Are you planning a successful off-site trip for company meeting?
Company meetings held outside of the office can be great motivational tools. An off-site meeting can really shake things up, revitalize and re energize employees, building team spirit and getting everyone’s creative juices flowing again. A meeting, workshop or conference “away from home” is often the best way to generate new enthusiasm, new ideas, and a renewed commitment to company goals. With no phone calls, deadlines and meetings to worry about. Plus the prospect of a change – is enough to build anticipation. Lots of it !, planning a successful off-site trip.
However, an off-site meeting that is not well-planned or carefully thought out beforehand and flawlessly executed – can be a disaster. All it takes is some botched up bookings, one bad meal or one botched-up trust-building exercise. No one wants something as critical as this effort to go waste or to be memorable for the wrong reasons !
To turn your event into a huge success – here are our helpful tips for planning a successful off-site trip!
Plan for a Successful Off-Site Trip!
1. Aim high.
When planning a successful off site trip, it is easy to limit one’s expectations. Thinking and planning about the day/s objectively and strategically can make it more than just a simple bonding experience; it can become an opportunity to solve office problems, generate new ideas, and help employees grow. It is critical to fist decide as to what should the meeting outcomes be. And then the task is to anchor the off-site with goals that actually mean something and make a difference to the business.
2. Pick a creative location.
A run-of-the-mill location will produce run-of-the-mill results. The physical surroundings of an off-site meeting can make an enormous difference. Hotels and conference centers may be obvious choices, but they’re not the only options. Some creative alternatives that are located off-the-beaten-track in unusual settings with a host of activities that can be planned in and around the locations can make the difference between an okay and an awesome off-site. Think outside the box.
3. Check it out beforehand.
When deciding on your off-site venue, be sure to take a tour of the shortlisted facility beforehand, including the “back of the house.” Check for ample storage space for supplies, secure areas for employees to put their belongings, a sufficient number of clean restrooms, quality of rooms, and good dining facilities. Check for unusual settings and outdoor areas where your teams can play and have fun beyond the standard banquet and conference rooms.
4. Plan for fun as well.
Just because this is an off-site you can’t consider opportunities for fun, R & R. A gym, pool and spa may be obvious options but an offering that includes curated experiences taking into account local spaces and surrounds – be it a jungle walk, or a trek, or a village experience would be attractive options to consider. Teams that can take advantage of these extras will be positive and enthused.
5. Keep track of costs.
Be sure to determine your budget ahead of time. Expenses to consider: transportation, facility rental, equipment rental, accommodations, catering, and possibly the cost of hiring a guest speaker or entertainer. Not to forget unaccounted for extras.
6. Ensure you have the right equipment.
Today’s meetings call for more than just a few chairs and a flip chart. Attendees will likely bring laptops to access and present computer-based information, so you’ll need a means of projecting that information. You should also consider beforehand whether you’ll need high-speed Internet access in the meeting venue, or if this is a time to be “off the grid.” You may want to carry or rent high-end equipment to ensure your team is able to watch the finals of the Soccer or Cricket World Cup.
7. Have alternate dates.
When choosing a date for your off-site meeting, keep at least two possible ones in mind — a preferred date and an alternate one. When you start checking out available location options, you’ll be able to choose the best option based on the number of people who can attend. Alternate dates also mean that you can negotiate a better price.
8. Create a detailed schedule.
Work backwards from your event date to determine what needs to be done beforehand, and when. Be conscious of production lead time, shipping times for deliveries, and anything else that needs to be thought out before the off-site.
9. Plan the day/s intelligently.
Design your offsite schedule with care. Build in travel time to and from the site, and set an appropriate agenda. Remember that people’s attention spans are notoriously limited and not each session speaker or in-charge can drive the same amount of involvement or interest. Some introductory pointers in each session followed by hands-on sessions or exercises are a great way to keep up the interest levels. Decide up front whether you want the day to be a high-intensity working event, a laid-back and relaxing retreat, or a balanced program combining a little of each. If you do decide to mix work with play, carefully consider which should come first.
10. Communicate in advance.
Circulate a pre-off-site agenda that lets your team know what your objectives are for the off-site. This will provide them with the opportunity to prepare ahead of time for complete and constructive participation. Where appropriate, give pre-meeting homework that employees need to complete ahead of the event. It will also help build up excitement for the big day.
So that’s our take and tips on making a rocking off-site happen.
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