Whether it’s a destination corporate retreat, a conference, convention, or any other similar gathering you’re planning, there are things you need to do to ensure that planning a corporate retreat won’t be a disaster for you and everyone involved.

With all the variables you need to consider, from the venue to employee engagement to event goals, the planning process for a team event can seem overwhelming at first. However, if you start planning as early as possible and incorporate some of the ideas listed below, you’ll plan an excellent, memorable event with a lot less stress on you.

First, you’ll need to choose a venue for your corporate retreat. The good news is there is a venue with plenty of meeting space options that you can use for a wide range of team building exercises and company outing activities. Whether your company is based out of South Bend, Fort Wayne, Elkhart, Warsaw, Goshen, or anywhere else, Oakwood Resort offers premium space for your corporate event. So that’s one problem out of the way.

The next step is to identify the purpose of your event. Most corporate outings are not just about having fun. The most effective ones always have a set agenda or goals for a specific outcome.

A corporate retreat should always include team building exercises to bring the team together, but are there other things your company should address?

  • Is your corporate retreat going to help increase creativity and innovation?
  • Is there a deficiency within the team that needs to be worked on and resolved?
  • Do coworker relationships need improvement?
  • Is there a need to enhance communication within the team?

With these goals in mind, you can plan an effective and productive company retreat.

So, how do you have fun and ensure goals are achieved? Come up with team building activities with a purpose.

Fun Ideas for a Corporate Outing

Join Volunteer Opportunities

Supporting a good cause is good for the soul. Volunteering is sure to make everyone in the team feel happy and fulfilled knowing they did something awesome for others in need. Some volunteering ideas include helping build a house for Habitat for Humanity, volunteering at a local soup kitchen, or delivering gifts to children’s hospitals.

You can also choose volunteer opportunities based on the professional skills and expertise of your employees. If you are in the construction industry, for example, volunteering for a home makeover is an excellent option.

Room Escape Games

If you want an activity that will showcase everyone’s leadership skills and provide an opportunity for bonding, playing Escape Room games is a great idea. Trying to escape a room by solving puzzles and carrying out group tasks is sure to get everyone working together.

Mystery Dinner

Think team members need to know other people in different teams or departments? Sending a group of people from different teams within the company for a mystery dinner could be the solution you’re looking for.

The dinner should be hosted by one of your company’s leaders.

Participants are only provided the date and time of the mystery dinner ahead of time. On the day of the scheduled dinner, they are provided with the name of the restaurant and who they will be going with so they can arrange transportation.

The mystery may not be a full-on mystery at this point, but it will encourage everyone to meet, greet, and mingle.

Kayaking or Canoeing

If you want to test a team’s ability to cooperate and work together, hosting a kayaking or canoeing competition might be one option. To make the corporate retreat more exciting, pair or group people who don’t usually work together.

Planning a Corporate Retreat – the Actual Planning Process

When thinking of ideas for activities, always keep in mind that variety is essential – you need to have options that appeal to people who have different abilities and react differently to stimuli. The objectives of the retreat – to strengthen teams, bond, plan for an upcoming project, brainstorm ideas, etc – should revolve around one idea: inclusion.

While physical activities like an inter-department baseball game might be great for some attendees, it may not be suitable for everyone. If someone isn’t able to or willing to participate, it will cause the opposite effect you’re looking for. Those who don’t participate will feel left out and alienated. Acknowledge all comfort levels of your staff members, and plan activities accordingly.

That being said, the best way to find out what your employees would like during a corporate getaway is to ask them! Whether they want to go for hikes or bike tours, have all-inclusive meetings, have team competitions or anything else, you’ll never know for sure if you don’t ask. Plan a scavenger hunt, and order matching t-shirts for everyone who will be attending. During the event, host feedback sessions at the end of each day. Employee engagement is key.

Don’t plan your event in a remote location that is far removed from emergency health services, just in case. This is especially important if you will have attendees with medical issues, such as asthma, for example. The planning process should always include a location that is near conveniences, too, such as drug stores, pharmacies, and grocery stores. Chances are good that someone who will be attending will have unforeseen needs, and no one will want to travel long distances for anything. You want your team to focus on the corporate event and stay as near to the meeting space as possible. Remember: Although your corporate event is for the company, at the heart of it all, it really needs to be focused on the employees, who are the backbone of your company.


There are plenty of other ideas for a company outing but stick to the most effective formula, fun and purpose.