With the first day of summer just around the corner, it’s time to start planning the annual company picnic! Company picnics can be a great way for employees to relax and de-stress, foster camaraderie and create fun memories. Do your employees look forward to this special day each summer, or is it more of a ho-hum kind of ordeal? Your company picnic is not likely the only picnic your employees will be attending in the upcoming months. Many of them will be celebrating national holidays, and some will also be attending their significant others’ company picnics. That’s a lot of hot dogs and potato salad! Here are four ways to liven up the company picnic and make it an unforgettable event!
- Choose Exciting Themes. Stand out from the monotony with an enticing theme! It doesn’t have to be too complicated or extravagant, but be creative! Many of us have attended our fair share of Hawaiian Luaus, but what about an Arabian Nights theme or a Mexican Fiesta? You could also have a Mardi Gras, Casino Night, Christmas in July, or take a trip back in time and choose a decade as your theme. Do you have a lot of Mad Men fans in the office? Channel your inner Don Draper (minus the napping and drinking during work hours) and throw a 60’s-themed picnic!
- Change the Venue. If you tend to hold all of your events in the same few locations, try to switch things up a bit. All kinds of options are available – amusement parks, botanical gardens, cruises, a baseball game, even the zoo! Even if it’s just a different park or picnic shelter, a refreshing change of scenery can make a huge difference! If your venue is outdoors, be sure to have a back-up plan in case of inclement weather. It’s also not a bad idea to check with your insurance about liability coverage for off-site company events!
- Step Up Your Game(s). Team sports are definitely a fun way to bring everyone together! Many companies have volleyball tournaments and softball games that employees look forward to each year. Just be sure to include the non-athletic, less graceful employees as well – and not just as scorekeepers. If you’re outdoors, add more outdoor activities to the mix, like cornhole, lawn darts and disc golf. Scavenger hunts are fun both outdoors and indoors. Karaoke and trivia are also great entertainment options! Your employees will be amused to find out which of their cubemates is the reincarnated Luciano Pavarotti, or who knows the most random facts about sea creatures (live every week like it’s shark week, am I right?)
- Splurge a Little. Don’t be afraid to spend a little extra. Hire a DJ or rent a photo booth with some fun props. Give everyone a break from the potlucks and hire a caterer or food truck! Buy some nice prizes to raffle off to a few lucky winners. Order some keepsake t-shirts and have everyone sign them with fabric markers. While it’s certainly important to stick to a budget, you don’t want to be too stingy – you want your employees to feel valued!
You don’t have to change everything from how it’s been done in the past – if your company has some fun traditions, keep them! Remember, a company picnic is an opportunity to show your employees how much you appreciate their hard work! The effort you put into planning this occasion shows them just how much you care!
What are your company picnic plans this summer? Share in the comments below!