The Importance of Offsite Meetings

“Offsite Meetings are a great use of time and resources, invigorate and inspire the team, and pay dividends.” – Spencer Rascoff, Zillow Executive Officer  

Like Rascoff, meeting professionals agree that conducting regular offsite meetings and retreats are an essential element of organizational success. Here are the top five reasons to conduct an offsite meeting:

Productivity and focus        

Getting out of the office for your meetings and retreats removes common distractors and allows team members to focus on the task at hand. Return on time invested is exponential when you gather for one eight-hour meeting instead of eight one-hour meetings.

Face-to-face networking time
There’s no substitute for meeting in person. Offsite meetings allow team members that work in different departments or different states to connect and establish relationships that will pay dividends into the future.

Team building exercises allows team members to see each other in a different light. Different strengths are revealed completing challenges than sitting at a desk. Plus you’re having a whole lot of fun, which creates powerful shared memories!

Tech boost
Using an offsite meeting facility provides your team with access to new and different technology. The change in environment and equipment allows your team to be more creative and engaged.

Encourage creativity
Off site meetings and retreats generate meaningful, creative ideas that may not emerge in the daily grind of the office. Fresh air and scheduled time to plan/envision empowers team members to take control of the future.  

Now that you understood the importance of conducting offsite meetings, what’s next? It isn’t merely enough to schedule an offsite meeting, in order to ensure success careful time and effort need to be put into the planning process. Here are the top five tips for planning a successful offsite meeting.

Identify the objectives

When planning an offsite meeting, it is imperative to first understand the objectives of the event. From there you, or an experienced meeting planner, can design an event that will support your organization’s goals.

Do a site visit

Knowing the parameters of the venue will help you understand how to utilize the entire space for your offsite meeting. A site visit also allows you to work closely with the venue to make sure that all of your needs will be met.

Location matters

Be sure that the offsite meeting venue you choose can support the event’s objectives. The venue should offer everything you need: accommodations, catering, team building, on-site activities, etc.  Using an online retreat center directory to compare the amenities of multiple venues can save time and money.

Don’t forget the fun
Successful offsite meetings are not all work and no play. Fun elements help build teamwork and camaraderie. They also energize team members so they are more engaged during traditional meeting times.

Maximize your budget
Be creative and watch out for hidden expenses. Look for a venue that includes use of meeting space and wireless internet at no additional fee to help stretch your budget.  

Finally, for the fun part- get your team out of the office and into a memorable, and valuable, experience! David Roth of Forbes magazine put it best, “Plan an offsite meeting completely away from the work environment- a place that offers conference facilities and campfires.”  

About the author
Katie Christy is the Director of Business Development for Lone Star Peak Performance (LSPP). LSPP is a unique meeting and reunion venue on beautiful Lake Buchanan with elegant accommodations with a rustic charm, exciting team building, state-of-the-art conference facilities, delicious culinary experiences and stunning Hill Country views! Let our expert planners handle all the details of your meeting or retreat.

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