Whether it’s the grin you wear from mastering any of our games or the celebratory staff days out, one thing FuturLab consistently knows how to do is provide the fun. So, last week the whole team took a break from our desks and ventured out to have some together. Below is a brief recap of our summer day out exploring Brighton and Hove from land and sea!
Our day began with a sorting ceremony, putting together two teams of seven to promote a bit of friendly rivalry during the planned activities (with myself acting as a riddle master, flip-flopping between the two throughout the day). The first challenge that morning was for the nominated team captains to blow up their inflatable crowns, the first to do so getting a head start on the treasure hunt which led us all to… breakfast!
Both teams ended up at Six, a short walk from FuturLab HQ. You’ve never seen so much avocado toast in your life. With full tummies and a little vibration in our step from the iced coffees, we once again split into our two groups and sequentially deciphered the second riddle of the day. Both team leaders led their troops through town to do battle. Can you guess where?
When they tell you there’s no running in the Laser Zone, they’re telling fibs. Or maybe we’re just a pack of rule breakers. Imagine what would happen if the creators of the Velocity series were handed laser guns, because that’s exactly what happened! Carnage. I should warn you that Jack Hamilton, one of our resident artists here who may be underestimated because of his friendly and warm demeanour is actually an Avenger with a laser gun and should not be messed with, zapping us all multiple times.
After some friendly warfare we collected our scorecards and slush puppy drinks to cool down, and then it was on to the next activity! But before that, we had to get there…
The Volks Railway is the oldest working electric railway in the world and is conveniently set up to shuffle passengers between the famous Brighton Palace Pier and the Marina, which is home to a bunch of fun activities – more on those later. So, a riddle was devised to get the teams from the Laser Zone down the seafront to our pickup point, via an obligatory ice cream stop of course. The railway took us on an ocean cruise that travelled the teams down the beach, past the barely-concealed nudist sunbathing area and down to Brighton Marina where the rest of our Day of Fun continued.
Next up was a stint at the Hollywood Bowl – did you know they let you wear your own shoes now? We ordered some hotdogs and pitchers of beer before setting up our lanes, which included some cracking usernames – shout out to ‘Pinderella’ who shall surely be invited to the ball after chucking it with such precision.
The following activity was, unfortunately, a little rushed. Spoilers for the next segment; but we had spent so much time hanging out at the bowling alley playing arcade games whilst waiting for snacks to arrive that the upcoming boat trip was at a real risk of leaving without us! So we sped through a round of Globalls; a glow-in-the-dark mini golf course filled with neon dinosaurs (yes, you read that correctly). Dance music thumped, our glow sticks… glowed, and the balls were hit straight into the hole every single time thanks to our finely tuned Videogame reflexes and my ability to tell porkies.
After storming through mini golf, the final riddle of the day led us to a barge at the Marina where a cruise boat waited to give us a tour of our city from the sea. The boat slowly left the harboured marina area through a gap in the walls and set sail on the open sea, taking us all around both piers and pretty close to the studio before bringing us back to land.
On the return electric railway journey back along the seafront (past the nude sunbathers again) and into town, it was apparent that most of us were knackered out. That didn’t stop half the team going for drinks late into the night, but it was a long, hot and fun-packed day. And it’s important to have those together every once in a while. Sure, ‘team building exercises’ are great for improving communication and increasing collaboration, and it’s been shown that happiness and increased learning are tied closely together – but we didn’t particularly need those benefits. Us FuturLab’ers are more than a team, we’re a little family who already knew how to have (and create) fun experiences.
The day out was incredibly fun for exploring the city, and we definitely reinforced employee bonds. But sometimes it’s just nice to spend a sunny day out having fun with your chosen friends and family.