In 2021, several outlets declared that the corporate retreat officially made a comeback. In business, two things run in cycles with the economy, the Holiday party, and retreats.
When companies have good fiscal years, they fund more activities for the staff and employees. There is more money in the coffers to lavish their teams with parties, lunches, and trips.
To plan the perfect business retreat, consider your budget first. Keep in mind that several event providers offer budget-friendly options.
The following are seven steps to planning the perfect corporate retreat.
1. Gather The Guest List
Start by gathering the guest list. Define who benefits from the retreat. Startups and small companies can afford to take the whole team, especially if the number is under 20. It’s more manageable too.
Once you enter a mid-size company and corporate size, you need to make choices.
It’s possible to organize a getaway for 50 to 100 members without too much trouble. Once you enter hundreds, there are more things to consider such as overnight accommodations and meals.
Thus, the guest list also determines the length of the trip.
Day retreats easily accommodate hundreds of guests. Once there is an overnight involved, more elements come into play.
2. Define The Purpose
Next, define the retreat’s purpose. Most trips focus on teambuilding. Others serve as a reward for an outstanding fiscal year. Like the company Holiday party, retreats allow employees across departments to network with each other.
These trips also help define the company’s new course, re-brand, or make an announcement. They deliver an environment that is conducive to charting a new company path with everyone gathered together. Therefore all guests receive the message at the same time.
3. Pick A Theme
A theme helps pull together the focus of any event. It also sets the guests’ expectations. The themes are fun. That’s why many high schools allow students to pick them for their prom, winter dance, and homecoming.
For adults, themes are also fun. As the planner, your job is to balance fun with the retreat’s purpose.
If the purpose of the trip is to announce the company’s new course, focus the theme on the company’s rebranding.
For example, Facebook announced the company is changing its name in 2021. Thus, their retreat’s theme would benefit from focusing on their rebrand.
4. Pick The Location
After setting the guest list, defining the retreat’s purpose, and picking a theme, pick the location.
The spot must accommodate the number of guests. With decorations, you can dress up a ballroom or outdoor area in the trip’s theme. If guests will require overnight accommodations, the location should have nearby or on-site hotels.
Take into consideration the weather too. Outdoor retreats are wonderful. However, rain or extreme heat put a damper on the outside activities.
5. Organize The Agenda
Organization is a key to planning the perfect corporate retreat.
The next step is to organize the agenda. A retreat sees a straggler or two. To keep the rest of the guests moving from one activity to the next, they need to know the agenda. It keeps everyone on the same page.
Place the most intense activities at the optimal time, such as after breakfast. Consider ending the days with a lighter activity before dinner.
If the trip will last more than one day, schedule free time or a Happy Hour for guests. Each allows them to network with each other or do some sightseeing in groups.
6. Add The Activities
All retreats benefit from team-building activities. The type you pick is up to you.
Obstacle and rope courses have gained traction among business entities. These physical activities keep guests active. They encourage team bonding and each member receives an opportunity to contribute.
Hotel Engine offers 11 team-building activities to consider adding to your corporate retreat here.
Every aspect of a retreat is a team-building opportunity. From the kickoff session to the closing meeting. Pick from critical thinking-, physical- or communication-based activities. Another option is to incorporate several types throughout the trip or day.
7. Plan The Meals
It’s important to keep guests well-nourished during a trip. The right foods give them natural energy, help them focus, and remain motivated. You also want to ensure that they receive enough sustenance.
Buffets are a great meal option. It allows enough variety for those who have dietary restrictions. Plus, some people impose diets on themselves. They avoid carbs while others avoid red meat.
Moreover, you receive the most amount of food on a budget.
Consider offering snacks throughout the day too.
A corporate retreat requires a purpose. Otherwise, it turns into a vacation. Some executives look forward to the time away from the office and home. Thus, it’s important to get buy-in from all participants.
The perfect business retreat follows an organized agenda, and gives participants an opportunity to network, mingle, and relax.