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4 Steps to the Perfect Company Retreat

Mon, 06/09/2014 - 11:15am | by jennaleesmith1

Throwing a fun, effective, and memorable company retreat is very important for a company. A successful company retreat will boost morale, create deep interpersonal bonds, and give employees more of a reason to stay, and stay positive. 

However, throwing a great company retreat takes a lot of planning, organizing, and sometimes, a substantial amount of money. If you're on the team that's organizing a retreat, you don't want to spend too much, you don't want a boring retreat, and you want attendees to have a great, memorable time. Let's talk about some ideas for planning the best company retreat possible without really stressing yourself out.

1. Location, location, location

Sometimes, the destination makes the entire trip. It doesn't matter if you're staying in a cramped, expensive location - if you're by the beach or in the heart of downtown, attendees aren't going to care about how ineffective the air conditioning is. 

That being said, it's important to balance the perfect mix of location and agenda. Is the company located near a beach or downtown area? Look into some venues there. Places like these mean you'll be spending very little time in the location anyways (if you're going to be out at the dinner/bars area or tanning on the beach). Don't pay a lot for a place you're hardly going to spend time.

For larger companies, a larger and more luxurious destination retreat might be in order. Every major city hotels with ballrooms restaurants, and bars. If you're willing to go out-of-state, the Hampshire House, Boston, MA is a great example - large ballrooms, adjacent bedrooms, full service restaurants...that's the location you want.

2. Agenda

If you have the nicest hotel or booked the most expansive ballroom, that dooesn’t mean that much if there's nothing else to do. Company retreats are fun, exciting, adventurous times of bonding (with a fair amount of work, can't forget the work!), so make sure you have some fun ideas planned. 

A lot of tourist agencies have an enormous selection of activities and events only available to company retreats and businesses. Look into some behind-the-scenes and VIP passes into shows, concerts, and even restaurants for the retreat. You can also allocate the location fund into this - again, attendees will care more about what they'll be doing all day. 

3. Keeping the Work in Mind

As fun as company retreats may be, you can actually get a lot done. Retreats provide the rare opportunity to work first, play later. If employees know there's a whole day at the beach, in downtown, or going on an all-expenses paid tour, there's probably going to be some broken records for amount of work done if they know they need to finish the brainstorming/assignments first. 

There are benefits of having a set schedule as well as a do-what-you-want period. However, getting work done first can work out very well if undertaken first thing in the morning to have the most time doing the fun stuff. Dictate a work-only time, and watch the productivity flow. You (and the employees) will both be amazed at how fast work gets done when there's a fun outing waiting to be enjoyed.

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