The Ultimate Offsite Meeting Planning Checklist

Preparing for an offsite meeting can be a huge challenge. However, if you have a checklist in hand to help with planning, you’re sure to have a successful event.

To get you started, we’ve put together some helpful tips to plan your next offsite meeting!

What is an Offsite Meeting?

An offsite meeting is one that’s held outside of your office. The entire premise behind this type of meeting is to get the team invigorated to tackle problems, create strategies, or set essential business goals. A meeting held away from the office is a great way to avoid interruptions, distractions, and more that are normal in an office setting.

There are also benefits that go along with having an offsite meeting, including:

  • A change of place, to help the team get into a different “headspace” than at the office
  • Taking the team away from their normal work, which keeps distractions and interruptions to a minimum
  • Increase collaboration for teams that may not normally work together
  • Facilitates those important conversations between team members

How to Prepare for an Offsite Meeting

Here is our checklist to help you prepare for a successful offsite meeting!

1). Book a Venue & More

The first step in preparing for an offsite is to find the right venue for the meeting. Here, it’s crucial to consider how many people are attending and then decide on the type and size of space you’ll need.

In addition, the space should provide all the tech you’ll need for the meeting. Some providers include everything you need, while others may charge extra. So, see if you can find a provider that offers all the tech you need. This includes whiteboards, plasma screens, and any other tech you may need.

Now, consider how long the meeting will last. If it lasts most of the day, chances are you’ll need to provide refreshments and at least one meal. So, it will be necessary to find a service provider that offers catering services. Again, these services may be included in the price of renting the venue. Or there may be extra charges. Be sure to find out before you settle on an offsite meeting venue.

2). Plan & Send Out the Agenda Before the Offsite

Now you have the venue and services figured out; it’s time to plan and send out the agenda. It’s important to get this done well in advance of the meeting.

Plan the meeting agenda in advance of the meeting. This may be a month or a week ahead; choose a time that works for you and your team. Include all attendees in planning the agenda, and listen to their suggestions and contributions. This way, everyone will feel included, which works to increase engagement amongst team members.

Work on setting a time limit for the meeting and then creating sections of the agenda with specific time allotments. Doing so ensures the meeting stays on course and that there’s plenty of time to get things done.

Make it a goal to have your agenda finalised at least 48 hours before the meeting.

3). Decide on Facilitator’s for Each Section of the Agenda

If you have more than one person facilitating the meeting, then make sure this is clear in the agenda. Next, ensure those who will be facilitating know which section they’re responsible for, as well as how much time is allotted for their section of the meeting.

Determine who is presenting what and for how long; then make everyone stick with these time allocations. Your meeting will stay on track, and everyone will feel included and ready to get things done during your offsite meeting.

4). Include Time for Team Bonding & Reflection

An often-overlooked point of planning an offsite is to include time for team bonding and reflection. Of course, the main reason for holding the meeting is to get things done. Productivity is essential; however, don’t forget that the interaction of team members is just as important. Interaction between attendees can definitely ensure your meeting’s a success.

One time to allow for essential interaction is during a meal and breaks. If the offsite lasts most of the day, you’ll need a meal and breaks. So, allow participants the freedom to talk with one another. These communications can mean the difference between a team that works together or one that’s only a bunch of individuals. Allowing the team to get to know one another also offers a chance for essential connections to take place within the team. These connections may be another key to helping the team be a success.

5). Include Team Building Activities

Your eyes may be rolling at the thought of including team-building activities. We understand; however, these types of activities can help bring a team together.

When planning team-building activities, remember to keep your team’s personalities in mind. Each team has a mix of personalities that work well with one another, though there may be some who don’t. That’s OK. Just take time to consider what types of activities may work best with your team.

If you’re stuck for ideas, here are some team building activities that may work with your team:

  • Solve a fun problem together (something like a quick game of Clue!)
  • Bring in a little music and/or improve (works great for longer meetings)
  • Play some quick games focused on business

Get creative!

6). Ask Attendees for Feedback About the Offsite Meeting

Lastly, don’t be afraid of asking attendees for their feedback on the offsite meeting. This allows team members to share their thoughts on how the meeting went, what could be improved, and share any issues they had during the meeting.

Feedback can be done through paper forms, an online survey, or even a company app (if you have one). For instance, if your business has Microsoft 365, you can create a form (look in the app section) that can easily be shared with all participants.

Whatever method you choose, feedback is a valuable tool for an offsite. For one thing, you can see if everyone was satisfied with the offsite, learn about their suggestions to improve the next meeting, and more.

Summing It Up

We understand an offsite meeting can be challenging to plan and arrange. However, this type of meeting has many benefits for you and your team.

With this article, you have an easy-to-use checklist to get started on planning your next offsite meeting!

Recent posts

12 benefits of a collaborative workspace

12 benefits of a collaborative workspace

The concept of collaborative workspaces has emerged as a transformative approach that creates innovation, enhances productivity, and cultivates a vibrant work culture. Embracing Collaboration: Collaborative workspaces are more than just physical environments; they...

What is hot-desking and what are the benefits?

What is hot-desking and what are the benefits?

In today's dynamic work environment, the concept of hot-desking has emerged as a game-changer, revolutionising traditional office setups. This innovative approach offers unparalleled flexibility and creates a collaborative atmosphere conducive to productivity. What is...