Corporate or executive retreats are organised events that allow people to engage in strategic planning, information exchange or brainstorming, team-building, and other activities that benefit the workplace and business performance.
Participants in corporate retreats usually include those holding executive management positions. However, many organisations also allow rank-and-file employees to join.
Executive retreats often take place away from the workplace so that the participants can take a break from their usual environment and routine.
When organised properly, executive retreats can be highly beneficial to organisations. The time away from the office allows all participants to give their undivided attention to the tasks at hand.
Additionally, C-suite or senior managers will be able to make smart decisions regarding the short- and long-term direction and plans of the organisation.
Lastly, all attendees will get the chance to relax and have some fun — something which everyone needs to avoid burnout and boost their productivity.
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Hosting a Successful Executive Retreat in Abu Dhabi
As one of the top business hubs and popular tourist destinations, Abu Dhabi is an excellent location for a corporate retreat.
The numerous premier hotels, restaurants, attractions, and event venues in Abu Dhabi make it the perfect place for a productive and fun corporate retreat.
However, the success of an event depends greatly on how well it is planned and organised.
If you have been given the enormous task of planning your company’s first corporate retreat in Abu Dhabi and want to ensure it is a memorable, successful event, follow these tips:
1. Involve all the participants in the planning stage.
The best company retreats have the perfect balance between fun and work. They should allow the attendees to achieve the event goals and relax and enjoy their time away from work.
Planning this type of event can be challenging. Asking for the participants’ suggestions and opinions on what they want to see and happen during the retreat can take you a step closer to hosting a successful one.
If you can bring all the participants to plan the retreat, aside from talking about the target goals and programme, ask for their input about what activities they want to do during their free time.
You will do well to read about the must-visit places in Abu Dhabi before the meeting so that you can limit the options and make it easier for everyone to choose what to do and where to go.
Some of the best destinations to include in your list are:
- Sheikh Zayed Grand Mosque
- Emirates Palace
- Khalifa Park
- Yas Island
- Ferrari World Abu Dhabi
- Yas Waterworld Abu Dhabi
- Yas Links Abu Dhabi
Another option is to send out a list of places and activities by email and ask the participants to choose which ones they like the most. Once you have all their responses, collate the data to find the ones that the majority look forward to doing during the retreat.
Giving the participants a say in what happens during the retreat, both during work sessions and leisure time, ensures everyone will be productive and enjoy the event.
2. Set clear objectives.
Although an executive retreat serves the purpose of giving employees time to relax and enjoy, don’t forget that its primary goal is to enable the participants to brainstorm, make business plans, and engage in team-building activities.
As such, you have to establish the key goals you want to achieve during the event.
Examples of objectives you can set for your company retreat include:
- Creating plans for controlling and directing resources more efficiently
- Establishing strategies for better management of different departments and processes
- Identifying and managing possible future problems
- Leadership coaching, training, and relationship building
- Making major decisions that can impact the trajectory of your organisation’s success
Once you have identified these goals, you can create your agenda for the retreat and plan activities around them.
3. Put some thought into choosing the right location.
Setting the event goals and knowing the activities that appeal to all participants can help you select the perfect venue for your first corporate retreat.
With several beautiful coastal areas, a beach destination is the ideal venue for a corporate retreat in Abu Dhabi. You have plenty of beachfront resorts and hotels to choose from, many of which have facilities perfect for executive retreats and fun activities.
These include conference halls, business centres, catering services, and free use of the swimming pool, beach, and other facilities that can help make the retreat productive and enjoyable.
Some hotels and resorts offer corporate retreat packages that come with the free use of facilities, accommodation, ready team-building activities, and excursions. With this solution, you can skip plenty of steps involved in planning the event.
Ultimately, make sure that you choose a venue with accommodations that will satisfy the participants and provide an attractive and functional setting for a productive, fun, and relaxing retreat.
4. Create a reasonable schedule.
Since corporate retreats only last for a few days, you need to create a schedule that allows all participants to get the most out of the event.
Be as specific as you can when creating the schedule. Set specific hours for meetings, team-building events, and other activities you have lined up.
Try to create the itinerary as early as possible so that you can distribute it to all the participants beforehand. With a copy of this schedule, they will be able to prepare for the retreat and make other plans for things they can do during their free time.
Keep in mind that the less guesswork your participants have to do, the more they will enjoy the experience.
5. Organise the other elements of the corporate retreat.
Aside from arranging the venue, accommodation, schedule, and other activities, take care of the other logistical requirements of your corporate event.
Once you have the exact headcount of attendees, start reserving rooms and arranging transportation. If you need to book flights, do this as early as possible.
Also, ask if your venue provider can cater to your corporate retreat and provide the other services you need. These can include the use of a projector and AV system.
Ensure that all participants enjoy the food from morning to night as well. Take note of any attendees’ dietary restrictions so the venue can prepare options that cater to everyone’s needs.
Lastly, if you are organising all the leisure activities, try to book them or get the tickets beforehand. Doing so will help you get better rates and give you more time to be productive and enjoy during the retreat.
When planned well, all attendees can learn a lot from and enjoy the whole corporate retreat. Follow these tips and you can organise an exceptional event for your company.