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Teambuilding: A killer idea to develop staff skills


Teambuilding days can be murder – but if you choose a mystery experience for your awayday, you’ll at least have someone to blame. You’ll take part in an interactive crime story, working to solve the puzzle and find the killer

Q What can you do? 
The first decision is whether to buy a ready-made script to run the mystery yourself, or to go for a bespoke event with actors and facilitators. Red Herring Games (01472 348909, can provide both options. Managing Director Jo Smedley says: “You can do it as an after-dinner entertainment, or as a fully facilitated activity. It’s very adaptable.” 

Not everyone is a natural Poirot or Marple, but the games are designed to allow the whole group to take part in the unfolding story. “People do get dragged in,” says Ms Smedley. “Everybody soon gets engaged in trying to find clues, asking questions and interacting with the cast.” 

Other operators include Murder Mystery Events (0871 3300155, and Murder One (0793 722233,

Q Where can you do it? 
Most providers will go anywhere in the country. Ms Smedley says: “We use teams of actors all over the UK and beyond – we’ve even run events in Barcelona, Egypt 
and Hawaii.” 

Q What are the risks? 
Some team members may have reservations about the subject matter – perhaps even having coped with it in real life. It’s a good idea to find out whether this is the case before arranging your event. If it’s likely to be a problem, crime mystery scenarios that don’t involve a body are available.

Q What will the business get out of it? 
Almost all of the sleuthing skills have real-world applications. There’s the teamwork aspect, with each murder squad having to determine who’s responsible for interrogation, note-taking and managing the whole investigation. Participants will have to think on their feet, analyse a large amount of information and judge when the evidence is strong enough to point the finger at the right suspect. 

Q What does it cost? 
For an after-dinner scenario for a small group, you’ll just need to buy an inexpensive performing licence and script (and sometimes multimedia material, in which case a projector will be required). 

A whole awayday with actors can cost considerably more. Ms Smedley says: “You can shop with us and get something off the shelf for £50, right up to having us design a whole murder-mystery theme weekend for £5,000 or more.”