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Organising company retreats for big groups

In the same way that a vacation does wonders in terms of recharging your proverbial batteries, we think that a company retreat is a great way to renew our enthusiasm and excitement for work.

Also, business trips during the year don’t always provide us with enough time to build strong relationships with our colleagues who work in other cities. Why is this important (you may wonder)? When we like and trust one another, the work flows much easier, we’re more creative and therefore have a lot more fun at work!

For these reasons, we are organising a second trip for the whole company, and we’re pretty good at it!

Here are a few tips on how to organise yours:

 

  • Start planning it at least 4 months in advance.

 

For us, it’s a Christmas trip and so we started planning in July. The kick off meeting was during a weekend in Barcelona, and we all came prepared with ideas of possible locations and activities. By the end of the two days, we had 3 fantastic ideas to present to the board!

    • All 3 ideas were in places that are easy for everyone to travel to (we checked that there were reasonable flight hours).
    • All offered big accommodation facilities.
    • None were in city centres where people would easily spread out. We wanted to stay together!

 

  • Assign roles to every person involved in the organisation.

 

We identified 4 that work for us:

    • Project Manager – Oversees the plan. Responsible for monitoring the event budget & arranging the guest speakers.
    • Communications team – Coordinates all mailings, promotion, phone calls, etc. Organises the event program and schedule.
    • Banquet team – Arranges the banquet meal, secures the needed facilities, supervises decorations, organises the event set-up and head table seating. Arranges awards & is in charge of THE PARTY.
    • Hospitality team – Arranges the hotel accommodations, photographers, check-ins, welcome team and reception.

 

  • Agree on a date quickly

 

You will want to send a “Save the date” as soon as possible to the company to make sure that the majority can make the trip.

This will also allow you to reserve both the accommodation and flights early to ensure availability and to keep costs down.

We think that a trip of 4 days including travel time works pretty well. We close business for 2 days and combine it with a weekend.

 

  • Create memorable experiences

 

It is a great idea to learn something new together. Last year, we all took ski/ snowboard lessons. Some MOBGENNERS were already pretty good at it but for the majority this was a new experience.

Also, the most skilled ones offered to teach others during the morning sessions and enjoyed a good ride after lunch.

Besides sports, MOBGENNERS enjoyed dogsledding and some spa time.

But we all agreed that the party at the pub was the one creating the best memories!

We liked including a souvenir too. Everyone received a personalised hoody that they loved… and this year we have something special too!

 

  • … but what is our secret ingredient?

 

We have a dedicated team responsible for the main events at MOBGEN… The O Experience team! They are 11 MOBGENNERS from different departments who, besides their daily jobs, have weekly meetings to brainstorm, organise and ensure unforgettable experiences.

Organising an event like this is not an easy task, but it’s so much fun and rewarding! A company retreat provides an authentic opportunity to help your people work better together and build a strong, connected culture. The cost is worth it because your people will love your company even more for it.