Plan an offsite meeting with care. Offsites are excellent ways to solve operational problems, build teams and get your team on the same page. Do it right and it’s great!
If not, a nightmare ensues.
This checklist will help guide you through effective ways to plan an offsite meeting.
Plan an offsite meeting: Get clear and specific outcomes
- What do you want to achieve at this offsite?
- How will you measure the success of this offsite?
- What will be on the agenda? (See a typical agenda here)
- When you know your outcome, who needs to give a talk or a presentation?
- Who needs to ask questions and be more informed?
Plan an offsite meeting: Get the right people on the bus
Firstly, to plan an offsite meeting well, get the right people on the bus.
- Engage a great facilitator.
- Choose a day that you and all of your management team can be there.
- Decide how far down the levels of team management you want to go.
- Choose any guests you need: consider HR, Finance, Clients, Suppliers, teams that your team interacts with.
- Do you want your boss, or other senior management people, there?
- Reserve the date well in advance in everybody’s diaries.
Plan an offsite meeting: Get the budget right
Get the budget right for your offsite meeting:
- How much budget do you have for the venue?
- What catering is available, what can you buy in?
- What other equipment, t-shirts, handouts, books, etc. will you need to buy?
Plan an offsite meeting: Get the venue organised
- How many seats will you need?
- Check with the facilitator for the best room set-up: generally a board-room table is the worst set up for an offsite.
- If it’s in-house, check if the room will be big enough, and that there are break-out areas close to the main room. For best results, let the facilitator see the room too!
- Inspect the venue ahead of time.
- Organise for delivery of any equipment or swag.
Plan an offsite meeting: Prepare participants
- Send participants teasers about what surprises the day has in store
- Request whatever pre-work will make the day go more smoothly
- Survey participants to make sure you have the food, sizing or any other personalised information right
On the day: Sit back and participate
If you have chosen the right facilitator, created clear outcomes and selected the right venue, just sit back and participate.