The Definitive Step-by-Step Guide to Your Next Company Getaway
There are many reasons why companies organize retreats. It can be for team building, morale boosting, strategic planning, or to launch a project.
Corporate retreats are instrumental in generating new ideas, forging friendships, and gaining new perspective. People tend to work more effectively if they are relaxed and in a space where they can find balance and remain collected.
There are many things to plan for when organizing a retreat. These include the agenda, budget and logistics, location, facilitation, and activities/content. Let’s go through each to ensure you get results and your co-workers don’t feel like they wasted their time.
What is the Agenda and Goal?
Start by setting the goals of your corporate retreat. You can’t plan location or activities if you have no idea what you’re trying to accomplish. That’s why it’s important to have a clear purpose and goal for the retreat.
Some common goals are:
- morale boost
- establish more cohesiveness / resolve interpersonal communication
- generate new ideas
You need to identify the specific goal and create a plan that will indulge everyone in an effective manner.
Now that you have your goals in mind, start writing up a loose agenda. Portion and outline the time you have available. Remember to balance meetings with activities and intense moments with relaxation.
You don’t need to know the specific activity just yet. Keep focused on your retreat outline and a general timetable. Block out time for things like meetings, brainstorming, activities, games, sleep, and free time.
Budget and Logistics
The financial aspect of the retreat is probably the most important thing. A good budget will put healthy constraints on what you can do and provide enough to get the job done.
Be realistic with your budget and options, but don’t be afraid to invest in this corporate retreat. If you skimp on funding, your attendees will notice and disappointment will arise. Good food, good transportation, and good venues are guaranteed to put everyone in a positive mood – and receptive to what you’re trying to accomplish!
Don’t forget to consider transportation and logistics. How will people get to your venue? When is a good time to have the corporate retreat?
It’s possible to ask each attendee to drive themselves to the retreat if it’s nearby. However, if you need to travel more than an hour – you should think about booking a rental van, bus service, and/or airline tickets.
Be careful with your timing of the retreat. Try to book it during a slow period at work. Check into any big company deadlines. You want your attendees to be fully present and focused at the retreat – this is difficult if they are feeling the stress of a looming project deadline.
Choose the Right Venue
It’s time to choose where to go with your team! Gather together your venue requirements like capacity, catering needs, number of meeting rooms, sleeping rooms, and other facilities.
Then consider the atmosphere. Do you picture yourself on the beach? In a secluded forest or garden? Or in the city?
Don’t underestimate the power of your surroundings. Getting the most out of your attendees might involve an energetic party-like tone. Or everyone might fare better in a calm and relaxing place. You’ll have to trust your own assessment on this because if you ask everyone they’ll definitely say “Tahiti!”
Let’s face it though… You have a budget and it isn’t endless. Pick something realistic and appropriate for your group. Consider your logistics too – where can everyone meet?
Make a list of 3 or 4 locations you think might work. Then contact the venue owners and see if they can accommodate your group.
The Lodge at Weir’s Beach in Victoria, BC offers Bed & Breakfast style sleeping accommodations, a meeting space, and many private rooms and nooks. All located right on a tranquil Pacific Ocean beach, adorned by gardens and countryside. It’s capable of housing 6 – 12 people (depending on sleeping arrangements) at affordable rates.
Choose a Facilitator
Did you know that there are professional facilitators for hire? These coaches might just be worth it. They are skilled in handling groups and maintain a neutral position in debates, brainstorming, and negotiations.
If you do go with a facilitator, it is important to highlight what you wish to achieve so that they can work towards your goals. You should ensure they are within your budget and they are accredited.
Of course, you could also choose to save on this and be the facilitator yourself. Or assign someone from the company who could be really good at it.
Another common structure is to assign a department head to run their own meeting/activity. Give them their time slot and let them decide topic, approach, and requirements. It gives them ownership and importance.
No matter what, you’ll still need someone to make sure people stick to the agenda and that the entire retreat runs smoothly.
Plan the Details of Your Time and Activities
Now that you have your goals set, budget available, location chosen, and facilitator, you’re set to plan out the details. Communicate with your facilitator(s) to determine what the discussion times will be about. Then dig into the venue and surrounding area to plan your fun activities and games.
Remember, you’ve got a timetable already setup. Just fill in the details. You’ll want to be flexible as the plan comes together because some things may take more or less time than originally anticipated.
Check in with your retreat leaders regularly on the schedule. Try to finalize the agenda a couple weeks before the retreat. That way you can distribute the agenda to your attendees and build their excitement.
Corporate Retreat in Victoria, BC
Dozens of companies have held successful corporate retreats in Victoria, BC at The Lodge at Weir’s Beach. The tranquil grounds encourage relaxation and creativity. Everyone will enjoy gorgeous views of the Pacific Ocean, private beach access, extensive gardens, hot tubs, free wifi, and spacious interiors. Contact us today to see if The Lodge at Weir’s Beach is right for your retreat!