The clock tick-tick-tocks from the far wall. Someone shifts uncomfortably in their conference table chair. A sniffle, a throat clears, and I glance down at my phone. Again. We’re all gathered here for another “Project Status Update” meeting. But we all know what will actually happen: We’ll fixate on details, wade through more reports, and offer some disinterested insight. It’s a demoralizing endurance test, repeated weekly, that never really feels like it moves the ball forward. At least, not in any way that’s truly meaningful to those in the room.
I start daydreaming about what I really want to contribute to the C-suite’s perspective; I want to say: “There’s another way to do this! We could re-energize our team and increase trust and respect if we could just get out of this stuffy conference room—if we could have some fun and feel more like ourselves. I know that would galvanize results!”
Meeting in a Casual Atmosphere Feels Good and Achieves More
Rather than being distracted by office-wide “to-dos” and the ever-present deadlines, a nature-infused California retreat can inspire extended conversations and a free exchange of ideas from team members. Participants enter a meeting with different perspectives and goals—and an off-site location can let those human elements shine. When casually face-to-face, rather than stiffly perched around a conference table, each participant can pick up nonverbal cues from their colleagues, including from those who don’t have the floor, providing a deeper context for developing their own views. In a nutshell, interpersonal engagement at an offsite retreat sparks creativity and new ways of approaching a problem that may not have been available in the office.
Imagine, if you will, the increased productivity that can be cultivated when each participant has an opportunity to network in an immersive, outdoor venue that supports the expression of their talent and ingenuity. In casually conversing amongst redwood forests, ocean vistas, or vibrant wildlife, participants have an opportunity to communicate their goals and feel that their voices are actually being heard. The value of these personal interactions can even be extended by scheduling some team-building exercises—like a challenging ropes course—or a company cocktail hour in the evening. Participants will inevitably take the relationships they build at the retreat and leverage them toward achieving project goals back at the office.
Finding the Perfect California Retreat Venue
California offers a wide array of awe-inspiring landscapes and retreat venues, but you need to find the one. Your first consideration is location—you will want the participants to be able to travel to the site without undue hassle. So, finding one that is located within a reasonable distance to a major airport or other transportation amenities is key. Pick two or three local venues to compare and then spend an afternoon visiting them.
When walking through each property, you’ll want to consider the “feel’ of the retreat location as well as some of the more practical matters. Whether you intend to invite only ten participants or 150, you will want each one to immediately sense that they are welcome. That’s why a venue that offers privacy and event customization is the best choice. Spend some time brainstorming how you will use the space during the retreat. Do you need an elegant meeting space? Or courtyard seating for informal gatherings or meals? Perhaps you are thinking about a weekend-long retreat and need comfortable overnight accommodations for the participants as well?
Of course, maximizing your retreat budget is alway an important consideration. Many think that it is less expensive to hire a handful of vendors for each of their needs, from technology to catering, but you will need to watch out for hidden expenses if you choose this route. More often than not, an all-inclusive venue that is prepared to meet all those needs can be the more budget-friendly option, while also decreasing the time spent planning and having to manage many moving parts.
An All-inclusive Retreat Venue Makes Planning Simple
Planning a successful corporate retreat doesn’t have to be another “project.” In fact, if you choose the right venue from the start, there are just a handful of simple steps left on your desktop. Here’s an easy-to-accomplish list for your reference:
- Develop the agenda. Whether you aim to create better rapport among the project team, brainstorm next steps for a struggling account, or put the best minds together for long-range planning, you will need to key in on the purpose of the retreat. Be sure to keep your agenda focused and estimate how much time each action item will take so you can develop a productive schedule. You know first-hand what it feels like when a one-hour meeting turns into three and you still haven’t accomplished the goal!
- Narrow guest list. Planning a company retreat or day meeting can be an exciting diversion from your more typical tasks at the office and gives you the opportunity to extend a little bit of fun to your peers as well. Nevertheless, your guest list should include only the team members who are positioned to meaningfully contribute to the agenda’s goals. You should include team members who can take on specific roles like facilitator, speaker, or timekeeper to be sure everyone gets the most out of the experience.
- Communicate with your venue. Each participant may have special needs during the retreat. Your venue should be able to handle everything from providing technical equipment for speakers to managing catered meals for those with food allergies.
- Prepare for last-minute changes. Last-minute changes are an inevitable part of any event planning, but they can be painless if you’ve selected a venue that is responsive to your needs. The venue should provide you with a coordinator that will address every event detail and let you relax during the retreat as well.
Planning your corporate retreat can be a cinch when you work with an all-inclusive venue that is prepared to meet your every need with event packages or customizable solutions with transparent pricing.
Revitalize Your Team With the Ideal Retreat Location
Considering how easy it can be to plan a retreat with the support of the right venue, it makes sense to begin planning now for creating the opportunity to energize your team. It’s a no-lose venture for increasing morale and letting them achieve their best. Selecting a local, inspirational destination awash in nature may be just the thing your team needs this summer.
Located along California’s central coast in the seclusion of the Santa Cruz Mountains, Kennolyn offers the ideal venue for your next corporate retreat. With over 300 acres and two unique architectural gems for meeting places, Kennolyn can customize a package for your specific meeting needs. Choose activities from formal dinners designed by their executive chef to exciting group outdoor endeavors to build your team’s initiative for optimal project performance in the office. Contact us today for more information.
Image Source: Unsplash user Bench Accounting