By Maya Fanjul-Debnam
Minnesota Meetings + Events | Winter 2017
For a team-building exercise that’s off the beaten path, Trapped in a Room with a Zombie provides an hour’s worth of puzzles, problem-solving, communication and yes, a zombie, to your next corporate event.
Groups of up to 12 people are trapped in a room with a chained-up zombie and a host. The host explains the rules: You have an hour to solve all of the clues and get the key to escape the room before the zombie eats you and your group members. Seems simple, except for the fact that every five minutes the zombie’s chain gets longer, and you have less room to move, which threatens your ability to solve the riddles.
Seem terrifying? “I’d say it’s more fun than scary,” says Barry Zelickson, owner of Big Thrill Factory. “I understand why people would be skeptical, but it’s always a fun experience. It’s not really intelligence-based, I mean I’ve seen kids escape and had groups of adults not make it out.”
If you intend to make it out alive, Zelickson stresses the importance of communication and working together. Often someone tries to take on the role of leader and refuses to listen to their members’ ideas. Strong leadership is crucial to survival, but so is listening.
Seventy percent of groups fail to make it out. The ideal group has one or two strong leaders that suggest concepts, decide on paths to follow or lead the group to certain outcomes. Thinking creatively is another underestimated skill for this puzzle. Adults can struggle to let their imagination flow and that hinders their problem-solving skills. At “Trapped,” you can let your creativity fly and say whatever wild answer pops into your head. You never know, you could be right.
The teamwork skills gained from solving the clues manifest themselves in the workplace, where listening, communication and creative thinking are all crucial in collaborative projects.