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Retreats & Gatherings Program

Retreat (n.) - A physical or virtual gathering where teams connect as humans

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I left the retreat feeling grateful and excited about future collaborations with the incredible leaders around me. I highly recommend the folks over at PeopleStorming. The sessions were great and they kept us engaged the entire time - which is no easy feat.

Thusha A. - Director of Engineering - Aurora Solar

Your Retreat

A worthwhile offsite or retreat is a gathering where your team takes a collective breath and spends time together thinking about topics that are usually suppressed by the busyness of their day-to-day routine.

For most teams, the opportunities for these gatherings are rare so it's vital that they are well-thought-out and a great experience for all participants. 

The Challenge

Unfortunately, offsites and retreats typically go one of two routes. They are...

  • either so focused on business and strategy conversations that they completely neglect the human aspects of the team and its relationships
  • or a jam-packed-party-fest with (sometimes cheesy) forced-fun bonding activities 😬

You want to avoid both of these extremes by striking the right balance. That involves wearing a lot of hats. In addition to your already-packed set of responsibilities, you'll need to become an expert...

  • Content Creator and Graphic Designer
  • Facilitator / Moderator / Host / Trainer / Leadership Coach
  • Events Project Manager
  • Technical Whizz (vital for for virtual retreats)

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How We Work

Our approach differs from the norm. We focus on deeply understanding the goals for your retreat and designing a blend of content and activities that will help the team feel connected both to each other and their mission. We do this whilst also achieving agreed-upon business goals in a genuinely engaging way.

We believe it's critical to know your goals for the event inside-out before you write one word of an agenda, so we've developed a streamlined process using human-centered design. The result of this process is a retreat that's memorable for all the right reasons.

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What We Offer

We'll be your end-to-end experience designers. We'll take ownership of delivering a positive experience for your team, from the very first communication through to the event itself and beyond with evaluation and follow-ups.

Whatever you need, we've got the facilitation skills and industry experience to deliver it with a playful touch that gets everyone involved and connected. 

We'll work with you to create a successful event by...

  • Ensuring you have a coherent, well-communicated set of themes, focuses and goals
  • Sequencing and pacing the event to maximize engagement
  • Understanding and maximizing opportunities for interaction / participation / learning
  • Providing tools to check-in with attendees (helping you re-tune things on the fly)
  • Ensuring the event has a sense of fun and a focus on connection
  • Co-designing the artifacts / deliverables that will result from the event

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Topics & Themes

There are a myriad of topics and themes to consider for your retreat. Below is a selection we've supported for a variety of clients. Ultimately, there is no right or wrong choice - it's all about understanding what's needed.

  • Culture & Values
  • Presence & Influence
  • Team Collaboration
  • Listening & Coaching Skills
  • Creativity, Innovation & Playfulness
  • Critical Thinking & Decision Making
  • Psychological Safety & 'Failure'
  • Feedback & Growth Plans
  • Problem Solving & Agility
  • Leadership Mindset
  • Strategy & Planning
  • Mission & Vision
  • Design Thinking & Service Design
  • Prioritization & Productivity
  • Meeting Health & Culture
  • Agile Mindset & Practices

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What now?

If a team or company retreat is on the horizon (even if it's just the seed of an idea), get in touch with us to talk through your ideas, vision and questions. We nerd-out on this subject and it's our pleasure to help you shape your thinking.

When scheduling a call, please bear in mind that we ask for 8-16 weeks lead time for designing and delivering an event (depending on its complexity).

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colette g

We chose to work with PeopleStorming because you emphasized that the retreat should be about a blend of culture, values and business goals. When I was shopping around I didn't really hear anyone talk about that. Others were very much focused on having fun and games and only that kind of stuff.

Usually, as Director of HR, I'm planning everything so it was a good feeling to have somebody else take over in a way that I could trust. It was like you were a part of the agency. It was just seamless. You were so responsive.

You literally took our culture and soaked it up and then spat it back out with how you communicated to us and designed and created everything!

With the retreat itself, I was blown away. It exceeded my expectations by far. As a company, we gained skills, we gained insights and you enabled the team to share ideas for the future of the agency.

We would definitely hire PeopleStorming again and recommend you to any company as great partners.

Colette G. - HR Director - Movement Strategy

jason m

The retreat strengthened how people feel about the agency, so that was really helpful. It would have been easy for us to say "you know what - this year we're just not going to do the retreat - it's not feasible" and that would have been understandable. The fact that we did invest in it and that it was something that people really enjoyed - there's a lot of value in that because we want to retain amazing people and the retreat certainly was a big step along that path.

The facilitators had a super positive attitude, that was awesome. It wouldn't have been half as good without that. The energy that you brought to the table was infectious and I think that was really important especially in a virtual retreat where you know you're not getting together.

To have you be excited, play amazing music and get the right energy was something that we thought made the retreat what it was - really special.

Jason M. - CEO & Co-founder - Movement Strategy

thusha a

The retreat was excellent - we had some great workshops. In between the deep dive sessions, we had breaks and activities to strengthen our relationships with each other.

As a new member to this team, I left the retreat feeling grateful and excited about future collaborations with the incredible leaders here.

I highly recommend the folks over at PeopleStorming, the sessions were great and they kept us engaged the entire time, which is no easy feat.

Thusha A. - Director of Engineering - Aurora Solar

dima p

Our retreat was an amazing way to slow down from the day to day work and spend quality time with the team. We were able to connect, understand each-others backgrounds and way of thinking. We greatly enhanced the depth of our connection with the team.

Thanks to all the great exercises you created and facilitated, we walked away from the retreat with a common vocabulary and better awareness of how each of us thinks. This will equip the team with a frame of reference when working and communicating with each other.

Dima P. - VP, Operations - Machina Labs

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