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How To Host An Offsite Meeting That Doesn't Suck

Published Wednesday, October 9, 2019

Getting your leadership team out of their normal environment can be a great first step in revisioning your organization’s mission, goals, strategy, and tactics. The human brain works differently when our surroundings change. Today, we’re sharing our top three tips for ensuring your time away from the office feeds your organization’s energy, passion, and growth long after the meeting ends.

Know Your Goals

As you’re planning the day’s agenda, start by thinking through your ideal outcomes and work backwards. To better understand potential areas of opportunity, give your team the chance to propose topics. Build the agenda based on what you intend to accomplish with your time.

Allow for flexibility in the agenda when appropriate--the team’s energy could lead conversations in an impactful direction. But remember that driving the agenda forward and meeting the goals you’ve set for the meeting is your responsibility. 

Capture Ideas & Takeaways

Once you get started, ideas will be flowing. Have a plan for capturing what’s shared throughout the meeting. Your topics may dictate your method, some options include dry erase boards (remember to take photos), shared documents, and event audio or video recording (why should the cast of The Office have all the fun?).

A “parking lot” for rogue topics will also give you the chance to capture ideas that don’t fit into your set agenda, but deserve to be revisited at a later date and time. Have a dedicated space for making notes for followup.

Choose a Functional & Inspiring Location

Location matters. Kind of a lot, according to science. Sounds, colors, lighting, and even the way the furniture is arranged can impact the thought processes and levels of creativity during your offsite meeting. Finding a space that's creative, inspiring, and flexible will help you get the most from your team and their ability to approach old problems with new perspectives.

MatchBOX offers conference room access for all members and sponsors to host offsite meetings, strategy sessions, heads-down work time, and more. Click the banner below to sign up for a series of emails about your work style and how MatchBOX might work for you!

Fellow members:

Revisioning the concept of traditional work environments and moving to a collaborative space has been an amazing opportunity for our organization to remain engaged with our constituents and expand our connections in the community.

—Kitty Campbell

"MatchBOX is helping my company (One Fact) survive and prosper. The affordable space is only the start. It is the connection with the other co-coworkers that is proving helpful. MatchBOX gets a share of credit for any success One Fact sees in 2017!”

—Cortland Starrett

MatchBOX is where I met some of my newest best friends, Amanda, Emily, Matt, Ed, and sometimes Ryan. It's conveniently located near Kathy's candies and a bunch of places to get drinks during lunch. Could use a couple more Pokestops though.

<3 Austin Toombs

MatchBOX has provided an incredible opportunity for getting my work done, collaborating with others (at least 4 projects so far), hosting meetings for organizations I'm part of, and meeting other independent contractors in the area. The feel and ambience of the place just adds to the fabulous workplace -- not to mention the coffee and snacks! I have friends around the country who are jealous of our MatchBox space.

—Johanna Merritt Wu

My Enactus Purdue team got a tour of this studio recently. The environment is outstandingly innovative! Everyone there is incredibly friendly and hospitable and passionate about what they are doing. What a great place to see opportunity in the city of Lafayette!

—Acaimie Catron (from Facebook)

There is such a positive, creative vibe to this space. I participated in Lafayette Writers' Studio events and classes at MatchBOX fall, 2016. It is easy to access, convenient to downtown Lafayette and parking is not difficult in its area of town.

—Sandra B. (from Yelp)