Holding a corporate event can play a key role in the health of almost any company, regardless of size. From building cohesion to creating a culture of trust, there are plenty of studies that indicate the many positive outcomes of getting your staff or department out of the office for a corporate event, including boosted productivity and improved morale.
A few key decisions should be made at the initial stage of planning a corporate event, before you get to the good stuff and begin hunting for the perfect location.
- Set some goals. What is the purpose of your company retreat? Decide what you would like the outcome to be; the rest of the decisions should be made around that. Part of this decision is also figuring out how many employees will be attending.
- Decide on your budget. Know your bottom line and then start figuring out what you can do with it.
- Start scouting locations OR pick a date. Why is either of these options the next step? It really just depends on what is more important or the most restrictive: location options or the calendar. For example, if June is the only month your company has enough downtime to get away for a corporate retreat, then June it must be. Filter your list of possible locations by whether June dates are an option. If on the other hand the date doesn’t matter, find a short list of locations that you really like and find out what dates they can offer you.
Note about dates: Corporate retreats are not necessarily weekend events. In fact, many venues will offer a greatly reduced rate for booking mid-week. Mid-week corporate events might mean a calmer environment, more venue choices, and best of all, more pampering. Small hotels with conference rooms are perfect examples of the type of venue where you will get a much higher level of customer service and a range of options.
- Once you have a date and a location, start thinking about guest speakers or other professional services (catering and shuttle services are two commonly overlooked items) that might need to be booked in advance. Hotels, whether a large chain or quaint country inn near the wine country, often have restaurants on site and private transportation options to make things easy.
- Think about some creative ideas of what to do during your corporate event.
- Finally, make sure you designate someone in your company to work directly with the venue. Most corporate retreat venues will have a dedicated staff that manages events. If possible, visit the venue. If it’s not possible to do that, be thorough in your meetings with the event manager and follow up with the venue as the date nears.
Following basic steps like these will not only help keep your corporate event organized, but also maximized for efficiency!