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Seven Tips for Planning a Memorable Company Retreat

More companies, especially distributed ones, are implementing company retreats into their budgets. It’s a smart move as it allows employees to bond in a more relaxed, open environment and for leadership to receive candidate real-time feedback. It’s also a great way to kick off the year and set goals.

As with any event, all the elements are a big puzzle—that you, the planner—need to fit together. Andrea Cannistraci, CMM, President & Founder of andgreat, a marketing, branding, and events agency, shares seven tips to ensure a successful and memorable company retreat.

1.  Send a pre-planning survey

Survey your attendees before the company retreat. Find out what destinations interest them, what topics they would like to discuss, what goals they hope to achieve from attending and what activities interest them. Getting attendees onboard at the planning stage will ensure better participation, excitement and a much more focused and successful event.

2. Develop a strong team of suppliers

Reach out to the local CVB of your chosen destination. They are the experts on the area and will be essential to helping you navigate the area and source the best caterers, AV, entertainment, restaurants, transportation, off-site venues and team building activities.

3.  Conduct a site inspection

It’s imperative that you know the area and your way around. Meet personally with all the suppliers, experience the activities, restaurants, venues and entertainment. Start to build the relationships. Take copious notes. Know where the closest hospital, pharmacy, Kinkos and grocery store are located.

4. Schedule free time

One of the biggest mistakes you can make is not building free-time into your agenda. Give attendees a break later in the afternoon before dinner to check-in with family, refresh, relax or hit the gym. Often you’ll see the attendees will want to continue the day’s conversions at the bar or around the pool. Those unstructured moments where employees bond on their own can create the most insight and best memories.

Andrea Cannistraci

About Andrea Cannistraci

Andrea is the President & Founder of andgreat—a marketing, branding, and events firm that specializes in helping businesses design unique and unforgettable experiential marketing programs. Andrea has over 20 years experience in multiple functions of marketing. She is a member of MPI, a member and past officer of the Redondo Beach Elks Lodge #1378, and a member of the Leadership Hermosa Beach Class of 2017.  She holds a Bachelors degree from Duquesne University in Pittsburgh and a Masters from the University of Alabama. 

Twitter: @acannistraci

Instagram: @Andgreat17

LinkedIn: AndreaCannistraci