Corporate retreats in Maine: How to make it a success!
Want to get the most out of your corporate retreat in Maine?
Want to really make the event worth everyone’s time and investment?
Want the event to generate new ideas, solutions, or initiatives? Want it to strengthen your team?
If you answered yes to any of those, read on. Because my guess is that you’re one of many corporate leaders that realizes just how effective and beneficial to a company a retreat can be when done right. Since you’ve already chosen to host your corporate retreat in Maine, you’re off to a great start.
Corporate Retreat Buzz-killers
Do them before you leave town!
Picture this: It’s day two and it’s time to get to the “corporate” part of the corporate retreat. Everyone is jacked up on yesterday’s snowmobile rides and last night’s campfire social. You walk into the board room at Denney Lodge (yes, this lodge has a board room) where the team has assembled.
Then you lead in with, “Alright everyone, this morning we’re going to start off by going over this year’s sales figures then we need to discuss next year’s budget cuts.”
Buzz = Killed
So much for this retreat generating new ideas, solutions, or team work. You might as well enclose the word “epic” in brackets and color it red because it just went into the loss column.
There is no better way to sabotage your retreat than to include boring, routine, time-intensive, or negative stuff into the agenda.
Go back and look at what you were going to cover at the retreat and identify all the possible buzz-killers. Pull them out and deal with them in a staff meeting or an email BEFORE the retreat.
Hey by the way, we are expert corporate retreaters. We wrote a free guide to help you get started on planning your next event. Click this image to read more:
Corporate Retreat Itinerary
After dealing with the buzz killing stuff, highlight all the buzz-worthy aspects of the retreat in an itinerary. Maine has so much to offer – from tens of thousands of miles of Maine snowmobile trails to hunting opportunities to mountain hikes featuring breathtaking views of Mt. Katahdin.
Heck, even the cool hunting lodge ( like Denney Lodge) itself is worth getting excited about.
But don’t stop there. Build anticipation by getting your team to visualize how they’ll participate in the activities. Focus on the positives (buzz-builders) while avoiding clichés (buzz-killers) in your retreat agenda or itinerary. For example:
- Buzz-killers: Cliché “Team building” exercises. Nobody gives a hoot about trust-falls or any of those other cookie-cutter games you learn about in leadership seminars. If you can play it at the office, leave it at the office. You’re not going to Maine to play Pictionary.
- Buzz-builders: Things you can’t do back home – Trail navigation contest. Best pheasant recipe. The mountain photo that gets the most reaction on social media.
Team building. Maine style.
Corporate Retreat Idea Generation
What exactly do you want your team to accomplish at this retreat? Are you looking for new ideas to increase your competitive edge? Dreaming up new innovations? Are you trying to chart a course for where your company will be in five years? Or are you just trying to build a stronger team?
Whatever it is, begin setting the stage for idea generation before you leave. Present your objective in the form of a “big picture” and “forward looking” thought-provoking question or two (but no more than three; it’s not a survey). Here are some of my favorites:
- Imagine a theoretical competitor that could put us out of business in less than two years. In what ways is that company different from us?
- If we had unlimited resources, what would we do differently?
- What makes our company successful? How can we build on those successes?
- If you were your boss, what would you do to help you as the employee be more successful in your job?
- What is one thing that we could be the best in the world at doing?
DO NOT ask questions that generate negativity such as, “What are our greatest weaknesses?” or “How could we have done such-and-such better?”
Make sure you ask questions for which answers aren’t immediately obvious. The idea here is to give everyone something to ponder while they’re out doing all the cool stuff there is to do in Maine. You never know when inspiration will strike, but as I’ve noted before, there’s a lot of science backing the notion that good things come from being outside.
And what better way to think “outside the box” than to actually think while outside?
Pictured is Camp Katahdin’s Denney lodge
We’ve been conducting meetings, holding corporate events, and doing deals over campfire for many years at Camp Katahdin. We put together a free guide to help you plan your next corporate retreat or meeting. Click this image learn more: