HomeCustomer StoriesTeam Building on Geneva Lake: Insight into Catch’s Corporate Retreat in June

Team Building on Geneva Lake: Insight into Catch’s Corporate Retreat in June

Retreat Team·09/24/2022
Team Building on Geneva Lake: Insight into Catch’s Corporate Retreat in June
Elles Skony
Elles Skony
Chief of Staff & Head of People
Company:Catch Co
Duration:4 nights in June, 2022
Destination:Lake Geneva
Main Goal:Team Building

When Catch Co. was looking ahead to plan a corporate retreat for their summer season, they turned to Retreat to help them organize a getaway for both their employees in the Chicago area and also the many employees flying in from across the US. Their task was to team build, and with the help of Retreat, they were able to book a trip that would allow them some time in nature and time with their colleagues.

With expert planning from our team, Catch Co. was able to get their bi-yearly retreat organized and prepared to be as effective and beneficial for their team as possible.

One of our team members, Shun Yamada, recently sat down with their Chief of Staff and Head of People, Elles Skony, who was able to share more on their experiences in June in Lake Geneva, Wisconsin. With the help of Retreat, they brought together their team at the Abbey Resort & Avani Spa, where they would engage in team-building exercises and enjoy the summer sunshine by the lake. After a successful event, they look forward to booking their next trip in the summer with the help of Retreat.

Team Building Activity
Team Building Activity

Shun: How often do you have off-site events and retreats with your organization?

Elles: We have committed to having our B.A.S.S. (Bi-Annual Staff Summit) Week twice a year to ensure our remote company has time together in person for those teambuilding and teambonding events that are critical to be in person for. We chose Lake Geneva for our June off-site, and then in January, we're going to Arizona. We had to postpone our January 2022 offsite due to Covid so the June offsite was our first time together since the August before.

Shun:  Why did you choose to go to Lake Geneva and the Abbey Hotel this time?

Elles: Knowing O’Hare would be the place we recommended people fly into, and a large population of our employees are in the Chicagoland area we entertained both downtown Chicago or Lake Geneva Wisconsin in the original planning. After seeing all of the options, we decided on Lake Geneva and The Abbey Resort specifically because it had a “camp Catch Co.” type feel to it, which was important for the types of teambuilding events we were hoping to have throughout the week.

Shun: How was the fishing? Do you enjoy fishing?

Elles: Originally during the planning, we thought we would not be able to do a ton of fishing just based on limitations of Lake Geneva and dock ownership, but The Abbey was able to accommodate us, and we were able to fish right off their private beach area in the marina. We also had quick access to the water by taking the entire company on the Lake Geneva Cruise Line tour of the lake with dinner one night. Yes I enjoy fishing, and so does the majority of our company 😊!

Shun: What was the primary goal? How much did you achieve at your off-site event this time?

Elles: I think the goal was primarily team building. The question we asked ourselves when planning the offsite was “could we do this remotely or asynchronously?”. If the answer was no, then we added it into the agenda. We utilized The Abbey’s teambuilding offerings and they turned out fantastic – we did “Abbey Regatta”, breaking into department teams, building boats out of cardboard and then racing them in the pool, and we had a half day of “Olympics” with teams competing in all kinds of races or braintease stations. I would say we achieved our goal of focusing on the activities we could not do remotely, and teams being closer than ever upon departure!

Shun: What is your specific title within the company?

Elles: I am Catch Co’s Chief of Staff & Head of People; I oversee our HR function (BASS Week as one major initiative of that team, along with employee engagement, recruiting etc.) and I work closely with the executive team to drive strategic initiatives and priorities across the company.

Shun: How has Retreat helped you book and plan the corporate retreat?

Elles: Retreat was most helpful with the third party vendor back and forth and the logistics. Marie (our contact at Retreat) helped us to arrange all of the shuttles based on the flight times of our arriving guests, as well as our downtown Chicago employees who needed a ride via shuttle. She also got our entire contract with The Abbey to the finish line, all while being very communicative on the backend with me and my team. It was great to have an extra set of hands making sure that our flights, shuttles, and lodging were up to par with the experience we wanted for our employees. And when things changed, she pivoted quickly and was able to renegotiate the contracts where needed!

Shun: When is your next upcoming retreat planned, and where are you headed?

Elles: We have our next one in January in Arizona and then will be back in the Midwest for our summer 2024 B.A.S.S. week!

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