Keys for Successful Executive Retreats
There is little argument that a well-executed off-site meeting for your Board of Directors, Managers or Chief Executives can generate real results. Getting your company’s leadership to disconnect from the pressures of daily operations and the ubiquitous email inbox makes it easier to focus on strategic planning or problem solving and come up with creative solutions. Of course, the old adage, “time is money” rings true and simply getting away from the office isn’t the magic bullet if nothing is accomplished.
Avoid “Death by Powerpoint” at all costs! The most effective retreats will have a clear goal and participants must understand what that goal is. Communication and interaction among the participants are critical to increase the functionality of the company and the self-awareness of the players. Anyone who has lived through a painfully dull and terminally long PowerPoint presentation knows the value of two way communication. A professional meeting planner can orchestrate an environment that is conducive to an exchange of ideas as well as a collegial bond between colleagues.
Your executives are likely prepared for the mental interaction. Whether the objective is to create an annual budget, design a new product launch or resolve a smoldering issue, they will come to the table armed with facts and figures and have possible solutions to the challenge at hand. An excellent tactic is to use a meeting facilitator to act as an unbiased guide and to keep the discussions on track. This facilitator should work with the meeting professional well in advance of the retreat to create a plan to communicate what is expected of the participants and how that contributes to the overall goal.
Social interaction is an equally important key to a successful retreat.
Team building has risen in popularity in recent years, in no small part because of the isolating technology of business today – smart phones, computers and even social networking. The opportunity to interact personally with colleagues is a welcome and productive way to come to consensus on business-related objectives. There are endless team building exercises that improve communication and break down barriers. They can range from active adventure such as white water rafting or zip lining, to team competitions like boat building or relay races, to experiential learning like cooking classes or throwing pottery. The savvy meeting professional will incorporate fun ways that the group can create shared memories for attendees to take home, providing a friendly opener when they’re picking up the phone to ask a previously unknown colleague for assistance, information or advice.
There are many choices of venue to match your group’s intended purposes, from off-the-beaten-path lodges to four-star resorts. Covington’s experienced meeting professionals have the contacts and creativity to design the right environment for your next executive retreat.
Contact Covington Meeting & Events to discuss the possibilities.