Keeping company retreats local has a win-win-win effect for your team, your community, and your budget.
When it comes to doing business local, there are many different opportunities to help Columbia weather the economic impact of the pandemic, in addition to buying from local stores, utilizing local professional services, and seeking out local vendors and suppliers.
As we move further into fall, company retreats and year-end meetings are in full planning mode and working around the barriers and challenges of the COVID-19 crisis. During this critical time, when forward-thinking is so important, company retreats can be an invaluable tool as they are proven to promote positive team culture and bring innovation back to the office.
However, it’s time to rethink where our offsite company meetings are held as well as how they are held.
A Triple Win
While 2020 has tried its hardest to complicate every imaginable plan, your team retreat or planning meeting can still happen this year with adjustments. At the Chamber, we believe that retreats held locally have the same power to energize a team and generate new ideas as traveling to another location. We have even chosen to keep one of our larger annual events, Leadership Visit, in Columbia to support our local economy.
There is no doubt, your team has been working harder during this year than any other time and it may be hard to see beyond adapting to new challenges in the day-to-day. This makes it more important now than ever for our teams to connect to each other and connect to our community.
By keeping your company meeting here, you can help build a stronger Columbia. As your dollars remain local in our hospitality industry, this will in turn positively affect our economy.
Columbia’s hotels and event venues are ready to work with you to create a safe and memorable experience for your entire team. They are working hard to make sure they are well versed in current health guidelines as well to guide your plans. Our directory contains contact information and links to member businesses in the hotel and entertainment industries who are ready to show you the space and equipment they can provide for your upcoming meeting or retreat.
For planning into next Spring, one could even consider unconventional, outdoor venues such as Columbia Center for Urban Agriculturefor a spaced out meeting outside. These venues create novelty for your team while exposing them to different faucets of Columbia. It doesn’t hurt to ask if a unique space is hosting outside groups – you may be surprised!
As an added bonus, you will likely save money by hosting your retreat locally instead of traveling. Prices may be reasonable enough that you are able to host a company retreat at all this year. We realize that with strained budgets, team and professional development can be on the chopping block.
If you have questions about how to accommodate your team, please contact Boone County/ Columbia Public Health and Humans Services at [email protected].
Virtual Can Still Be Local
We understand that for many reasons, not every team is ready for an all in-person, company retreat. Luckily, you can host a hybrid or fully virtual event and still support local business! Supporting local can start with your technology.
Local Columbia vendors such as Adonica Coleman with A2D Events have created a live streaming program that creates interactive experiences for viewers. You may have seen this program in action during the Heart of Missouri United Way fundraiser kick-off. A2D Events’ program can be customized to your company and can incorporate pre-recorded and live content. Additionally, consider working with event vendors to incorporate fun elements into your virtual event or meeting.
Blue Diamond Events is another Chamber member offering live streaming event services. These services can mean the difference of a passive and interactive audience.
If hosting a hybrid event, keep in mind that Columbia’s event and hotel staff are seasoned experts with the new abnormal ways we operate, and will likely be able to accommodate a virtual component.
If your team is mostly working from home, consider ordering delivery or having food catered from a local restaurant or provide them with gift cards in advance to their favorite local spot for lunch the day of the meeting.
We are all navigating these unsettled and unpredictable times together. Despite this, there are still many ways you can support local as you adapt. The importance of supporting our neighbor’s businesses has never been more important to build a strong foundation for our community’s future.