Tips for Planning a Hybrid Corporate Retreat featured in BizBash

Corporate retreats are an ideal way for team members to relax and recharge, brainstorm ideas and work through problems, and generally get a break from the distractions of daily work life. Of course, in our new hybrid world, not every employee will be comfortable being on-site. But yes, hosting a hybrid corporate retreat is possible, with a little extra planning and the help of a strong audiovisual partner and carefully selected venue.

At-home mailers can also be a fun opportunity for team building. “Look for team-building activities with kits that are shipped to participants, wherever they will be participating,” says Jayne Hannah, assistant director of corporate events for virtual, in-person and hybrid team-building event company TeamBonding, citing activities like her company's mixology or gingerbread house kits, which send materials to participants’ homes.

In terms of team-building experiences that incorporate both an in-person and at-home audience, Hannah recommends avoiding activities made for large groups. “Break large groups into smaller groups made up of both in-person and virtual participants, and use video conference tools to connect,” she advises, suggesting that one person from the in-person team can be charged with holding an iPad or laptop so remote team members can be included. “When doing hybrid activities, connection is key.”

And for those preplanned hybrid events, adds Hannah, “Allow time for in-person attendees to get settled before the video conference starts so virtual guests do not get confused by chatter/movement or feel out left out of the conversation. Similarly, make it clear when the event has ended so people do not wonder when it is time to leave.”

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