Content development is at the heart of business promotion and conversion, but it’s easy to hit a rut when you’re churning out ideas day after day. What can you do to increase creativity and push your team towards new ways of thinking? Your best option may be to get out of the office and go on a work retreat.
Of course, not just any retreat will do – a ropes course isn’t going to help you develop content ideas – but there are high-value ways to get out from behind your desk. These 5 tips can help you make the most of your out of office experience.
One of the main reasons that work retreats flop is because companies simply call up a site and book a pre-designed package, rather than developing something that meets their specific needs. For a great retreat, an internal team member should be in charge of the planning. They’ll not only handle all the travel arrangements, but also develop activities that address your brand identity and project needs from an internal perspective.
Share Your Purpose Early
Your team knows they’re going on a retreat, but do they know why? Do they know what the plan is? Instead of springing the retreat’s orientation on staff when they arrive, define and share the purpose early.
When staff members know what to expect from the retreat, they’re more likely to arrive with new ideas to discuss. Even if they only process the topic subconsciously, you may be surprised how that early orientation to the retreat program makes the whole experience more productive.
Make Fun Productive
Work retreats often fall on one of two ends of the spectrum – they’re all play because they’re focused on “team building” or they’re just an excuse to do work trainings somewhere else. The best retreats, though, fall somewhere in the middle; they’re an opportunity to brainstorm new ideas, bond as a group, and learn new things.
Hands In 4 Youth, a conference and retreat center, suggests engaging in team building activities – for example, happy hours or corporate retreats. They share that when your team feels connected, they’re able to better work together to solve problems and come up with fresh ideas.
Learn Something New
You need to develop new content, so why not spend some time learning a new skill or system that could inspire your work? For example, what if you used some of the retreat time teaching staff to use HARO, a journalistic tool that stands for “Help A Reporter Out.” Staff can practice searching the 350,000 registered journalists, learn about niche beats, and find sources for unusual topics that may inspire their own content writing.
Pave A New Way
When writing marketing content, you always match your content to a channel – but are you overlooking paths you could cover? Use your retreat to physically chart your channels, envisioning them as roads or paths that you take to your customers, and then figuring out where those might merge or form a new junction. When you visualize your content in this way, you see the many possibilities that are still out there.
It doesn’t matter where your retreat takes you, as long as the final stop is success. Instead of being destination focused, keep your eye on the company’s endgame and think creativity. Let the work be play and the ideas flow. When you arrive back in the office, your team will be producing at a whole new level.