Gathering people should be fun and simple – of course, things aren’t always as easy as we’d like them to be, but we recommend focusing on the main goals when planning team off-sites. Here’s a way to keep this in mind.
1. The reason for meeting
Keeping this in mind will let you choose the right venue for the experience your guests will expect, and frame the context for your projected meeting outcomes.
2. Who is gathering
Its important to understand not only the roles your participants take on in your company but also the people they are – what are their specific comfort levels, tastes and values. Getting deep with this is key to calculating a context for positive interactions and outcomes.
3. What your participants expect
In addition to simply considering the functional expectations of a meeting, we suggest you consider off-sites as opportunities to enable teams to express themselves in ways they wouldn’t in a standard office scenario – whether that is in person or remote / virtual.
If your team could be freely inspired to communicate openly and apply themselves in the moment to the agenda of wonderful talks and activities you’ve planned, what would happen, thanks to the newness of the setting? Off-site meetings are powerful for resetting people’s biases, comfort zones, fears and so on – due to new and non-office surroundings.
5. The venue and its configuration
We don’t mean to suggest that this is the least important item in this list – instead, its what you can consider once you’ve gone through the rest.
A venue should afford you the right mix of:
- Physical Space – enough room not only to get around the table but to move and form sub-groups or break-aways that could simply entail a single member of the participants taking a call in private on premises. The longer the group spends in a space the more it should feel like home, and not just a table with 4 walls around it (suites like our 3rd Floor offer mixed-use space with breakouts and washroom facilities within the suite, for example.)
- Atmosphere – Light, airflow, furnishings and decor, plants – all these things add up to set the tone for your meeting. We suggest considering how natural materials such as brick surfaces can even warm the tone of a meeting and add intimacy to gatherings.
- Hospitality – Your guests must feel welcomed in a space where they are expected to open up to each other and communicate freely. Of course, your organization team may be there to help navigate the layout of a new space but beyond what you can offer, if the space feels more like a boutique hotel than a hospital – you can bet your guests will enjoy themselves a whole lot better. Complimentary services on site that mix staff-service with self-service help empower people and make them feel pampered.
- Technology & Presentation Materials – You don’t want to have to anticipate the stationary and technology needs of your team – something which is aided by StartWell’s all-in approach to providing turn-key meeting and event spaces. We include tech in every room that allows for wired and wireless connectivity for screen presentations plus conference cameras that allow your remote guests to see the room you’ve booked plus all of your team in it.