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Urban or Rural - Where to host a retreat and why does it matter?

When planning a team retreat we often pick a space because it's practical and/or affordable: we need X amount of chairs, a big screen, impeccable wifi , have easy access and be within the budget. Check ✔.

When we think like this we forget to take one essential thing into account: the venue is a full-fledged facilitator.

Which means that where you decide to host your event will impact the success and outcome of it. So, should you stay or should you go? Should it be an urban or rural retreat?

a conference
Sit and listen.


We often forget that we become the product of our environment. The place we are in impacts our mood, our creativity and our willingness to collaborate.

The space we choose for our team retreat serves a purpose. It nudges us in the right direction: be it connections, collaboration, participation...

The decision to take people out of their "natural habitats" and bring them somewhere new is not random, so the choice of that space should not be either.

a team workshop outdoor
stand and take part


Many of us love the city. It's lively, it's full of possibilities. It holds a certain magic. There is so much to do and such diversity, we are sure to find something that pleases everyone: musicals, shows, 5 star restaurants and pop up experiences.

It is so easy to get to and from one place to another, it is filled with people, art and culture, and it has perfect wifi connection.

It's easy and "comfortable" because we know what to expect.

view of london at night
mesmerising or distracting?

That's the thing. Easy is great, comfortable is what we want. But if we aim to make an impact with our retreat, we might want to take our team slightly out of the comfort zone. Otherwise, why not just meet at the office or rent a conference room at a co-working space down the road. Yes, we are biased but hear us out.


Going into nature can seem a bit overwhelming at first. How will we get there? Will there be wifi? What will we do there?

We have answers to all these questions and more.

We have learnt the power of nature locations:

  • Less distractions: no bars, restaurants and coffee places for the team to scatter to after a session

  • Serenity: no buzzing background noise, interruptions and no "breaking out of the bubble" moving from one place to another

  • Much more space to hang, walk and work from

Which means:

  • Deeper focus, less distraction means more space inspiration.

  • Strengthen community (since you are bond to spend time together)

  • More creativity (after all, necessity is mother of creativity, and if there is less around you have to be resourceful)

  • Lower stress level

  • More appreciation as we find joy in the little thing (observing the light through foliage, appreciating the sound of the birds...)

  • More outdoor time which is proven to be better for mental health

  • a wide range of creative activities and team games and less screen time

And overall, a longer lasting impact as it will be an experience like no other.

a team watching a presentation outoor under fairy lights
who needs an IMAX theater when you can have this set up


We have made our case, but whether you pick the city or the countryside , make sure to consider:

  • comfort (good night sleep are a must)

  • accessibility (no one wants to travel for 16h for a work meeting)

  • different spaces (cosy corners, large halls, round table for shared conversations...)

  • food (its quality but also how and where it is served)

  • activities for all

  • outdoor time and access to greens

And never forget to ask yourself: What do we want the team to remember/take away from this retreat?

a team meeting outside in an italian vilalge
Comfort is measured by the size of the pillow


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