Forcing your employees to be entertained might well sound like the misguided goal of a totalitarian government, but arranging days for everyone to put down the grindstone and connect a little over some food or fun is incredibly important for any modern business. At clovio we arrange semiregular team meet-ups, glorious days dedicated to sharing stories, bonding, and discussing the latest goings-on in our lives. Our events usually start with a delicious lunch in a buffet restaurant – an army marches on its stomach, you know? – followed by a fun activity well-suited to team building. Whether we’re cheering on a friend as they try to break their dessert-eating record or racing against one another in a virtual Formula 1 race, we always end up with a fond memory and ultimately grow closer as a team.
Belgian Beer Festival
Having a glass of Belgian beer is always a nice treat, but this is especially true when surrounded by the stands of the best breweries from Belgium. Exploring the varied tastes of the Belgian Beer Festival might not be the most traditional company outing, but it’s hard to resist when there are over 100 different kinds of beer from Flanders and Wallonia to try. We visited with the Beer Lover ticket with which you get four glasses of beer, more than enough to enjoy the essence of Belgian beermaking. Expert tip: bring some homemade savory scones – or pogácsa to Hungarians – to help handle those heavier beers, especially when opting for the 15-token BE[ER]HERO ticket!
Formula One is close to our hearts, and there is no better way of celebrating the highest class of single-seater auto racing than by visiting the Great Race (Nagy Futam in Hungarian). This annual Mayday event is a great opportunity for speed enthusiasts to enjoy all the thrills that F1 has to offer, as well as to see other race cars, motorbikes, and even airplanes in the very heart of Budapest. And since the Great Race is pretty close to most of the city’s best coffeehouses, you can simply drop into any of them and watch the roaring cars fly by in the company of a nice coffee.
Christmas Market Tour
Whether it’s ice skating on Europe’s largest outdoor ice rink or browsing handcrafted wares, there’s actually a lot that this annual clovio Christmas tradition can provide for team building. Starting with mulled wine helps keep the cold at bay, but there are also countless stalls selling warm stews, roasted chestnuts, or the Hungarian chimney-shaped cake kürtőskalács to keep the team feeling toasty. After perusing through the myriad stalls for potential Christmas gifts, ending up at St Stephen’s Basilica and the special lightshow projected onto its walls is a special way to end the meet-up – before the cold gets too unbearable.
Saw-like escape rooms are hugely popular in Hungary, with Budapest even claiming to be a major pioneer in the genre of game’s worldwide boom. We were quickly hooked on the idea of team-based puzzles after our first venture at Locked Room and an investigation on the ‘streets’ of London in pursuit of a serial killer. Each of our ‘detectives’ brought a different skillset to the table, ultimately triumphing over our foe and sending him behind bars. This type of game is such a staple for the company that our Portugal branch has a similarly high track record for overcoming deathtraps.
The streets of Budapest hide many surprises and the Budapest Pinball Museum is definitely one of them. Situated just a few blocks away from downtown’s Nyugati railway station, this museum houses all sorts of pinball machines, some of them dating back as far as the first half of the 20th century. Seeing these artifacts from your childhood in all their glory is enough to take a trip down memory lane, but the Pinball Museum still manages to up the ante; all pinball machines are fully functional, and so they can be played as many times as you want.
While laser tag might seem more like an opportunity for colleagues to vent some concealed frustrations, donning some special equipment and heading out into the dark, narrow corridors of Laser Corner’s play space in two teams is actually great for team building since it fosters communication and teamwork – all while having a heap of sweaty fun. Even if one person does end up destroying the rest of the team (you know who you are!), everyone still comes away feeling satisfied, closer as a team, and just a little bit tired.
What we love about Italian food is that you don’t need to spell it correctly in order to enjoy it. Ape Regina felt like a trip to Rome with its authentic cuisine and wide selection of pastas, grilled meats, salads, and of course oven-baked pizzas. Its all-you-can-eat nature means team members are more free to experiment, each returning with their own unique combination of lesser-known pasta types and sauces, sharing the best combinations with and ending with our tummies full.
Trófea Grill Restaurant
Just like Ape Regina, the Trófea Grill Restaurant offers a smorgasbord of options for a fixed price, although the range of cuisine strikes closer to home with goulash soup, beef stews, and Hungarian stuffed pancakes – among so much more – featuring on the menu. Of course, mouthwatering all stars such as roasted pork, kebab, and freshly baked pizzas are all present too, not to mention some truly exotic dishes like grilled shark meat and sushi, to name just a few. It’s the kind of place you’d wish to have two bellies just to have space for a fourth or fifth round.
While nearby Jamie’s Italian is the hip place to go, if we had a choice of Italian restaurant in the Gozsdu Courtyard, we’d definitely go for 2 Spaghi. Visiting this place is like taking a quick trip to the bel paese: the pasta is made right on the spot complemented by traditional, homemade sauces alongside a plethora of beverages from Italy. Although it’s a bit small for longer team events, 2 Spaghi is perfect for a quick lunch or dinner to taste the best pasta that the Italian cuisine has to offer.