From Experience to Experiential HR Agency – Our ‘RADical journey’ into a Blue Ocean!

Travel Out There – From ‘Experience to Experiential HR Agency’

Back in 2005, I started Travel Out There! It was a lack of reliable information available to visitors in Latvia, that gave me the inspiration to form, what is still a key philosophy behind Travel Out There to this very day! In this article, I would like to give you an insight into how Travel Out There has evolved from being an Experience Agency into an Experiential HR Agency.

Helping companies to “access the un-accessible” to ensure that they, not only visit but truly experience the destination!   

Check out the video I created back in 2005, a walk from the hostel that I used to run many years ago into Riga’s Old Town.  

It is incredible to think of what started as a company, simply offering visitors to Latvia a great experience and hostel accommodation, with an average pay cheque of €50 Euros per person (the cheap & cheerful video above reflects this) has evovled in to a pan European Corporate Event and Retreat network with budgets of up to €250,000. We have had the fortune to partner Google, TDK, HP Packard and Shell, within a handful of years. It’s very rewarding to think back and see the fruits of my labor have resulted in a positive experience, for so many people over the years, in so many fantastic destinations.  

Evolving & maturing into an ‘Experiential HR Agency’! 

Travel Out There’s key objective is to help ignite team spirit, raise morale and develop a more connected culture for our clients. A happy, motivated and aligned workforce is a productive one! We aim to accelerate trust, respect, and friendship within your team by providing tailor-made and remarkable experiences for your company.  We become an Experiential HR Agency.

This is a video we made for Google during their off-site (please note a slight increase in quality of the production to our ‘walk in Riga video’ :):

‘RADicalise’ your talent.  

Travel Out There aim to help companies serious about development and change as well as having some fun! Travel Out There 3-T Experiences combine Travel, Team Building with Training. Our professional facilitators provide the methodology and structure for your retreat and our experience managers handle all your ground handling requirements in your specified destination. Together they make the perfect team ensuring you make the most of the limited and extremely valuable time that you are all together.

We like to use the term RADicalise as it serves as an acronym for the key objective for partnering with us and taking your team away on a Travel Out There Off-Site.  To RETAIN, ATTRACT and DEVELOP your most valuable asset, your people.

If we look deeper into the term Radical!

If something is considered very different from anything that has come before it, call it radical.
The noun, radical, comes from the Latin radix “root,” and in fact, radical and root are synonymous as technical terms in fields such as math and linguistics.

In more everyday language, a radical is someone who has very extreme views, so you could say that their views are different from the root up. Similarly, a radical flaw or change is a fundamental one whereas a radical design or idea is very new and innovative.

Team Building

Developing Roots in the Woods

Strengthen & deepen your ‘Company’s Roots’!

Your team members are your best brand ambassadors and treating them well will ensure they are your ‘magnets’ to attract future talent. Showcasing and promoting this in the form of a retreat will work wonders to help attract and retain talent.

In the process of scaling a company, you will no doubt run into the problem of effectively communicating & maintaining your companies DNA / roots. Your purpose, Your WHY! We believe the culture of a company develops and is enhanced best outside the workplace! To create a connected culture you need to invest in creating and strengthening the bonds between its members.

Next week I will post an article about how we can help you create a video during your off-site that will serve as a great experiential HR tool to retain and attract your talent.

Thanks for reading and please do contact us if you would like to learn more about our RADical approach to Experiential HR!

How to organise a Company Off-Site that pays off – An Executive PA’s Guide.

We understand that too often, the role to organise a company off-site falls into the lap of the Executive’s PA. After all, Executive PA’s are often the ‘bridge’ between senior/C-level management and the rest of the company, hence, in principle, it is a logical decision to empower this task to this engaged and very connected person.

However, in our experience, taking on this responsibility to organise a company off-site is a huge undertaking, on top of all the other day to day responsibilities.  This can create quite a stressful workload and impact your well-being both in and out of the office.

In this ‘How to Organise a Company Off-Site that Pays Off Guide’ we will aim to help you, as an executive PA, to tackle this extremely challenging and stressful task, to organise a company off-site, in a more manageable and proactive fashion. Creating this small guide to help you break down all the tasks in hand to organise a company off-site.  We are here to help 🙂

Before beginning to organise a Company Off-Site it is important to have some clear and specific objectives in place.  Whether on the beach or off the beaten track, understanding the need to kill complacency and connect with your team like never before is wonderful.  This is the value of taking your company off-site to connect your workforce and develop your company culture…but there should be additional driver or purpose. What is the key problem you are trying to solve or objective you hope to meet by organising a company off-site.

Please take some time to discuss the quesitons below with both your senior management team and handful of employees from the company. We suggest creating a company off-site think tank to help you develop the concept and core purpose of the Off-Site.  This will help share the burden of organising the company off-site and also help you delegate core tasks to others.

Company Off-Site Hotels

Choosing the right place for your Company Off-Site

RIGHT PLACE TO OGRANISE A COMPANY OFF-SITE

Where are your team members located? (If you work with a remote workforce).

This will help you understand what location would work best for your retreat from a logistics standpoint. What airlines fly direct to the destination from these locations and can you get to the destination in a timely and simple fashion.

Team / Company Size:

This will help you. choose a suitable accommodation option when you organise your company off-site.

Where would you like to go for next year’s off-site?

  • City
  • Beach
  • Mountain
  • Countryside / rural

What kind of hotel would you prefer? (big hotel chains, boutique hotels…) 

  • Chain Hotels
  • Boutique Hotels
  • Country House
  • Camping
  • Other….

What kind of rooms do you request? (single / double / twin)

  • Single
  • Double
  • Twin

Opting to share rooms will bring down the price of the off-site in quite substantially.

Company Off-Site

Choose the right time for your company Off-Site to help take people out of the Status Quo

RIGHT TIME TO OGRANISE A COMPANY OFF-SITE

What values and beliefs define your brand?

(Without a clear strategy and purpose, your most valued asset, your team can very easily start working for work sake). 

Please state your top 3 reasons to celebrate at your company off-site:

1)

2)

3)

On a level of 1 to 10 how well do you know your colleagues? 

1….2…..3….4….5….6….7….8….9….10

What would you consider the 3 most important focuses for your company off-site? 

  • Fun
  • Relaxation
  • Team Work / Team Building
  • Adrenaline
  • Leadership
  • Team Bonding
  • Networking
  • Motivation
  • Development of Trust
  • Creative / Hands On
Company Off-Site Facilitation

Choosing the right facilitator for your Company Off-Site can make a huge difference.

RIGHT WAY TO OGRANISE A COMPANY OFF-SITE

What would you consider the primary focus for the company off-site?  Please highlight 3.

(Keep your purpose realistic. You might have large goals that cannot be accomplished within one retreat. Prioritise your needs and desires).

  • Celebrate great performance
  • Get out of your comfort zone.
  • Support managing change
  • Improve communication
  • Enhance the Company’s culture
  • Opportunity to innovate
  • Alignment of Mission and Vision!
  • Unite a global/remote workforce
  • Refine / Define Values
  • Escape routine
  • Incorporate a new way of working 
  • Evoke a behavior change
  • Leadership / Personal Development
  • A shared experience
  • Simply to have fun!

Do you need a meeting space and what is the ideal room set up? 

  • Cabaret / Banquet
  • Theatre
  • U Shape 
  • Classroom

Do you require breakout spaces – if so how many?

What past activities have you experienced- what has worked and not worked?

Are you interested to incorporate a facilitator into your Company Off-Site?  Yes or No. 

(Our trainers, serve as a neutral group facilitator, and help disrupt your thinking by asking you questions that you might not have thought of independently. They help you identify, prioritise and resolve your key objectives as well ensure you stick to the pre-arranged agenda. Our Trainers and Trust Architects can also take the majority of this work away from your hands to organise a company off-site that pays off.)

Facilitators also help to empower the introverts in the group to have a say.  There are many meeting methods and tools to aid a more democratic and balanced approach to meetings. Asking each individual in the group to summarise their own thoughts on post-it notes, then place them on the board is a great way to encourage those who are less confident to ‘voice’ their opinion. 

This highlights the benefit of recruiting an independent meeting facilitator to host the retreat. It ensures that the CEO or confident extroverts, within the team, do not hog the microphone.  Talking of microphones…CatchBox is a great throwable microphone that encourages great interactivity within a meeting.

Company Off-Site activities

Choosing the right activities to incorporate in to your Off-Site helps create stronger connections

RIGHT AGENDA TO OGRANISE A COMPANY OFF-SITE

What are the 3 must-haves to ensure you have a successful, productive and enjoyable company off-site? 

  • Scheduled programme
  • Downtime with colleagues or own
  • Great hotel 
  • Destination
  • Limited travel time
  • Informative guest speaker
  • External facilitator 
  • Time to explore the destination
  • External activities
  • Great celebratory Gala Dinner
  • High standard of hotel room
  • Something different
  • Other: 

If you had one free hour each day of the company off-site, how would you use it? 

Choose a type of experience you would MOST like to incorporate into the company off-site – Highlight up to 3. 

  • Culinary/gastronomic
  • Exploration / City Rally
  • Digital Detox 
  • Creative Exercise 
  • Active (Early morning run)
  • Relaxation / Spa
  • Team Work / Survival
  • Competitive Activities / Olympics / Sporting Competition
  • Adrenaline / Karting / Wind Tunnel
  • CSR Programme 
  • Trust Building / High Ropes
  • Networking / Local site visit
  • Informative Workshops with Key Person of Influence
  • Motivational speaker 
  • Attend an event (cultural, sporting, concert etc)
Company Off-Site themes

Create a theme for the Off-Site that drives engagement

How to get everyone to engage at your company off-site?

The most important understanding when you have your team at a company off-site is to leave titles at the door.  Many company off-sites aim to inspire bottom-up innovation, where staff members on the front line can voice their opinion and have an opportunity to share ideas that would help solve the particular objective in question.

Planning for the next company off-site!

  • Debrief to ensure the next one is better
  • Gives everyone something to look forward to
  • Set the date

This will help retain and attract talent – your most precious commodity (apart from time)!

We can help you tailor a company 0ff-site that pays off:

If this seems all too much to manage on top of your daily workload then we are are here to help. At Travel Out There we do not believe in selling bespoke packages or off the shelf experiences. We like to give our clients exciting ideas and inspirational concepts that we then work closely with you to tailor make a company off-site to your exact needs and requirements. We specialize in creating and forming unique Company Off-Sites, please do not hesitate to contact us should you require any further information.

Company Off-Sites that pay off

A happy workforce is a connected one. This is your ROI for a company Off-Site.

KISS – Keep it Simple, Stupid.. It is time for a SPRING CLEAN

The acronym KISS  (“Keep it simple, stupid”)  as a design principle noted by the U.S. Navy in 1960. The KISS principle states that most systems work best if they are kept simple rather than made complicated; therefore simplicity should be a key goal in design and unnecessary complexity should be avoided.

 

We are having a spring clean of complexity – striving for simplicity and consistency in our operations and our brand.

 

Brands have to be striking and consistent. The best brands out there have opted for solely 2 to a maximum 3 different colours (exception Google)…hence we have evolved Travel Out There’s logo to utilise only 2 colours!  We are in the process of updating this logo on our various marketing platforms.

 

07---TOT-BRAND---update-2018

 

Secondly – according to our mission and vision.  We are striving to become come a global company. Hence we are in the process of merging our local Riga operation and brand – Riga Out There (facebook page etc – Riga Out There) into our global brand Travel Out There.  

 

support mark

 

Thirdly – we did experiment with asking for a commitment fee for our Monthly Talk.  But after much deliberation we felt it would be best for people to donate what they felt was the ‘value of the event’ to a great cause.

The cause that we will be supporting for all our monthly events will be Supportmark.

What:

Travel Out There will be doing what they can to help with Supportmark’s single goal of Making Cancer Yesterday’s News!

 

Why:

1 in 2 people will be impacted by cancer in their lifetime.  The issue is this is not just a statistic, it’s a reality, and if we leave it to others it will never get addressed. The impact investment generated from these events will support the work of research into cancer.

 

How:

Travel Out There will donate all income generated from their monthly talks to Supportmark. Through the commitment to carry a Supportmark all money raised will go directly to the Institute for Cancer Research (ICR), the largest biometric research institute in Europe focussed exclusively on cancer research.

 

By defining a more simple and striking purpose, we are confident this will help, not only our clients, but also Travel Out There to attract and retain the best talent.  

Travel Out There will invest 50,000 Euros in Live Buzz Start Up.

Live Buzz

“We have two ears and one mouth, so we should listen more than we say” – Zeno of Citium

The ancient Greek philosopher already figured this out 300 years before Christ. Yet, getting people to listen, or to think before they speak, is still as big a challenge in today’s world.

That is why Travel Out There are happy to announce our investment in the Live Buzz start up.

What is LiveBuzz?

Live Buzz aims to improve communication within organisations and in the home.  A device where you can remotely buzz your colleague or partner should they be talking too much. The buzz comes in the form of an electric shock and can be remotely activated by a colleagues device. Our CEO Austin Nicholas believes the device can help people become better leaders by simply ensuring everyone gets their fair say.

The concept of Livebuzz was created in Tallinn by Eric Hints, the founder of Loquiz (a platform for creating interactive location based team games).

The device evolved from playing the city code game. We noticed repeatedly how some team members were dominating the game and did not give their team members a chance to say a word” Eric explains and continues ”During one game a woman got so annoyed with her colleague constant babbling that she threw an empty bottle she had in her hand in the colleagues head… And the man was quiet for the rest of the game! That’s when I realized that there is a need for something like Livebuzz”.

“They thought I was crazy”

At first, Eric’s colleagues and friends thought he was crazy. Who would voluntarily wear an electric shocker on their wrist? And how would an electric shock help to improve the communication?

But Eric went ahead and developed a prototype which he then gave a few organizations in Latvia and Estonia to try out. The response was above expectations.

”We tried the device during our weekly meeting, and the effect was amazing. The ones that usually do all the talking were reminded to give the others a chance to speak. People that usually never utter a word, was all of a sudden coming with inputs. And we even managed to keep the meeting half an hour shorter!” Says Andris Jansons, CEO of EstIQ, one of the companies that got to try out the device.

Laura Kask, who also got to try the device, was equally thrilled. “This device should be used in politics. Just imagine how different the world would look if politicians learned to listen better!”

Works just as good at home

Originally meant to be used to improve communication in companies and organizations, Travel Out There’s CEO Austin decided to try it at home as well.

”I have a tendency to talk too much sometimes, and my girlfriend often points this out. So I decided to put on a bracelet and gave her one as well.. and well, let’s just say that she was delighted. I’m not sure I will ever get to take this off again” Austin laughs.

Travel Out There has been working closely with Loquiz during last year, and are now happy to continue to develop the partnership between the two companies.

As a special promotion Travel Out There has decided to give away five LiveBuzz’s for free. All you have to do is like this our post on facebook and we will pick a lucky winner!

What is your destination’s G Spot?

Vilnius, the G-spot of EuropeNobody knows where it is but when you find it it’s amazing.”

It appears that the city authorities and tourism industry within Vilnius are satisfied with the result of this eyebrow raising campaign and plan to develop the idea further.  Lithuanians didn’t seem to be offended by the comparison, praising the authors of the ad for their creativity and sense of humor.

‘By trying to satisfy everyone you will please no one’…it is of crucial importance that destination marketing campaigns unite behind a mutual theme or identity to attract more interest and engagement. In the Vilnius case,  you cannot help but agree that a sexy vibe would help to bring more tourists to the capital, giving the city a real essence of “Rock And Roll.”

Vilnius G Spot

Think of attracting ‘Right People in the Right Place’ when creating your Destination Marketing Campaign

The tourism industry as a whole need to understand who they could serve best – effectively creating a niche – when creating Destination marketing campaigns. What could the destination be number one in the world at to help create a compelling destination brand? Perhaps it is for beach sports, gastronomy, Snorkelling, Yoga (the new golf?!?)…the list could go on.

One could relate this to the slogan the destination uses to promote itself. Below you can see slogans from all around the world!  How many could you say are ‘unique’ to the destination?  Very very few.

As in the case of the Vilnius marketing campaign, many are loaded with innuendo including Latvia’s – Best Enjoyed Slowly. Perhaps not as close to the bone as Fiji’s previous attempt at turning some heads ‘Fiji me.’ (now replaced to Where Happiness Finds You!) and I feel SLOVEnia.

There are times when you think Tourism Boards have opted to simply punch in some words in to google translate to see what fits as a destination brand:

‘Greece – You in Greece’ and ‘Serbia – life in the rhythm of the heartbeat’ just two examples that spring to mind.

Every-Countrys-Tourism-Slogan-Crop-1

It is my belief, that destination slogans have a big impact on the first impression and can help establish this crucial identity for, not only tourism professionals, but the whole population to support and embrace.

In the future, I hope there will be more of a democratic approach in this selection process. It was only last year when New Zealand held a referendum on whether or not they should keep their current flag. I am not suggesting to go to this level of bureaucracy and expense, but perhaps a simple poll on social media to help in this selection process would be of huge value. If the people feel like they had a say they are much more likely to help tourism professionals promote the destination.

I am going to conclude with some suggestions for a ‘make over’ for Latvia. I was a big fan of Latvia’s past slogan – The Land that Sings. Singing plays a very significant part in Latvia’s culture, emphasised by the Song Festival held every 4 years.

But times have changed and looking forward the slogan I would like to put forward the following suggestion:

Latvia- Disconnect

Latvia – ‘Disconnect to Reconnect’.

There are few better places in the world where you have the choice to be connected to an incredibly fast internet connection (in neighbouring Estonia it is considered a human right) but within minutes, coupled with a conscious decision to turn off your data roaming, you could be in a remote forest or untouched coast line completely at one with nature.

For an insight into the sort of experience you can have in Latvia’s nature please check out this video of a Digital Detox organised by Travel Out There for Riga’s Tech Hub community.

But even if this looks a bit too extreme then a walk along Jurmala’s stunning coast line after a conference in one of the many Spa Hotels could be more up your alley.

I would very much welcome some suggestions and ideas on how you would like your destination to be ‘branded’. Feel free to leave some comments…

Thank you.

Your Complete Guide to Organising a Company Retreat

Your Complete Guide to Organising a Company Retreat

Established in 2006, Travel Out There’s key objective is to help ignite team spirit, raise morale and develop a more connected culture for our clients. A happy, motivated and aligned workforce is a productive one! We aim to accelerate trust, respect and friendship within your team by providing tailor made and remarkable experiences for your company.

Travel Out There aim to help companies serious about development and change as well as having some fun! Travel Out There 3-T Experiences combine Travel, Team Building with Training. Our professional facilitators provide the methodology and structure for your retreat and our experience managers handle all your ground handling requirements in your specified destination. Together they make the perfect team to ensure you make the most of the limited and extremely valuable time that you are all together.

Before embarking on a company retreat or off-site it is important to have some clear and specific objectives in place that is why we have created this complete guide to organising a company retreat that covers all 4 corners of the Square of Effective Communication!

Click on each link to read each post accordingly!

Right Time to Organise your Company Retreat

Right Place for your Company Retreat

Right Agenda for your Company Retreat

Right Way for your Company Retreat 

Please do not hesitate to contact us should you require any further information about organising a company retreat for your team!

10 STEPS – HOW TO PLAN A CORPORATE EVENT

How to plan a Corporate Event

If you are given the task to organise an event for your company or working with an event management company – this 10 step guide should help ensure you do not trip up during the planning stages.

A basic procedural outline to consider when planning an event or activity for your company that we use here at Travel Out There.

STEP 1:

Identify what type of event/activity you would like to do.

STEP 2:

Determine the goals of the event and what you would like to accomplish.

Define your objectives and outcomes of the event or activity.

Identify the target audience and event emphasis: Education, Health etc.

STEP 3:

Decide on a date and time for the event or activity.  

STEP 4: 

Consider locations and types of facilities to host event.

Determine the use of space and or seating arrangement and capacity required for the event or activity.

Decide who will be responsible to secure the facility and be the event coordinator.

STEP 5:

Consider establishing partnerships with other organizations or people to assist with the execution of the event.

Identify their role when determining key decisions.

STEP 6:

Create an event/program budget.

Identify the sources and amounts of potential revenue and expenses.

Revise for realistic and necessary true cost and revenue updates.

STEP 7:

Create an event timeline.

Outline all essential decisions/activities in a time sequential order from the point of initial consideration to decision being finalized and decisions being executed.

Document who is responsible for each function.

Communicate the timeline to everyone involved in the planning or fulfillment of the event.

STEP 8:

Determine Key Decisions: 

Program 

  • Determine the order of activities that need to occur at the event or activity.
  • Determine who will perform or execute the agenda items.
  • Determine if a published program is necessary. If so decide who will create and print the program.

Presentation(s)/ Speakers 

  • Identify the topics of information to be shared.
  • Determine if presenters/speakers are needed. If so identify potential presenters or speakers to invite to participate.
  • Decide on the time frame for each presentation or speech.
  • Decide the type of communication that should transpire with the presenters/speaker, when it should occur and who will be responsible to execute and follow-up.

 Equipment 

  • Identify what equipment is necessary for the event or activity.
  • Identify potential sources to secure needed equipment.
  • Evaluate the cost of the equipment.
  • Decide who will be responsible for the pick up and return of the equipment.

Materials 

  • Determine what materials are needed, and identify potential sources to purchase them.
  • Decide who will be responsible for purchasing, preparing and storing the materials.

Awards 

  • Determine who will receive awards – presenters/speakers.
  • Decide on awards items and identify sources to purchase them.
  • Decide who will be responsible for purchasing awards and presenting them.

Public Relations 

  • Identify the method(s) which will be used to publicize the event or activity.
  • Decide who will be responsible for the development of invitations, flyers, press releases, emails, etc.
  • Decide who will be the contact for public inquires on the event or activity.
  • Decide who will be responsible to disseminate the types of information on the event or activity.
  • Decide who will be documenting, photographing / filming the event to help with increased client engegement post event.

Internal Communication 

  • Determine the method of communication to the people within the organization to inform them, include them and encourage them to participate. For instance communicating by email, newsletter, Whatsapp etc.

STEP 9:

Take into consideration these special additions/items if needed:

  • Food
  • Music
  • Activities (at Travel Out There we like to incorporate activities and ice breakers in to the event to help drive more connectivity)
  • Decorations
  • Flowers
  • Photography/video
  • Clean up

STEP 10:

You have planned well and are ready to go. Have a Successful Event!

Hope this helps to ensure you have a remarkable event or activity. Should you need any further assistance please do not hesitate to contact us!

Tips on setting the right agenda for your company retreat?

Why it is important to set the Right Agenda for your Company Retreat?

So we have written about how to recognise it is the right time and factors to think about when deciding the right place, now we understand the right way for your company retreat or off site.  Right time, place and way make up 3 corners of the square for effective communication. In this post, we cover the fourth and final corner the ‘right agenda’ for your company retreat!  Covering all corners of the square of communication will ensure your corporate offsite is effective, hits the key objectives and has a positive ROI.

Square of Communication

1) Work with the facilitator to draft an agenda.

Be mindful of the time. You do not want to keep people later than you have scheduled them. Put together an agenda that focuses on the specific goals in the time allotted. Distribute the agenda ahead of time. Giving everyone a chance to review the agenda before the retreat will help them feel more prepared.

2) Give people sufficient recreation and downtime

It is often the during the ‘down time’ during a retreat when best ideas are created, when in the bar or enjoying an team building activity. Be sure to not go too heavy on the meeting / conference agenda and incorporate the sufficient activities and rest time for people to really value this time that you are all together. At Travel Out There recommend the 80/20 rule. 80% work to 20% fun!

Striking the balance between work and play

  • opt for 80/20.
  • Incorporate team building with training (helps reinforce objectives)
  • Give options. Some team activities as well as time for downtime (‘Me time..individual activities’)
  • Include activities such as early morning run to promote wellness, see the city and also get in the right frame of mind for day 

Typical Programme:

  • Day 1. Arrive.
  • Day 2. Training: 09.00 -15.30   Team Build: 16.00 – 19.00   Dinner 20:00
  • Day 3. Training: 09.00 -15.30   Team Build   16.00 – 19.00 Dinner: 20:00
  • Day 4. Leave

3) Document Everything!!

Travel Out There team can capture the key points and take notes during the retreat and immediately process these results in to a written report summarising the discussions, any decisions that were made, and action steps to be taken. Having a list of action items will keep everyone engaged even after the retreat, and it is important to hold people accountable for what they agreed to do…That is something we cannot do 😉

Why choose a Company Retreat Facilitator?

Run your Retreat in the Right Way with an experienced  Company Retreat Facilitator!

 

So we have written about how to recognise it is the right time and factors to think about when deciding the right place, now we must understand the right way for your company retreat or off site. This  predominantly comes down to choosing the best company retreat facilitator to help you ensure you meet your company retreat objectives.  Right time, place and way make up 3 corners of the square for effective communication. The last corner the ‘right agenda’ for your company retreat we will cover next week!

 

1)        What is the purpose of your experience?

What does success look like?   What area of do you really want to develop most over the time you are all together? Be specific about your purpose. Your purpose should be more focused than “strategic planning,” for example. Identify specific actions or ideas that you want to have come out of the retreat.

Keep your purpose realistic. You might have large goals that cannot be accomplished within one retreat. Prioritise your needs and desires. If you know you will not have the time to accomplish everything, choose 1 or 2 priorities for this retreat, and end the day with a plan for addressing the other issues. Talk to the people you will invite on this retreat, and see if they have any ideas about the goals you should set for the retreat. When people are consulted ahead of time, they will be more invested in the retreat and its outcomes. A Corporate Retreat Facilitator should play a very useful role in this pre retreat planning to help you keep the objectives clear and realistic!

 

2)        Work with Travel Out There to find the right trainer / facilitator

It is difficult for a participant to serve as the company retreat facilitator. Participants, if correctly selected to attend the retreat, do have a stake in the outcome of the discussions. For this reason, expecting the CEO or a manager of the company, to facilitate the retreat is often a poor choice. This interest makes it very challenging for them to also serve as a neutral group facilitator. Travel Out There have the experience and network of competence to provide the company retreat facilitator or trainer(s) that are most qualified to support the purpose of your experience.

All of the facilitators we work with are experts in group dynamics, group processes, team building, decision-making and consensus building. During the retreat the facilitator manages the group discussion and ensures that fear, lack of trust, or complacency does not creep in to the room, hence promoting an atmosphere where everyone is wanting to actively participate.

We like to think that our meeting facilitators act like referees on a sports field or conductors in a orchestra. They explain the rules, keep the structure / format goal orientated, schedule accordingly and help ensure that everyone has a chance to shine. Our sole interest is in helping you have a successful retreat.

Why choose a Travel Out There Facilitator in the first place?

It is difficult for a retreat participant to serve as the facilitator.  Participants, if correctly selected to attend the retreat, do have a stake in the outcome of the discussions.  For this reason, expecting the CEO or a manager of the company, to facilitate the retreat is often a poor choice. This interest makes it very challenging for them to also serve as a neutral group facilitator.

 

3)        Manage the alcohol.

It is important to ensure that expectations are set from the start that this is a work/play experience. You are keen to get people connecting, communicating and collaborating and returning to the office inspired and invigorated not hung-over and feeling drained from a 3-day piss up. Alcohol consumption can be managed by closely reviewing open bar options and / or providing drinks packages at restaurants, dinner venues and hotels. This ensures your event does not spiral out of control both on a quantative and qualatative perspective.

3 priorities when choosing the right place for a company retreat!

Choosing the Right Place for a Company Retreat

Following on from a previous post on ‘5 signs it is the right time for a company retreat (click here to read). I would like to now look into, and share some advice, on choosing the right place for a company retreat or offsite!! Please find below the top 3 priorities to consider when choosing a destination.

1)       Time, Money & Connectivity.

When choosing the place you have to begin by effectively deciding what is your budget for the experience. This will influence the destination, for example North Eastern Europe is considerably cheaper than South Western Europe, as well as the venue. For leaner budgets you might want to opt for a country house, within an hours drive of the airport / city centre, rather than a 5star Hotel. The venue choice also very much depends on your team size that you need to accommodate.

You also need to consider how well connected is the destination is to key locations the participants will be flying in from. When selecting the venue you will also want to ensure you can maintain a solid internet connection unless you are opting for a digital detox of course.

2) Destination / Market Research

If you are interested in developing a workforce or outsourcing some operations in the region or, alternatively, aiming to penetrate this particular market. In order to do so experiencing the place first hand will give you a wealth of knowledge, resources and most importantly of all valuable connections to make that happen and work more effectively. (see point 3)

3) Special Interests & Activities

Industry experts or learning from key people of interest in the specific destination. You may be interested in a market leader in one particular region and how they develop their business so that you can implement key ideas and strategies in your particular market. Travel Out There can arrange such meetings with leading industry experts.

Alternatively, it might be the case that you are keen to experience an activity that is unique to that particular destination – might be bobsleighing in RigaGraffiti workshop in Berlin or Dinner on Danube in Budapest.

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