How to Plan a Successful Corporate Retreat in the UK

Corporate retreats bring together employees, executives, and other company workers to celebrate achievements and encourage team bonding. They take place away from the office and include various activities mixed with relaxation. For employers who embrace corporate retreats, it’s singlehandedly one of the perks employees look forward to every year.

Whether your corporate retreat involves a small team or the whole company, there’s never a shortage of things to do including team-building activities, learning experiences, and informal socialising with dinners and drinks. At the end of a long and rewarding day, you’ll want somewhere cosy and relaxing for your teams to unwind. It’s often serviced accommodation that offers the most practicality and flexibility for corporate retreats, especially as they allow employees to feel like they’re at home. However, depending on the length of stay and location, other options, like hotels may suit too.

So, with so much to organise, how do you go about planning for a corporate retreat in the UK?

13 Steps to Planning a Corporate Retreat

Knowing how to plan a corporate retreat in the UK can be a challenge if you’ve never done it before. You’ll need to arrange group activities and cater for specific individual needs such as dietary requirements and disabled access. Despite the extensive planning, it could be the best retreat your company has ever offered.

Creating a detailed itinerary helps your corporate retreat run smoothly and successfully. At Berkshire Rooms, we’ve invited many businesses to stay with us during their corporate retreats. From setting budgets to arranging team bonding events, the list below will assist you with your planning process. Here’s how they’ve ensured a successful trip:

1. Set Your Objectives

Before you start packing, it’s a good idea to identify the goals of your getaway and what you aim to achieve. For example, is it a team-building exercise to strengthen the bond between employees? Or are you celebrating an achievement? Recognising the reasons for arranging a corporate retreat will provide a clear picture and help shape the planning process.

2. Agree a Budget

You’ll need to determine how much money you have to spend on your corporate retreat. Ask yourself, is there a strict budget or can you be flexible? When agreeing on a budget, strong consideration should be given to accommodation prices, the number of employees on the retreat, and the cost of any planned activities.

As multiple hotel bookings can significantly bump up costs, many businesses prefer to base a retreat around serviced accommodation which is often a more cost-effective option. You should also factor in travel costs especially when flying, food and drink allowances, and the cost of activities such as golf days or sailing trips, for example.

3. Find a Destination

One of the key elements of arranging a corporate retreat is to find a destination that meets all your needs and requirements. Your destination should reflect your objectives and fall within budget. Whether it’s a nearby resort in Surrey, a picturesque countryside retreat in Berkshire, or a vibrant inner-city location, like London, it’s important to cater to the preferences of every team member. It’s one of the main reasons why serviced apartments give employers all the flexibility they need during a corporate retreat.

4. Set a Date

Finding a suitable date for everyone in your corporate retreat party can be a challenge, especially when there are large groups. However, it’s important to coordinate with all team members and agree on dates that work for all individuals. Arranging a corporate retreat at off-peak times when resorts are quieter can be beneficial. Similarly, avoiding holiday periods and busy work schedules, are also likely to lead to maximum attendance.

5. Create an Itinerary

You don’t want to leave things to chance on a corporate retreat, especially if excursions or outings are likely to be booked up. Therefore, it’s advisable to draft a detailed itinerary before departure so there’s a basic timetable for people to follow. Factor in team-building activities like a treetop challenge in the forests of Bracknell, work-related tasks from the comfort of your accommodation, presentations at Ascot Racecourse conference centre, and even relaxing downtime like a stroll around historic Windsor Castle. Successful itineraries often include a mixture of structured and unstructured time, so it’s important to find the right balance.

6. Book Accommodation

The accommodation you choose should be comfortable, convenient, and suitable for all team members. It should provide all the features you require such as meeting rooms, amenities like public transport, and proximity to any planned activities. Before booking your accommodation you should also ask yourself:

  • Does the venue provide full disabled access?
  • Is there free on-site parking?
  • Is there a choice of restaurants?

Answering questions like these will help you find the perfect accommodation for your corporate group. Serviced accommodation offers full flexibility and space, and is often located near towns with easy access to amenities and transport links.

7. Arrange Transportation

A coordinated approach to transportation is vital when arranging a corporate retreat. Depending on the location, this could involve booking flights, chartering a bus, or organising carpools and lift shares. As mentioned, all transportation expenses should be included in your overall budget to avoid the danger of overspending.

8. Organise Group Activities

Team-building activities that engage and entertain are often a feature of corporate retreats. Depending on your objectives, activities could include problem-solving challenges, trust-building exercises, or outdoor adventures like sailing or zip-wiring. More genteel activities like cookery school or sightseeing are equally popular with corporate groups.

At Berkshire Rooms, some of our favourite ideas for team-building events in Berkshire include Hidden Quest Treasure Hunts with its stunning backdrop of Windsor Castle. Or you could let your inner James Bond come to the fore with a Spy School event on the doorstep of Eton College. Alternatively, Ascot Racecourse specialises in team building away days with activities ranging from zorbing to tug-of-war.

Whatever you’re planning for your corporate getaway, Berkshire boasts all the locations and facilities you need to make it a huge success.

9. Choose Your Catering

When work colleagues dine together it can foster a strong sense of team bonding. Therefore, you could arrange for all members of your group to enjoy breakfast, lunch, and dinner together, possibly followed by evening drinks. When doing this you must pay attention to any specific dietary requirements or allergies within the group and any special requests from individual team members. Self-catering can be just as fun, inspiring cookouts and long conversations around the dinner table.

10. Provide Relaxation Options

Every corporate retreat should contain elements of downtime to provide team members with an opportunity to rest and relax. Proving options such as spa treatments, sports activities, or entertainment are popular choices and help keep people refreshed and energised for the duration of their stay.

11. Focus on Communication

Unless your corporate retreat is planned as a genuine surprise, you’ll need to communicate with team members regularly and clearly throughout the planning process. Whether through email, WhatsApp groups, or other alerts, keep participants informed and share the itinerary as early as possible. You could even include packing lists where specific items are required such as waterproofs for mountain hiking.

12. Provide Team Rewards

A corporate retreat should be a sufficient reward for a team’s hard work. Yet you could make your trip even more special by giving out gifts in recognition of people’s achievements over time. You may want to do this with equality in mind and ensure everyone on your team receives a gift. Alternatively, you could make it an occasion to honour the team’s highest achievers by singling them out for special praise.

13. Gather Valuable Feedback

After the event, you may want to gather feedback from all participants to gauge the success of the getaway. Not only will this highlight the memorable activities and arrangements that went particularly well, but it will also invite suggestions for areas for improvement, so your next retreat runs even smoother and is an even greater success.

What are the Benefits of a Corporate Retreat?

There are numerous advantages to a corporate retreat in the UK. They provide a break away from the daily work routine and help foster a positive work environment. A corporate retreat is a special time for relaxation, reflection, and collaboration where emphasis is placed on building employee relationships through various group activities.

The benefits of a corporate retreat include:

  • Encourages team building: Teambuilding exercises are a common feature of corporate retreats. They encourage team bonding which can help create a more productive workplace.
  • Reward employees: Retreats can help companies avoid employee burnout by organising events that encourage rest like spa days or fun activities.
  • Improves morale: When employees feel valued by their company bosses they’re more likely to adopt a positive attitude in the workplace.
  • Promotes creativity: Brainstorming sessions often take place at retreats with their non-corporate environment. This helps remove barriers between managers and employees and provides a comfortable place for sharing ideas.
  • Facilitates training: Workshops and training courses can be part of any corporate retreat and assist employees with their learning journeys.

Is Berkshire a Good Location for a Corporate Retreat?                                                                

Berkshire is full of prime locations and exciting activities that are perfect for a corporate retreat. Whether you’re based in Reading, Bracknell, Wokingham, Slough, Windsor, Maidenhead, or elsewhere in Berkshire, there’s a wide range of indoor and outdoor options for a corporate getaway and team-building event.

You could base your corporate event around the River Thames that runs through Berkshire and have a splashing time while Dragon Boat Racing.

If you’re looking for team building with a difference, there are corporate treasure hunts that turn Windsor into a playground. Alternatively, the sprawling country estate of Cliveden House provides a stunning location for a retreat, and it also specialises in corporate events to suit the needs of any business.

As you can see, the options for corporate events in Berkshire are almost endless, and you can check out some more ideas here. If you’re planning a corporate retreat in Berkshire for a small group or the entire company, serviced accommodation provides all the flexibility you need to make your stay a memorable one.

Searching for Serviced Accommodation for Your Corporate Retreat?

At Berkshire Rooms, our serviced accommodation provides a great option for companies planning a corporate retreat. Our serviced homes and apartments provide the highest level of flexibility and comfort. They’re also located close to leisure and entertainment facilities, local amenities, and transport hubs. Can we help with your corporate retreat? Get in touch today.