Planning A San Francisco Corporate Retreat

Your boss just dropped the news on you.  She wants you to plan a corporate retreat in San Francisco.  While you’re probably flattered that she’s got that much confidence in you, you’re also in mild panic mode.  You know that a well executed retreat will earn you lots of kudos.  And if it flops, it’s all on you.

You’ve got a long list of to-do’s ahead of you, including –

Rather than let the massiveness of the undertaking overwhelm you, break it down into similar, smaller pieces.  That makes the whole much less daunting.   Here’s a few tips on planning your corporate retreat.

Choose The Perfect Venue

No matter what city you select for your retreat, choosing the right venue for your primary functions is crucial.  Fortunately, San Francisco presents many great options.  Which one you choose depends on the demographics of your attendees as well as the purpose and goals of your retreat.  Some of the possibilities are:

  • Jordan’s Kitchen.  A corporate retreat . . . to the kitchen?  Hundreds of positive reviews say yes. Including this one:  “If I could give Jordan 10 stars I would! Our department had the privilege of experiencing hands down the best team building event ever with Jordan’s Kitchen.”
  • BreakOutIQ.  Not just out of the kitchen, out of the box.  Custom designed experiences from creatives who “believe creative problem solving and playful competition spark exciting moments of discovery and meaningful interactions.”
  • TeamWorx.  Techies on board?  They’ve got a robotics team building offering, among an extensive menu of retreat and team building activities.

And then there’s the traditional treasure hunts and escape rooms, of which there are several in the Bay Area.  So you’re really only limited by your imagination.

You’ll want to select one that’s going to help achieve the goals of your retreat.  As you’re considering the various possibilities, look for keywords on venue websites or literature that address team building as it relates to your goals.  And check reviews from previous attendees to gauge overall effectiveness as well as enjoyability.

Book Group Transportation

Whether it’s to and from San Francisco, or local ground transportation, don’t neglect the value of the time spent commuting.  Why not make use of that time to encourage interaction and team building en route?   It’s a big mistake to simply give “show up” times to attendees and let them find their own way.  Especially for those who have never ventured into The City.

Depending on the number you’ll have attending, rental or charter coach, shuttle bus, or even plane services might make sense financially as well as logistically.  The benefits are:

  • Making use of that time mentioned above
  • Lower company liability
  • Less stress on attendees
  • Assurance that everyone is where they’re supposed to be at the appointed time

Plan For Team Down Time

You’ll need to decide how structured the time outside of the primary venue will be.  This can range from semi-formal social get-togethers to options for more fun-oriented team building exercises.  So you might choose –

  • An outing to one of the many local trendy pubs
  • A cocktail event at a memorable place such as The Pacific Cocktail Haven
  • Luncheon or dinner on Fisherman’s Wharf
  • Continue your team building with Elixir To Go, where you learn not only how to craft drinks, but how to craft a closer team.

Generally, it’s counter productive to let down time be totally unstructured.  Sure, everyone wants to experience the sights and sounds of San Francisco.  But there’s vacation time for all that.

It’s YOUR Corporate Retreat

Remember that your corporate retreat is like a great opera, and you’re the maestro. As you bring all the parts of the performance together, the experience will create a lasting positive impression, and a better team.

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