Do you want to increase your employees' happiness? Strengthen your team's culture? Clarify your mission, goals and values?
An offsite team meeting may be the perfect solution to do it all.
A rewarding and fun team event will strengthen your team's bond when you're back on site.
Answers to these questions can help you start planning:
What does your organization want to achieve with this offsite meeting?
How is your team structured?
How long should the meeting last?
For remote teams looking to build and strengthen connections among members spread across the globe, allow more time for introductions and team-building activities. Three to five days should be ideal.
For local teams wanting to consider projects and work from new perspectives, or to boost creativity with casual and fun time away from the office, one to two days should be appropriate.
Think of the time of year you want the offsite meeting to happen. Look for the best locations to accommodate the weather during that time of year.
Consider how much to spend. Account for transportation, lodging, catering, team-building activities, keynote speakers and employee gifts.
Silvia's PR company has offices across the US and wants to organize the company's first meeting for its local directors. What should she consider before planning the meeting?
"Is it cheaper to host it at global HQ?"
"Is Q1 or Q4 the best time?"
"Should we discuss new PR strategies?"
All of these
Go as top-notch as your budget allows.
Show employees how valued they are
Raise morale from the start
Encourage everyone to bring their A-game
Will you need breakout rooms?
Can your whole team be in one place? This is easier for a team of 20 than a team of 100 or more.
Is there reliable internet?
Do you need props or accessories for your team-building activities?
Is lodging available on-site or nearby?
Will you need transportation? Charter buses, carpools, public transit?
Does the venue provide in-house catering services or will you need to hire an outside one?
How many meals will you provide? Some organizations provide two meals plus snacks and beverages, while others provide variations on that model.
Can you accommodate your team's dietary needs and allergies?
Silvia's meeting will host 25 staff at a hotel in Miami. The team will meet at the beginning and end of each day, and split into smaller groups for strategy sessions. What should she arrange with the venue before the meeting?
3 small conference rooms
A shuttle service from the airport
A large boardroom
All of these
Ensure your location can balance talks with team-building and downtime.
Filling every hour with work-focused events and activities will burn your team out. They'll want time to connect, refresh and stay in touch with family and friends at home.
Does your location support:
Group activities such as cooking classes, escape rooms or team games like dodgeball?
Convenient access and transportation for motivational speakers?
Access for vendors to supply props for team-building exercises?
What kind of activities will help Silvia's team make the most out of the conference?
A cocktail party on the first night
An afternoon without meetings
A keynote speaker
All of these
Research local attractions and activities.
Share such information as locations, descriptions, hours of operation, pricing and transportation options.
Consider optional group outings and sign-up steps for interested team members to explore the area together.
Offsite meetings can be overwhelming but you don't have to do it alone! Several organizations focus exclusively on helping teams plan great retreats.
Give yourself time and grace. You've got this!
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This Byte has been authored by
Tammi Kohl Kennedy
Instructional Designer and eLearning Developer