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9 things to consider when planning an offsite

Planning a company offsite? Here are 9 things to consider

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The Navan Team

26 Feb 2024
4 minute read
Munich is a leading offsite destination in Europe.

How many offsites does your company have lined up this year? The rise of remote work and the need to connect global teams has seen the number of offsites increase in the last few years. In a recent Navan study, three-quarters of respondents said they will be attending an offsite this year, and 77% of business travellers said they were either “strongly” or “somewhat” excited by the idea of regular company offsites to connect with co-workers.

But planning an offsite can be complex and there are many factors to think about, from budgeting to logistics. With this in mind, we’ve put together a list of things you should consider when planning your next company offsite.

The ultimate checklist for your next offsite meeting

The list below is designed to walk you through the process of planning an offsite. Create a working document to add your ideas, and make sure to share it with any key stakeholders for their input as and when necessary.

1. What’s the reason for the offsite?

Before you get people together from different locations, it’s important to be clear about the objectives for the offsite. Is it to foster team spirit, plan a campaign, or brainstorm new ideas? 

Having the reasons clear from the get-go will set your offsite up for success. You can refer back to these objectives at each stage of the planning process.

2. Who’s invited?

Decide who needs to be there. Are you inviting specific teams, departments, or the whole company? Do any external stakeholders need to attend? Having an idea of attendee numbers early on makes booking the right venue and accommodation much easier.

3. What will a successful event look like?

Define success metrics for your offsite and make a list of what you want to achieve. 

Whether it’s improving team dynamics, boosting morale, or having more tangible outcomes like new project ideas or strategies, establishing clear success metrics will help you measure the impact of the offsite.

4. What learnings can you incorporate from last time? 

Think about previous offsite meetings and what worked well, or didn’t. Which activities and sessions got the best results? Did any challenges arise? Consider these learnings to help you refine your offsite schedule for maximum impact.

5. What are the essentials (and non-essentials)?

Identify what you can achieve with your budget. Think about which parts of your offsite are must-haves and which are desirable extras. Although you want the event to be memorable and impactful, ensuring your resources address the core objectives is preferable to spreading resources too thinly.

6. How will you allocate the budget?

Plan how the event budget will be split across each cost type, including travel, accommodation, venue rental, catering, and any additional costs. When organising an offsite, it’s wise to set a contingency fund for unexpected expenses.

7. Where and when?

By now you should have a good idea of the type of venue you’re looking for and where you’d like to host the offsite. Consider whether you can make the event more sustainable by choosing a location that’s easily accessible by public transport, for example.

Choose a date and destination that work for your attendees, and avoid organising the offsite during a busy work period or holiday. Send your invitations in advance to give attendees enough time to plan.

8. What’s on the agenda?

Start by outlining an agenda for the offsite, incorporating essential tasks as well as fun activities. A compelling agenda should blend tasks, workshops, and social activities, and build in time for relaxation.

Try not to cram too much in. It’s better to get the most out of each session rather than rushing through to get it all done.

9. Get people excited!

Once you’re all set, it’s time to get people excited. Consider sending out teaser emails, hosting pre-event meetups, or asking attendees to contribute ideas, vote on session topics, or choose their preferred activities.

Emphasise any unique activities you have planned, and think about whether to offer prizes or incentives during any of the team-building tasks. Lastly, remember to let attendees know if there’s anything in particular they need to bring for the activities.

Time to get planning

Planning a company offsite doesn't have to be overwhelming. By carefully considering these nine key factors, you can put on a memorable and impactful event that meets your organisation's goals. 

The Navan Team Travel tool helps travel planners and executive teams organise offsites for corporate groups. This intuitive group booking platform streamlines the process for group reservations and considers a group trip's unique travel needs, making it easier to search airfares, align travel dates, and protect personal data for large group travel. Schedule a demo to find out more.

Need ideas for offsite locations and activities? We’ve got you covered. Check out our top tips for offsite destinations in Europe here.

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