Maine Corporate Retreat: Pitfalls to Avoid

Maine Corporate Retreat.jpeg

Maine Corporate Retreat

Maine is a great place to host your next corporate retreat. Your corporate retreat locations in Maine are diverse and plentiful. There are thousands of miles of trails to ride, breathtaking sights to see, and so much adventure to be had here. But, we recognize your retreat can’t be all fun and games (or trail riding). There is still work to do for your Maine Corporate Retreat.

You may have read our last blog, “Corporate Retreats in Maine: How to Make it a Success.” So, to expand on that and to help you get that work done as effectively as possible, this post identifies the most common corporate retreat pitfalls. Like moose on the trail, steer clear of these and everyone will go home happy.

corporate_retreat_board_room.jpg                                          The boardroom at Camp Katahdin’s Denney Lodge

Planning a Corporate Retreat

Pitfall 1: Uncomfortable facilities

Corporate retreats should not be uncomfortable…Unless that discomfort is cold fingers from snowmobile trail rides or sore shoulders from a day of shooting at the gun range.  But when it comes time to get down to business, comfort is important.  Even if your activites are centered around the great outdoors.

Whether you gather your team around the board room table or out on the front porch, you want them to be comfortable. Aim for soft seats and plenty of space. Give your team enough room to sprawl out a little. Make space for snacks and drinks as well as notebooks. Conversation and creativity flows best when you’re comfortable and relaxed.

Denney Lodge at Camp Katahdin is a very spacious facility complete with a fully tech-outfitted board room and of course, comfortable seating. It even has a full chef’s kitchen and a great front porch.

catered-event-venue.jpgA catered and tented corporate retreat event at Denney Lodge

Pitfall 2: Imbibing too early

Nothing inspires creativity quite like Maine’s outdoor adventures and breathtaking scenery. Nothing suppresses that creativity quite like a hangover.

If one of your corporate retreat objectives is for your team to generate new ideas, have productive strategic discussions, or pretty much anything that requires high-level thinking, save the libations for the end. Too many event planners have kicked things off with a beverage-heavy social only to find everyone grumpy and brain-fogged when it came time to get down to business the next day.


Now there’s nothing wrong with a few drinks in the evening. In fact, some of my best thinking is done over a drink next to a good bonfire. Especially if I have others to bounce ideas back and forth with. Those settings are entirely different from those where the drinking is a key focus. Save that festivity for the celebration at the end. Let everyone suffer through hangovers on the ride home.

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Pitfall 3: Forgetting successes

When you do finally get into the business side of things, it’s real easy to want to focus on what’s wrong or what needs to be improved. Sure, that’s all very important. But so is highlighting success. If you don’t look at what’s right, how do you know what you want to make of the wrong stuff?

Allow me to use a football analogy here. If a team runs a play (or several) and the quarterback gets sacked, something obviously went wrong. At practice the next week, the coach might spend a lot of time trying to turn lost-yardage plays into ones that gained yardage. But if he fails to reinforce the plays that went right, and maybe improve on those a little, chances are the team’s win-loss ratio won’t improve significantly.

Look at it this way, if a team could average a mere 3.5 yards in three out of four plays, they would score touchdowns on every single possession. Wouldn’t it be easier to focus on plays that gained only a couple yards and work on turning those into three and four yard plays? Seems like it’s be easier to work on gaining a yard or two rather than trying to put red yardage plays back into the black.

Granted, I’m not a football coach. But what I’m getting at is if you fail to recognize the little successes and dwell too much on the big things that need drastic improvement, you might be missing those easy gains that collectively put points on the scoreboard with not a lot of effort.

One of the simplest ways to point out success is to use a simple certificate of award. I know one exec that found a simple template online and changed the wording some. He now occasionally gives out “F-Yeah, That’s Awesome!” awards to his team members whenever he wants to celebrate some little success they’ve had. It’s those little things that can make a lot of difference.

Like turning short yardage plays into first downs.

We’ve been hosting corporate retreats, meetings and events in Maine for a long time.  We consider ourselves experts.  Over the years, we found out what really makes our corporate retreats a success, so we put together a few of our very best tips in this free guide.  Click here for this free download: