5 Tips For A Successful Company Picnic
My recent post talked about some negatives in hosting a picnic during the summer. Company picnics are a great way to get the entire company, including their family, together to mingle and have a good time. Company picnics are a close second to Christmas parties – which in my opinion are more enjoyable. Not only do these show appreciation for their employees but also shows commitment and that they value their families and the time they put into their jobs.
Below are a few tips to make sure you have a successful company picnic.
1. Make sure the kids are entertained!
That’s number one for sure. There’s nothing worse than a kid whining he wants to go home because he’s bored which makes the parents want to go home because they aren’t enjoying themselves either. Try spicing it up with raffles for kids (kids like to get prizes too – maybe an iPod shuffle or a gift-card somewhere), hire an outdoor laser tag company, or even set up an outside Wii or video game that gets the kids moving such as Just Dance. You’ve got to target your audience these days and kids are over the old games like egg toss, sack races, face paint, and moon bounces.
2. Book your event early!
You’d be surprised at how many people don’t know that they can’t just call up a vendor 2 weeks out and expect them to have availability. It should go without saying but unfortunately in this instant gratification era – it’s not. Give yourself plenty of time to source, research, coordinate, and book your activities, space, catering, etc. Get on it!
3. If your picnic is outside – make sure you’ve got cover.
Again – should be expected but some planners don’t take the weather into account. Although the weather is as sporadic as your boss’ mood – be prepared with some cover just in case you get a light rain or a torrential downpour. Always plan for the worst.
4. Make your event a private event.
Not private in a sense that family can’t come – just in a sense that it’s not at a King’s Dominion or somewhere where it’s not exclusively your company. Exclusivity promotes togetherness and geniality.
Just like you’d have to incentivize someone to come to your event, you need to incentivize your colleagues to come to the picnic. Adults like raffles too. Raffling off amazing gifts will help get you a higher attendance. My boyfriend won an amazing grill from his company picnic – valued at over $500. Perhaps you don’t need gifts to that extent but make it something people will actually be interested in – not a company hat or jacket. Also – beer is a good thing to have at a picnic.
Hopefully if you follow these 5 tips, you’ll put on a picnic your colleagues will be talking about for awhile. All you’ll need to do is out-do it at the Christmas party!
5 Reasons to Avoid a Summer Company Picnic
Summer’s almost over and company picnics - if planned properly - are close on the horizon. Many planners and companies think having picnics in the summer is a great idea however here are 5 reasons they are not.
1. 90% of the time - the temperature is 90 degrees or more.
As most company picnics are outside, how many people want to spend 4 hours out in the hot sun? Not me for sure. If my summer picnic were in the summer - and I wasn’t obligated to be there as a planner - I would skip it all together.
2. It rains a lot more.
Depending on your geographical location, data has proven that it rains more in the summer than in the fall. You don’t want to be stuck having to reschedule the picnic days before because rain is predicted. Nor do you want to get caught in the rain during the picnic and be irresponsible for not taking the weather into account.
3. Summer is the busiest season for events.
Not only do you have to worry about your events, but depending on where and who you’re planning these events for, whether it be your company or a client’s company, hosting at a hotel, convention center, special event venue, or restaurant, summer is not only busy for you but the venue you’re holding it at as well. Many restaurants have individual city restaurant weeks, hotels are going through budget season and have no flexibility in meeting your needs, convention centers and special event venue have to deal with summer weddings. Putting off the company event until the fall gives you a little more time and less stress. Sure you have to still plan it a couple months out - but you don’t have to stress about name-tags and other technicalities that go into the picnic.
Many employees take their vacations during the summer, especially ones with kids. A good chunk of your colleagues may be on holiday and miss the picnic. Executives like a good turnout and this is possibly one of the only times executives get to interact with some of the employees lower on the totem pole. Don’t let these less than advantageous employees miss out on their “elevator speech” - or in this case their “picnic speech.”
5. Space is in demand and prices are high.
Lastly, and most importantly, because most vendors and venues expect people to have picnics during the summer - not only is space in demand but so are vendors and therefore prices skyrocket. One of my co-workers told me as we were planning our picnic that she was once quoted $5,000 just to rent the space for a picnic during the summer. That didn’t include catering either. OUTRAGEOUS.
Above are just a few of the reasons to avoid a summer picnic. How many others have had issues with summer picnics not going as planned? Comment below!
Good luck planning your picnic!
Biker picnics and ex-cowboys
Had a strange day dream the other day, probably had a lot to do with me still loving the subject matter, and a lot to do with he’s transferring back stateside. It was so vivid I had to pull over to the side of the road and cry. I sometimes have dreams that come true, and I don’t know if I want this one to be one, too.
My sister got married just this last Tuesday, and it was about that day, well days after, anyways. Tony—the new husband—had invited me to a Hells Angels cook-out. It’s not the first biker club cook out I’ve been to, so I’m not worried about that. I saw a strange black truck with military plates on it—I’m used to those too, I used to live near a base, and a range, so I’m not worried about that.
I remember coming down the front steps as a shadow beyond the doorway was coming up the front stoop. It was almost as if I knew who it was, and there he stood, in his Class-A uniform, and worry in his features, when he looked me over. I remember I wanted to hit him, but I didn’t as he pulled me into his arms, even before his bag hit the stoop behind him.
The nice things about dreams is you can skip things, and I just remember blinking and we were in the backyard, with a bunch of young and old bikers; just like company picnic, I suppose it was. He had removed his jacket, and unbuttoned his shirt at the throat—I’ve always fallen hard for that look, his especially.
I don’t remember the music, but he hummed our song by Michael Bolton, “When a Man Loves a Woman.” He’s got that deep voice of his that always makes my knees go weak. I remember him inquiring about my ring he had given me, and it was then I noticed he still wore his. I have it, its on my keyring—I don’t wear rings, he knows that. It could be that we share a past even before we were married those many years ago.
Its strange, he’s not due till September, late anyways, and here he was, standing there looking at me with those eyes of his. I don’t know, maybe I have been wishing he was here already, wishing he didn’t have the family he’s had. But I’ll give you this, the Army has my thanks—turned a stubborn boy into a man.
Even for a dream, it was pretty true to him, he’s one of the few cowboys I have known to make something of themselves—and he got out of the rodeo, without being killed or crippled. Maybe that’s what I love about him—he had enough sense to hold onto something and build something for the better.