5 Steps to Planning a Corporate Getaway
Event Africa Contributor 19/07/2019 Industry News
Team Orange Events have compiled a step-by-step guide to help organisers tackle and address some of the key questions required when planning a company retreat.
This article was first featured in Issue 3 of Event Africa.
Step 1: Motivate
The logic behind a corporate getaway is that a regular workday is full of distractions that bombard the average employee. Cut the distractions, bring the team together in a different setting, and the relationships and skills they develop during the getaway time will carry into the workplace.
Being away from the normal environment allows dedicated focus and concentration. In addition, a company getaway is often a perk for an employee to stay “somewhere nice” that they may not do on their own.
Step 2: Set Goals
What’s the point of your corporate getaway? Is it for strategic planning, budgeting, problem solving, strengthening the team, development of goals or planning and organizing a product or project launch?
Your goal will determine how much time needs to be allocated to conference and meeting times.
Be sure that everyone knows the objective and what the plan and schedule will be so they can be prepared prior to attendance. It may well be worth discussing ideas with the participants to see if they have any input, and more buy-in once in attendance.
Step 3: Budget
How much can you spend on accommodation, entertainment, food, transport, venue hire, and equipment for your company retreat?
Are there hidden or unknown extra costs like gratuities or equipment hire? You will need to know the number of people attending and how long you need to be away for to plan the venue, meeting space and transportation.
Step 4: Logistics
This must accommodate your group and your goals. Is there enough meeting space? Do you need breakaway rooms? What recreational space is required for your conference and getaway?
We recommend choosing a destination close to home and a venue that offers both accommodation and meals on site. It is generally agreed that a pleasant and calm location with fresh air and nature produces great conference getaways with positive results.
This will naturally depend on your goals and how many people are attending. Most smaller corporate getaways are planned for a day and a half with some social time and / or teambuilding time.
Our corporate groups tend to conference on the first day and have a dinner or social activity in the evening with an optional morning conference or teambuilding activity on the second morning. Remember that many venues offer mid-week and mid-winter specials on venue hire.
Content & Programme
Work on the content and decide if you need external professional facilitators, or external equipment. Check whether your venue has Wi-Fi connectivity, projectors, screens, notepads / pens or any other audio-visual equipment. Don’t forget to plan any travel time and arrange transport logistics.
Remember that your delegates may also need a small amount of time-out. Be sure to bring alternative options of venue facilities to the delegates attention. e.g. a spa on-site.
People need to refuel and stay energized to concentrate! Make sure there is enough food and water, coffee, and snacks available throughout the day. Be sure to check if any of your delegates have dietary restrictions for health or religious reasons. A dietary disaster can ruin a corporate getaway.
This could be in the form of a team-building activity or hosted entertainment with the team. There are formal (yet fun) team-building options available to structure the getaway or you could simply include a social function or event.
You could also ask for ideas from the delegates about the getaway prior to departure. If they feel involved it could alleviate any concerns they may have about being away from their homes and families. Never forget the value of unplanned fun with your team.
Step 5: Follow-up and Review
During the corporate getaway you can usually gauge how things are going. Are your employees working well together? How are they reacting to each other? If there is a laughter and collaboration then you should be on the right track.
After the getaway is when you should see the difference. Sometimes the results are intangible interactions between staff that develop from the getaway and grow with time.