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5 Key Tips for Planning Stress-Free Company Retreats

kokou adzo

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Planning the perfect company retreat can seem like a stressful task, but with a little foreplanning and creative thinking, it need not be!

Managing some of the simpler tasks well ahead of time can help reduce the burden - think ordering any branded clothing or uniforms, arranging items for gift bags or collating details for personalised wristbands from Australia. Making decisions on the big ticket items like venues, guest speakers or activities well in advance can also reduce a lot of the stress.

Below we talk through five more key tips to help plan a stress-free company retreat.

1. Set clear, achievable goals with a detailed budget

The very first item you should tick off your to-do list is determining what the ultimate goal of your company retreat is. Is it to focus on team building? Or is it an employee recognition and reward exercise? Or perhaps there is specific training you need to provide to your employees en masse. Whatever your goal is, be sure you identify it early as it will guide all your decisions moving forward!

It is also important to start your planning with a set budget to ensure you do not overspend in any areas. Pre-allocating amounts to each requirement such as the venue, catering, accommodation or activities can help you stay on track and ensure you retain enough money for each component.

2. Create a detailed agenda and plan contingencies

Creating a detailed agenda for the actual event is important, but equally so is creating an agenda for yourself to plan the event. This should include deadlines and dates to book the venue, determine a guestlist, send out invitations, RSVP requirements, accommodation, flights and anything else that may be required.

While building out this plan it is also important to consider contingencies if there is an unexpected turn of events. This can help you to remain calm in the face of any issues and may include backup plans for any speakers you have, alternate venues if you are outdoors and the weather is poor, or an easy process that is conveyed to attendees before the event to rebook flights or accommodation if required.

3. Blend the activity type for maximum engagement

If your retreat is activity-based, be sure to change up the types of activity to reduce potential boredom or burnout.

Types of activities may include heading outside to move around and relax, work-based activities like building new company values or quarterly planning sessions, team-building activities like pitch-offs or charity-based volunteering, guest speakers that may be professionals or even a comedian, and evening events such as team dinners, or a ball!

4. Consider overnight stays

For a fully immersive experience, consider an overnight or multi-night retreat.

There are a few benefits to having consecutive days planned that include a more even spread of activities that are not all crammed into a single day, the opportunity to generate a mix of work-based and social-based activities, the ability to give attendees some down-time, and if attendees are staying onsite, the chance to maximise time spent together.

5. Post-event feedback and actions

A big planning item that is often forgotten is ensuring you collect feedback from attendees post the event. Asking what worked well, what didn’t, and what can be improved upon can provide you with valuable insights that will help prepare you for your next event and make it an even more incredible experience!

It is also important that any actions that come from a more team-based or work-based retreat are documented and followed up on. This will ensure attendees feel their time was well-spent, and not “just another event” where meaningful change falls wayside once the event is over.

Future outcomes of a great retreat

The benefits of a well-thought-out corporate retreat or event are endless; boosted morale, greater communication between team members, increased creativity and productivity and improved employee engagement are all incredible outcomes for a business!

With thoughtful planning and by following these five tips, you will execute a successful work retreat that attendees will engage with and enjoy. It will also set up high expectations, and future attendees will continue to look forward to it, year after year!

Kokou Adzo is the editor and author of Stri.us. He is passionate about business and tech, and brings you the latest Startup news and information. He graduated from university of Siena (Italy) and Rennes (France) in Communications and Political Science with a Master's Degree. He manages the editorial operations at Stri.us.

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