Whether you’re hosting just your managers or want to have a one-day off-site, we ask the event planning experts to share their top tips for creating a successful company retreat that inspires and invigorates.

1. Setting the tone

Setting the tone…

Before anything is set in stone it is important to look over your retreat and getting the tone right. The word retreat lends itself to a fun vacation, while in reality there can be fun but the objective of the retreat is the most important. Make sure the itinerary goes out a few weeks before the retreat starts. When you send out the agenda for the retreat be sure to include a detailed schedule of where the employees are to be and when. This allows the employees to schedule time to do things they want to do when you are not working.

For example, an employee has meetings in the first-floor living room from 8:30 a.m. to 4 p.m. Then there is a daily roundup at 7 p.m., this gives the employee time to chat with coworkers around the fire pit or relax in the luxurious pool. The Estate at Cherokee Dock is very malleable to whatever style of retreat your company has planned.

Setting the tone early is a critical step in planning any company retreat. Be sure to involve at the least a sample of employees in the planning stages. Do this because what one individual sees as a productive but fun retreat might be completely different than what the employees going on the retreat might find productive. Get opinions first and foremost this will get the most people on the same page and hopefully, your employees will be more excited and energized for the retreat.

2. Plan team activities

The Estate at Cherokee Dock • Luxury Event Venue in Lebanon, Tennessee

12 Person Movie Theater & Presentation Room

It is important to have team building exercises during a retreat. If your company is spread out this retreat could be the only time of year that your team is all together in one place. The Estate offers plenty of activities to share with your team. A possibility includes renting boats to take off the dock on the Estate grounds. So do not wait! When you book the Estate at Cherokee Dock contact local vendors to bring the fun to you!

One of our most loved amenities is the state of the art home theatre that can sit up to 12 guests on comfortable recliners. Inside the theatre, there is large theatre screen, a high definition projector equipped with an Amazon Fire Stick to watch whatever you might need. That is just the start. The Estate is equipped with a wet bar ready to be stocked for when the work is done and it is time to kick back, whether in the library or by the poolside. It is true it is a work retreat but there still needs to be a retreat. All work and no play makes for a dull day.

3. Prepare for surprises

The Estate at Cherokee Dock • Corporate Retreats

The Estate at Cherokee Dock Pool & Patio Area

Surprise your employees. This point couples with points one and two. It is imperative to involve employees in the planning stages of fun team building activities, however; most employees have a preconceived notion of what a “fun team building” activity is. It would be a nice change of pace as an employee for something unexpected to happen during the retreat.

People, for the most part, are hesitant to try new and unknown experiences. They are afraid of the momentary discomfort that might fall on them. This is unfortunate because it makes them miss valuable experience both in personal and professional lives. With surprise activities at your company retreat, you can help cultivate your team’s trust and connections with each other. One idea for a surprise is renting two boats to take out on the Old Hickory Lake and make it a race from end to end, Providing a competition to your employees with a reward is very persuasive in getting your employees to not only participate but to engage in the retreat.

4. Picking the perfect location

The Estate at Cherokee Dock

Private Luxury Lakeside 13+ Acre Property

Location. Location. Location. Where you have your retreat is an indication of the type of the retreat your employees will be expecting. Having it at a beach resort and they will treat it like a vacation. Have it on the 30th floor of the Empire State Building and your employees will stare at the clock while their eyes glaze over. The location needs to be relaxing but also fruitful for creativity.

Now, we know we can be a little biased here but stay with us. The Estate at Cherokee Dock is the perfect location for your next retreat. We have everything you need to kick-start productivity from cozy entertainment spaces, to large shared spaces that can be used for team building. We can also connect you will anything you might need from personal chefs cooking exquisite dinners to transportation to Music City Nashville. The Estate at Cherokee Dock is the perfect location for your next corporate gets together.

5. Enforcing productive work

Enforcing productive work…

If you want your retreat to have a long-lasting impact on both your company and your employees everyone needs to work hard. When you leave the Estate you and your employees should have made significant accomplishments and re-energized the value of the individual contribution to the company.

Enforcing productive work does not mean that there is no fun to be had. It means knowing when to have fun and when to get serious about work. Enforcing the line between work and play ensures that your employees will make the most of the retreat. If you can pull this off your employees will be ready to hit the grindstone when they get back to the office.


No matter what you do, as long as you set the tone, plan team activities, prepare surprises, pick a great location, and have productive work it will be well worth the time and expense. Having a retreat that gets everyone happy and engaging in teamwork provides a boost to productive work that cannot be overstated.

So, what are you waiting for? Book your next retreat with us today!