Print Posted on 05/15/2017 in Corporate

The Ultimate Guide to Planning the Best Corporate Retreat

The Ultimate Guide to Planning the Best Corporate Retreat

Ultimate Guide to Planning the Best Corporate Retreat

So, you've been tasked with organizing a corporate retreat and you don't know where to start? 

We get it. We really do.  

All of those competing desires. All of those proposed activities. All of those potentially productive or non-productive hours on the company dollar.  

Along with all the individual and collective expectations you want to meet, the retreat has got to be fun, rewarding and super productive.

So, exactly how do you make it all work?

The good news is that with a little help, your retreat can truly be all things to all people. 

You can have the privacy you want. You can get the logistics spot on. And, you can all have fun in the process.

If you've been wondering how to organize a retreat that is meaningful, strategic and loaded with benefits, this article is for you.

We're sharing the ultimate guide to planning the best corporate retreat

Read on for the full scoop.

1. Your Company's Objectives

The days where company retreats were booze-filled, empty sojourns in picturesque surroundings are over.

Today, businesses are planning retreats in order to meet very specific objectives. 

So, in order to get the very best out of your corporate retreat, you need to have your own focused agenda and a very firm idea as to what your core objectives are.

  • Precisely what is this retreat about?
  • What do you want out of it?
  • What's the end game for the company?

Getting the objectives clear in your head is important. 

  • Are you looking to build trust and foster a better working environment?
  • Is it about increasing and encouraging greater engagement?
  • Do you need people to think differently or shake up the status quo? 
  • Do you want to reward your team for sustained growth?
  • Do you want to build growth by stimulating the creative juices of your team?
  • Is this retreat part of a greater motivational strategy? 

Getting clear on your company objectives is the beginning of any successful corporate retreat. Now that you are clear, have those objectives underscore everything you do. 

2. Your Team's Objectives

When you're drawing up your list of objectives, you will view things through a very specific lens: the company's point of view.

In your planning, you will be focused on providing the best outcome for the company.

But, to really have success, you need to incorporate the viewpoint of your team members into your thinking. 

The importance of a retreat for your team cannot be overstated. But, precisely what are they looking for in a retreat?

How do you take a large group of people away from their natural working environment and offer them a stimulating, invigorating experience, while at the same time producing the results you want?

Your team will be comprised of different people who all have diverging opinions, dissimilar needs and contradictory desires.

They will all have different tastes, right? From how they like their food to how they like their fun.

So, how will you cater to those differences?

The first thing you can do here is really very simple. You can ask your team what their objectives are for a corporate retreat. You can engage with them in the planning process.

Along with that, you can cater to different needs and tastes by aiming to provide as much variety as possible.

Your team won't want to talk shop all the time so blend events, activities, and workshops. Look to provide the right mix of business, fun activities and free time. 

Above all, keep things varied. 

After all, variety is the spice of life. 

3. Inviting the Right People

A corporate retreat has the potential to provide your company with numerous benefits, but it doesn't have to involve your entire workforce. Most retreats don't.

For many companies, retreats are strategic stomping grounds. With this in mind, it's critical that the right people are invited along. 

You can make your retreat as large or as intimate as you like, but you must have the right people there. 

Get clear about who those people are.

  • The decision makers?
  • The stakeholders?
  • The creative team?
  • The budgeting team?

Who you invite will be closely linked to your overall objectives for the retreat. And, one thing is certain.

And, one thing is certain. Your invitation list itself can determine the success or failure of your retreat before you step one single foot out of the office. 

4. Budget and Location 

Once you know what your objectives are and as soon as you're clear on the numbers attending, you can determine an appropriate budget for your corporate retreat.

Your budget will determine the following:

  • The length of the retreat - 2 days, 4 days? A Week?
  • Venue - What kind of environment will work best for what you're trying to achieve? 
  • Accommodation - Are you looking for luxury?
  • Activities - These will be determined by your objectives
  • Catering needs - Are they included with the venue?

It's important to get a full breakdown of the cost of everything before you go.

This way you can decide if there are any deal-breakers - things you may want to add or take away. And, more importantly, you won't be left with any nasty surprises when the bill arrives. 

5. Scheduling

After all the major decisions have been made and your corporate retreat has been booked, scheduling becomes the next issue of major importance.

You are going to be spending a large portion of time away from home with a group of people you may or may not know particularly well. 

In light of this, scheduling is the lifeblood of any successful retreat. 

Create a scheduling calendar ahead of time. That way, every single attendee will know of each and every event before the retreat begins.

That calendar must show what events or activities are on, what time they're on at and whether each specific event or activity is madatory or optional.

To get the best out of your retreat, schedule as much as you can.

That includes the obvious things like

  • Meetings
  • Seminars
  • Conferences
  • Specific team meetings

But it also includes other things like

  • Rest/relax time
  • Free time
  • Social time
  • Team Bonding 
  • Meals 

Corporate Retreat Planning: One Step at a Time

Planning a retreat doesn't have to be as daunting as it may first appear. 

It's like building your business from the ground up: You start with your objectives and everything comes from there.

You build a great retreat the way you build anything of great value.

With one important step at a time. 

Got any questions or looking for advice on the perfect retreat for your company? Reach out and talk to us. Our satisfaction promise is to always connect you with the best retreat guides that meet your specific needs. 

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