How to Plan the Perfect Offsite Meeting

Get out of the office for a meeting that will engage team members and encourage more creative thinking.

Offsite meeting locations, such as hotels, offer a great opportunity to get your team members out of the office and into a more secluded environment for productive work. So how can you change things up to make it feel like more than just a new spot to meet? Inc. recommends the following steps to plan a successful offsite meeting:

  1. Determine your meeting’s purpose. What is the intended outcome of the meeting? Make sure the work being done is something that can be clearly articulated by team members after the event, so they feel the outcome was reached.
  2. Create an experience. Don’t just move your regular meetings to a new location; find ways to differentiate routines — hold walking meetings, for example — to boost strategic thinking. Then, incorporate these ideas back into the office environment.
  3. Mix up the guest list. Make sure multiple points of view are represented at the meeting by including staff members from different departments. Doing so will also increase the number of stakeholders to help implement the ideas formed in the meeting. 
  4. Host offsite locations frequently. One-off meetings can produce an impressive number of creative ideas, but it might be hard to transition them back into the office. By holding strategic sessions more than once a year, team members will be able to more consistently revisit strategic discussions and use them to influence everyday activities.
  5. Establish goals. Set goals that you would like to come away with to measure results. This can be anything from determining the number of ideas generated by a meeting to the amount of time spent on a specific task.

 

The more frequently you host strategic offsite meetings, the more they will help team members exercise creative thinking for more productive meetings in the future — both at and away from the office.