Every meeting has a budget and it’s often up to the meeting planner to decide where the meeting will be held. While on-site meetings are the common go-to, there are a host of reasons why you should consider holding an off-site meeting instead.
1. It would seem that having an off-site meeting would provide more of a distraction to employees than on-site meetings, especially if you’re doing something fun like going on a golf outing. However, it’s been proven that people who participate in off-site meetings are actually less distracted and more focused. A lot gets done when team members interact in new ways. This type of interactive engagement often leads to communicating great ideas and even coming up with the groundwork to turn those ideas into actions. Sometimes, simply being in a new setting is enough to spark creativity.
2. Off-site meetings provide a new opportunity for managers and employees to interact face-to-face. There are a lot of things that get in the way of this type of communication, including busy schedules and remote workers. Yes, video conferencing is a great alternative and e-mail is always convenient, but there’s really nothing that can replace in-person interaction. Employees are better able to relate to each other when they can pick up on their gestures, body language and facial expressions. When you add fun team building exercises to the schedule, you help people break the ice with workers who they haven’t met in the past.
3. Even if your conference room is tech-savvy, you may be able to use a new type of technology when you book an off-site facility. Attendees will enjoy the new way that you’re presenting information and you may even decide to incorporate that technology into your on-site conference rooms when you return to the office. With advanced technology, you can get extra creative in your presentations and present your information in a way that’s more interesting and engaging.
To hold a successful off-site meeting, first make a list of your objectives and goals. Always try to pay a visit to the site before booking it, too. If you can’t visit in person, contact colleagues who have held meetings there in the past and ask about their experience. Lastly, don’t forget to make part of the retreat fun! You should have a healthy balance of work and play during an off-site meeting.