Building morale and maintaining cultural values is critical to keeping employees energized and engaged. One way to do that is to get your team out of their cubicles once in a while. Fairfield, Litchfield, and New Haven counties offer a wide range of event facilities that are perfect for your team to hold off-site meetings, have parties, and conduct team-building exercises. On-site meetings with a catered lunch are also a great way to help show appreciation to your team and give them the opportunity to socialize.

Choosing a Unique Off-Site Location
Just getting out of the office for a while provides a change of scenery and can be a great way to let your employees stretch their legs. Consider going off-site to a location that’s both comfortable and functional. Event locations such as the Edmund Town Hall in Newtown and the Silo in New Milford offer unique, appealing settings for office meetings. These spaces, and other larger spaces around the Newtown area, can also be used for larger-scale parties for the whole office. And they allow you to bring your own caterer. After all, good food makes everything that much better.

Office Event & Meeting Ideas
There doesn’t have to be a major event on the calendar, such as a holiday party, to get your team together. Think about ways that your office can gather on a more regular basis. A great way to gather ideas for events that have a better chance of being well-received is to seek input from your group. Send out an email asking for suggestions or a list of ideas for people to vote on. The following are a few ideas:

  • Weekly lunches and/or breakfasts in the office
  • Off-site master classes; bring in a special guest to go in depth on a topic
  • Off-site brainstorming sessions to come up with new ideas on relevant topics
  • Company birthday celebrations
  • Volunteering
  • Cooking classes
  • On-site, catered happy hour

Prepping for an office event requires some thoughtful planning. The first thing you’ll want to consider is your budget. Costs could include the event facility, catering, guest speaker, and potentially transportation and accommodations. You’ll also need to think about materials and equipment. For business events, you may need a podium, internet connection, screens or projectors for presentations, leave-behinds, etc. For fun events, you may need to bring games, sports and recreation equipment, and more. Lastly, you’ll want to develop a schedule and timeline for the days leading up to the event as well as for the event itself. This schedule should include travel time, shipping time for deliveries, event location availability, and caterer availability.

Creating Basic Structure
For events that will last several hours, you’ll need to adhere to a basic plan and make sure that you or an assigned team leader can help everyone stay on track. In a casual environment, groups have the tendency to split off, get distracted, and lose focus. You also want to strike a balance to ensure that the schedule is not too rigid — after all, the idea is to take a break from the formalities of the workspace. Within your schedule, be sure to build in downtime so that people can socialize and relax without any obligations.

So many successful businesses attribute their achievements in part to their culture. The best of them spend time, energy, and funding on activities that allow employees to spend casual time together and time to solve business challenges in a less rigid environment. And, as we all know, all employees love a catered lunch.