So you’re tasked with planning a strategic offsite for your team. If you’re new to planning or just need a refresh, you’ve come to right place. We know there are a ton of moving parts, so we built a guide that outlines everything you should consider when planning an offsite.
1. Lock down the date.
First things first, make sure the whole team can attend. After you’ve double checked that everyone is free, send out a calendar invite as a placeholder before anyone books a trip or schedules a meeting.
2. Budget wisely.
Budget will be the determining factor on whether you can splurge or need to save on the venue and catering. Expect to spend about 70% on the venue, 25% on food and beverages, and 5% on transportation and miscellaneous supplies.
3. Finalize the agenda ahead of time.
Ask the team lead for the proposed agenda in advance. From there, you’ll know how long to book the venue for, how long to set aside for meals, and can let the caterers know when to arrive and cleanup. This will help determine if you have time allocated for setup, breakdown, all agenda items, and some buffer time for breaks and potential delays.
4. Choose a venue that is both functional and inspiring.
Consider the primary purpose for the offsite — is it to spark new ideas, motivate the team, increase team unity? If the answer is yes, look for a venue that offers natural light and breakout areas. Bonus points if you find a spot with outdoor space.
5. Order food that fuels.
Think outside the boxed lunch and bagel route and choose catering that will keep the team satisfied so energy levels don’t drop midday. These sample catering menus are a great place to find inspiration.
6. Hydrate and caffeinate.
Even if you’re not supplying breakfast, let the smell of fresh coffee welcome the team to kickstart the day. Supply the venue with enough water bottles and other beverages to keep everyone hydrated until happy hour.
7. Designate someone to be your eyes and ears.
If you’re not attending the offsite, make sure the point person knows the catering company’s contact info, how to get inside the venue, and any other logistical details. Check in with them throughout the day to make sure everything is going according to plan.
8. Dot your I’s and cross your T’s.
The day before the offsite, get the finalized headcount and confirm all last minute details with the venue, catering company, and team leads to avoid any last minute surprises.
9. Ask for feedback.
After the offsite, ask the team leader for feedback on the venue, catering, or if there was anything you could have done differently. Even if the offsite was a smashing success, there’s always room for improvement!
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