9 Easy Tips to Planning An Epic Corporate Retreat

Corporate retreats are an effective way to tackle important topics like leadership, team building, sales goals or projects that require more than just a boardroom or coffeehouse.

The reason why corporate retreats

work is because they often create a drastic change of environment that allows for influence, bonding and creativity to flourish. Igniting that shift in your teams’ perspective is what you’re hoping to achieve and corporate retreats are one of the few ways you can have a big impact.

A retreat is worth a ton of quality time – right from the management to the junior employees.

To get the most out of a retreat, it has to be planned carefully and executed meticulously. Here are tips to plan a successful corporate retreat.

1. Define the goal(s)
A retreat is not a vacation paid by the company. It should have a specific and well-defined goal that you intend to achieve. Begin with the end in mind to set that goal – what would you like to have achieved at the end of the retreat? That is your business goal. From there on, work your way backwards to plan this trip.

2. Invite only congruent team members
Is your retreat going to discuss strategy or planning to implement a strategy? Is it going to explain to all the employees how the company works? Is it going to discuss the vision and mission of the company? Your goals will help you create your invitation list; whether it’s top management or a specific vertical in your company. If you are discussing a huge project that entails the participation of multiple teams, you could invite the various departments to the retreat to discuss the project independently and then maybe have a combined session of all teams.

3. Use a professional facilitator
A professional facilitator is a neutral entity who is not bogged down by authority or corporate hierarchy. They would be in a better position to guide the discussion and manage time effectively. An “internal” facilitator is often a poor choice because of his/her position in the organization. Pros have more experience in this situation and bring all that to the table which will help make your retreat a success.

4. Choose the right location
Location is extremely important as it can set the tone for productive discussions. A place with peaceful surroundings can infuse calm and encourage active participation from all concerned. Hotels or resorts if booked during the off-season can be less expensive and offer all the conveniences of a laid back environment for some fruitful brainstorming.

You want a location that offers excellent options for both work and play. It can work as an incentive for employees who attend your corporate retreat. Playa del Carmen, for example, is just 45min from Cancun, Mexico and offers the stunning beauty of the Caribbean coastline plus haveall the modern services to host a corporate getaway. Any destination management company can help take care of all the hassles of planning the retreat in a foreign location, so that you focus on the business.

5. Make sure your employees are ready
You expect to get real value out of your retreat because it is so time intensive. To have an open, honest and, at times, conflicting debates, it’s necessary to have certain levels of trust, openness and respect among employees. In its absence, the retreat will only be a glorified picnic and nothing substantial will be achieved.

Before the retreat, send a highly confidential questionnaire to the participants to gauge their readiness. Gauge their reactions in uncomfortable situations and their ability to challenge the status quo. Only then will they be able to effectively participate in the retreat.

6. Send the agenda to all participants
To help participants prepare for the discussions and brainstorming sessions, you need to prepare an agenda and distribute it to the participants. The retreat should also include creative exercises and some downtime. Add these activities in the agenda. If you are planning on bringing a facilitator, make him part of the agenda design process as he will be able to guide you as to how to mix different activities and use time effectively.

7. Make sure everyone participates
Everyone in your staff might not be an extrovert. So if you are expecting that each employee invited for the retreat participates meaningfully in the sessions, make the sessions introvert-friendly. Instead of making everyone stand up and voice their thoughts and suggestions, make them write on a piece of paper. Encourage people to express their ideas without the fear of judgment. Create an atmosphere where minority ideas are also given fair consideration.

8. Lead
You need to define your role as a leader. You might want to take some time to figure out how and how much are you willing to deviate from your role as a leader and make other participants feel comfortable. You might want to be a silent spectator most of the times, but you also need to nudge, guide or direct the discussion, but not steer it to, what the participants might feel is, a preconceived decision. You need to strike the right balance of being an attentive listener, appreciative of your employees’ views and as a mentor to guide wherever necessary.

9. Assign “action leaders”
The outcome of every retreat is a plan of action. You need to assign action leaders who will be responsible for taking those actions and putting the plan to work. Every step has to be documented and roles need to be identified. Each team member has to be given specific roles and a time frame along with metrics against which the work done will be measured.

Parting Thoughts
A one-off retreat isn’t enough. After all the planning and strategizing, it is necessary to do a thorough review of all that has been achieved and all that remains untouched or underachieved. A team also needs to be formed that will perform continuous monitoring and assessment of the work being carried out by different teams. After the stipulated time is up, a one-day review can be done, preferably some place outside the office, so that achievers can be congratulated and those that have come up short can be motivated to complete their work.

Retreats, when planned and executed properly, can be excellent events to get the creative juices flowing. More can be achieved in less time and complete participation can be expected from the employees.

Share small business news, blogs and social media tips with Project Eve’s community of small business owners and entrepreneurs today. Our contributors come from a wide range of backgrounds; so whether you are a small business owner, social media strategist, financial adviser, serial entrepreneur, or write an amateur blog we urge you to contribute a blog to our 500,000+ community today. For more information, please refer to our Content Submissions Guidelines.


  1. I’ve been browsing online more than three hours today, yet I never found any interesting article like yours. It is pretty worth enough for me. In my opinion, if all site owners and bloggers made good content as you did, the internet will be much more useful than ever before.

  2. Hi would you mind letting me know which hosting company you’re working with? I’ve loaded your blog in 3 different web browsers and I must say this blog loads a lot faster then most. Can you recommend a good hosting provider at a reasonable price? Thank you, I appreciate it!

  3. My husband and i felt more than happy when Peter managed to conclude his investigation from your ideas he came across through the site. It’s not at all simplistic to just be giving freely tips that many other folks might have been trying to sell. We know we’ve got the website owner to appreciate because of that. The main illustrations you’ve made, the straightforward web site menu, the relationships you assist to create – it is all exceptional, and it’s letting our son in addition to our family believe that this subject is interesting, and that is extremely important. Many thanks for the whole lot!

  4. This web site can be a stroll-by for all of the information you wanted about this and didn’t know who to ask. Glimpse right here, and you’ll undoubtedly uncover it.

  5. wonderful post, very informative. I wonder why the other specialists of this sector do not notice this. You must continue your writing. I’m sure, you have a huge readers’ base already!

  6. In the grand pattern of things you get an A+ with regard to effort and hard work. Exactly where you misplaced us ended up being in your facts. You know, they say, the devil is in the details… And it couldn’t be much more true in this article. Having said that, permit me tell you just what exactly did deliver the results. The authoring is actually really convincing which is possibly why I am taking the effort to opine. I do not make it a regular habit of doing that. Second, despite the fact that I can see the leaps in logic you make, I am not really convinced of how you seem to unite the points which inturn make the final result. For right now I will, no doubt yield to your position but hope in the near future you connect the facts much better.

  7. Very well written article. It will be helpful to everyone who usess it, including yours truly :). Keep doing what you are doing – can’r wait to read more posts.

  8. There are definitely loads of particulars like that to take into consideration. That may be a nice level to deliver up. I provide the ideas above as normal inspiration but clearly there are questions like the one you carry up where the most important thing will likely be working in sincere good faith. I don?t know if best practices have emerged round issues like that, however I’m sure that your job is clearly recognized as a good game. Both boys and girls really feel the impact of only a second’s pleasure, for the rest of their lives.

  9. Hello, you used to write fantastic, but the last few posts have been kinda boring… I miss your super writings. Past several posts are just a bit out of track! come on!

  10. Hi, i think that i noticed you visited my web site thus i got here to “go back the favor”.I’m trying to find things to improve my site!I assume its good enough to make use of some of your concepts!!

  11. Hello there! This post could not be written any better! Reading this post reminds me of my old room mate! He always kept talking about this. I will forward this write-up to him. Pretty sure he will have a good read. Thanks for sharing!

  12. My partner and I absolutely love your blog and find most of your post’s to be just what I’m looking for. Do you offer guest writers to write content available for you? I wouldn’t mind writing a post or elaborating on most of the subjects you write concerning here. Again, awesome site!

  13. A lot of what you claim happens to be astonishingly appropriate and it makes me ponder the reason why I hadn’t looked at this in this light previously. Your piece truly did switch the light on for me as far as this particular subject matter goes. However there is one particular issue I am not too cozy with so whilst I try to reconcile that with the central theme of your issue, allow me observe what the rest of the readers have to point out.Very well done.

  14. Please let me know if you’re looking for a article writer for your weblog. You have some really good posts and I feel I would be a good asset. If you ever want to take some of the load off, I’d really like to write some material for your blog in exchange for a link back to mine. Please shoot me an e-mail if interested. Cheers!

  15. There are certainly lots of particulars like that to take into consideration. That is a nice level to deliver up. I supply the ideas above as normal inspiration but clearly there are questions like the one you bring up the place the most important thing shall be working in sincere good faith. I don?t know if finest practices have emerged around things like that, however I’m positive that your job is clearly identified as a good game. Each boys and girls feel the impact of just a moment’s pleasure, for the remainder of their lives.

  16. This is very interesting, You are a very skilled blogger. I have joined your rss feed and look forward to seeking more of your great post. Also, I’ve shared your site in my social networks!

  17. My brother recommended I might like this blog. He was entirely right. This post truly made my day. You can not imagine simply how much time I had spent for this info! Thanks!

  18. I’m truly enjoying the design and layout of your blog. It’s a very easy on the eyes which makes it much more enjoyable for me to come here and visit more often. Did you hire out a designer to create your theme? Outstanding work!


Please enter your comment!
Please enter your name here