An epic corporate retreat can mean the difference between a run-of-the-mill organization and a dynamic, interconnected company culture. It’s arguably one of the best work perks available. No, for real. A quick Google search shows at least a dozen articles about the importance of hosting retreats for your employees - and, at Moniker, we’ve seen the benefits first-hand!
Company retreats have been proven to boost morale, increase productivity, bring people together, and help employees renew their enthusiasm for the work they do. Of course, this all sounds great in theory, but there is usually one question top of mind before the process turns from a dream into a reality: can we afford this? Well, Moniker has you covered with your very own cheat sheet for how to budget for a company retreat.
Show me the Money
The first step in your journey toward a smooth, fun, and productive company trip is to take a look at your budget. Before you make any other decisions, you’ll need to know exactly how much you can spend on this exciting adventure. Remember: you don’t need to have oodles and oodles of finances to create a memorable corporate retreat. All you need is a smart budgeting plan so you know exactly how much you can allocate to each facet of your trip. Then you can go from there! So, read on for your company retreat budgeting tips that just make cents (...see what I did there?).
When In Doubt, Quarter It Out
If you’re struggling with where to begin, The Quarter Rule is for you. Once you have a set amount of funds ready to dedicate to your company retreat, you can employ this rule. It will inform all of your choices moving forward so it’s a perfect place to start.
Equally split your budget into the four main facets of any trip:
- Flights and Transportation
- Food and Beverage
From here, you will have a much clearer picture of your potential destinations, hotels and activities. It will help you make decisions on everything from how long the retreat can be, to what food will be served, to what activities you want included, even to how far you can travel from home base. Our advice is to start big with these quarters, and work your way down to the smaller stuff so that there are no surprises down the road.
Location, Location, Location
So, we’re starting big with... you guessed it: where in the world your retreat will be? After you’ve used The Quarter Rule and you know how much you can spend on your company retreat, it’s time to turn your attention to the location. Where you choose to go will drastically affect how much you will need to spend.
For example, choosing a destination that is relatively close to where you and your employees are located will generally garner a smaller transportation cost than one that involves, let's say, a fourteen hour flight to the other side of the world. This isn’t to say that those far away destinations aren’t worth it, but it just depends on how much you are able to spend on actually getting there.
As well, different countries and cities have incredibly varying rates for accommodation, activities and food expenses. For example most Eastern European, Southeast Asian and Central American destinations have much more affordable opportunities than many places in, say, the United States or Western Europe.
The idea here is that the cheaper costs for activities, food and hotels will allow room in the budget for potential additional transportation costs. It will help to compare costs of similar quality hotels, restaurants and excursions in the different destinations you are considering. You’ll have a crystal clear understanding of the pros and cons, and be able to choose a dreamy destination that also gets the most bang for your buck.
V.I.C. - Very Important Considerations
The travel experts here at Moniker know it’s not just the location that makes or breaks a company retreat (and budget). There are many other important considerations to make when deciding how you will allocate your funds.
We recommend honing in on the goal of your retreat, as it will change what activities you may choose, and what additional requirements you’ll need. What do you and your employees want to get out of this experience? For some, it’s a chance to de-stress, let loose and simply socialize with other members of the company. This is especially important for companies that are fully remote or have employees in many different locations. For others, the purpose of their corporate retreat is to reach specific goals like rebranding, learning additional skills, attending workshops, or strategizing for company growth. Or, perhaps you want the focus to be on team-building activities? Or maybe, you just want to celebrate the success of your employees and give them some well deserved rest and relaxation. The options are endless, you just need to pick what best suits your particular organization’s needs.
Whatever it is, if you get clear about the goal of your trip, you’ll have a much better idea of your specific activity requirements, and therefore the money needed to meet them. For example, a company looking to facilitate discussion and host strategy sessions will require a dedicated workspace. A company retreat focused on team building will need unique and exciting challenges planned for them (hint hint: check out Moniker’s past trips for awesome examples!).
Factoring your retreat goals into your budget early on in your planning journey will give you a much clearer picture of what you’ll need to achieve not only a retreat unique and specific to you, but also one that won’t break the bank.
Don’t Forget These Essentials
It’s normal to forget something when going on a trip. Left your sunglasses at home or maybe some extra socks? Well, when it comes to budget, we won’t let you forget about these potential extra costs, so there are no unwelcome surprises upon arrival.
If choosing to stay at a resort, be conscious of potential added resort fees. For restaurants and hotels, make sure to factor gratuities for service staff into your budget so you’re not caught off guard later on. As well, a big consideration is if you choose to also include alcohol for your events and activities. If so, this will drastically increase your budget for food and beverage. What about company swag? If you want to gift your employees with t-shirts, hats or anything fun to wear during the retreat, make sure you include those costs, not to mention shipping them to the destination or extra checked-baggage if you plan on transporting all retreat materials yourself.
If you’re wary about any hidden costs, we can help ensure you won’t be forgetting anything, even your toothbrush!
Our Final Tip
Now that you’re more equipped to start budgeting for your retreat, we’ve got one final tip for you: compare your options. If you aren’t sure exactly how much you can spend on your corporate retreat, try incorporating the quarter rule to a couple different scenarios. Will a three-day offsite with no meetings in Budapest be best? Or is a five-star retreat in Monaco within the scope? If you’re not married to a particular destination, it never hurts to see what else is out there that may be better-suited to your goals and budget. This will help you compare and contrast your options so you can confidently move forward with the right (and most cost effective) choice.
Penny For Our Thoughts
We hope you’ve found these tips and tricks helpful as you jump into budgeting for your amazing adventure. If you want a more in depth look, contact us at Moniker for more help. When it comes to budgeting and trip planning on this scale, it’s always a good idea to trust the experts. We know how important corporate retreats are to the companies that host them, and when Moniker does them, we do them right. Think: out of the box activities and challenges, unique team building opportunities and an epic trip to write home about - all while keeping your bottom-line in mind. We’ll help you create a trip that matches your budget and meets your specific goals. After all the budgeting and preparation is done, seeing the smiles on your employees faces will be totally worth it. One might even say, priceless!