Executive Retreats

Event Management of executive retreats and the question "What is a successful executive retreat"? It is a paid-in-full escape from hectic work schedules, mundane daily routines and banal financial statements. Its mission is ingenuity and its charge is imagination. What is a successful event manager? A person who keeps the first list from filtering into the second.

Executive retreats are, in theory, getaways from prosaic business meetings and unendurable seminars. Retreats should stimulate free thinking and creativity. Unfortunately, due to the gargantuan size of some corporate budgets, many hard-earned dollars are wasted in expensive resorts and needless frivolities. A successful retreat should balance relaxation and entertainment with solution

and enterprise.

Why hold an expensive executive retreat when a casual business meeting could serve just as well? Business meetings, pundits contend, may stifle imagination and direction due to locale stereotypes, venue choice, and the mish-mash of daily life. Setting aside an allotted time stimulates otherwise repressed innovation and boosts morale.

Planning of Executive Retreats

Business executives are busy people. Planning an executive retreat well in advance – 18 to 24 months – gives the event manager ample time to rent locations and fashion an agenda, and gives the participating executives time to mark their calendars. Anticipate how many people are coming (is executive attendance mandatory or voluntary?); the more attendees – or the more prestigious – the more planning time.

Before, executive retreats were renowned for frivolous locale. Now, budget-consciousness is all the rage, and many retreat managers opt for local venues to add down-home spice to the party. The venue should be clean, comfortable and fascinating. Also, it should have several meeting rooms for subcommittees can convene in. Get rid of posh protocol and red tape. Whatever setting is chosen, it should facilitate teamwork and communication.

Regardless of whether the service personnel is employed by the venue or handpicked by the event manager, all must be spic-and-span clean, on-the-dot talent and spin-on-the-dime compliance.

Accommodation and transportation is of utmost importance. No executive wants his or her BMW ruined by a hailstorm or a rustic cabin bunk chock-full of fleas. Parking should be accessible (if permits are required, mail those early).

Even business executives need their playtime, but not all events should border on frivolity. The proceedings should be a proper balance between festivities, brainstorming sessions and Puritan-ethic work assemblies.

Once the executive retreat has concluded, an event manager needs to condense plans and concepts into emails, messages or memos, and distribute the information to participants. With all that work, why let the ideas go to waste?