Amid the obvious aims of employee communication and collaboration, we know that an important question rests at the back of every retreat organiser’s mind. How much does a company retreat really cost?Research shows the average company retreat in Europe costs between £2000 — £3000 per person for 3 days.
While the total sum invariably differs depending on location, accommodation and activities, we’re here to guide you through it. In a remote and hybrid working era, company retreats are an invaluable way to promote company culture and achieve authentic connection. But, of course, your CFO will want to know the numbers. Here we go.
The prep ☑️
Regardless of your budget and the kind of retreat you’re after, there are a few things that remain true:
Booking as early as possible will keep your costs down.
Prices will fluctuate depending on the time of year you’re booking. And don’t forget, your employees are more likely to have their own personal holidays booked around peak times (e.g. summer months, the christmas period), so try to avoid these if and when you can.
There will be hidden costs that have to be accounted for. Life can be unpredictable sometimes, and so can company retreats. To minimise these, here’s what we think you can do:
Decide exactly what you want from the retreat before you start booking. This will help you stay on budget, and make the process a whole lot easier!
Set out a company contract to those who are attending. This means realistic Uber budgets, standardised travel and separate meal expenses. Company retreats should be, of course, wholly funded by the company itself. But it’s important that the financial boundaries are clear to those attending.
Generally, the more well-known the city, the bigger the price point. London, Dublin and Paris, sit at the top of the most expensive European cities to visit, so it’s really best practice to avoid capitals and gear towards lesser known areas. But this isn’t at the expense of your retreat — we’ve all done that same trip to Amsterdam, so why not go a bit off-piste?
If you’re set on a city, Krakow, Porto and Budapest are much cheaper options. Budget flights and inexpensive pints are aplenty for these places.
Company retreats in more rural areas, like the Lake District, though not always cheaper, are often entirely self-contained; allowing you to get an idea of the bulk cost before the retreat even begins. Rural areas also offer the opportunity of group activities that are, thanks to Mother Nature, free of charge. Think team walks on the beach, team hikes — you literally can’t put a price on it.
There are some things to keep in mind when booking accommodation for your retreat. Separate rooms, inclusive catering and onsite meeting spaces to name a few. And the more of these elements you require, the higher the retreat will cost.
The bigger the group, the bigger the price point, surely? Not exactly. Bigger groups are ripe for bundles and discounts, so to HR managers of large companies, do not fear. Bringing the numbers can actually work to your advantage.
Here at Basejam, we have a carefully curated list of venues that can cater for different budgets. If your team is seeking a breath of fresh air (literally), why not immerse your team in the beautiful surroundings of a working farm in Cornwall?
Booking transport will take up a substantial chunk of your budget. Costs will vary from your chosen mode of transport, but what’s important to prioritise is making it as easy as possible for your employees.
In terms of flights, it may help to set a personal budget per employee to avoid leaving it too late and letting prices soar. Airlines will have a certain amount of seats reserved at a certain price, and the longer you leave it the higher they will be. From us to you, book collectively and quickly.
At the lower end, the average flight from London to Malaga or Milan will cost around £80pp. Athens from London will cost you around £200pp, where flights to Rome or Marseille sit comfortably in the middle at £150pp.
View the interactive graph here: https://public.flourish.studio/story/1892487/
As well as flights, there’s airport transfers to think about. The average cost of an airport transport, one-way, is £60. Counter in the number of people, the distance, and the advantage of big group discounts, and there’s your price.
Activities! Depending on your budget and goals, the budget on this really depends. But there’s definite options on both sides of the spectrum. Here’s a few priced ideas from the Basejam team:
Rural: A foraging walk can cost as little as £25pp
Coastal: Group surfing lessons tend to be around £45pp
Urban: Organise a group cooking class from £80pp
Though arguably not an activity, it’s essential to factor meals into your budget. If you think about your budget with the quarter rule (devoting 25% to accommodation, flight and transportation, food and beverages, and activities) that’ll give you a good idea on how much to allocate for meals, and everything else too.
While we hope to have given you a better idea of how much a company retreat will cost, the ultimate answer is… it depends. As the demand for and value of company retreats increases, so does the number of options and the scale of prices. But if you can take anything away from this: book quickly, collectively, and let a product like Basejam help you do it.
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