In the pre-pandemic world, real-life communication was the status quo in business, from our interactions in the office to traveling to win clients over a corporate lunch or a round on the golf course.
Fast forward and post-pandemic, it’s a very different story. While the increase in remote and hybrid working has given some employees a better work/life balance, it has also highlighted the limitations of our digital tools.
Deals that used to be sealed with one meal and a handshake stagnate in a wave of Zoom meetings. Teams that used to have great collaboration, firing off new ideas in vibrant brainstorming sessions, struggle to develop the same levels of innovation over stifling video calls.
The shift to more remote working has presented an opportunity to rethink how we come together as colleagues to reap the benefits of in-person interaction. As the traditional office space becomes less of a dominating feature for many organizations, businesses have the chance to reimagine what getting together in real life means to them. Reviewing on a company, department, and team level to reinvent an IRL 2.0 and draw their teams together in fresh and inspiring surroundings.
Gathering face to face doesn’t have to be limited to the meeting room, and it’s important to note that the social aspects of work are often the most vital to employee happiness and retention. As we adjust to a new remote working world, corporate retreats are quickly becoming rising stars as organizations acknowledge their myriad benefits.
But every successful company getaway must include an envy-inducing activity that will excite your employees about being a part of your organization! With that in mind, we have drawn together our top ten recommendations for unique corporate retreat locations that will provide epic talking points for your team bonding! We promise there isn’t a scavenger hunt or zip-lining in sight!
TravelPerk’s top ten unique corporate retreat ideas!
1. Take part in an epic food fight
Gather your coworkers to blow off some steam and share unforgettable laughs at the world’s most mouthwatering carnivals. A childhood dream for many, what better way to make memories as a team than a giant food fight through Europe’s prettiest streets!
Perhaps the most well-known of these events is the iconic Tomatina. Each year on the last Wednesday in August, revelers paint the town of Buñol red with hundreds of thousands of kilos of tomatoes.
For adventurous types who prefer to get off the beaten path, check out the lesser-known Battle of the Oranges. Held in February in the UNESCO-protected town of Ivrea, this quirky three-day street party started as a commemoration of a young woman’s act of defiance against a terrible tyrant.
Whichever you choose, organizing your next corporate retreat to take in an unusual festival is a sure-fire way to ensure your teams will be sharing the memories for years to come!
2. Channel your inner F1 champion at the Nürburgring
Treat your team to a once-in-a-lifetime thrill at this legendary race track! The ultimate retreat venue for adrenaline seekers, corporate groups can choose from various unique team-building activities. Reward high performers with a formula driving experience or the taxi ride of their life as they take a spin around the mind-blowing bends with a professional!
Embark on an afternoon of fun-filled teamwork with the soap box derby-inspired Nürburgring Cup. An entertaining challenge, participants have to design the perfect vehicle before hitting the grid for their own Seifenkisten Grand-Prix. Alternatively, opt for the Race of Champions, where the most precise drivers will take the crown!
With over 1000 on-site guest rooms and sensational event spaces for hosting celebration dinners and corporate meetings, this is a fantastic all-inclusive option for those looking to streamline their arrangements.
3. Sign up for the most remote party on earth
Billed as the “party at the end of the world,” Detour Discotheque’s 2022 edition was hosted in a fishing village amongst Iceland’s Westfjords. This exclusive pop-up club bases its ambiance on the vibrant disco scene of new york city in the 70s and 80s. With up-and-coming DJs, vodka cocktails, and the northern lights to light your way home, there was perhaps no greater setting for a celebration in 2022.
Next year’s location is still under wraps, but with limited capacity, you will need to act quickly to score tickets for your top performers. Otherwise, take inspiration from this awesome event and create your own far-out fiesta! Use a coordinator to help you find an incredible destination and hire the necessary elements to help acknowledge your team’s success in style!
4. Join an out of this world experiment
Perhaps the most striking company retreat location, encourage your employees to break out of the boardroom for some astronomy-themed team bonding. Located in the caves of Cantabria, Astroland is a state-of-the-art facility designed to mimic the conditions of life on Mars.
A research station set up to help scientists establish what humans will need to survive a new life on the red planet, this once-in-a-lifetime offsite includes participating in extraordinary experiments that will test communication, decision making, and innovation to an extraterrestrial level.
5. Dine in the desert
A dinner might feel like a pretty standard corporate event. But eschew the typical setting for a breathtaking national park, and you can craft an unforgettable evening for your teams.
Imagine jetting your team off to awe-inspiring Arizona for dinner under the stars. With the Superstition Mountains as your backdrop and an insta-worthy setup, you can capture lots of envy-inducing content while your coworkers enjoy some much needed face-to-face interaction and time to socialize.
Those who love to get out in nature could combine this sensational feast with outdoor adventures. Mountain bike, hike, or go horseback riding to your beautiful banquet. If you prefer a more refined affair, hire some classic cars to whisk your employees to their world-class celebration.
Whatever your preferences, the remote nature of your location doesn’t mean you need to sacrifice quality dining options. From Los Angeles to Puget Sound, Cloth & Flame are experts in turning any destination into mesmerizing event venues for corporate getaways. Their menus are bursting with fresh local produce, signature cocktails, and a wine list that will please even the most discerning palates.
6. Complete the Caminito del Rey
Once known as the most dangerous walkway in the world, the Caminito del Rey has undergone extensive reconstruction to turn it into a thrilling outdoor adventure. Perched 100 meters over the Guadalhorce river, visitors can walk the snaking boardwalk through the staggering gorge taking in the mesmerizing views at every turn.
7.7 kilometers in total, the experience includes an impressive hike in and out of the cliffs making it great for active employees who love an unusual challenge. Located close to the pretty Spanish town of Malaga, you can top off the day by swapping your highlights over tasty tapas!
7. Host a sleepover under a thousand stars
Not all outdoor activities need you to break into a sweat. Skip quizzing a hotel about the size of their conference room and opt for team bonding under endless square feet of sky with a stargazing extravaganza! What better way to recharge than taking in the undeniable beauty of the milky way before a fireside chat with your teams. Just don’t forget to pack some s’mores!
To go the extra mile, combine your evening under the stars with an overnight stay so teams can unwind and make the most of the experience. From glamping in chic yurts or vintage airstreams in Colorado to renting out decadent Rocky Mountain cabins complete with hot tubs and roaring fires, Airbnb has a host of fantastic accommodation options that break the mold. Plus, thanks to their Airbnb for Work feature, it’s easier to find venues with good Wi-Fi and break-out meeting spaces so teams can host brainstorming sessions after soaking up the inspiring vibes of their new environs.
8. Enjoy a night at the theatre…with a twist
Are you a group of culture vultures who love to take in the hottest shows in town? If so, gathering for a night of immersive theatre could be just the ticket to get your remote teams talking.
Consider pioneers in the field, Punchdrunk‘s thrilling walk-through performances have received glowing accolades since their debut in 2000. Sponsored by Porche, this isn’t your local amateur dramatics! With shows in London, Shanghai, and New York City, the current editions explore the myths and legends of ancient Troy or take viewers through a film noir reimagination of Shakespeare’s most famous tragedy, Macbeth.
9. Step into your favorite flick
Have you ever imagined what it would be like to have a drink in that iconic bar scene from Star Wars? Or to walk the futuristic streets of Blade Runner? If your team prefers the silver screen to the stage, taking in a cult classic with Secret Cinema would be an unforgettable team-building activity.
Specialists in creating fully immersive encounters, Secret Cinema allows visitors to step into the world of their favorite movie before a spectacular themed screening. The perfect company offsite, the experience is hosted in a secret location and begins with an exciting invitation.
Inside, each participant is given an identity, mission, and an optional dress code for the evening. If your teams prefer to skip the interactive activities, they will still have an incredible time soaking up all the details and performances before the main show.
After 13 years of success in the United Kingdom, Secret Cinema has expanded to China and will be crossing the Atlantic, with offices in New York and Los Angeles opening soon.
10. Snorkle with sharks in California
Nature lovers will never forget the underwater adventure of snorkeling in the phenomenal La Jolla Ecological Reserve! Home to sea lions, leopard sharks, and pods of playful dolphins, there is a range of aquatic activities on offer to spoil outdoor enthusiasts.
Prefer to stay above the waves? Embark on an extraordinary whale-watching expedition, kayaking to meet these majestic marine mammals or exploring the mysterious interiors of nearby caves.
Feeling inspired? Reach out to our events team today to start shaping an inspiring corporate retreat and begin reaping the benefits of reconnecting IRL 2.0!