Planning A Corporate Retreat: How to Find the Right Venue


planning a corporate retreatFeeling a bit overwhelmed planning a corporate retreat? It’s no wonder!

Corporate event planners invest months of careful planning, narrowing down the focus for the retreat, defining what the company wants to accomplish, and how that will be achieved.

It’s a monumental task that’s often thankless because your company expects a flawlessly executed event.

Then comes the equally difficult task of choosing the right venue. Event Manager Blog’s research shows it’s the second most important consideration for a successful event.

It’s tricky stuff that can cause sleepless nights, even for the most seasoned event planner. It stands to reason that corporate retreat locations should work hand-in-hand with what your company wants to achieve.

The question is how do you pair your retreat goals with your venue? Answering a few simple questions can really save your sanity and make a big, important decision easier.

Ask This Question Before Scouting for A Corporate Retreat Location

Before exploring the range of business lodging options available (and there are lots!), it’s important to understand the motivations behind the retreat. What do you want it to accomplish?

  • Boost morale?
  • Team building?
  • Leadership and education?
  • Strategic planning?
  • Annual planning?

Certainly, there are LOTS of things to consider when choosing a venue for a staff retreat. But a clear understanding of the purpose of the retreat is half the battle. Then, a simple list of what you want attendees to experience and achieve is the first step to finding the perfect location. 

How Will the Location Help Achieve Your Retreat Purpose?

Hand in hand with your purpose, the venue must reflect the atmosphere you want to

  • Extensive Experience-Does the lodging location have extensive experience handling group retreats? Choosing a lodging that isn’t set up for groups is asking
    for problems.
  • Seeking Growth and New Ideas-For companies seeking new ideas from their employees, refine communication, promote team building and leadership skills, this option is great. It allows staff to let go of day-to-day responsibilities, unwind, and get creative.
  • Recreational Activities–Is your retreat going to be built solely around team building recreational activities. Others include recreational downtime as part of the overall retreat. What’s your priority?

Here at the Iris Inn, we have a long history of providing corporate retreats. As a 5-star Great room for corporate retreats
luxury bed and breakfast in the Blue Ridge Mountains, enjoy  the amenities
that small businesses and corporations need and want:

  • Easy parking
  • Wifi
  • Rich, hot coffee
  • Baked goods
  • Lunch
  • Snacks
  • Notepads
  • Comfy, rolling chairs and recliners
  • Full multi-course gourmet breakfast each day
  • 24-hour complimentary bottled water, sodas, tea and coffee, fresh fruit
  • Freshly baked cookies each afternoon
  • Free DVD library available for guest use, Dish television available in all rooms
  • Reservation service for local restaurants
  • Late check-in available
  • Desks with extra power outlets and desk lights available in all rooms
  • Spacious and tastefully decorated guest rooms with breathtaking views

As a seasoned company retreat destination, our professional staff is here to anticipate your needs as well as to assist, without intrusion, as needed.

How Can the Venue Foster Team Building, Leadership, & Communication Goals?

Iris Inn, mountain corporate retreat venueWhat’s the point of taking your employees away from the 9-5 grind if the retreat location feels like a satellite office?

Worse, work retreats often have the reputation of taking place in boring conference rooms, which don’t encourage participation or creativity.

For the company serious about building stronger teams, sharpening leadership skills, improving communication, and re-kindling creativity, allowing employees to hit the pause button on the stress of their everyday work responsibilities is key.

A scenic location encourages team members to think in broad, creative brush strokes about the company’s big picture.

The Iris Inn offers the perfect retreat location for encouraging just this kind of engagement. The setting, combined with your retreat focus, helps break down the walls of “silo mentality” that so often kills collaboration between departments. 

Our beautifully secluded area, worlds apart from the everyday work life and just a Iris Inn mountain cabin
couple of miles from the City of Waynesboro, encourages your team to bond over a completely new experience. 

That’s the beauty of stepping away from all that’s familiar and routine! 

Together as a group, your team has the opportunity for some serious face time. They can learn more about each other, explore the new environment together, and come together both recreationally and as a work team.

With your planned agenda and our mountaintop setting, your company can facilitate growth and renew creativity. Improve communication and team building, sharpen leadership skills, and have some fun! 

It’s no wonder that location is such an important part of a successful corporate retreat. 

How We Work with You

We want to support your company in any way we can including:

  •  Assisting you with implementing the focus you want for your retreat.
  • Complete confidentiality
  • Unparalleled attention to detail
  • Friendly, accommodating staff, who is Johnny-on-the-spot should you need anything.

Want suggestions for places to go both on and off property? Whether it’s for fun team-building exercises or time out, we’ll work with you to arrange the best our area has to offer.

Scheduling for Work and Play. Don’t Forget Downtime!

Companies appreciate the importance of downtime for their employees. That’s why corporate retreats have become a nice balance of work and play. That’s why you’ll find cozy spots around the Inn to relax, as well as several hiking trails for employees to wander and reflect. 

Or, if your team wants to explore the area, just a couple of miles into the city of Waynesboro, they can enjoy:

  • Hiking
  • Kayaking
  • Horseback riding
  • Apple picking
  • Wine tasting

Want to Make Your Retreat Budget Work Harder for You?

We all live under budget constraints. That’s just life! So when choosing a retreat venue, how can you make your budget work harder for you? Here are a few things to consider.

Avoid Major Towns and Cities

Big cities have big price tags because the cost of living is higher. While there are lots to
do, the challenge, of course, is keeping your team focused on the work at hand.

If your company wants to provide an enriching experience with lots of “AHA!” moments, as well as some downtime for employees, think about finding a hidden gem.

Venues like the Iris Inn are “off the beaten path,” yet just minutes from town. From the time your employees open their eyes in the morning until they wind down for sleep at night, their biggest distraction will be beautiful mountaintop views, wildlife sightings, stunning sunrises, and sunsets.

Both you and your team can relax, renew, and recharge without getting sidetracked. And that’ perfect for team building, exploring leadership skills, and self-exploration.

And you’ll find our gorgeous retreat is budget-friendly!

Choose Off-Season

While it may be tempting to choose the late spring or summer for your corporate group retreat, we encourage you to consider off-season months.

Not only is it easier on your budget, late 4th quarter, during the month of December, as well as first and second quarters, provide a team opportunity that busier months don’t.

Scenic Locations

James Beeler Photography

Mother Nature is a powerful force. She’s also drop dead gorgeous! When you hold your retreat here at the Inn, we know you’ll be as mesmerized by her as we are. (And we see these views every day!)

A Virginia corporate retreat held in the Shenandoah Valley, surrounded by some of the oldest mountains in the world, has a powerful effect on people.

It brings them together, encouraging open expression of sharing, and deepens connections with others.

We’re not sure how she does it. We just know that Mother Nature continually works her magic on all of us. Simply walking outside, enjoying our nature trails, or choosing to walk the riverwalk trail in Waynesboro, you’ll find plenty of free activities everybody can enjoy.

Additionally, for the company that wants their retreat to spark change, new ideas, and better communication, a Virginia mountain corporate retreat is the answer!

Why the Iris Inn

Busy, corporate planners and small businesses turn to the Iris Inn for a flawless retreat. From the initial phone call to implementation, we make sure your company has Corporate retreat meeting room, Iris Inneverything you need.

Our Deep Woods Cottage is perfect for corporate groups up to 20. In the Great Room in the main inn, we can accommodate up to 36. No matter what you choose, you’ll find scenic surroundings everywhere!

But it’s more than that. A group retreat is successful when team members love the location, love the attention and care they receive from the venue and come away feeling positively changed by the experience.

At the Iris Inn, we support you and your team so that everyone feels like it wasn’t work at all! Get in touch with us today and let us assist you in planning a corporate retreat location that everyone loves.