10 Steps to an Offsite that isn’t Pathetic

The worst 5 words you hear at work, “We’re having an offsite meeting.”

Only about 10% of executives consider offsites valuable.*

We're having an offsite. Image of a goofy person with a fake knife in their head.

10 steps to an offsite that isn’t pathetic:

#1. Get ratios right.

What is the ratio between whole group time, small group time, free time, and personal reflection time?

Feedback I hear:

  1. I would enjoy more 1:1 time.
  2. I would enjoy more small group time.
  3. I would enjoy more time to reflect.

#2. Reject the same-old-same-old.

What can you do that you don’t do in regular meetings?

How about eliminating reports or updates? If you’re going to give updates and reports that you normally give, don’t go.

#3. Maximize location.

What’s something you can do that’s unexpected? What’s something that can be done because of your location?

#4. Engage the entire team.

Leaders work way too hard planning offsites because they exclude the team.

How can every participant play a role in preparing and leading some part of your meeting? If the group is large, how can small groups prepare and lead?

Engage people before your event if you want engagement during your event.

Disengaged teams judge you by the quality of their experience.

People tend to criticize what you plan and enjoy what they plan.

#5. Break silos.

What can you do to strengthen relationships?

Casual conversations are crucial.

#6. Include feelings.

How will people feel better about themselves and each other as a result of this event?

#7. Eliminate electronics.

#8. Think about laughter.

Who on your team laughs the most? Get input from them. (essential)

#9. Set one clear goal.

What do you want people talking about on their way home?

#10. Model the way.

Suppose you want people to have fun? What will you do to have fun?

What happened at the best offsite you ever attended?

What happened at the worst offsite you ever attended?

16 Simple Ways You Can Lead Engaging Meetings

Two Secrets to Engagement You Can Employ Today

*Why we all hate offsites – (cnn.com)