How To Have A Stellar Corporate Retreat Anywhere…


team building “Iron Chef” cook-off with PBS’s #StL affiliate The Nine Network’s 2014 retreat

We all know why companies have corporate retreats. It gives perspective and helps to “pop the bubble,” we can often find ourselves in as a team of people working hard towards specific goals. There’s value in physically removing people from a work environment into a different one; it prompts creative thinking and renewed enthusiasm that is difficult to harness during a regular work routine. Plus, building relationships with colleagues is essential in working effectively together, and having a bit of fun during a retreat yields shared experiences for all!

So, how do you make your corporate retreat most stellar? 

Here are some tips that we use for our own Chaumette executive retreats ~ (yes, even we leave Chaumette for The Four Seasons #StL every December,) ~ that you might find helpful:

TeamChaumetteStay overnight or long enough to have dinner together.

Dining together naturally generates conviviality among people, and after a long day’s worth of brainstorming sessions, it’s a great way to relax and feel rewarded for everyone’s efforts.

 Include team-building activities.

Oh, they may seem silly, but team-building activities yield creativity and fun for an end result that isn’t about your day-to-day work! Ask your venue if their chef and sous-chef would be interested in hosting a “cook-off” and split your group into teams, for a “best dish” competition! Find out if your venue organize a beer tasting competition to identify which beer is which, tasting “blind.” If you do host a retreat at a winery, ask if the winemaker could host a blending seminar for teams to compete for the best blended wine! Organize an orienteering walk or hike where teams could identify the most fauna and flora in the area. Team-building exercise ideas are endless, and they work to bring people together!

2013-07-18 07.50.02Encourage morning exercise!

We’ve all read the studies about the benefits of exercise for productive and creative thinking, so include in your itinerary a 30 minute opportunity for every team member to go for a walk in the morning, hit the gym or go for a swim. A little fresh air and time to reflect is refreshing for everyone!

boardroomMMEventsMagBreakfast in meeting rooms is fruitful!

Everyone has their breakfast routine; some eat immediately and others need time to get hungry! The best way to make sure everyone has plenty of energy to begin a day of meetings is to have a small breakfast bar set up in the meeting room to fuel or refuel everyone. It also creates a more relaxed atmosphere, food energy prompts better thinking, and it facilitates the ability to begin the morning session earlier.

a swim at Chaumette's pool

taking a dip-your-toes-in-the-pool break at Chaumette Winery…

Don’t forget to take breaks.

We host many corporate meetings at Chaumette, from big national brands to smaller, regional companies, and we marvel that when a professional meeting facilitator is present, breaks happen like clockwork every 1.5 hours. Breaks mean getting up and leaving the room, taking in fresh, outdoor air and not talking about the subject of the meeting at hand. Mental concentration is similar to a muscle, and it needs a rest from all the hard work!

We hope you’ve found these corporate retreat ideas useful in making yours as productive as possible. For more information about hosting a corporate retreat in Chaumette Winery’s Boardroom, please contact us at or 573-747-1000.


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