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How to Deliver Company Offsite Meetings that Work

As its name suggests, offsite meetings are aimed to bring employees together “out of home” and talk about the company’s strategy, goals, and tactics.

Many facilitators think that in order to deliver company meetings that work it is important to craft agenda in detail and rent a killer venue.

For sure, these two factors are very important for effective offsite meeting. But in the center of successful company meetings is human factor: you should concentrate on how to deal with human dynamics during company meeting.
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Now let’s see how to deliver company offsite meetings that work.
 

Craft offsite meetings’ agenda with team

To have offsite meetings that work it is very important to let attendees have their input in the meeting agenda. It will help to avoid making company meetings a waste of time and will prevent employees getting bored and start to yawn during the speeches.

You need to use an appropriate platform to let employees have their input in an agenda.

One such platform is Swift Polling. Create an open-ended question or a multiple-choice poll asking your employees to throw in their suggestions. They can send their responses either via web (internet access is required) or sms(internet not needed).
You can either:

  • Create a multiple choice poll: Separate some important topics and ask your employees to vote for the one they would like to hear about.
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  • Or create an open-ended question, such as “What topics would you like to discuss during the meeting?”
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    With Swift you can also create word clouds. Word clouds show the repetitive responses with larger letters and in a different color, so it will be obvious which topics should be addressed first.
     

    Choose “Heroes” together

    People are definitely the companies’ greatest asset. And offsite meetings are a great place to highlight this once again by putting a spotlight on a company’s best performers.

    To deliver company meetings that works it is important to give voice to the entire team. Ask them to nominate and choose the best performers or give them a list to pick from. It will boost overall team morality and will create a sense of unity.

    It will also be amazing to enable staff to submit the achievements that they think were the most important for the company.

    To organize and hold the process smoothly you should use innovative technologies and appropriate platforms. In this article you will read a lot about all-inclusive Swift Polling, because it has so many helpful functionalities. In this case specific case, it enables to organize polling process anonymously, fast, and easy.

    Audience members will express their opinion through web or sms and the results will be updated in real time enabling to kick off a discussion and leave comments.

    At the end of the process you can prepare some gifts for company “heroes” to increase the productivity of other members and motivate them.
     

    Gather feedback on strategy and goals

    Offsite meetings are amazing events to bring all the staff together and identify their opinion on the overall company strategy and goals. It creates a sense of engagement and helps to show employees that their voice matters.

    Let the team members express their opinion through live polling. How?

    With the mentioned polling platform, you can include polls in your presentation and ask your employees to throw in their vote through web or sms. This will also make your presentation very engaging. They will see how the results are changing in real time. It is really a great way to make people feel empowered to express their opinion on the overall company’s direction.

    An example of such polls can be the following: “How confident are you with the numbers presented?”

    After this discussion, leave comments on the results.
     

    Allocate enough time to Q&A

    To organize company meetings that work you should not only pay attention on the content that is going to be delivered but also the questions and concerns regarding it.

    Q&A sessions are an inseparable part of every meeting. However facilitators always leave very little time to answer attendees’ questions. Because of that they don’t manage to address many concepts and issues, hence remain unclear for the staff.

    What I suggest is to not only allocate enough time to Q&A sessions, but also hold them at appropriate time slots, such as after the speech of each presenter.

    Moreover, to make them more transparent, you can ask your employees to submit their questions via web which will make their feedback anonymous. Still remember that we’re talking about Swift Polling? Thanks, I was about to worry.

    It is really an amazing method of conducting Q&A, because:

  • People will send their questions once those arise.
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  • Even shy and introverted people will participate, as the whole process is without extra talking.
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  • Very subtle or “hard-to-ask” questions can be asked since the software provides anonymity.
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  • Speaker can first pick and answer the questions he/she considers more crucial.
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    Empower employees to sum up the meeting

    To deliver offsite meetings that work you should always review the past meetings and make improvements based on that.

    The best way to identify which parts need an improvement is to enable employees sum up the meeting and express their opinion on the overall meeting. By the way, this will be one more step to keep the phase of active engagement that you have created from the start of the meeting.

    Again, here comes the almighty feedback collecting feature of Swift Polling. Collect how? Via web or SMS! This is very simple and handy.

    Moreover, to finish your meeting on a high note, it would be better to create a word cloud question and ask the employees to describe the overall meeting in one or two words. Repetitive responses will be larger and in another color indicating the opinion of the majority.

    As you have seen, all tricks to deliver offsite meetings that work includes emphasizing the human factor and providing interactivity during the whole event.



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