We received an off-site meeting request from the HR Manager of a Swedish high-tech company for a group of 23 people. Towards the end of November each year, the CEO meets with the sales managers to review the past year, assess any challenges, make improvement proposals and plan for the following year.

To celebrate the growth in sales figures, they had been organizing a meeting between the CEO and the sales managers outside of Stockholm for three years, amidst nature, as sustainability is one of the company’s core values.

For their meeting this year and to reward the team, the company thought about holding its annual meeting outside of Sweden. One of the countries they were considering for the off-site retreat was Italy.

After presenting them with our proposal and pleased to share sustainability as a key idea, they decided to hold their annual off-site meeting with Italian Special Occasions.

Region and venue

With the idea of discovering lesser-known places in Italy, away from mass tourism but, at the same time, well-connected with an international airport since the group had a maximum of three days, we took them to the area of Lake Iseo and Franciacorta.

We chose as our operational base a beautiful historic villa dating back to the 18th century and boasting its own wineries with ecological certification for over a decade. This was the venue where the group would sleep for a few nights and hold their sessions.

off site retreat in franciacorta italy

Activities: food

After a direct transfer from Milan airport of just over an hour, we met the group at the villa with a welcome drink featuring detox mocktails. During this time, the CEO presented the agenda of activities and group sessions that would take place over the three days of the off-site retreat.

To experience the local cuisine and learn a bit about organic farming, we took the group to visit a farmhouse where all the ingredients for the restaurant come directly from its orchards. The group loved this showcase of farm-to-table cooking to kick off the scheduled team-building activities.

Back at the villa, they had their first group session in one of the beautiful rooms, where they reviewed the entire year in terms of sales, new clients and strategies.

As a reward and to conclude the first day of bonding, they enjoyed a guided tour of the villa’s wineries. During dinner, they could taste the wines produced organically in the family’s vineyards.

wine team building activity in italy

Activities: heritage

On the second day, after a delicious buffet breakfast on the villa’s veranda, the group held their second session. During this meeting, our Internal Coach spoke with the team about the challenges they had in the past and discussed how to improve for the future. This session was enriched by different activities in the villa’s beautiful park.

Afterwards, they embarked on a two-hour boat cruise to enjoy the stunning views of Lake Iseo and see the small villages lining the lake while relaxing with a light lunch.

The boat docked near a castle in an ancient fishing village, which they reached by walking along the lake. They enjoyed a guided tour of the castle to learn about its history and significance in the region over the centuries.

The day was crowned with a dinner at the castle featuring fish and seafood prepared with traditional local recipes.

After a boat ride back to the original dock that seemed too short, the group returned to the villa to rest before their last day.

offsite in italy lake iseo

Activities: mindfulness

On the last day, after another delightful buffet breakfast on the veranda, the group spent part of the morning in their third session: planning for the year ahead.

The group expected this session to extend until lunchtime. But the CEO surprised them with one last team activity, highly recommended by Italian Special Occasions: an outdoor mindfulness session guided by our expert Coach!

corporate offsite retreat in italy

Mindfulness helps to manage stress and learn to focus on the present through guided meditation and breathing. The team had never had a mindfulness session in previous meetings, so this was an unexpected novelty. They thoroughly enjoyed it and requested to incorporate it into future off-site meetings.

It was almost time to bid farewell to the group. We surprised them with a short e-bike tour to a nearby winery. This was the first winery in Franciacorta to obtain the bio certification in 1998!

After the winery tour, participants enjoyed a lovely picnic in the vineyards. Led by the coach, they had an open conversation with the CEO during this informal lunch in nature. It was the perfect setting and time to summarise what they had learned and how they felt about overcoming challenges.

Upon their return, the HR Manager confirmed the group’s total satisfaction, thanked us for our dedication and availability, and hinted that they wanted to repeat the experience!

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