Creativity often doesn't come in a cubicle. Off-site corporate retreats, meetings, conferences and company events offer organizations numerous benefits, with increased teamwork and employ morale topping the list. But how do you select the ideal venue for your event and what components are key to its success?
According to Kelsey Cheyne, sales and marketing director for The Inn at Harbor Shores Resort in St. Joseph, Michigan, an all-inclusive environment that balances work and play activities accompanied by a well planned agenda make for a successful corporate event.
"You want to work with a venue that can accommodate all of your needs without having to outsource food, lodging, transportation and team-building activities," Cheyne said. "A one-stop-shop makes the planner's life easier and creates a smooth and productive event."
Overlooking the St. Joseph Harbor and bordered by a Jack Nicklaus Signature Golf Course, The Inn at Harbor Shores Resort offers a turnkey setting for meeting and event planners. In addition to 92 luxury hotel rooms and suites, The Inn features both indoor and outdoor venues, including 13,000 square-feet of function space, a 4,300-square-foot ballroom, tech-savvy breakout rooms and the Marina View Boardroom. On-site catering offers unlimited savory menu selections, including buffet and formal plated options. Two restaurants, a lobby lounge and wine and coffee bar are also on-site as is a full-service spa.
"It's important to balance work and play when planning a corporate event," Cheyne continued. "We offer a wide variety of activities and team-building events inspire creativity and teamwork. And, we organize it all. From transportation, grab-and-go meals, equipment rental and more whether it's a golf scramble on the property or a wine tour off-site, we orchestrate every detail. And we also provide one invoice at the end of your event, in lieu of multiple from varying vendors, which our clients greatly appreciate. Our meeting planners also receive The INNer Circle rewards points for every 30 overnight stays they can choose from a variety of value added items and services as a thank you for their continued business."
Popular on-site team-building events include golf packages at the Jack Nicklaus Signature Golf Course, culinary competitions, such as team salsa making or sushi rolling, kayaking, canoeing and paddle boarding. Chartered fishing excursions, wine and brewery tours and happy hour sunset cruises are also very popular.
"We work with clients to create a clear agenda for their employees so they know what they can expect each day," Cheyne said. "Each day should be spelled out from when and where you're eating each meal and snack, to where each meeting and breakout session will be held to where and when transportation will pick you up to what team-building activities are planned for the day. After all, what you may wear for a round of golf may not be the same outfit you want to wear for the salsa competition."
The Inn at Harbor Shores Resort is 90 minutes from Chicago and Northwest Indiana making it an ideal destination for meeting and event planners who want a destination retreat experience without the travel costs. Corporate customers include, 3M, Whirlpool, PPG, PGA of America, University of Michigan, Greenstone FCS and Concordia University. To learn about planning your next event with The Inn at Harbor Shores Resort, visit innatharborshores.com, call (269) 408-9113 or email firstname.lastname@example.org.
• Kelsey Cheyne is director of sales and marketing at The Inn at Harbor Shores.