How to Plan a Corporate Retreat

Planning a corporate retreat comes with a lot of benefits, including improving employee morale, building team relationships and even providing a platform for spitballing new strategies and ideas. They are also an excellent time to play games and have fun outside the office environment.

If you want to plan the ideal corporate retreat, follow the steps below.

Step 1: Have a Goal

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To plan a successful corporate retreat, you need to have a goal or purpose. What do you hope to achieve from the event? Remember, your goals need to be SMART, or specific, measurable, achievable, relevant and timely.

Do you want your workers to build stronger relationships and improve teamwork? Then you may want to plan a corporate retreat with team-oriented games and activities. Perhaps you want to introduce new members of management. In that scenario, it's best to focus on introductory exercises.

Step 2: Find a Venue

The right location can make or break your retreat. There are a couple of factors to keep in mind when searching for a venue, including the budget, proximity to employees’ homes, restrictions — such as the number of guests — and available dates. Once you’ve found the perfect place, book it and put down your deposit.

One popular option for a retreat is a hotel or community center that has large spaces available for rent. You can think outside the box and rent a lake house in the middle of nowhere, inviting employees to spend the weekend.

Step 3: Send Out Invites

Once you know where — and when — you plan to host the retreat, it’s time to extend invitations. Send out a formal letter or e-invite, asking employees to join you on a companywide retreat.

Be sure to include precisely what employees should expect. For example, if you plan to have a swimming activity, remind them to bring their swimsuits. If you want to go on a hike, recommend bringing along bug repellent.

Step 4: Book a Caterer

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Once you know roughly how many employees are attending, start thinking about providing food. No matter the type of retreat you have planned, everybody will enjoy taking a break and having a bite to eat.

If you plan to rent a hotel or club space, many golf courses and country club offer in-house catering with multiple menu options, including food choices for breakfast, lunch, dinner or just snacks.

Step 5: Plan Activities

It’ll be your responsibility to fill the retreat’s schedule. This could mean conferences, workshops, keynote speeches and more. You should also take some time to have a little fun.

Plan an ice cream social or a dinner party. Consider team-building exercises, like outdoor obstacle courses or scavenger hunts. Experts say team-building is the most important investment you can make for your employees. Consider who your employees are and what they would enjoy doing.

Planning Your Next Retreat

Don’t stress about planning your next corporate retreat. From choosing the right venue to filling up the schedule, if you follow the steps above, you can easily plan something that meets your needs and still have a little fun.

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