How to plan a corporate retreat employees won’t forget

Cassy Aite
August 8, 2022
How to plan a corporate retreat employees won’t forget

Corporate retreats are one of the best ways to bring your people together to make an impact. In this guide, we’ll take a closer look at what makes in-person corporate retreats successful. We’ll go through the best reasons to host them, plus share our advice to help you plan an exciting, engaging event for your team. 

4 reasons to host an in-person corporate retreat

Corporate retreats cover so many bases. They’re a great way to introduce people and build relationships, all while getting a chance to see people face-to-face. But they’re also more than that. Let’s explore some of the biggest reasons to take your team away on a corporate retreat. 

1. Bring your teams closer together

These days it’s tough to see as much of your coworkers as you’d like. With so many of us working in remote teams, we may only get the chance to meet up like this once a year. Even if you work near someone in an office, it’s rare to get that downtime to really connect. Corporate retreats give everyone the opportunity to say hello, grab a coffee, and get to know each other better. 

With your retreat taking place offsite away from your desks and meeting spaces, there’s none of that immediate work pressure on your employees. Instead, they can catch up with each other, meet new people, and take part in team building exercises and more informal moments together. 

2. Thank everyone for their hard work

Corporate retreats are an amazing way to express gratitude for your employees’ hard work. After all, without them your business wouldn’t be what it is. The happiness and comfort of your employees has a direct impact on your bottom line, so it’s definitely in your interests to treat them to a break. 

Plan an incredible getaway to a beautiful location, with plenty of wellness activities, as a way to thank your teams. Schedule in plenty of breaks and downtime, so people can explore the local area, go for a hike, or grab a drink with their coworkers between talking business. 

3. Tackle a business or growth challenge with new ideas

As your business grows, you’ll face new challenges and opportunities. You’ll need to find ways to stand out and get noticed by your audience, make your customer experience even better, or to attract new investment. Get your team members involved in this with an innovation session at your corporate retreat.

Dedicate some time at your corporate retreat to business growth and development. Plan a meeting where everyone can get involved in the discussion, make suggestions, and help you find an exciting new way to approach your goals. It’s a great activity for employee engagement and achieving your corporate targets. 

4. Build your company culture and values

Corporate retreats don’t just help you build relationships with team members, but they help build your company culture and values too. There’s often no better way to rediscover and reinforce who you are and what you’re about than getting together in person to talk about everything — big and small. 

Escape the work environment and figure out what really matters most at your corporate retreat. Talk to as many people as possible, host workshops, and get a feel for what drives your employees. Uncover what motivates them, what they love about working for the company, and what their goals are — all this helps shape your culture and direction. 

How to organize a winning corporate retreat

two smiling brunette women on blue background wearing hoodies


The best company retreats are the ones where there’s a big goal, and an organized plan to help you get there. Here’s how to go from idea to execution and plan a corporate retreat that’ll be remembered for all the right reasons. 

1. Set a goal or theme

Every impactful corporate retreat has a theme. It doesn’t have to be complicated, but it does help guide every decision you make — and lets you know whether it was a success or not. Whether you focus on team bonding, wellness, financial growth, diversity, or another topic, get clear on your goal so you can plan your retreat around it. 

2. Decide when to host your corporate retreat

One of the first decisions you’ll make is when to host your corporate retreat. Consider when it makes logistical sense for your business, and avoid your super busy times of the year. It’s also sensible to be mindful of major holidays and seasonal breaks, so you can bring as many people together as possible. Planning your retreat date in advance also means people can plan their own vacation days around it.

3. Settle on a location

For your company retreat to really make an impact, take your employees to somewhere totally different. That might be the city lights of New York, a private beach in Hawaii, or a mountain range in a National Park. It could also be as simple as glamping and activities in a rural spot you love in the same state. Pricing, availability, and travel distance all play a role in your choice, but give it some consideration as the right retreat location can set the atmosphere. 

4. Book your retreat venue

Once you’re all sorted with a location or have an area in mind, you can start looking at venues. Tour the spaces if you can, or book a virtual walkthrough with your contact to get a feel for the space. Look for a corporate event space that has everything you need — whether that’s meeting rooms, breakout spaces, lounges, a pool, a games room, or something totally different. Book as early as you can to secure the best deals, and don’t forget to negotiate for a discount. 

5. Organize transport and accomodation

With corporate retreats typically taking place away from your usual workspace, you’ll need to arrange transport and accommodation close to the event venue. Some companies decide to handle all of this in-house, while others give their employees a budget to spend how they like. How you manage it is completely up to you, but we recommend asking people what their preference is and going with the majority. 

6. Plan your team building activities and events

four men being silly playing a game in chairs on orange background


Plan group activities, sessions, workshops, and experiences that your team members actually want to take part in. The activities you choose depend on your goals and what your coworkers enjoy, but here are some great ideas to get you thinking: 

  • Kayaking
  • Escape rooms
  • Wine tasting
  • Mural painting
  • Scavenger hunt
  • Karaoke or dance off
  • Office trivia quiz
  • Ziplining
  • Hiking 
  • Volunteering 
  • Board or video games
  • Time on the golf course
  • Group cooking class
  • Go karting or quad biking
  • Charity run or sale

As you can see, there’s a huge variety of teamwork activities you can plan for your company retreat. Put together a shortlist and survey your teams to find out what’s top of their list. They might also suggest something amazing you hadn’t thought of.

7. Book caterers or make restaurant reservations

With so many amazing activities planned, people are going to get hungry fast. Make sure you have plenty of food options available for them throughout the day and into the evening. If you’re renting a villa or house, consider a caterer, chef, or easy access to ordering groceries with a virtual Hoppier card. Don’t forget to book a restaurant reservation for any special shared dining events, and signpost people to the best local coffee and lunch spots to explore solo or as a group. 

8. Share details with your teams

Your employees can’t get excited about your corporate retreat if they’re kept in the dark. Make it a priority to keep everyone informed along the way. Encourage engagement by asking people for their location ideas, favorite activities, and most loved meals. Share the most important event details as early as possible, but don’t feel like you can’t keep some of the smaller things a surprise for when you get there. 

9. Get feedback afterwards

It’s always sad when it’s time to come back home from your corporate retreat. Once you’ve left that retreat bubble, set some time aside to gather feedback from your staff members on how it went. Send out a digital survey, ask people to vote on their favorite elements, and get as much information as possible to help you evaluate and plan your next retreat. 

An alternative: work with a third party to organize your corporate retreat

Sometimes you have enough on your plate and planning a company retreat is the last thing on your mind. If that’s the case, don’t be afraid to bring in some outside help to plan and run your retreat. 

Ask around your network for suggestions to find the best corporate event planners in your local area or niche, then work with them on a plan. Together you’ll be able to turn your goals and ideas into a corporate retreat your team will enjoy — and know that it’s all being handled for you. 

Hoppier: a fun way to enhance your corporate retreats

What’s fun about corporate retreats is that there’s a great balance between talking about work and simply relaxing or getting to know each other. Make sure there’s plenty of space for coffee breaks, shared dinners, and a few friendly competitions too. And if you’re ready to make those moments even more exciting, try Hoppier

With Hoppier, you can send virtual credit cards to your employees to use at your corporate retreat. Use them for event catering, as prizes, corporate gifts, and more. As they’re virtual, they work well for in-person, hybrid, and virtual retreats


Hoppier virtual cards screenshot

It’s easy to add Hoppier to your corporate events process. Set up a program, customize your card, and make it feel uniquely personalized to your event. Add your company logo, brand colors, and a personalized message about your corporate retreat. Set a spending balance so people know exactly what’s available, and offer a curated range of vendors or keep it open so there’s total freedom of choice. 


personalized events


There are so many wonderful ways you can use Hoppier for your corporate retreats. Encourage your teams to go and explore the local area, armed with a Hoppier virtual credit card to order supplies, drinks, and snacks for their adventure. Create a digital goody bag filled with discounts, digital goods, and a Hoppier virtual card as a thank you. Reward competition winners and activity champions with a Hoppier virtual card as a prize. Get creative and see what works for your next retreat. 

Plan the kind of corporate retreat that people talk about for years

Corporate retreats are an amazing way to unite people, create new bonds, and strengthen existing ones. They’re one of the best events to host if you want to focus on your company culture, future growth, innovation, or team building. You can learn more about corporate retreats and get help organizing your own here.

Every great corporate retreat is planned with a goal in mind. Maybe it’s to bring people together, or maybe it’s to solve a frustrating challenge in a new way. Take a look at our webinar on how to maximize the ROI before, during, and after your event to find fresh ways to make your retreat even more impactful. While the webinar focuses on virtual events, these tips totally work for in-person gatherings too.

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