5. Use natural meeting space
If your company retreat is in a warm climate, definitely take advantage of outdoor meetings places for casual breakouts and meals. There’s nothing worse than being in an awesome destination and stuck inside four walls all day. Let your attendees see the sun and feel the breeze! A simple U-shape of chairs under a tree or a few cabanas at the pool are excellent non-traditional meeting spaces for breakouts. Many conference rooms have patios you can use for breakfasts and lunches. Trust me, your attendees will thank you. (And the Instagram pics will be the envy of all.)
6. Consider meeting floor plans
The setup of the meeting room matters. Know how many attendees you are expecting and plan accordingly. Your General Session should be configured so that each person can see everyone else. Will attendees be taking notes on their laptops? If so, they’ll need a bit more space. The last thing you want is a room full of sardines. A good rule to follow is two people per six-foot table and make sure the room has windows—preferably doors that open to a patio (see #4.)
7. Plan an unforgettable group activity
Almost every company retreat has at least one group activity incorporated. This is a great opportunity to make your event memorable. Look at your destination and demographics. If you’re at a beach, consider SUP or surfing lessons or chartering a boat for a dinner cruise. If you’re in wine country, schedule dinner in a wine cave or a biking wine tour with lunch. If you’re in New Orleans, plan a hands-on Creole cooking class for dinner or a scavenger hunt through the Garden District.
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 18 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.