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Written by Hazeltine National on Jan 27, 2015 2:02:49 PM

7 Tips to Make Your Off-Site Team Building Event Stand Out

Staff outings are a wonderful way to generate fresh ideas and motivate team members by
offering an opportunity to get away from the day-to-day grind. Holding meetings away from the office can help build team spirit, create new enthusiasm and renewed commitment to working toward company goals. Whether you’re going off-site to set up strategy, build team chemistry, or reward the staff for work well done, you’ll want the event to seem special – to generate excitement beforehand, and to leave a lasting impression afterwards. Otherwise, why go off-site in the first place? So, we’ve tapped into our experience with off-site meetings, in our conference rooms and on our golf course, for a list of 7 tips to make your off-site meeting or team building event stand out.

 1.   Define Clear Goals and Objectives

Be clear in setting your expectations. Is the outing a working retreat or an incentive? Identify your goals for the day and be upfront with the staff. Prepare an agenda for the day and plan to stick with it. You’ll lose momentum quickly by straying off course.

 2.   Location Matters

A ho-hum location will produce ho-hum results. Make it memorable. Look for creative alternatives like movie theaters, bowling alleys, museums, theme parks and other memorable venues (like a world famous golf course, but we’ll get to that in a bit).

 3.   Strike a Balance

Don’t create events that are too taxing or too mindless. Try to strike a balance so your events aren’t overly comical or overly difficult, as either extreme will detract from the main message of the event.

4.   Innovative Ideas

If team building is the goal, consider a volunteer event. Few activities bring people together better than teaming-up to help others. Serve meals, help build a house, or help stock a food shelf.

 5.   Fun and Games

Rewarding your team with group seats to a Minnesota Twins game is a great incentive. And sports-based games can be a wonderful way to teach team concepts and get everybody engaged at an off-site meeting. But for the best results, focus on the fun, rather than the competition.

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If golf is your game, indoor golf simulators are perfect for group use - a fun activity for golfers of all levels, and even non-golfers, since you don't have to worry about bad shots or lost balls. If playing in open fairways set in the outdoors is more your taste, short-game golf clinics can make for an effective team building experience. Of course, for larger groups, Monday Golf Outings offer a unique experience, especially when played on the same course that hosted the 2016 Ryder Cup.

 6.   Food for Thought

Whether it’s a catered meal in a meeting room, a tailgate before a game, or boxed lunch for an outdoor activity, put some thought into your food choices. Make sure there are options for various diets (like vegetarian, vegan, low-fat and gluten-free) to include your entire team. Or have them make it themselves. Cooking classes are a wonderful way to get your team involved and working together.

 7.   Pictures Tell the Story

Engage a photographer and/or videographer to document your event. Give copies of the pictures to the participants, and post them on your website and in your offices. Want to make the memories last a little longer? Have a video edited with music and snappy graphics to show at the next event.

Plan ahead:

One final piece of advice: Give yourself four to six months to plan your perfect work outing. You’ll need time to book your location, set up transportation, work on your agenda and encourage participation. Plan your budget carefully. Consider location fees, meals, transportation and collateral costs.

And when you start process, try to choose two dates (preferred and alternate). Once you decide on the perfect venue, you want to increase the odds that it will be available, since location plays such a key role in creating a memorable meeting.

Learn about Weddings at Hazeltine

Hazeltine National Golf Club is a private golf club located in Chaska, Minn., about 30 minutes southwest of downtown Minneapolis. The club opened in 1962 with a mission to build and maintain a golf course suitable for the conduct of national championships. Hazeltine is one of only two courses in the United States to have hosted the U.S. Open, PGA Championship, U.S. Senior Open, U.S. Women’s Open, U.S. Amateur, and Ryder Cup. Hazeltine’s meeting and event space, golf shop and specified services in the learning center are open to the public. More information about becoming a member at Hazeltine is available at www.hazeltinenational.com.

Topics: Meetings, Events