Offsite meetings can strengthen teams, foster creativity and solve challenging problems, but they can also do the opposite if proper planning is not involved.
Let’s face it, we have all been to an offsite meeting that our bosses promised would be epic. This meeting would supposedly fix all of our problems and rocket our business to the next level. But, instead, the day was boring, condescending, or the lack of planning resulted in a wasted day.
To help you avoid hosting poorly run, unproductive offsite meetings, the team at Vue Columbus has put together a list of the most common pitfalls meeting planners make.
For anything to be successful, there must be defined goals and objectives. To host a productive offsite meeting, planning should begin months in advance.
A great deal of time and money will be invested in an offsite meeting, so just showing up and hoping it is productive is unacceptable. Appropriate time should be spent brainstorming the ideal outcomes of the meeting and what problems you hope to solve.
The list of goals and objectives for an offsite meeting might go through numerous drafts before the final vision is determined. Each member of the planning team and appropriate leaders (i.e. CEO, vice presidents, etc.) should review and agree upon the goals and objectives of the meeting long before the actual event.
When the final draft of the agenda is ready, discuss the goals of the meeting with those on the invite list so that they know what to expect.
The point of an offsite meeting is to have meaningful conversations and generate new ideas. In order to generate those ideas, you must include everyone in the discussion.
If employees feel like they are not included, they will likely become unhappy and disengaged. We all have unique perspectives and experiences that can help in creating goals and objectives.
Don’t fill the agenda with people speaking to slides. Make sure to include time and experiences that facilitate conversations and generate ideas.
Selecting the meeting space could be one of the most important decisions you will make in the planning process. The venue has a major impact on satisfaction, creativity and productivity.
In the Columbus area, Vue is one of the top venues for corporate offsite meetings.
At Vue, corporate meeting facilities provide professional environments for meetings that encourage maximum creativity and productivity. Rooms can be customized to meet your specific needs and the staff will be on hand to handle any questions or issues that might arise.
Each meeting space at the Vue can be arranged in many different ways, including adding break out areas or soft seating nooks for a more relaxed environment. The outdoor areas at the Vue provide a nice change of pace in a natural environment.
Breaks allow attendees to rest and recharge their brains in preparation for the next presentation and help team members connect. Breaks can be a time to play a quick game or simply a time to allow attendees to use the restroom or grab a snack or lunch!
Breaks are a great time to try some of the Vue’s popular snack bars that serve options like Kashi granola bars, KIND granola bars, fruit bars, trail mix, Smartpop popcorn, PopChips, and fresh fruit like bananas, oranges and apples. Coffee is always available as well as a variety of other drinks!
One of the biggest mistakes organizations make is not following up with attendees after an offsite meeting. Businesses simply return to business as usual rather than referencing the brainstorming from the retreat or making the agreed upon changes. This makes employees feel that their opinions are not valued and that the meeting was a waste of time.
Upon returning to the office, someone should send an email summarizing what was discussed at the offsite meeting and changes that need to be made to reach agreed upon goals. This is a good time to ask employees for additional feedback about the event or if they have any questions.
Offsite meetings can build relationships, foster creativity and improve productivity, but only if the meeting is run efficiently and by following a few simple steps. Need help planning your next offsite meeting? Contact us to get started.