Corporate retreats may have fallen out of favor during the Great Recession, but they have made a comeback in a very big way in the last few years. These retreats are often where fundamental decisions about the direction and future of your company are often made. While the agenda may be complex and the location more elaborate than your typical conference room, the goal of every executive retreat should be paving the way forward for the success of your company. These tips can help guide you in planning your next successful retreat.
As one of the few off-site meetings that includes all of your stakeholders, the executive retreat should be meticulously planned to allow for maximum optimizations of productive and down time scheduled for attendees. Lack of planning can lead to rudderless meetings that fail to achieve your goals, and leave your attendees feeling like they’ve wasted two or three days that could have been better spent.
Your executives are very busy people. Be respectful of their time and demanding schedules by planning your retreat well in advance, giving everyone time to mark their calendars or flag any conflicts. Since the most desired venues fill up quickly, you should reserve your location as soon as you have confirmation of the dates of your retreat.
As soon as you have your date, you should also begin booking travel for all attendees and send their itineraries out electronically. Additionally, create a travel folder for each attendee with paper copies of their itinerary as an emergency backup in case they lose their cell phone or have other issues.
Work with the executive who will be leading the retreat to create a detailed agenda and timeline for the retreat. Update any memos, PowerPoint presentations, business case studies, and research binders before the meeting. Make all information available on a shared network so that your executives can access them on their laptops or tablets at the site rather shuffling through papers.
Now is also a good time to schedule the post-retreat follow-up meeting. Since some topics may be too complex or require more research prior to making a decision, a meeting for 30 to 60 days post-retreat gives your executives the opportunity to discuss any lingering issues or decisions that weren’t concluded at the end of the retreat. Typically, this meeting can be conducted on-site at your company.
Location, location, location
Since most corporate retreats take place in the fourth quarter of the year when the weather has started to turn cooler, many businesses opt to head to warmer locales for their executive retreats. With its warm days and cool nights under an endless sky of stars, it’s unsurprising that Scottsdale, Arizona has emerged a popular warm-weather destination for corporate retreats.
Just 10 miles from Phoenix Sky Harbor International Airport, travelling to and from Scottsdale will be a breeze for your attendees. From breathtaking mountain views to vista of the Sonoran Desert, Scottsdale has much to offer your executives during their retreat.
If your retreat only includes a few attendees, the Bespoke Inn in the heart of Scottsdale’s Arts District offers boutique charm with luxury resort service. If you’re looking for a more secluded spot that still offers access to Old Town Scottsdale, look no further than the Andaz Resort and Spa, a mid-century modern urban oasis in the Sonoran Desert.
For downtime, Scottsdale boasts some of the best views from hot air balloon rides anywhere in the desert. Outdoor enthusiasts in your group might enjoy all of the opportunities for horseback riding in the desert, rock climbing, or white water rafting that Scottsdale has to offer. Spend some time exploring Frank Lloyd Wright’s Taliesin West. Or spend a few hours on the course at one of the many pristine golf courses that dot the desert landscape.
One of the most frustrating aspects of preparing for a flight is packing, especially when it comes to electronic devices. Should you pack your tablet in your carry-on and check your laptop? What if your luggage gets lost or damaged? What if you arrive at the retreat only to find that your laptop with all of your materials is no longer usable?
Take the worry out of travelling with electronics by renting laptops, tablets, and projectors for your executives to use on-site. Just let us know what equipment you need, and it will be waiting for your leadership team when they arrive at the retreat venue. Our technicians will even talk to the venue to make sure that all of your office technology rentals are compatible with the equipment at the location. Between presentations and meetings, your attendees will have enough to think about – let us handle the technology so you can focus on business. Get a quote for all your equipment rental needs today!
The opportunity for all stakeholders to come together to discuss the strategies and priorities that will carry your business plan forward into the next year makes the corporate retreat the most important meeting of the year for your leadership team. Free from distractions, your executives can help set the path forward for the continued growth of your company.