Team Building & Retreats tips
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How to Plan a Successful Corporate Retreat

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In some businesses, team retreats are planned solely for fun away from the office, with no special emphasis on work-related activities. In light of this, many organizations are reconsidering the retreat as a chance to develop priceless encounters with culture-building.

Well-planned company retreats have a certain charm that boosts productivity, communication, and teamwork while also fostering the growth of deeper ties between employees. There are so many more benefits of a corporate retreat.

Offsite retreats can help disrupt the status quo and inspire in a setting aside from the workplace. People can re-energize themselves in a new setting, forge connections with others via teamwork, and when they return to their workplace, morale and productivity soar. 

However, it's crucial to understand that a retreat is only the beginning. It is just one of several steps in the ongoing process of creating and maintaining a high-performing team. This article focuses on teaching you how to plan the perfect corporate retreat.

Here are the questions you need to ask yourself when planning a corporate retreat:

1. Define Your Goal

The first step to any corporate retreat is to define what motivates you to take your company/team on a retreat. Corporate retreats are frequently used by teams at work to think about their performance in the past, make plans for the future, and reinforce the company's mission, but every retreat is different and can serve a different purpose.

For example, if the goal of the retreat is to reward employees, you may want to consider an exotic or luxurious location and plan pleasurable fancy activities. 

Moreover, before planning the rest of the retreat, it is important to identify any specific issues or goals you want to address. This could include developing the direction for a new product, feature, or campaign, defining the company's values, or establishing goals for the forthcoming quarter.

It is thus essential to be clear about the objectives of the retreat from the beginning, as they will guide the rest of the planning process.

2. Define Dates 

When planning a corporate retreat, it is important to fix a few dates well in advance - at least 6 months ahead if possible. This will give attendees enough time to plan and prepare for their time off from work if necessary. One way to decide on dates is to send a survey to the team to see which dates work best for the majority of people. You can also consider any major holidays or events that may conflict with the retreat dates.

It can also be helpful to consider the season and weather at the retreat location. If the retreat is outdoors, you may want to avoid extreme heat or cold. If the retreat is at a resort, you may want to avoid peak tourist season to get the best rates.

Once you have a few potential dates in mind, it is a good idea to check with the retreat venue to see if they are available and could confirm the rates. Don't forget to also consider logistics, such as transportation and accommodation for attendees.

3. Choose A Location

Finding the right location for a corporate retreat can be a challenging task. There are many options available online and vendors like TeamOut can help you find the perfect location. It is key to find a location that is easily accessible for your team, especially if you have international attendees. This may mean choosing a location that is close to an international airport. It is also a good idea to choose a location that is not in the city center, as research has shown that this can be less effective for corporate retreats. Instead, look for a location that offers plenty of space and catering options.

Once you have a few options in mind, you can start sending venue requests for rates and availability. Keep in mind that hotels may be short-staffed and busy, so it may take longer to get a response. Using a platform like TeamOut can help speed up the process. 

When you are ready, sign a contract with the venue. Note that there may be minimum amounts required for the food and beverage orders and that the final cost may depend on the number of meals served. Finally, make sure to choose a venue that has everything you need in terms of the activities and goals of your corporate retreat.

4. Elect The Accommodation

The quality of your getaway is also set by the lodging. A beautiful location can positively impact the employees, boosting their spirits right away

While researching lodging in advance, turning to travel review websites might be useful. When it comes to booking a venue, full buyouts can be a great option for small groups of 20-30 people who are the only ones requesting this. However, it's important to keep in mind that it may not always be easy to book a hotel for a group. If you can, try to prioritize giving each team member their own space and own room. 

Although it costs more, we've discovered that the staff values the opportunity for some solitude and quiet.

5. Set The Budget

Budget-busting retreats are not necessary. Think about the size of your business and your goals while deciding on a budget. Start modestly if your organization has never previously withdrawn. By booking a hotel within an hour of a major airport and traveling during the off-season, you can save a significant amount of money.

Whatever activities, location, and duration of the retreat you have to make sure that you stay within your predefined budget. Now, we understand that making an entire budget manually can be very hectic and time-consuming.

Don’t let that sway you away from this much-needed retreat. Instead of struggling with budget planning on your own, you try using TeamOut’s budget estimator . It's a reliable tool that uses data from over 150 retreats to accurately estimate your budget and streamline the planning process for you.

6. Plan The Activities

Some employees will be ecstatic at the prospect of going on a business retreat. Some people could experience some anxiety when they are away from their familiar environment. Some people will want to mingle constantly, while others will require lots of solitude to re-energize.

Not everyone will drink alcohol, have the same food, or adhere to the same diet. Not everyone can or will desire to engage in physical activity.

Everybody will have different needs, therefore it is important to provide everyone with a fair chance to participate in and enjoy your business retreat. Make sure your team retreat is inclusive and accessible to anyone. Make sure everyone’s dietary requirements can be taken into account and guarantee activities that won't risk excluding anyone. TeamOut curated a set of team-building activities that you can choose from, depending on your budget, goals and values. 

7. Add Fun

It's important to have an itinerary for your business retreat, just like you would for a training or meeting. However, the primary goal should not be to maximize productivity or pack as many events as possible into a day.

While workshops and group sessions are important for achieving your goals, they can also be draining. To avoid tiredness, include plenty of time for natural team building and rest. This could include activities, walks, or swims.

The most successful workplace retreats are those where attendees feel relaxed and at ease. This helps to boost their appreciation of the business, which leads to increased motivation and employee loyalty. Choose a setting that helps visitors to unwind and get in the right rhythm. 

8. Plan for Logistics and Transportation

Once the program and agenda for your corporate retreat are finalized, it's essential to plan for logistics to ensure your team has a great experience. This includes booking transportation from the airport to the hotel, from the hotel to the activities and all other transportation needs outlined in the agenda.

It's also noteworthy to communicate all logistics details with your team, including what to pack, the agenda for the event, and the reason for the retreat. This will help set expectations and ensure everyone is on the same page.

During the retreat, it's fundamental to make sure that everything runs smoothly and that all vendors arrive on time. It's also a good idea to have a plan B in case something unexpected happens, such as transportation or activity vendors not showing up.

9. Get feedback

It takes a lot of work to organize and carry out a fantastic corporate retreat. There will be successful outcomes as well as room for future improvement. Send out a brief survey to collect feedback after the retreat; make sure it is anonymous so that you can collect people's genuine opinions.

Plan your subsequent corporate retreat using the survey results so that you may address any issues and guarantee a superior experience the following time.

A workplace retreat offers an authentic opportunity to increase employee happiness and create a strong, connected culture when organized with intention and consideration, and it shouldn't cost a six-figure sum at the spa to pull it off.

10. Use TeamOut!

When planning a corporate retreat, take advantage of the opportunity to simplify the process by using TeamOut. It's the perfect platform for making the planning process easy and efficient. Let’s talk about how TeamOut works:

  • Firstly, this platform helps you with the entire planning process, be it helping find a location or planning activities, TeamOut has got your back.
  • Secondly, you can meet with their experts and hash out all the details and also get an idea of the budget. So, instead of having to manually decide or estimate your budget, you can rely on TeamOut to make your retreat planning easier.

Key Tip:

Many times, when companies plan corporate retreats, they don’t think about whether the retreat will r fit everyone’s needs and personality traits. It is highly important to remember that every individual is different and while some may love the thought of going away with their colleagues for a while, others might feel uncomfortable. 

You must ensure that the retreat caters to extroverts and introverts, different religions and genders, and people with different food or alcohol preferences. You do not want to make anyone feel uncomfortable, because the key goal here is to increase employees’ morale as a whole 

Corporate Retreats Are A Booming Trend. 

Investing in retreats for businesses is essential because it is important for teams to build cohesion. Mainly, in a world where remote working is there to stay, and face-to-face interactions have significantly decreased, it is important for companies to ensure that employees do not start losing interest, motivation, and loyalty towards the business. Corporate retreats are the best way to ensure a healthy relationship in a hybrid working environment in today's world, which is why more and more companies are including them in their annual list.


What makes a good corporate retreat?

A corporate retreat that was memorable for everyone and helped them unwind and boost their morale is always going to be a good one. Whatever your activities were, as long as they gave everyone a good time and made them feel recognized and belonged, you’re good to go. 

About the author
Assia Dalla Vedova
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Assia Dalla Vedova, a marketing maven with a rich background in tech, showcased her prowess at TeamOut (YC W22), enhancing brand presence and SEO strategy. An ESCP Business School alumna, she excels in crafting impactful digital marketing campaigns and fostering brand growth.

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