Team building activities have been part of corporate business for a long time. Companies use team-building activities to build a strong team that can work together to achieve the goals and objectives their company leaders created. Retreats and team-building experiences are great methods to ensure the team understands the goals and the action plans to achieve multiple goals and objectives.

Every successful retreat must have a retreat checklist. A retreat planning checklist is a set of tasks and activities that a corporate event planning team must complete before the actual retreat can occur. A checklist provides the entire team with a list of tasks that must be completed. The checklist will remind the team what tasks are done and which still need attention.

Retreats provide an amazing opportunity for companies of every shape and size. Small companies can use these retreats to build a strong foundation for the team. The retreat will provide them with time to focus on the way forward. All the problems can be confronted, and the small team can find creative ways to grow the business. 

What Are the Common Goals Of A Work Retreat?

There are many goals that a company can identify for various work types of retreats. It all depends on the employees and team members that will be present at the retreat. Companies will use retreats to recoup and energize a team.

The retreat organizer must work with the team to meet the desired retreat outcome and objectives. The company must determine firstly whether it is a retreat for employees or an executive retreat. The planning and focus will differ for the two groups. 

Another retreat goal is to ensure to build and connect team members. Strengthening the team through a retreat enables each member to connect and understand the other members.

Team managers and corporate leaders use retreats to identify critical issues and problems in a team or the company, which are assisted by a brainstorming session to ensure that they have action plans against the problems.

Coprotare leaders use retreats to bring all the stakeholders together to communicate the company’s past, present, and future. The entire retreat will discuss multiple facets and talking points within the company to ensure the stakeholders know the company’s future.

What Makes An Effective Retreat?

A few key factors must be present in every retreat to ensure they are practical and successful. These factors will allow the team to identify key problem areas and find workarounds to ensure the team and company can progress.

The first factor that must be present is that every individual must know why there is a retreat. The team leaders must explain the exact reason and goals they want to achieve through the retreat to ensure that the entire team is present and working towards that.

Another factor is to include team-building activities. Long walks in the woods or on the beach, cooking classes, or any other activities the team can complete together are critical. This will allow the team to relax and learn more about the team member. There must be limited office talk and much laughter.

According to Forbes, companies should create a relaxing environment with music, good food, and excellent chairs. However, the team should not have any agenda and take the entire event as it occurs. There must, however, be talking and conversation points that will be tackled when the team is ready.

Corporate Retreat Planning Checklist

Creating a corporate retreat planning checklist can be a daunting thought. Many retreat planners have built up the experience to assist companies in developing the best-suited checklist to ensure that the retreat includes everything that the company desires.

Pre-planning Checklist

A pre-planning checklist is a list of essential elements and talking points that the planner will prepare before they meet the corporate manager or retreat planner. This will allow the planner to provide the team with clear elements that must be present. 

  • Identify key topics such as budget, retreat venue, and goals that must be discussed at the planning meeting.
  • Determine the number of team members who are present at the future retreat.
  • Clarify the logistics, such as activities, meeting times, and transportation in and around the retreat venue and activities.
  • Find a creative method to receive feedback from attendees at the retreat. 

Check Out How to Run a Successful Company Retreat!:

Know Your Budget

The very first task on a checklist should be to create a budget. This will enable the planner to create a retreat that fits the company’s financial support. The planner will be able to identify elements and tasks included in the budget. 

  • Identify all the areas that will need financial support.
  • Create a maximum dollar value for each of the above mentioning areas.
  • Send the document to the company team for approval of the budget.
  • Adjust the budget if there are any areas or problems that the company found within the budget. 

Establish The Goals Of The Retreat

Every retreat must have specific goals that the company wants to achieve. Without goals for the retreat, the company will waste time and money on a short employee holiday that does not solve any problems or issues within the team or company.

  • Sit down with the company to identify the purpose behind the retreat.
  • Start with the end in mind, discuss the results that the team wants to achieve, and create activities and meetings around the goals for the event. 
  • Create SMART goals that will be shared with the entire team.
  • Ask the attendees questions about options of goals and objectives they want to set for the retreat. 
  • Write the goals down and ensure that the entire team has access to them throughout the retreat. 

Plan The Retreat Agenda

An agenda is a great tool to ensure the team knows the entire event. The agenda indicates the activities, meetings, food schedule, and other tasks that form part of the retreat. This will allow the team members to plan according to the agenda.

  • Identify the key tasks and activity types that must be present at the retreat. 
  • Determine how many of the types of events will be needed throughout the event. (Meetingsx2, Team building x 4 for example)
  • Spread the meetings over the entire retreat to ensure that every event is scheduled throughout the retreat. 
  • Add breakfast, lunch, and dinner to the agenda and resting times for all the attendees. 
  • Lastly, work through the retreat agenda and identify key issues that must be fixed. 
  • Ensure enough time with attendees to meet the retreat’s goals and objectives. 

Checklist In Picking a Venue

A retreat venue is critical for the success of a corporate retreat. The planner must have multiple options on the checklist of which the company can choose. This will allow the team to identify a retreat venue that presents all the activities, enough rooms, and other critical additions for the event. 

  • Use the budget to identify venue options suited for the retreat. 
  • Lavish and nice hotels can be included if it suits the budget. 
  • Display the potential locations of the company.
  • Identify critical off-site locations that can present the team with space for the activities and meetings presented throughout the retreat. 
  • The exciting location minimum requirements. 
  • Determine the size of the venue required to host the team. 
  • Identify the best-suited venue that can cover all the requirements. 

Checklist for Picking The Date

Determining the perfect date for the event will take time. The company must present the planner with the ideal dates. The dates must be communicated to all parties to ensure they can prepare and plan around the event date. 

  • Identify at least five dates that suit the team and the venue.
  • Determine which of the dates will suit both parties. 
  • Identify the duration of the entire retreat. 
  • Inform the team of the dates and ensure that all potential attendees are available and free.
  • Pick a date and write it down as the official date. 

Checklist for Transportation Planning

After determining the date and the venue, the planner must identify the transport arrangements for the event. Will every member drive to the event independently, will there be co-driving opportunities, or will the entire team receive transport in the form of a bus?

  • Where does the event occur?
  • Will the team drive independently, or will transport be provided?
  • Does the company have its own minibus or transport system?
  • If transport is included, will a bus or taxi be used to transport the group?
  • If a taxi is the best option, how many taxis will be needed?
  • Will there be traveling included at the retreat? Does the retreat include a traveling experience to an outdoorsy event at the retreat site?
  • If traveling is needed, will the retreat cover it, or should the planner organize transport for the team?
  • How often will the team need to travel for team-building exercises throughout the event?
  • After the event, How will the team return to the office or drop-off location?

Checklist to Productivity During Retreat

There must be specific plans, activities, and meetings that must occur within the productive retreat. The retreat planner must identify these tasks and appointments to ensure the event is productive and effective. The facilitators of the meetings are different from regular meetings. The aim should be to target key issues and problems beforehand and to ensure an engaging and productive session every time.

  • Determine what leads to a productive meeting.
  • Identify critical points in every scheduled meeting that will address issues and solutions for the event. 
  • Write down key issues and problems for every meeting. 
  • Create break-out rooms or smaller groups to discuss key issues and problems in the company.
  • Provide every team with the opportunity to communicate their findings. 
  • Open the floor to the team to ensure that every member has an opportunity to raise their concerns and solutions for the issues that come to light. 
  • Make sure that every individual has the opportunity to speak. 
  • End every meeting with a fun game or chat that will lighten the mood. 

Team Building Activities Checklist

Every effective retreat has activities throughout the corporate event. It is one of the critical factors that lead to the ultimate success of the company retreat. These must, however, be a variety of team-building retreat activities.

  • Identify the team members that will be present. 
  • Determine hobbies and leisure activities that every attendee enjoys. 
  • Research 10 activities that will be used as team-building sessions. 
  • Determine the best activities and if they are suited for the venue. 
  • Ensure that the sessions increase team morale.
  • Schedule all the sessions and share them with the team. 

Checklist For Food and Meal Plans

Planning food and meals for the entire event might be a difficult task at hand. The event planner must evaluate whether the members have food allergies or any food preferences. The menu will be created to ensure that every executive team member is catered for. 

  • Identify whether the location includes meals. 
  • Research potential caterers for the event. 
  • Determine the food preferences of the entire attending team.
  • Schedule a food tasting from the potential caterers.
  • Decide on the meals that will be included in the retreat.
  • Determine the menu for the entire retreat. 
  • Decide on the distribution and sharing of the meals


How To Structure a Team Retreat?

The first objective will be to clarify clear goals for the entire retreat. The company will work with the event planner to identify the goals. After that, the number of days, the type of venue, and the activities can be discussed to ensure they align with the retreat’s purposes.

What are Example Themes for a Company Retreat?

Comic-Con: Host a business retreat with a Comic Con theme to embrace the geek culture. Promote cosplay competitions, encourage staff members to dress as their preferred fictional characters, and offer chances for gaming, comic book discussions, and fan interactions.

Beach Bash: Hold the retreat near a beach and plan beach-themed events like sandcastle-building contests, beach volleyball matches, water sports, and a tranquil bonfire by the ocean.

Time Travel Trek: Host a retreat with a time travel theme to take your staff on a trip through time. Participants can learn about the company’s history by participating in activities and decorations that represent the many eras represented by each day.

Innovation Hub: Design the retreat as an innovation hub where staff members can collaborate on cutting-edge concepts and creations. Organize workshops, brainstorming sessions, and prototype activities to promote unconventional thinking.

Final Thoughts

Corporate retreats are a critical part that provides a platform for the entire company’s success. The Stakeholders and top management of the company must use a corporate retreat, not as a one-time event but as a regular occurrence, that will ensure that the executive team has the opportunities to deal with the major issues preventing the company from growing. Many corporate companies do not have the facilities or internal planners to organize these types of meetings. This, however, is the least of the problems. Corporate retreat planners can arrange, plan and lead the entire retreat.

Sabine Ghali

Kelly Murphy


Certified Meeting planner with 20+ years of event management experience, founder of ConferenceSource, expert in meeting facility sourcing & contracting in North America, Europe, South America and Asia. Kelly will manage your budget as if they were her own, negotiating the best possible rate and hotel contract to benefit and protect every client and exceed all expectations for all planning aspects for sales meetings, educational meetings, product launches, incentive trips down to a small board of directors meeting. We make meetings easy understanding your meeting objectives and delivering meeting matched components.