Trading Places

A World Class Trading Team Building Event

The world’s economy has been on something of a rollercoaster now for a number of years, and whilst that has presented many people with many issues, it also provides a great back-drop for an exciting and highly instructional team building event.

Trading Places is a fast paced team building exercise based on currency trading and set in the volatile new global economy. It will test teams close coordination, communication, strategy, attention to detail, quick comprehension, good preparation and team deployment.

In 1964 Harold Wilson made the famous quote 'A week is a long time in politics'. Some 50 years on and those words certainly hold true for the new global economy. The Trading Places team building exercise lasts 168 minutes exactly - one week of 24 minute “days.” The objective is to construct the highest buildings in each continent around the world.



The Trading Places team building session is divided into four linked and overlapping parts:

  • 1. International Questions
  • 2. Dealing at the Trading Desk
  • 3. Continental Travel
  • 4. Tower Building

The overall aim of the session is: For each sub-team working in five continents to build as many towers as they can by the end of the 168 minutes (“one week”).

They have five continents in which to work: Asia, Europe, The Americas, Africa and Australasia, ideally building one tower as high as possible on each of the five continents. The continents will be placed all around the grounds and internal spaces of the venue, and will each be managed by a member of the Quest team.


1. International Questions

Contained in the teams’ instructions will be a broad range of questions based on the countries of the world. The teams will be guided on where the answers to those questions can be found. The first task for the teams is to work through the large range of information in the HQ room and continents and gain as many answers as possible.


2. Dealing at the Trading Desk

Having gained as many answers as possible, they will then visit the Trading Desk, to trade their correct answers, for money, “Quesos.” However, the Trading Desk is open only at certain times, (remember hours are represented by minutes).

In addition, there is a Breaking News screen in the Trading Room, and the information on that will keep revolving and revealing new pieces of information that will have further impact on trading.


3. Continental Travel

With Quesos earned from answers, the teams can embark on international travel being able to divide into pairs for this element. However, on first arrival at each continent more unexpected information will be revealed to do with time zones, and their impact on trading times.

As this part of the team building session progresses the issue of making strategic decisions based on lots of new information will become increasingly important: When to stop raising money, and travelling around the world buying materials, and when to start building? 


4. Tower Building

The aim of building a tower on each of the five continents will have to be balanced with information the teams will have gained, for example...

How long is it taking them to travel between continents? How much building material have they bought? How much more can they buy? And many others. At the appropriate point in the “week” building needs to start on as many continents as possible. Or will they opt for another strategy?  Which teams strategy will be correct…………and which will be the winner? A week is indeed a long time!


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