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How to plan strategic off-site meetings in 2020

By: Sarah Christian, Q Center | Dec 10, 2019


There are several great benefits to getting your team out of the office – whether it’s clearing distractions or offering a new space for free-flow creativity, off-site meetings are an opportunity that offers more to an organization than in-house meeting space. Although they may be more financially impactful, the refreshing environment and growth opportunities are endless, and with the industry growing to be more customizable than ever before, it’s not hard to find a space that works for your team. With a few good tips to get you started, you can plan strategic off-site meetings to gain a more productive 2020 for your organization.

1. Think Outside Four Walls – Many times when sourcing an off-site venue, you simply look at the space and four walls around it. Consider taking the team to a more creative environment with greater opportunity, such as an entertainment facility with a private room or a retreat-like setting to host an outdoor meeting. Unique venues will help the creative thoughts to flow, and give your team a more energized environment to collaborate.

2. Plan Team Building – Whether your meeting is for a team of 5 or 500, team building is a crucial part to starting any new year on the right foot. Plan large-scale team building activities that inspire and reinforce core values, such as puzzle games, ropes courses, or a charitable donation drive. Make sure to ask your venue if they offer team building activities or options they would recommend locally that can suit your group.

3. Create Unique Seating – Many venues no longer limit meetings to standard tables and chairs. Ask your venue about what set-up options are available, such as classroom, rounds of eight, theater, or U-shaped to find a configuration to foster collaboration and creative thinking for your meeting goals. Or, ditch the furniture all together for movement featuring soft or casual seating, like bean bag chairs, couches or bar height seating.

4. Focus Your Agenda – It’s important in any meeting to have a clear, concise agenda, but for strategic meetings, it is even more crucial. Ensure that all of your attendees know the goal of the meeting, what the timeline of the meeting looks like, what the expectations are for their role in the meeting, and the take away notes they should use to enforce and succeed after the meeting is complete. Distribute this information before the event starts to give your attendees time to review and bring questions to start the day to prevent confusion or concerns.

5. Invigorate Your Environment – Give your space a little boost in color and texture to keep your attendees engaged. From window/wall decals to uplighting and creative table layouts, giving a little effort to the room design will go a long way with keeping your attendees and your message focused on the present environment. Or, add fidget materials to each table setting, like clay, pipe cleaners, and coloring pages with crayons to offer a focused distraction when less interactive sections of the meeting commence.

About the Author: Sarah Christian is the Marketing Manager leading the Midwest’s largest conference and events center to the forefront of planning and meetings. Based out of the Chicago suburbs, she brings years of conference and event experiences to the business, helping Q Center develop exciting new opportunities to engage clients and guests from around the world.



Sarah Christian, Q Center
Q Center

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