10 tips for a successful offsite meeting

By Deskbookers on October 16th, 2017

Another meeting. Another PowerPoint. More numbers and figures… We understand that meetings are a critical part of most business routines. What if you could drive even more powerful outcomes by taking the team offsite?

An inspiring work environment has a positive impact on the creativity of employees. Research of Jan Dul, professor of technology and human factors at the Rotterdam School of Management (RSM), shows that a big part of creativity evolves from the physical setting. Offsite meetings are a great way to get new thoughts going by boosting motivation and bringing the team closer. Inspired yet?

Check out our 10 tips to get the most out of your session.


Plan ahead:

Set a target for your offsite meeting and base your agenda on the objectives you want to achieve. Possible goals could be to strengthen the team spirit, come up with quarterly OKRs or to develop new product ideas. Don’t put too much on your agenda and keep it realistic. Give your team time to breathe and reflect during the event.




Feedback feedback feedback:

Get feedback on your agenda before the offsite meeting and include it in your planning. Many employees have a personal list of topics they want to tackle, but don’t get the chance to do so. Have individual talks with your team upfront and really try to find out what’s keeping them up at night.



The invite list:

Choose your attendees wisely and try to make the group diverse. You will get different perspectives on current challenges and ideas. Pick your attendees by criteria like experience level, job position and time already spent at the company. Also consider the size of the group depending on the objectives you have set for the offsite meeting. Smaller settings raise the engagement during the event. Don’t forget to send out the invitations early in advance so that everybody can save the date.


1-2-3-TEAM!:

Don’t make it just another meeting. Plan some fun activities that strengthen the team camaraderie. Cooking together is a good example. Our primary instinct tells us that people we gather and hunt with are allies rather than enemies. Volunteer activities are also a great way to really get to know each other while giving back to the community.



No rigid hierarchy:

Create a comfortable environment for your team. Everybody should feel empowered to share thoughts and ideas, without fearing an aftermath back at the office. Only when the group feels confident will you get them out of their comfort zone. We quite like the “What happens at the offsite stays at the offsite’ promise.


Leave your PowerPoint at home:

Use the time outside of the office for brainstorming, creative thinking and real time problem solving. Don’t waste time on long presentations. Let’s be honest - offsite meetings are expensive and you don’t want to waste your time on the usual things that you do in the office everyday. If necessary do a pre-offsite talk at the office.




Moderate the discussion:

As a team leader, you should ensure that everybody has a fair share in the discussion. There is a reason why you brought a diverse team with you. Get everybody to talk and share their perspectives on different topics. If needed, tell the more dominant people to be considerate of the less vocal team members.