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Budgeting/Staffing Company Retreat

Hi, apologies if this isn’t the right topic, but I am looking for help planning for the staffing of our annual retreat. (about 130 people attend). Do you typically run company retreats using in-house teams? Do you contract this work out to an event planner? We typically have run these with part time work from our existing teams (we are a consulting firm so using extra time from people who also do client work) but have grown to a size where that isn’t sustainable anymore and I’m looking to budget differently for 2020.

Hi @BethDahlman, we ran an event for our entire company of ~330 people at the time in February this year. We had about half the company travelling from the US and London to Melbourne.

We had a team of people including myself who worked on the event, and we had an (excellent!) contract event planner who worked part time in the run up to the event, and full time for the final couple of weeks plus the event itself.

The advantage of using an external person was that they had the experience and contacts to know what we needed for the event to run smoothly. She did almost all of the work with our suppliers, which freed our internal team to focus on planning the experience we wanted to give people, and preparing the content. We also engaged a consultant to help with this in the final couple of weeks.

The event was five days long and we had about 6 of us internally working on it alongside our day jobs, which was a struggle. Sometimes we weren’t able to spend as much time on the event as we wanted, and sometimes other things got dropped - I was lucky to have people in my team to lean on in the last few weeks, but it was stressful!

I am happy to share contacts or talk in more detail about our experience - message me directly if you’d like to connect.

Good luck with whatever you decide to do - it is a lot of work, but an awesome experience!