Team Building Tips: Plan WELL in Advance
4. Don’t leave your planning until the last minute. Select your team building supplier before you lock in your dates and Venue.
There are several reasons why planning WELL in advance is important:
- Popular and reasonably priced venues get booked up early. For example, if you are planning something recreational for the Christmas season, it is likely that all Friday and Saturday nights will be sold out at popular venues before the end of August. If you are planning to do a team building retreat overseas in a location like Dubai, some of the most popular hotels will be sold out 4 – 6 months in advance.
- If your team building retreat involves travel, bargain fares are snapped up well in advance and, if you are planning your trip during a school break, you just might find flights sold out. This is likely to become even more of a problem with airlines cutting back their schedule in view of skyrocketing oil prices.
- Many of the more interesting activities and simulations for retreats involve a lot of logistics and planning. To ensure smooth execution, leaving enough time for planning is essential.
So how much time is needed to effectively plan a team building session?
Ideally, you should be contacting prospective suppliers at least 8 to 12 weeks prior to your session for something local. (For foreign travel, at least 3 – 6 months is best especially if the destination is popular.) Allow about a week to 10 days to receive for quotes.
Never lock in your dates before you have determined the focus of the team building and the availability of venues that will support it.
Make sure that your dates aren’t carved in stone until there has been an opportunity to determine the availability of suitable venues. It would be a shame to miss out on an incredible location just because your dates were carved in stone before you did your homework. Even worse would be to end up in a venue that is totally unsuitable for what you want to achieve.
Once you have determined availability, you can match those dates with the availability of team members and request a quote.
You should be prepared to make a decision and pay your deposit within a week or 2 of receiving a quote.