Now/Soon/Later: Inspiring Corporate Retreats & Memorable Company Off-site Meetings

If you work in corporate America today, you’ve likely been to a big corporate retreat or company off-site meeting.  And you know that they’re not all created equal. Mediocre food, windowless conference rooms, uninspiring guest speakers, forced fun, and – heaven help us – trust falls! No, no, no, no, NO! Our team at CIRE plans a lot of company meetings, off-sites, retreats and sales incentive trips. Our goal is to make them inspiring, memorable, and seamless. One trusted partner that we turn to time and again is EXP Journeys. EXP has helped us plan multiple seamless meetings over the years, from an unforgettable corporate retreat in Banff, Canada, to an epic company off-site in Anguilla, and everything in between. For our latest Now/Soon/Later feature, we asked our trusted partners at EXP to weigh in on some top picks and trends for meeting and group travel.


“Oh, give me a home where the buffalo roam…” Nothing quite says “summer” in the US like the Old West! Between majestic wildlife, stunning landscapes, abundant activities, and the cowboy way of life, the American Old West is incomparable with anywhere else in the world. A perfect location for corporate events and groups, the trick is taking this popular summer destination and looking at it in a way no one else thinks to – escaping crowds and creating the kinds of experiences you can’t find on Google. From inspiring conversations with the team that reintroduced wolves to Yellowstone in 1995 to a luxury mobile tented camp accessible only by horseback, there are new ways to experience the Old West this summer.

“Summer in the Old West offers a unique and immersive experience for a corporate event or retreat”, says EXP Journeys’ Guide Manager, Kyle Sherman. “The warm weather, long days, and clear skies provide the perfect conditions for outdoor activities such as horseback riding, fly fishing, hiking, rafting, cattle ranch experiences, stargazing, and sunset dinners under the vast western sky.” Going further, Sherman says, “The activities and experiences can be designed to build and foster teamwork by approaching the experience the only way EXP knows to do it: unique and custom. Additionally, the rich history and cultural heritage of the Old West offer opportunities for themed events and excursions, providing a memorable and enriching experience for all involved.”

The region offers some exceptional accommodations, such as Caldera House in Teton Village. Nina Libby, Vice President of Marketing at Caldera House, says, “Travelers often think ‘ski town’ when they hear Jackson Hole but there are endless outdoor activities (and epic national parks) to enjoy during the summertime. I love a sunrise wildlife safari in Grand Teton National Park or a full-day scenic safari in Yellowstone National Park. Hiking up Rendezvous Mountain or around Phelps Lake is invigorating. If you’re in the mood for a little adventure, the Via Ferrata at Jackson Hole Mountain Resort is one of my favorite activities and offers some of the most incredible views of the valley. Fly fishing in the Snake River is also a must-do. There are so many activities to do during the summer. It really is an incredible time of year to experience Jackson Hole.”

I’m ready to go NOW!


When the days get shorter and the air a little crisper, the season is perfect for a trip to the Northeast. Rolling hills illuminated in the beautiful oranges, reds, yellows, and browns of fall set the scene for adventures to be had and memories to be made. Easily accessible from several major airports, areas from the shores of Cape Cod to the Hudson River Valley allow for the fun to begin right away. Picture a multi-day team-building competition, complete with apple-launching at targets across a vast orchard and competitive clam-chowder-chugging (yes, what you’re thinking happened, happened), paired with mind-expanding strategic challenges. If more traditional activities are your group’s forte, some of the best rock climbing, mountain biking, and hiking east of the Mississippi can be arranged. With excellent access, plentiful activities, stunning accommodations, and a long season, the Northeast is one of our most sought-after destinations for corporate retreats and events.

“Selfishly, I love EXP events in the Northeast because it’s an opportunity for me to escape Southern California and get a taste of a different side of the country”, says EXP’s Director of Events, Sunny Trann. “I remember the first time I helped design an event in the Northeast. I was blown away with the offerings and diversity of the region. It’s fun to be able to pull in the historic and cultural elements of the area, as well as the team building and outdoor adventure aspects. It’s no wonder so many retreats and events are looking for experiences here.”

Having spent most of his life in the Northeast, EXP Journeys’ Director of Sales, Andrew Finn, is not surprised that this part of the country is a favorite for many corporate events and retreats. “While the Northeast may not have the same number of national parks or well-known bucket-list stops as the American West, there is plenty to see and do”, says Finn. He continues, “Part of the draw for the Northeast is the accessibility from major cities. When it only takes a short drive, helicopter ride, or flight, you can spend more time enjoying the experience and less time traveling. Fall is a personal favorite time of mine. From the changing colors and crisp apples to the comfortable chill in the air and warmth of an evening campfire, fall in the Northeast is my happy place.”

Let’s start planning SOON!


As winter starts to loosen its chilly grip on the country, the Southwest is the first to feel relief. By March, flowers are once again in bloom, the air has a sweet smell, and a palpable excitement rises with the sun each morning. The deserts, mountains, canyons, and lakes of the region are the natural canvas on which experiences rich in Native American history, geological exploration, and paleontological education are painted. With sun-filled days encouraging outdoor adventures and cool nights inviting gathering around a campfire beneath a star-filled sky, the Southwest is host to many of our spring retreats and events. Whether it’s a private chef-prepared lunch on a Lake Powell houseboat or traditionally prepared Native American fare atop a dramatic butte accessible only by helicopter, there are ample opportunities for meals with a view. Add a conversation with a WWII Code Talker or storytelling by a respected Navajo elder and your retreat or event is taken to a previously unimaginable level.

“Anyone can go to a hotel, but not many people can stay somewhere that was built exclusively for them and didn’t exist a couple days ago”, says American Safari Camp President, Andrew Roberts. “The Southwest is the first place to see spring, with warm days and comfortably cool nights for sleeping outside. Depending on the goals of the group and what they want to do, we can build accommodations around the experiences they want, not the other way around. We’ve created immersive experiences like recreating an 1880s town, and strategic team-building challenges like an amazing race through a national forest. The Southwest allows for some truly exceptional experiences for most of the year, but spring and fall are my favorite.”

“If you want to talk about a wide array of activities, landscapes, and cultures, the Southwest is hard to beat”, says Kevin Jackson, CEO of EXP Journeys. “For adventurous groups, the Southwest offers mountain biking on slickrock, UTVing on sand dunes, rappelling through slot canyons, and of course, the watery wonderland of Lake Powell. For a more cultural experience, the Southwest offers an introduction to Native American culture, particularly the Navajo. Some of the most spiritual experiences come from hearing the stories and traditions as told through pillars of the Navajo community.”

Ready to plan your corporate off-site, company retreat, or sales incentive trip for now, soon or later?  Our expert team at CIRE is ready for you!

Check out our prior editions of Now/Soon/Later here:

CIRE Travel is a full-service travel agency headquartered in New York, NY.  Our expert corporate travel planners, honeymoon travel agents, and luxury travel planners support clients across the country and around the world.

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