Getting your team together outside the confines of your office walls is a recipe for success, only if it’s done right. It all starts with setting the mood with your space, which makes the offsite more than just another long day in the office, but a memorable experience that people will remember. Who can be inspired if you’re in a windowless conference room or a stale hotel meeting room? No-one, that’s who.
Choosing a space that reflects what you’re trying to get out of the offsite is paramount. How do you start your search? What factors really matter? We’ve created this handy checklist you can use to help find the perfect venue for your team’s next offsite meeting.
You know you want to get out of the office, but how far do you really want to go? Getting out of the city and into nature is great, but consider if people want to head home easily after or go out for a drink to talk about the day- the location is really important.
2. Who’s Coming?
Make sure you have the total headcount for your group or team so you can find the appropriate size of space that can accommodate every single person. Don’t forget to factor in the number of chairs, tables and if there will be enough space for the activities you have planned. Even having enough room to break off and stand up should be something you think of.
3. How Much To Spend?
Know how much you’re willing to spend on your space and factor in costs such as transportation, food, equipment, and facilitators.
4. What Should It Look Like?
We always say that what space you’re in can set the tone of everything you set your mind to. Think about what your brand aesthetics are, what kind of spaces your team might find inspiring and pair it up with what connects with your group. Natural light, airy high ceilings, and comfortable seating comes to mind.
5. What Equipment Do You Need?
Don’t come unprepared. If your space is completely empty you’ll need to source tables and chairs. If you need audio-visual equipment, a whiteboard, flip board, pens, post-it notes, a television- even just an internet connection, make sure the space you’re booking can accommodate what you need or rent it in advance.
6. How Will You Get There?
Make sure your team makes it to the offsite without any stress or hassle. Depending on your overall plan sometimes that can mean organizing group transportation (sauna bus anyone?), or using public transit together. Clear directions and how to access the space can make sure your day starts on time and runs smoothly.
7. What About Food & Drinks?
Don’t leave your team hangry. Make sure to plan when you’ll break for meals and that should include whether you need to set up a drop off and pick up time for your catering or schedule departure times and reservations for restaurant meals. Also, consider water, coffee, more coffee, tea, snacks or anything else to break in between sessions. It’s these small touches that mean everything. Finally, don’t forget about dietary restrictions of your team- the last thing you want is to leave someone unable to join in on your shared meal.