On January, 21st, 2019 the team here at VAST had our 2019 Annual Meeting at Barrel and Beam brewery in Marquette. It was a full day of reflecting on 2018, as well as planning for a successful 2019. The day was productive and fun, complete with a guest speaker, taco bar, and a late afternoon happy hour for employees to mingle and chat about everything that had been covered throughout the day. As I think about the benefits of this meeting, one thing that comes to mind was the fact that we were out of the office at a neutral location for everyone.
When a group of people are taken out of their normal environment, and to a location that is new to the whole team, great things can come of it. That is exactly what happened on January 21st for the VAST team. We weren’t divided by our departments or divisions within the office, and came together to collaborate and reflect. There was interactive engagement for everyone. We broke off into small groups throughout the day, which gave us all the opportunity to chat and bond with people that we don’t normally see or talk to everyday. In the office, the VAST team is on 3 different floors, and has many different departments, but not on this day. It was very special. This got me thinking, and I decided to do a little research on the proven benefits of offsite meetings to organizations. I was amazed to find out that everything that was addressed occurred at our meeting.
One benefit that was highlighted in my findings was camaraderie. Our team built more camaraderie through games, breakout sessions, listening to each other, and learning more about one another. Offsite meetings also encourage creativity. We were all out of our normal comfort zone, and had to get creative by thinking outside of the box. We had to analyze all of the information that was being shared with us regarding the past and future years at VAST. I was exhausted at the end of the day, but in a great way, because I had done so much critical thinking. I was thinking about work in a different light, because it wasn’t just a normal work day.
Another topic that was mentioned in my follow up readings was to make the event fun for all involved. The team of people that put it on, did just that! They kept the team engaged all day. The games, great food, snacks, speakers, and focus just made for a fun-filled VAST day! Many people put in plenty of hard work to make the day fun and entertaining, so hats off to them!
I believe that our meeting was much more productive and fun because we were offsite. I don’t think we would have had the same meeting had we been in the office. There’s a true testament to offsite meetings, and I believe more companies, big or small, should utilize this benefit! Look for a venue that fits your team best, and start planning. Amazing things can come of it!