There are great advantages to having offsite team or quarterly meetings. If done right, it can bring the team together to create and build strategies, share ideas, know what’s working and what’s not working, revise plans, make some positive changes – the works.
However, the opposite can happen if you don’t take time to prepare and plan for your team offsite. So, how exactly can you do that? Here are some tips:
Before the meeting:
When you’re able to prepare well before the actual meeting, then half of the work is done. Top tip: You can do this more efficiently if you have people to assist you. Before the event, just ask who’s willing to help you organise and then delegate accordingly.
Make sure that you get a broad selection of people in the room from all parts of the business. Diverse people make for diverse ideas and it’s often the guy from finance who comes up with that amazing idea or piece of feedback that the whole marketing team has been struggling with for months.
- Find a meeting room that will fit all your requirements. You can easily tick this activity off your list by using Spare Workspace to find the right meeting room for your offsite.
- Make sure that the meeting or training room is well-equipped and that everything (projector, monitor, powerpoint, video conference, etc) is in good working order. Provide attendees with as much information about the meeting location such as parking, alternate routes, traffic situation, etc.
- Bring plenty of supplies such as butcher’s paper, textas and whatever else people could need.
During the meeting:
The success of a meeting depends on the level of interaction that you get from attendees. With this in mind, it would be best to get everyone in the team to participate. Start the meeting by checking if everybody at the offsite is present. Encourage them to speak and ask if they want to share anything about the agenda or their state of mind. Also, be creative and make sure that the day is broken up into segments with each part or task taking no more than 45 minutes and then a 15-minute break. This will help people to focus and do their best thinking.
You’ll also want to make sure there are no distractions. Ask people to stay off their computers and phones unless it’s an emergency and always have water, toilets and the basics nearby such as tissues and stationery.
- Provide snacks drinks to keep people energised throughout the day and have them on the table so people don’t need to run in and out.
- Make sure lunch is fun. Provide plenty of variety, make it healthy and ensure you have catered for all the dietary requirements.
- Bring in external speakers – on person or with Video Conferencing – to break up the day and present on topics that are not related to work but the team will find interesting.
After the meeting:
Finally, you’re on the homestretch. Make sure that you finish strong by providing a really quick summary of what was agreed on or what was discussed during the meeting. Ensure you finish the day on a high and invite the team for something fun such as afternoon drinks, bowling or you can also try the escape room activities that are becoming quite the buzz. This will encourage attendees to interact and spend quality time with each other.
Also, make sure that you follow up with the attendees. Let them know the outcomes from the day. Turn the outcomes and actions from the day into projects and invite the right people to be part of them and always ensure that you buy the first round of drinks
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