In an undated OutINFront piece of ACC Docket at 16, Ron Pol suggests ten steps to a successful offsite, and suggests three interesting ones to help attendees get more value from the gathering.
The three points focus on increasing what attendees learn from the conference. The first is to conduct a post-retreat survey: “Find out what participants really learned.” Most surveys, taken at the end of the last day, spend too much time on venue, food and fun; new ideas and understandings count for much more. One way to gather the insights is through an online survey (See my post of March 26, 2007 on this tool.)
As a second idea, Pol urges organizers of the retreat to “invite participants to identify the three best ideas they’ve learnt.” Third, “the post-event workshop offers participants the opportunity to explore the best ideas and lift the rate of execution.” Pol stresses that lawyers and paralegals ought to learn from the retreat, and these ideas are useful tools to identify what was useful – in hindsight a few months later – and how to spread the value of that learning (See my post of March 25, 2005 on my rule of three parts for a successful retreat.).