Six Steps to a Successful Offsite

Six Steps to Setting Up an Amazing Offsite

Organising an offsite?  Whether it be a fun celebratory day for the team or a hard-headed strategy day, getting everyone out of the office is a fabulous opportunity to build consensus and relationships.

But offsites are also expensive.  Consider the costs of travel, accommodation, refreshments, materials as well as a day of lost productivity for everyone attending –  the costs soon mount up.

I’ve been setting up and facilitating offsite events for over 15 years. Here are the essential things to think about if you want to create an amazing team day and get a good return on your investment.

Know What You Want to Achieve

First of all ask yourself some questions:

  • Why are you having an offsite? What’s the purpose?
  • What does success look like? If this event nails it, what exactly will you see after the event that you’re not seeing now?

Once you can answer these questions then you’re ready to think about everything else.

Who Should be There

There are all sorts of considerations when deciding who to invite.  Obviously, you’ll want the people there that have the influence, knowledge and relationships relevant to what you’re trying to achieve.  But also think about who you’re leaving out.  If you don’t invite someone they may feel a little aggrieved so get clear on your invitation criteria and think about how you’re going to handle any challenges.

Find A Good Space

There are lots of lovely venues out there, but a lot of them are expensive.  Price does not always equal quality.  Look for one which is easy to get to, has a well-lit spacious room, good equipment and space for people to wander outside. Check the venue is accessible, has excellent wi-fi, can meet all dietary requests and will have helpful staff on hand who can respond promptly in case of problems.

Get the Right Facilitator

You might have someone in the business who is great at running meetings and would be ideal, but it might be difficult for them to keep it on track especially if discussions are controversial. A neutral external facilitator will come with lots of experience of handling the conversation but brief them fully and make sure they are completely comfortable with any contentious issues.

Save the Date

Get the date in people’s diary early on!  With hectic work schedules, finding a date for a group of busy people together can be trickier than you might expect.

Set the Tone Before You Get There

Once you’ve got all the above done, communicate, communicate, communicate!  Keep reminding people of the event, its purpose and how important they personally are to its success.  If you have an agenda or pre-event tasks, send them out in good time. Build some excitement and curiosity about your offsite and people will arrive ready to make it amazing!