Travel Management

How to organise a kick-ass company offsite

Learn how to plan an unforgettable company offsite, from setting objectives to post-event follow-up, making sure it's a success every step of the way.

Organizing a company offsite is a big responsibility, requiring a balance of logistics, strategic foresight, and a touch of creativity. Done well, an offsite can boost morale, enhance team dynamics, and provide a clear direction for the future. On the other hand, a poorly planned event can lead to frustration, wasted resources, and missed opportunities. In this article, we'll dive into what you'll need to plan an offsite that meets your company's objectives and leaves a lasting, positive impact.


Planning Stage


Define your Objectives

The first thing you'll need to do to plan a successful offsite is to clearly define your objectives. What do you hope to achieve with the offsite? Objectives might include team building, strategic planning, training sessions, or simply giving your team a chance to relax and recharge. Defining clear goals will help you shape the entire event, from the choice of location to the agenda you end up putting in place. Here are some ideas of what you might try to achieve through your offsite:  

  • Team Building: Activities that enhance communication, trust, and collaboration among team members.
  • Strategic Planning: Brainstorming sessions, workshops, and presentations that align with your long-term goals.
  • Training and Development: Sessions led by experts to help up-skill your team in specific areas.
  • Relaxation and Recreation: Downtime that allows employees to unwind and connect informally.
Set the Budget

Setting a realistic budget is crucial. Your budget will influence all aspects of the offsite, from the location and accommodation you choose to the activities and catering. Here's what to consider when you're setting your budget:

  • Travel Expenses: Transportation costs for all attendees, whether by plane, train, or car.
  • Accommodation: Costs of hotels or resorts, including any group discounts or packages.
  • Meals and Catering: Budget for all meals, snacks, and beverages throughout the event.
  • Activities and Entertainment: Costs for team-building activities, workshops, speakers, and recreational events.
  • Miscellaneous: Include a buffer for unexpected expenses, such as last-minute changes or emergencies.
Select a Location

The location of your offsite plays a critical role in its success. Choose a venue that aligns with your objectives and provides the necessary facilities and amenities. Have a think about the following things before you make your choice: 

  • Accessibility: Ensure the location is easy to reach for all participants.
  • Facilities: Check for meeting rooms, recreational facilities, and accommodation standards.
  • Atmosphere: Choose a setting that will inspire creativity and relaxation, whether it’s a beach resort, a mountain retreat, or an urban hotel.
  • Availability: Book early to secure your preferred dates and venue.
Choose Your Dates

Selecting the right dates for your offsite is essential. Avoid scheduling conflicts by coordinating with key participants and considering the following:

  • Availability of Attendees: Ensure that essential team members can attend.
  • Seasonality: Consider the weather and peak seasons for travel to your chosen location.
  • Company Calendar: Avoid dates that clash with critical business events or deadlines.

Pre-Event Preparation


Prepare a Detailed Itinerary

A well-structured itinerary is the backbone of a successful offsite. It should provide a clear schedule of activities, ensuring that everyone knows what to expect and when. Key elements of the itinerary include:

  • Daily Schedule: Outline the activities for each day, including start and end times.
  • Session Details: Provide information on each activity, including the objectives, facilitators, and required materials.
  • Logistics: Include details about transportation, check-in procedures, and contact information for key personnel.
  • Free Time: Allocate time for relaxation and informal networking.

Arrange Travel and Accommodation (with Goodwings!) Goodwings logo symbol

Coordinating travel and accommodation is a significant part of the planning process. Ensure all logistics are handled smoothly by:

  • Booking Transportation: Arrange travel for all attendees, taking into account any special requirements or preferences.
  • Reserving Accommodation: Book rooms that meet the comfort and convenience needs of your team. Consider room-sharing policies and special requests.
  • Travel Documents: Ensure that all participants have the necessary travel documents, such as passports and visas, well in advance.
Plan Activities and Sessions

The activities and sessions you plan should align with the objectives of the offsite. Consider a mix of work-related and fun activities to keep participants engaged and energized.

  • Team-Building Exercises: Plan activities that promote teamwork and camaraderie, such as trust exercises, collaborative challenges, or outdoor adventures.
  • Workshops and Training: Schedule sessions that provide valuable learning opportunities, led by internal or external experts.
  • Recreational Activities: Include leisure activities that allow participants to relax and enjoy their surroundings, such as sightseeing, sports, or wellness sessions.
Communicate with Participants

Clear communication is key to ensuring that everyone is prepared and informed. Keep participants updated by:

  • Sending Invitations: Distribute invitations and confirmations well in advance, providing all necessary details.
  • Providing Itineraries: Share the detailed itinerary with all attendees, including any updates or changes.
  • Creating a Communication Channel: Set up a dedicated communication channel, such as an email group or messaging app, for real-time updates and queries.

Onsite Management


Set Up a Welcome Area

A welcoming reception sets the tone for the offsite. Prepare a welcome area with:

  • Welcome Kits: Provide participants with kits that include the schedule, maps, local information, and any necessary materials.
  • Smooth Check-In: Ensure the check-in process is efficient and welcoming, with staff on hand to assist with any issues.
Facilitate Meetings and Activities

Efficient facilitation ensures that all planned activities run smoothly. Focus on:

  • Preparation: Ensure all materials and equipment are ready and available for each session.
  • Time Management: Keep sessions on schedule and manage transitions between activities smoothly.
  • Participant Engagement: Encourage active participation and address any questions or concerns promptly.
Monitor and Adjust Plans

Flexibility is crucial during the offsite. Be prepared to:

  • Adapt Plans: Adjust the schedule or activities as needed based on participant feedback or unforeseen circumstances.
  • Resolve Issues: Address any logistical or technical issues promptly to ensure the smooth running of the event.

Post-Event Follow Up


Gather Feedback

Collecting feedback from participants is essential for evaluating the success of the offsite and identifying areas for improvement. Use the following methods:

  • Surveys: Send out surveys to all attendees, asking for their feedback on various aspects of the offsite, including the location, activities, and overall organization.
  • Interviews: Conduct one-on-one interviews with key participants to gain deeper insights into their experiences and suggestions.
Evaluate Success

Assess whether the offsite met its objectives and identify any lessons learned. Consider:

  • Achievement of Goals: Review whether the defined objectives were met and the key outcomes achieved.
  • Participant Satisfaction: Analyze feedback to gauge overall satisfaction and identify areas for improvement.
  • Return on Investment: Evaluate the cost-effectiveness of the offsite and its impact on the team and organization.
Show Appreciation and Share Key Outcomes

Show appreciation to everyone involved in making the offsite a success. This can include:

  • Thank-You Notes: Send personalized thank-you notes to participants, facilitators, and vendors.
  • Sharing Outcomes: Communicate the outcomes and highlights of the offsite with the team, reinforcing the value of the event.
Document for Future Reference

Create a comprehensive report on the offsite for future reference. Include:

  • Summary of Events: Outline the schedule, activities, and key outcomes.
  • Feedback and Insights: Include participant feedback and any lessons learned.
  • Recommendations: Provide suggestions for future offsites based on this experience.

Final Thoughts 


Tips for Success
  • Plan Early and Be Detail-Oriented: Start planning well in advance and pay attention to every detail to avoid last-minute issues.
  • Keep Communication Clear and Consistent: Ensure that all participants are well-informed and updated throughout the planning and execution stages.
  • Be Prepared for Unexpected Changes: Have contingency plans in place for potential disruptions and be flexible in adapting to changes.
  • Balance Work and Relaxation Activities: Ensure a mix of productive sessions and recreational activities to keep participants engaged and energized.
Summing Up

Organizing a company offsite is a complex but rewarding task that can significantly benefit your organization. By following this comprehensive guide, you can ensure that your offsite is well-planned, smoothly executed, and achieves its intended objectives. With meticulous preparation, clear communication, and a focus on both work and relaxation, your company offsite can be a transformative experience that boosts team morale, fosters collaboration, and drives strategic success.

Remember, the key to a successful offsite is to plan thoroughly, communicate effectively, and remain flexible. By doing so, you'll create an event that not only meets your company's goals but also leaves a lasting positive impression on all participants.


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