New Research: How Executives View Offsite Meetings

Recently, the Northstar Meetings Group has conducted research in attempt to answer the question of executive attitudes towards off-site meetings. The results have been surprising. C-suite executives feel that off-site meetings are important to their organizations’ overall success. More specifically, a little over half of the people surveyed rated them with a four or five (the highest on the scale), while only twelve percent gave a one, indicating that they do not find them to be of any importance at all. Off course the attitudes vary with the individual’s title and rank within the company.

In-person vs. virtual meetings

More important in some respects than on- vs. off-site meetings is the distinction between those made face-to-face and those made either wholly or partially via computer. The overwhelming majority of business executives (96 percent) say that in-person meetings are the most important and effective way of achieving greater engagements with partners, employers and customers.

Why hold meetings off-site?

Many executives, too, are seeing the advantages to be gained by holding off-site meetings. People who are gathered together within the same office suite often find it hard to “break free” and to brainstorm new or unusual ideas. The atmosphere outside the office suite, by contrast, is much more relaxed, with many of the formal barriers that separate one member from another broken. In such a relaxed environment, people can get to know each other in ways that they could not in the more formal setting of the office. In addition, everyone is hearing the same message at the same time and can thus offer feedback on what each person is proposing. The result is a synergy which prompts everyone to work together to solve a common goal. Besides, people in general like the opportunity to spend time together and to reconnect with one another.

Here are some other reasons why holding business meetings in an off-site locations is such an excellent idea:

  • Easily share information with all stakeholders at once.
  • If a trained facilitator is present, then the points of view of all those who attend will be not only heard but also considered.
  • Productivity is greatly increased by the variety. People can get bored with meeting at the same site again day after day. Sometimes a change in venue is all that is needed to motivate people to higher levels of productivity.

The importance of good planning

As with any type of event, an off-site meeting will meet its intended goals much better if it is planned effectively. It might sound easy but it is really rather difficult. For one thing, not just anyone can be invited to the meeting; the list should be confined to those who really have both the brains and the expertise to make a substantial contribution. The expertise of some people can save a company hours, days or even months in the long run.

Much of the work involved in an off-site meeting should be done in “chunks” or “bursts.” That is, the attendees should work on the same problem for an hour and then take a break.

Off-site meetings can contribute greatly to the productivity of a business and to employee morale. Not all business executives realize this fact, but it is quite true.

Contact Kettner Creative

Are you planning an off site meeting? Contact us and we will be happy to support your event with A/V equipment to make sure that you maximize your time off site. We can supply everything from projectors and screens to video conferencing equipment and whiteboards.