I have been around long enough to see the evolution of team building programs and events. The Progressive Dinner is one of the first programs that I designed and it wasn’t designed for team building, it was designed as a single’s event.
Over 20 year’s ago when I was program director for Learning Adventure, an adult education/recreation program we created an event that had guests changing dining companions after each course so that each person could meet different people at each change. The process was fun and each diner would bring their drink and their napkin as they changed tables. It was really the predecessor to speed dating which had its’ first event in 1998. The issue we had at the time is the same issue that they have today in that it was very popular with woman but finding men to do this was next to impossible.
The Progressive Dinner itself was not unique as this type of dining has been done for years from house to house and later through destination management companies (DMC’s) from restaurant to restaurant. What was unique about what we created was the computer program we had designed so that people would not sit with the same person, twice. When we adapted this event for team building, we changed it so that there would be a ‘get to know you team building activity’ with the appetizer, the entrée and dessert and it was offered as a networking event, as the changes still allowed people to meet dozens of new people at every dinner, rather than just those who were seated at their table. We even made one more twist and this was not a singles event, not a corporate event, it was my daughter’s bat mitzvah. That was a truly successful progressive dinner.
Today, with the introduction of YoYo, we are offering this program two different ways, one as we designed it, a networking, get to know you event at one restaurant and the other as a restaurant to restaurant event in the best areas, with the best restaurants in each city. We start in Boston in the North End (the Italian section) and the Back Bay and invite you to check out one of our original team building events and enjoy great company (you provide) and a great meal (we provide) facilitated by one of TeamBonding’s finest facilitators. Mangia!