There was a lot of interest in my recent blog entry 10 Key Questions to Ask Before Requesting Team Building Proposals. This is a follow up.
Requests for team building are often mistimed. Some companies request complex simulations at affordable venues at the last minute. Good luck. Last minute requests guarantee that you'll pay top dollar for meeting venues and hotels. They leave little time for customization and logistics.
Other companies request proposals long before senior management has authorized the request and allocated a budget. Consulting firms, resorts and event venues invest time in preparing proposals that collect dust.
When should you request a team building proposal? Wait until a budget has been allocated and the company is in a position to make a decision. (If you need a ballpark figure to set a realistic budget, preliminary email inquiries are fine, as long as you honestly indicate that you need a quick estimate and not a proposal.
As a general rule of thumb, request proposals 6 - 8 weeks before your target date. (For international destinations, build in a 3 - 4 month lead time. Hotels and airline space for popular destinations sell out months in advance.)
- Allow 1 week for preparation of the proposal.
- Be prepared to make a decision 1 - 2 weeks after receiving proposals.
- This leaves 3 - 5 weeks for customization, planning and logistics. (2 1/2 - 3 1/2 months for foreign retreats.)