Saturday, May 2, 2009

Staff Retreat Set-up Checklist

Need a setup checklist for your staff retreat?

This checklist should get you started. You will be less frazzled if you use it. And you will probably achieve better results. People hate disorganization and chaos. Good planning goes a long way to creating good results or at least creating the environment where good results can take place.

  • You have a meeting space reserved and designated.

  • Plenty of well-separated space for breakout groups where participants can hear each other easily.

  • Are breakout areas already set up?

  • You can gain access prior to the start of the retreat. You are familiar with the layout. Going in without having seen it can be deadly.

  • Excess chairs have been removed from meeting room prior to the group activities.

  • Is main room set up and ready to go? Your leadership retreat will probably spend most of its time here.

  • Do you need special tables set up for exhibits or sales?

  • Convenient well marked parking facilities.

  • There are directional signs for the participants no matter where they enter the facililty.

  • Are there directional signs to breakout rooms, lunch, washrooms etc.?

  • Who will be on the other side of any sliding partition? Will this pose a noise or volume problem?

  • Are there comfortable chairs.

  • Make sure there is adequate ventilation. You need air movement and exchange.

  • Is there an overhead projector and quality large screen. Are arrangements made for Powerpoint presentation or the use of other technologies?

  • Nothing blocks the screen from any location within line-of-site of the participants.

  • In order for the screen to be highly visible, can light levels be adjusted and are the window shades working?

  • Is there an on-call AV technician? Your leadership conference can be badly derailed by equipment failure. Make sure this is covered.

  • If AV tech is not around, where is spare equipment in case of failure?

  • Are there enough flip charts in good condition that stand on their own in all rooms that may need them. Are markers with them?

  • Is there a spare extension cord?

  • Is there a copier available? How do you access it quickly? Do you know how to operate it? Who will show you?

  • Do you have name cards, tent style, letters large enough for the presenter to read and badges.

  • Are all participants committed to staying for the duration of the conference?

  • Juice, coffee, snacks for break refreshments.

  • Water pitcher, bottled water, glasses for participants at their tables?

  • Do speakers have water where they will be speaking?

  • Lunch arrangements. A retreat is also about talking to colleagues and this is the ideal time for interaction.

  • Is the speaker being introduced? By whom? Do they have to meet with the speaker? Who is putting that together?

  • Will there be any need to interrupt your presenters? Do they know when this will happen?

  • Will handouts/manuals/notes/schedule be available? Where will they be placed?

  • Do you know emergency procedures for evacuation or medical emergency?

  • Is there a designated area for presenters to sit, rest or meet during the day?

This list will most certainly get you started off on the right footing.

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