offsite meeting

How To Plan A Successful Offsite Meeting

Sometimes taking your company offsite for a meeting can be really beneficial for the productivity of your meeting and team morale. Providing a break from normality can often achieve more for your meeting’s purpose too. However, offsite meetings require more organisation than an office meeting so it’s best to start planning as soon as possible once you decide you’ll be going offsite.

Many organisations plan offsite meetings for a day or even take the opportunity to book an overnight stay to allow time for team bonding which can make offsite meetings a special occasion as part of your company culture. AGMs or quarterly strategy meetings are excellent examples of how bringing your team together is a great idea.

At Alexandra House and The Venues Collection, we’re experts in all things meetings and events. As a family of venues, that’s part of a bigger company, we also understand the need to host in-person meetings that achieve your agenda, that’s why we often enjoy hosting meetings at our beautiful venues rather than hosting online video calls. Here are our handing tips and tricks for planning your next offsite meeting.

6 Tips on Planning a Successful Offsite Meeting

1. Purpose and Budget

Offsite meetings of course come with an additional planning and additional costs compared to a meeting within your usual office space, however, we believe that the benefits of offsite meetings can warrant the additional effort for such meetings that require additional focus.

Start planning your offsite meeting by deciding on the purpose of your meeting and the budget available. The purpose will inform the budget as if you’re looking to host an afternoon meeting with lunch or a team bonding day with meeting, dinner and activities will have vastly different budgets.

What’s required for your offsite meeting will then inform your venue research, as to whether an all-inclusive package covers what you’re looking for to keep things more affordable.

2. Secure an Offsite Meeting Venue

Once you’ve decided on your budget, you’ll need to decide on the ideal location. This is particularly important for your entire team, considering remote team members as well as those onsite teams.

Once you’ve decided on a location or area, you can begin research into local venues. Your meeting agenda should inform what facilities and amenities you require from your venue. Then explore meeting package options, are there affordable choices that incorporate everything you’re looking for?

Is the space large enough for a big group or is the available space too big for smaller teams? Does the venue offer modern tech? Can the venue organise team building activities on your behalf? Can the venue provide catering, plus consider dietary restrictions? Would your venue include breakout space with refreshments for long meetings? These are just some of the questions you should consider for an offsite venue.

If you’re planning to hold offsite meetings regularly, you might be able to discuss a contract with a venue for multiple uses or if a venue is part of a group like The Venues Collection, you could discuss a multi-site contract.

The venue you choose can have a large impact on how effective your meeting is, including employee morale and their ability to come up with fresh ideas.

3. Plan Indoor and Outdoor Team Building Activities

Planning team building activities are a great way for your team to bond. You can plan adventure sports, group hikes, or even outdoor activities for your team to get together and enjoy some well-deserved quality time together. 

Your activities can also help you to achieve and reinforce the purpose or messaging of your meeting. Incorporating such activities when your take your team offsite can help to boost team morale, get people excited for the company’s future, improve employee engagement and team communication, as well as increasing team spirit, motivation, productivity and creativity. 

Many meeting venues such as Alexandra House will have to offer plenty of indoor and outdoor space for you and your team to utilise whilst creating fun and enjoyable team building activities. We also partner with an external team building provider to help take some of the pressure off of additional organisation.

4. Good Environments Lead To Extra Engagement

The beauty of booking an offsite meeting means you can get decision-makers and key members of the team in one space without distractions in the office, this will provide people with the headspace to focus on the purpose of your meeting with effective brainstorming rather than unproductive surface level discussion.

By taking people away from their desks, everyday stresses and providing a new environment, people can feel refreshed and a more relaxed environment to help creativity and problem solving flow.

Plus good food will keep everyone engaged and refreshed for longer and is an important factor when choosing your offsite meeting venue.

5. Plan the Logistics, Messaging and Materials Required

Part of your planning process should include the logistics of your meeting.

  • Take into account those working remotely, do they need accommodation?
  • How long will it take for your onsite team to travel to the offsite location?
  • Do you have enough time, including regular breaks to cover everything in your meeting agenda?

You should also plan out the agenda and messaging for your meeting, this should be shared with your teams before they arrive.

You’ll also need to understand who should bring what materials from the office – you can’t just run to the office next door to grab something that’s needed! You’ll also need to assess what materials the venue provide and therefore what additional materials you’ll need to organise around that.

6. Ask Your Team for Feedback about the Offsite Meeting

If you’d like to hold this type of meeting more often, consider all of the elements of your offsite meeting carefully and ask for your team’s feedback.

  • Could something be changed to have helped the meeting run more effectively?
  • Was the location good for the majority of people?
  • If you used accommodation, was it good? Was it onsite and better than travelling to offsite accommodation?
  • Was the venue good but a different environment have been better e.g was the environment too relaxed or too corporate?

This is a great opportunity to get people’s opinions on how the meeting worked and if it can improve the company culture overall to host offsite meetings more regularly.

Offsite Meeting Checklist

To make it easier, here’s an easy offsite meeting checklist that we’ve put together to help you plan your next external meeting:

  • Purpose & agenda of your meeting.
  • What’s your budget and can you achieve your purpose with the budget laid out?
  • Venue research – do they offer packages that cover what you’re looking for?
  • Plan your team bonding activities – do you require an external company, gala dinner or indoor activities?
  • Do you require catering? It’s important to choose good food options!
  • Logistics – consider remote workers, travel time, the logistics of acquiring your required resources and accommodation.

You may think that planning a company offsite meeting may be time consuming, but selecting the right off-site meeting venue with meeting packages and a team of experienced professionals can help to guide you in the right direction. Offsite team meetings can be used as an opportunity to strengthen your team’s bond, making your employees more proactive within the roles they play at your organisation. 

Meeting Rooms

Book Your Offsite Meeting at Alexandra House

We’re proud to offer excellent affordable meeting room packages with a focus on sustainability as part of our Meetings For Change initiative.

Our venue offer comfortable accommodation on-site, in-house catering and excellent meeting facilities. Plus additional options for team building activities, ask us about our partners when enquiring.

We’re located in Swindon just minutes from the M4, with free parking, ensuring your delegates can reach our venue easily. 

Ready to make the next step for your upcoming meeting or conference? Check out how to plan menus and breaks at your conference.

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