearls (strangulation). One client recently used the cards and the weapons and people from the game. Any of these items can be inserted into the flower arrangements or scattered on the Clue Board. Word of advice. Don't use cap pistols, water pistols or other guns. They're noisy and disruptive to the flow of your party or event. A few years ago, a Silicon Valley client had water pistols in their centerpieces. The guns were quickly removed and used by the group, shorting out the sound system.

Here's another idea: Flower arrangements filled with tea-stained mystery novels (I know, a sin to book lovers and to me, the Editor of the Mystery Readers Journal (see my other blog: Mystery Fanfare), magnifying glasses, Sherlock Holmes hats (deerstalkers), fedoras.

Other centerpieces could include mystery accoutrement based on motives, cops, detectives (different types of hats).

Other ideas to get into the mood. Name your tables after different fictional (movie, TV, book) detectives. Ask your guests to come dressed as their favorite sleuth. This is easy for the guys--a trenchcoat and fedora. Or, you can always supply the fedoras and boas (if it's a period piece) or other hats and small costume pieces.

Wednesday, August 27, 2008

Green Art: TeamBuilding Unlimited Goes Green

Everyone is talking about going GREEN. Well, we offer a teambuilding experience that not only talks the talk but walks the walk. The Ultimate Green Art Experience does just that!
I'm a big recycler, and I know many companies are, too. That's why Murder on the Menu/TeamBuilding Unlimited decided to add The Ultimate Green Art Experience to our list of teambuilding activities. We can bring in our own recycled materials, or we can use materials “found” at your worksite. Either way, this is a great way to build teams while being aware of and respecting the environment.

What is the Ultimate Green Art Experience? Utilizing Recycled Materials, each team will use communication, problem-solving and decision-making skills to create a customized, collaborative innovative Green Art Project. Each "masterpiece" will reflect the Company/organization, agenda, theme and the Team. This unique "green" artwork may be a new logo, trophy, banner, collage or some other work utilizing recycled materials.
The Green Art Experience is great for leadership development, new product launches, teambuilding, and strategy retreats-and is good for the environment. This activity is also great for fundraisers, special events, tournaments, and rehearsal dinners.

Key factors about your company will contribute to the success of every project. Each participant will take an active role during the pre-construction period and leadership during the construction phase. Each team will utilize many of the hidden skills and talents of the team's participants, to ask and answer the right questions and make intelligent suggestions to design and build a successful project.

Every project is unique and customized for your company. Whether it be centerpieces for your dinner, a banner for your company walls, a trophy for winning a competition or art to take home and share with others, we will work with you to choose the best recycled materials to select for your teams to fashion into an something creative for your company.

Awesome Chocolate Tasting for California Women Lead

Who doesn't like chocolate? Murder on the Menu/TeamBuilding Unlimited does Chocolate Tastings with Frank Price, our VP of TeamBuilding Unlimited. Frank spent three years in Cote d'Ivoire (Ivory Coast) where he was upclose and personal with the growing and harvesting of cacao. Cote D'Ivoire is the largest growing cacao country.

California Women Lead recently hired us to do a chocolate tasting at their Sacramento Summer Networking event. We had 8 different high end chocolates from European and American boutique chocolate companies--each with different proportions of cacao, ranging from 40% to 85%. It was all about smell, sound, taste--mostly about taste-- as Frank and three other chocolate mavens answered questions and gave instructions on how best to taste chocolate. It's like a wine tasting... only better because it's all about chocolate!

California Women Lead is a nonpartisan, nonprofit or organization dedicated to providing leadership and campaign trainings, networking opportunities, and policy discussion forums for women interested in or who hold elected and appointed offices. Their motto is Engage, Empower, Elect. Maybe after this Chocolate Tasting, they'll add Eat, Enjoy!

Murder on the Menu does two types of Chocolate Tastings. One is seminar style (more like a wine tasting... only about chocolate) and the other features chocolate stations. It all depends on the type of event you're planning and how you like your chocolate.

Tuesday, August 26, 2008

Corporate Holiday Party Ideas

It's never too early (or late) to plan your company holiday party. Murder on the Menu / TeamBuilding Unlimited would love to work with you to make your holiday event a smashing success. Here are a few ideas. Remember, all Murder on the Menu/TeamBuilding Unlimited events are customized to include information on your group, company, jargon, goals and objectives and more! All our events are interactive because they're all about you!

Murder Mystery: Our mystery events are customized, interactive theatrical presentations -- a welcome form of corporate entertainment. The spotlight of fun is on employees and friends as our actors bring out the corporate energy and unique creativity of your guests.

Delicious Designs: The Great Gingerbread House Competition
Teams work together to design, build and decorate the best Gingerbread House to reflect their company and/or their group within the company. All materials are provided including instructions, gingerbread, decorations, icing, candy, sprinkles and other goodies! You supply the resourceful creativity and dynamic energy. So roll up your sleeves and get down to food basics. Design a delicious gingerbread house which reflects the raison d'ĂȘtre of your group.

The Charity Challenge: Trikes for Tots
TeamBuilding Unlimited has added a special element to our teambuilding events. After a series of engaging, fun and competitive Wacky Games, participants will work together to build Tricycles for Tots. Enter into the Season of Giving-Year-Round.

I have a lot of other ideas for holiday parties--The Arresting Detective, Elves, A French Knight, Hats Off to You!

Sunday, August 24, 2008

ZS Associates Build Bikes for Kids at the Giants AT&T Park

Thursday dawned foggy and damp, but even the cool Bay area fog couldn't dampen the energy of 100 ZS Associates participants as they put together 26 bicycles at AT&T Park, home of the San Francisco Giants. The Charity Challenge: Bikes for Kids yielded 26 bikes for needy kids. Rick Uribe of Catholic Charities received the bicycles for Family Support Services in Santa Rosa. Some bikes will be given to children now, and some will be held for holiday gifts. But the day for ZS Associates didn't end there. Murder on the Menu/TeamBuilding Unlimited had also created some fun teambuilding games before the Game. It was a great day and the group was certainly up for the Charity Challenge!