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Tips and Tricks for a Virtual Retreat

A couple of weeks ago in our Tips and Tricks for a Virtual Leadership Transition we mentioned host a Virtual Retreat for your Leadership Team. With this post we would like to expand on that idea and give you some additional tips to hosting a virtual retreat. With the climate of our nation ever changing, it is important to continue interacting and bonding with your team, whether you all have been in your positions for some time already, or if you all are new to the team. Regardless, it is time for a team retreat and here are some tips on how to create a successful one virtually.

Step One:

Determine what medium you plan to use for your retreat. There are several available including Zoom, Google Hangout, GoToMeeting, and many more! Each of these different virtual meeting sites have different options to create inclusive and interactive spaces for retreats. Zoom for example allows for things like break out groups, Q&A opportunities, and poll to gauge how much information your team is retaining. Features like this will be important to consider when selecting what platform you want to use for your retreat.

Step Two:

Determine the purpose of your retreat. Are you hosting a retreat for goal setting, or for team bonding, or a little bit of both? The overall purpose of your retreat will help when determining several other factors of how you will host your retreat. It will help you decide what types of activities might be beneficial for the overall group as well as helping you to begin drafting an agenda for your retreat which should be shared out before your retreat begins.

Step Three:

Determine the time frame for your retreat. Think about the people that you have on your leadership team and how you believe they might handle a virtual retreat. There are several options when determining your retreat length. Your retreat could be one day with breaks for meals, for example a 5-hour retreat with a break after 2 hours for a meal. Another option would be to have your retreat over multiple days, for example a retreat that last for two hours each day for two consecutive days. These are just two of the many options that you could create judging based off of your leadership team.

Step Four:

Finish plans and create an agenda for your retreat. While thinking about what to put on the agenda, it is important to ensure that you accomplish the goals that you set out to. That being said, it is also important to make sure that your team members are active, engaged, and enjoying their time. While we are hosting a retreat for business, it is important to also weave in activities to keep the attention of your team members. It may not seem like there are a lot of activities that can be done virtually, but with a bit of creativity, there are plenty. One idea would be have everyone take a personality test such as True Colors or the Enneagram, and bring their results to discuss and get to know each other better as a team. Another idea would be to reach out to miracle families to ask for videos of them telling their stories to intertwine throughout the retreat to remind everyone the reason for our movement. For other ideas, check out our Meetings and Retreats folder on Dropbox!

Step Five:

Host your retreat. This is the fun part, interacting and connecting with your team, regardless of the larger purpose of the retreat is something that is more important now than it ever has been. Don’t forget to step back from the work for a moment and connect as individuals while continuing to pursue our mission! A leadership retreat is a valuable opportunity for team bonding and vision casting to start the year!  Although you may be physically separated, you can unite virtually for a retreat.  See our Virtual Retreat Tips for considerations in planning an online retreat.  For agendas, activities, and other retreat planning materials, visit the Retreats 101 folder in Dropbox).