Organizing & planning an offsite meeting – everything you need to know
Simply get out of the office and into an inspiring environment. And with the team. Does it sound more like a vacation to you, with little productivity and hardly any noticeable results? Not at all! Offsite meetings are now firmly anchored in the New Work culture. We have already explained how to make offsite meetings measurable in this article. Here we focus on the topic: Organizing offsite meetings so that you are really well prepared!
What is an offsite meeting?
In an offsite meeting, you leave your usual office (or home office) as a team and come together at a different location. Especially companies with different, distributed offices, purely remotely organized companies or very large corporations use this option. Sometimes it can be enough to leave the city and drive to the countryside. However, some teams also fly to another continent.
In most cases, offsite meetings combine team activities with focused work or meetings. If an idea is actively implemented together, it is often referred to as a workation.
Your offsite meeting can have a stronger incentive component or focus more on the content of the work. There are different interpretations here.
What are the advantages of an offsite meeting?
New ideas often arise in unfamiliar places. It is the power of the environment that can boost inspiration. The special design, the atmosphere of a place or simply the warmth of the hosts. All of this can lead to a new perspective being opened up with a great deal of distance from the familiar, which can generate new ideas and strategies that would not have arisen in the office.
- Offsites are a strong benefit for employees, which also benefits employer branding. After all, if you come up with a really exciting event, it will be fun for all participants and increase their loyalty to you as an employer.
- Offsite meetings are also a great benefit in the external communication of your employer brand.
- Team cohesion increases. A new environment brings the team closer together. This prevents conflicts and the team develops more understanding for each other. This makes subsequent collaboration smoother. This is a great advantage, especially for teams that are just getting to know each other.
- Get out of the day-to-day business. The new environment gives teams freedom from their usual tasks, which leads to more concentration and focus.
The right objectives for offsite meetings
It is crucial to combine a clear objective with the offsite meeting. It is important to get all participants on board so that the event is supported by everyone.
The agenda should not only include workshop sessions, as the best ideas often arise spontaneously.
The right group of participants for an offsite meeting
When selecting participants for an offsite meeting, it makes sense to question whether the group dynamic works and whether all participants can contribute to the objective of the offsite meeting.
In our experience, group sizes of 7 to 17 people work best. Larger groups should be divided into individual focus teams.
These are often all employees in a department or all employees in management positions. Offsite meetings with trainees can also be a useful format to accompany their training.
The right location for offsite meetings
The right location is one of the key elements that determine the success or failure of an offsite meeting.
A rough distinction can be made between team houses and hotels.
Team houses have a more informal atmosphere. The team lives closer together here. The number of bedrooms available is often a limiting factor. Some compromises have to be made here. The family setting has many advantages. Smaller teams of up to around 15 people who already know each other a little and work well as a group are a good fit for team houses. In most cases, team houses must be booked well in advance and are often the cheaper option compared to hotels. Special attention must be paid here to the catering. Not every team house offers catering and self-catering is often an option.
Hotels are the right way to go if you are dealing with a group of participants who do not yet know each other well, for example, or for whom a private retreat is important at all times. Larger groups can be accommodated in hotels and different groups can be formed in several meeting rooms. However, hotels are often less familiar or less unusual. However, there are now also many great examples of innovative and modern hotel concepts.
When choosing a location for your offsite meeting, also make sure that the contact with the hosts is always friendly and professional and that you feel you are in good hands.
The modern, inspiring locations are particularly popular. So start your search in good time. Preferably 3 – 6 months in advance. You can also find something spontaneously, but the very popular offsite locations are usually already taken.
As the locations sometimes receive hundreds of inquiries a day, it makes sense to enquire at several locations in case the first inquiry doesn’t work out straight away. The more flexible you are, the more likely you are to find what you are looking for.
At meetreet you can request 3 locations within 24 hours. We will make sure that you receive suitable offers and will also forward your request to suitable alternatives if the first option does not work out.
Agenda of an offsite meeting
The agenda of an offsite meeting should be based on the objective of the event and include a good mix of activities and working sessions. It is best to take 2 – 4 days (1 – 3 nights).
The rule of thumb here is: 70% work – 30% play
A possible agenda could look like this:
|Day 1 – Arrival
|10 – 11
|11 – 12
|12 – 13
|13 – 15
|15 – 16
|Short hike / activity
|16 – 18
|18 – open end
|After Work Activity & Dinner
|9 – 12
|12 – 13
|13 – 18
|Day 3 – Departure
|9 – 12
|12 – 13
|Lunch & team photos
|13 – 16
|Wrap-up / record findings and derive measures
Bear in mind the common midday slump, which you can alleviate with good food. A few ice breakers at the beginning lighten the mood.
What else there is to consider
Makes the offsite meeting a truly special experience. Small surprises or gifts in the rooms, as well as spontaneous activities that the agenda has not yet revealed, make up the event.
The activities should suit the group of participants and not put the team in awkward situations.
Clear communication of the objective, agenda and organization of the offsite meeting is essential.
Conclusion on organizing offsite meetings
With this guide to planning your offsite meeting, hopefully nothing will stand in your way.
We have visited more than 400 locations all over Europe in the last 4 years and on our platform meetreet we present the best locations for team offsite meetings in Europe.
You are also sure to find what you need for your next offsite meeting. An inquiry is free and non-binding and we are available as your contact partner.
We’ll keep our fingers crossed for your next offsite meeting with the team!