A conversation at an event was the catalyst for the resulting partnership between two companies looking for a way to offer something more.

Team building is not a new idea to the business world. But business meeting company sparkspace and board-game parlor Kingmakers are changing the game with a collaboration that has a fresh take on employee bonding.

The experience, coming this spring, was dreamed up at a Short North Alliance small business boot camp, where sparkspace founder Mark Henson and Kingmakers owner Malika Jacobs discovered their companies could benefit each other—Kingmakers wanted meeting space, and sparkspace wanted team-bonding activities.

The beauty of the partnership, Jacobs says, is that each business fills a void for the other.

Holly Harper, marketing and event producer at sparkspace, says her company already was mulling the idea of adding team-building experiences because of clients' requests.

“We haven't had anything, so now we do.”

The board game bonding begins with a half-day session Downtown at sparkspace, then travels to Kingmakers in the Short North. Games are chosen by Kingmakers staff—“board game sommeliers”—to facilitate productive bonding.

“We've found that it forces people to let their guard down and get out of their comfort zone, which I think is really instrumental in team-bonding experiences,” explains Jacobs.

An escape room by Trapped, a Columbus business that sets up one of its interactive games in a sparkspace meeting room, and a food scavenger hunt at North Market are two other team-bonding events already offered by sparkspace. The company wants to offer experiences people will remember, says Harper.

“It's meant to be something where people can let their hair down a little bit ... and maybe spark a relationship with someone in their company they've never talked to before.”