Team Building Budgets: 13 Keys to Locking in Savings

As Q4 approaches, it’s the perfect time for executives to take stock of where they are and chart their course for the rest of the year and into the new year. If you’re on track to hit your goals and targets, this is the best time to plan a year-end celebration to thank your team for their hard work.

If there is concern that you will fall short of targets, it would be wise to pause and devote some quality time to course correction. By harnessing the creative genius of your team, you can identify opportunities for breakthroughs. Team building and executive retreats can help you with that process.

Often, when business slows down, executives think that they have to cut team building. Others try to use recreational activities as a substitute for real team building. This is a missed opportunity and very short sighted. There is a better way.

Stretch your team building and executive retreat budgets with these 13 cost-saving strategies:

  1. Fire with live bullets. Instead of just simulating an experience, assign real business issues to the teams.Here are 2 examples:
  2.  Select a destination where your currency stretches further.U.S companies can save in places like Canada, Jamaica, and Malaysia. If you plan well ahead of time and shop for cheap airfares before locking in your dates, this can add up to considerable savings.
  3. Plan ahead.If you make arrangements at the last minute you will pay top dollar for travel, accommodation, meeting rooms, and even catering. Yet many companies leave their planning until the last minute and have to hit the pause button due to budgetary constraints.So, plan next year’s team building now and you can avoid the inevitable new year price increases.
  4. Take your retreat to a suburban location or small town that is close enough to allow participants to return home at night.
  5. Book 2 or 3 bedroom suites.This will be cheaper than booking single occupancy rooms for each person. Many suites have private bathrooms for each bedroom. Even villas or chalets will work out cheaper at some destinations.
  6. Do all or part of your team building session on-site.If you are concerned about distractions and interruptions, use a branch office or swap venues with a supplier. One CEO we worked with had part of the executive retreat in his home. Others have used their cottages.
  7. desertsurvival14Use a wilderness conservation area, family resort, or camp during off-season.Fall is one of the best times to save in North America and at sun destinations.
  8.  Use a church, library, or community centre during business hours.Business hours are a slow time for these organizations. Many have meeting rooms, top notch AV, and excellent catering facilities.
  9. Book a film studio or acting school during business hours.
  10.  “Brown bag it” for part of the session.If you are holding part of the executive retreat or team building session on-site or at a branch office. Ask participants to bring their own lunch and snacks. They do this on regular work days.
  11. Use a camp during off-season or university campus venue during reading week or exam week.
  12. Arrange catering through a culinary school or community college programme.The students need practice. You will get good food at a fraction of the cost of a regular caterer.
  13. Use a restaurant during closing hours.Some restaurants are closed on Mondays. Others don’t open until dinner time. It’s an opportunity to support a local business and save.

Here are more strategic cost-saving tips for executives. This is a process that can be used during executive retreats and teambuilding.

Photo Credit: TaxRebate.org.uk


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2 thoughts on “Team Building Budgets: 13 Keys to Locking in Savings

  1. Michael Rodman says:

    I really like your suggestions…for team building events in San Francisco Bay Area I use your suggestion #13 all the time.

    You mentioned, ” Use a restaurant during closing hours.”. I realized that restaurant workers and Owners are already on site prepping for dinner anyway. I just ask the Owner to provide a server/bartender and serve light appetizers to my corporate customers. I reserve one large room with family style dining on one half the room before my painting event. We then paint in the other half of the room after.

    Restaurant owners love the concept as it is extra food/drink revenue to them and it does not interfere with their normal dinner service! It’s a “win-win deal” for everyone.

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