Like a well-oiled machine, planning an offsite takes research, patience, and a lot of preparation. At Peerspace, we’ve seen a 93 percent increase in offsites in the past year and that number is only projected to increase further as companies gear up for 2017. From finding the right venue to choosing a crowd-pleasing menu, ensure everything goes according to plan with our tips below.
1. Finalize 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 percent on the venue, 25 percent on food and beverages, and 5 percent on transportation and miscellaneous supplies.
3. Set the agenda in advance
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 boosts creativity
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 energizing food
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. Caffeinate and hydrate
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. Assign 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. Triple check your work
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, and anything else that could have gone smoother. There’s always room for improvement even if the offsite overall was a success.
Peerspace helps you find inspiring and collaborative spaces perfect for offsites, trainings, retreats and more.