Company Picnic Ideas

Company Picnic Ideas To Show Employees Your Appreciation

With warm weather comes the annual Company Picnic when businesses across the country take an afternoon out to show appreciation for their employees and their families of course, many employees show up because they feel like it’s the politically correct thing to do and look for the earliest opportunity to duck out unnoticed. So, how do you get people to really want to be there and to stay? Instead of just assigning someone to stake out a place in the park at 5 AM and paying for the hamburgers, hot dogs and lemon aid, why not make the Company Picnic something to remember as a fun event and a true expression of appreciation for your employees efforts (and their family’s support).

Here are key steps to a successful Company Picnic:

Create a Fun & Engaging Theme

Using a theme not only can make an event more intriguing for participants but can also make planning of the event easier by narrowing down options for food and activities. Consider the entire family when choosing a theme. Obviously, a casino theme which might be fun for adults probably won’t go over as well with the younger family members. Some great theme ideas include:

Hawaiian Luau: Whether you roast a pig in a pit or not, the Hawaiian theme is one that’s easy to get started. From encouraging employees to wear their Hawaiian style shirts (or giving them event shirts) to handing out Hawaiian Leis upon their arrival, this is a theme that can be fun, colorful and tasty!

Beach Party: Another easy theme whether you live near a the ocean or not is the Beach Theme featuring surf-attire and beach balls. You can even bring in a truck of sand for the little ones!

Western: Have a good old fashioned Hoe Down featuring cowboy hats and western wear, bales of hey and some good old country & western music. This can be a perfect theme for picnics during cooler months and colder climates! Heck, maybe even arrange for hey rides!

Survivor: Take a lesson for the widely popular television show and use a Survivor theme complete with teams, an immunity necklace and a tropical motif.

The Games: While the Olympics remain fresh in everyone’s mind, why not have your own company version of The Games with events for all ages, podiums and even medals?

Carnival: A Carnival Theme can take a little more work but can be a whole lot of fun with booths set up for carnival style games like coin toss, ring toss and balloon pop and prizes, you can’t forget the prizes!

Involve the masses

People who are involved in planning and carrying out an event are not only more likely to show up, but they’re also more likely to get others to want to participate. For smaller companies, ask employees to sign up to coordinate a specific aspect of the event like food coordination, decorations or set up. For larger organizations, get departments to sponsor a specific aspect of the event. At the event, be sure to give recognition to those that do help make it happen whether it be a simple announcement or gift. For larger organizations, why not post banners identifying the department that sponsored a specific activity!

Of course, involving the masses also means involving the management. While it’s great to empower the employees with making decisions for a Company Picnic, it’s still important that management stay involved and even more important for them to be seen involved at the event. There’s no more powerful message of appreciation than having the CEO helping serve up the hot dogs and hamburgers!

Promote the Event in Advance

News flash sending out an email to all employees announcing the date of the company picnic does not really constitute promoting the event. And, please, don’t simply send out an Outlook invitation. That will make it way too much like yet another meeting that the employees would prefer to avoid. Remember that you’re inviting the whole family, not just the employee. So, in addition to potentially sending out a save-the-date email, direct some sort of an invitation to the whole family whether it’s sending out an announcement card to the family’s home or giving employees some sort of a themed promotional product to take home with them.

Include Fun & Rewarding Activities

Without some sort of engaging activities, employees will likely end up sitting and talking with the same group of people that they do on their breaks and at lunch. Why not use the opportunity to foster more interaction and team building with some fun activities that encourage families to engage more with each other. Sports, games and contests are great ways to get people involved but also consider fun learning opportunities. Too, while it’s great to recognize winners with awards, be sure to level the playing field so that everyone has a chance to win a prize of some sort or just incorporate the prize in the activity!

A great example to help illustrate our later two points: One of our customers purchased
light-up Yo-Yo’s for a company picnic recently. They used the opportunity to make it an engaging and learning event by having adults from the sponsoring department provide Yo-Yo lessons to the younger participants who learned tricks like walking the dog! Everyone walked away with their Yo-Yo and had fun learning (and teaching!) something new at the same time.

Give Everyone Something to Take Home

Everybody likes to get something free and it’s a great way to help people remember the event. So, be sure to send employees home with something to remember the event with. It might be an award for winning a planned event, a giveaway consistent with the event’s theme or the grand prize from a raffle. Don’t let anyone leave empty handed.

Remind Employees of The Fun

After the event is over and employees are back to work, give them and their families a reminder of how much fun that they had. Have someone take a photo of a particularly memorable moment, frame it and send it to their home. If you have a bunch of photos, send them a digital picture frame or digital key chain with pictures pre-loaded. If you don’t have the budget for that, give them a customized CD or DVD with photos. In addition to giving the employees a keep sake from the event and a reminder of what fun they had, it can help to create the type of buzz that encourages non-participants to join the fun next year.

About the Author:
With over 10 years of experience as a promotional items distributor, BNoticed can help you with decorations, giveaways, activities and keepsakes to make your next Company Picnic one to BNoticed! Check us out for even more promotional items. We’re here to help!

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