Planning a Company Retreat: 8 Key Considerations

What to consider when planning a successful company offsite or team offsite.

Are you responsible for planning your company's next offsite event? If so, you know that organizing a corporate event can be a significant challenge. Whether you're the CEO, an HR manager, event manager, office manager, or an administrator, it's essential to know the key considerations when planning a corporate retreat.
With more and more teams being geographically distributed, it's become increasingly important to hold in-person team-building events to build company culture. Retreats or offsites can involve a significant amount of business travel, as attendees come from different locations. Here are eight key considerations to help ensure your team retreat runs smoothly, is fun, memorable and provides the desired ROI.

1. What are the goals of the company retreat?

Setting clear goals is essential before planning any company offsite. Goals act like a compass to guide your planning and ensure that you create an event that meets the needs of your team and aligns with your company's mission and vision. Knowing the big picture of why you're planning an offsite will also help you convince stakeholders to allocate additional budget for your event. 

There are lots of great reasons to plan an offsite or company retreat: such as building relationships within teams, encouraging teamwork, rewarding great performance, and increasing employee engagement and productivity. 

According to McKinsey, up to 55% of employee engagement is driven by non-financial recognition, making company events an essential part of your recognition initiatives. By setting clear goals for your offsite, you can design an event that supports these objectives and provides meaningful value to your team members.

2. How to define success for your team retreat?

After setting your goals for the company offsite, it's important to define what success will look like for your team retreat. Setting specific metrics will help you measure your progress and determine whether you've achieved your goals. 

For example, if your goal is to improve team relationships, you could send out a survey after the retreat to ask team members about the effectiveness of the activities and whether they helped build stronger relationships. Additionally, you could ask whether attendees felt more comfortable working with their colleagues and whether they feel that they could now communicate and collaborate more efficiently.

3. What have you learned from previous events?

Reflecting on past events is crucial when planning a new company offsite. Take time to evaluate previous events and identify what worked well and what didn't. Use this information to improve the planning process for your upcoming event. 

For example, if attendees enjoyed a particular activity in the past, consider incorporating a similar one into this year's offsite. Additionally, it's essential to plan strategically to minimize logistical issues and prepare for unforeseen circumstances. Consider creating a contingency fund to cover unexpected expenses or emergencies. Finally, make sure to include enough free time for attendees to relax and enjoy themselves, ensuring everyone feels refreshed and stress-free.

4. Who needs to attend the offsite?

Once you’ve set your goals, consider who should attend the event. Based on the venue and activities planned, you may invite a whole team, various teams, or the entire company. 

Determine if the event is intended to reward particular teams or accomplish specific tasks, and if attendees need to be gathered in a single location.

5. What is your budget?

Knowing your budget is a critical step in planning a successful company offsite. Your budget will determine the type of offsite you can organize, the location, the activities, the food and drinks, and the overall experience. Before you start planning your offsite, you need to know how much money you have available to spend. Here are the essential budget categories:
  1. Travel expenses: If your offsite is in a different city or country, you need to budget for transportation costs, including flights, ground transportation, and parking fees.
  2. Accommodation: Depending on the length of your offsite, you may need to book hotel rooms or other types of lodging for your attendees. Make sure to consider the cost of the accommodation, as well as any additional fees such as resort fees, taxes, and gratuities.
  3. Venue rental: If you are renting a venue for your offsite, you need to factor in the cost of the rental, as well as any additional fees such as security, cleaning, and insurance.
  4. Food and drinks: You will need to budget for catering or food and beverage services. Depending on the venue and the number of attendees, this can be a significant cost.
  5. Activities and entertainment: You may want to include team-building activities or entertainment as part of your offsite. These can range from simple icebreakers to more elaborate events such as outdoor adventures or cultural experiences.
  6. Marketing: You may need to budget for marketing expenses to promote your offsite to attendees and other stakeholders.
  7. What are your "essential" and "nice-to-have" action items?
    Create a list to figure out your "must-haves" and what you can cut to optimize your budget. Would you be willing to go for a cheaper venue option to hire a well-known coach for your workshop? 

    Once you have a clear idea of your budget, you can begin to prioritize your spending and make decisions about the type of offsite you want to organize. Keep in mind that it's essential to balance your budget with your goals and objectives for the offsite. You don't want to overspend and leave your company with a significant financial burden, but you also don't want to skimp on important elements that could make the offsite more successful.

6. What is the best time for your company offsite? 

When planning an offsite event, think carefully about the timing so that everyone can attend. Avoid scheduling it during busy times for your company or industry, as well as holidays or special events. Also, consider the weather if you're planning an outdoor event.

7. What is the perfect location for your team retreat?   

Choosing the right location for your offsite is crucial for the success of the event. The location should be easily accessible for all attendees, offer comfortable and adequate accommodation, and have enough space for the activities planned. Consider the type of event you’re planning and what the location can offer. 

For example, if you’re planning an event that involves a lot of team building activities, you may want to consider a location that has outdoor spaces or access to nearby hiking trails. Also, think about the logistics of getting everyone to the location. If attendees are coming from different parts of the world, it may be more convenient to choose a location that has an airport nearby. On the other hand, if most attendees are local, choosing a central location may be more practical. 

Make sure to choose a location that's fun, convenient, and fair for everyone, and that's suitable for the activities you have planned. Check out our recommended team retreat locations to get some ideas.

8. How to design the agenda to get team members involved and increase engagement? 

While the main purpose of a company offsite is to achieve your goals and objectives, it’s also important to make sure attendees have fun and enjoy the experience. Incorporating fun and engaging activities can enhance team spirit and foster a relaxed atmosphere, allowing attendees to be more open and at ease. Think about what types of activities would be enjoyable for your attendees. This could include team-building exercises, outdoor activities, games, or cultural experiences.

Furthermore, incorporating activities focused on personal and professional growth, as well as body & mind wellness, can greatly enhance the overall experience. Mindfulness and yoga sessions can help attendees reduce stress and improve their mental and physical well-being.

To design an agenda that maximizes engagement and involvement, consider involving team members in the planning process. This could include soliciting input on session topics or asking for volunteers to lead certain activities. Encourage attendees to share their own experiences and insights during sessions, and provide opportunities for small-group discussions and activities that encourage collaboration and team-building.Incorporating games and team-building exercises can also help build camaraderie and foster a sense of shared purpose among attendees. These activities can be both fun and challenging, and can help attendees develop important skills like communication, problem-solving, and leadership.

Finally, consider bringing in an outside facilitator to lead some of the sessions or activities. A professional facilitator can help create a more engaging and memorable experience for attendees, and can bring a fresh perspective and new ideas to the table. With careful planning and thoughtful execution, your offsite can be a truly transformative experience for everyone involved.


Planning a company offsite can be a challenging task, but by asking yourself these eight questions, you’ll be able to get a head start on the planning process. Remember to set clear goals, invite the right people, learn from previous events, budget effectively, choose the right location, and incorporate fun activities. 

As you plan your company retreat, it's worth considering seeking support from an experienced and specialized corporate retreat planner, such as Grow Retreats. Partnering with a dedicated offsite planning company can help you save time and money, streamline the planning process, and maximize the impact of the retreat on your team and business. This helps you to ensure that your offsite event is successful, memorable, and achieves the goals you set out to accomplish. If you’d like support planning your next company retreat, don’t hesitate to reach out to us.
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