There are many reasons to get away as a company: team building, creating enthusiasm for the company, and fun! And while some people don’t feel the cost is worth the benefits, others are convinced that spending that time in a new place helps forge stronger bonds between employees and commitment to the company.
Here are just a few things to keep in mind when planning your company’s destination meeting:
1. Location, location, location. People sometimes think the price/cost of the hotel should be the deciding factor in where to host the meeting. But in reality, location is the most important. Why? Because there should be more to a destination meeting than just sitting in a conference room. That’s part of the reason for getting away in the first place! Local activities, entertainment, restaurants. These are all important things to consider when choosing the “home base” of the meeting.
2. Plan ahead. Way ahead. If you have a larger group that will be attending the meeting, it’s important to think ahead by around a year. Otherwise the best destinations will be booked, and you’ll be left choosing from the scraps others decided against. Not the best way to start your destination meeting.
3. Check the tech. Be sure the venue has all the technology you’ll need to conduct your meetings. And check to see that the technology will also accommodate the attendees, who will want hi-speed WiFi for personal use as well as getting their work done. You cannot have a venue that doesn’t meet your tech needs. Unless your meeting specifically aims to unplug.
4. Determine who’s invited. Will this meeting only be for company employees? Or will each employee be allowed to bring a spouse and/or children? Or maybe the meeting should really only have management or other specific team members. Making these decisions helps with budgets, and also helps determine venues. If family members are allowed to come along, be sure there are amenities and other events planned for them while the business meeting is taking place. And consider the expense of surrounding entertainment. If the destination is too expensive for most of the folks attending, there won’t be many who choose to come to the meeting at all.
5. All work and no play… A destination meeting should be more than just conducting business. You can do that back home. Check with the venue, or even the community, to see if there are volunteer opportunities for your team to participate in. It’s a great way to give back to the community, and it can be a great team building experience, too.
This list is by no means comprehensive. And every company will have it’s own ideas about what they value, and what they want to focus on. If your company is interested in planning a destination meeting and would like help, Plan Ahead Events has decades of experience. It’s what we do!