Blog >
Off-site Event Planning Blueprint


Off-site Event Planning Blueprint


Aneta Key shares an article designed to help you plan your off-site leadership event.

This blog post is a part of a larger Facilitation collection that explores the various aspects of crafting and leading successful corporate events.

Part I of the Leadership Off-Site 101 series offers a basic background on the anatomy of leadership off-site design. This post, Part II, covers the topics you should consider at the very beginning of the planning process.

What is the context for the off-site?

Before you jump into execution and start firing out invitations or requesting quotes from meeting venues, pause. It always pays off to take a moment to step back and consider the context within which the off-site (on-site, workshop, retreat, meeting, etc.) is being convened.

Here are six questions I ask when a client is discussing an upcoming management event with me:

Why now? — The answer to this question is often revealing. It invites comments on external and internal developments that prompt the need for a face-to-face meeting.

What’s at stake? — This question clarifies the importance of the event and the degree of effort that is commensurate with what’s at stake.

How urgent? — A helpful question when the off-site is still in the idea stage and its timing has not yet been decided.

How does this off-site fit in the overall process? — Is this a regular event (e.g., annual strategy planning off-site, quarterly performance review) or a special event (e.g., kickoff of a major initiative)?

What is the group’s experience with off-sites? — Prior experience shapes expectations, and you should be cognizant of those. For example, if every single off-site in the past had a heavy social component with a fun team-building experience, participants may be disappointed if you skip it this time.

What else is happening that should be considered? — This is an open-ended question that often uncovers pragmatic considerations such as budget constraints or opportune timing. The question also allows you to anticipate top-of-mind concerns that may “hijack” the agenda.


Key points include:

  • Objectives of the off-site
  • Assessing current degree of alignment
  • Assigning decision makers

Read the full article, Leadership Off-site 101: Early Planning, on Linkedin.