5 Tips for Retreat Planning

You've got the product and sales channels and your team is waking up everyday and taking names! It's a superstar team and everyone is working their tails off to make it all come together.

Every company will benefit from time spent away from the office. Whether it's to turn everything off and escape for a couple days or if it's to tackle some major pain points in your process, getting out of the office with Earth Missions will produce results. 

We've spent a decade building custom offsite experiences for teams of all sizes and in all sectors. Whether it's to celebrate a new launch or a milestone, or maybe it's to rally your people around a vision for the future; getting out of the office will provide long-term benefits. 

Interacting out of the office provides all kind of benefits for your team members, new and old. If you're reading this, you probably understand the benefits but need some advice on execution.

Here are some ideas for organizing a successful retreat. 

1. Define These Three Things

It really does take a village to produce a memorable and impactful retreat. Don't go it alone. 

We always start with identifying three major points:

  • What are your goals? 
  • What are your needs or requirements?
  • What is the rough budget?

The goal of your retreat might be to celebrate the closing of a major round of funding. Most likely, this will help you identify who is coming and what the high-level content should be on the trip. With the closing of the round, you most likely have new colleagues that will benefit from getting to know their new co-workers out of the office. 

Perhaps the goal is to celebrate a major sales milestone by your top performers. That goal will yield a different experience and trip than the aforementioned. Sales Incentive trips can be incredible fun and challenging to plan. Sticking to your goals, needs and budget will make the process more streamlined. 

Whatever the goals, the needs and the budget - your options will revolve around these three indicators. 

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Related: Guide: Planning a Productive and Fun Retreat

2. Involve Upper Management 

It's easy to get caught up in the checklist of a retreat. Dealing with schedules, personalities and different cultures can make the planning process a bear. We've see it all too often. Our point of contact spends hours researching and planning out a great retreat for the team and when pitched to upper management, it is shut-down for one specific reason or another. 

Involving upper-management from the beginning will help get the earliest concerns or requirements out in the open. 

Related: Top California Locations for Your Next Company Retreat

3. Team Building Activities Don't Have to Suck. 

When researching activities your retreat, you will find Epic Fails in the team building category. It's hard to get this one right, but it is possible to create content that inspires and motivated everyone to get involved. 

At Earth Missions, we've created some really unique team building activities over the years. We focus on matching games and activities to the culture and community you have already built within your company. A generic team building activity is just not going to cut it. 

Here's a list of some fun ones from Jungle Scout (one of our favorite companies to follow for retreat)

  • Team Time - Teams meet individually to plan for the future
  • Deep Dive Talk - Learn more about your colleagues and their talents, hobbies or skills.
  • Support Power Hour - everyone on the team gets together to tackle support issues and talk to real customers
  • Karaoke - This is turning into a Fan Favorite for our trips! 
  • Warm&Fuzzy Open Mic - Sharing compliments to other team members before a dinner
  • Photo Booth! 

Related: Best Easy Coast Retreat Locations for Company Retreat

4. Use Trello + Google Drive

Project management and scheduling tools will go miles for your as you embark on this retreat. From the initial planning phases through getting feedback after the retreat, there are a lot of tools out there can help organize everything. The beauty of these tools is that it will help and your team streamline the planning of all future retreats. 

We love Trello for the collabortive nature of the platform. We've started using the program for every single retreat we plan! 

5. Have Fun

Don't forget, this is supposed to be fun. We know, it's a lot of time, research and might even feel like a lot of pressure. But, trust us, your team is grateful for everything you're putting into this.

Our number one goal the last few years of planning and coordinating company retreats has been very clear, make sure our point of contact has as much fun and gets as much out of the experience as anyone else on the team.

This is a creative process and your one of your goals will no doubt be to have fun. From the bus ride away from the office, we wan't to see smiles and laughter on you retreat! 

Final thoughts

It can be easy to put a company retreat in backseat. We get so caught up in catching up that sometimes we lose focus on those high-level initiatives that really drive big differences. This company retreat will do just that for you and for your team. 

We would love to be a partner for your next retreat or offsite. Earth Missions is dedicated to building out a custom and curated retreat experience for you and your team. Get in touch HERE