7 Tips for Planning Your Company Picnic
Company picnic outings. We have had the good fortune to cater company outings from Maine to Connecticut and Cape Cod to Narragansett. We share 7 Best Tips for Planning Your Company Picnic.
Company picnics are among the many reasons that summer time is our favorite time of year. We have had the good fortune to cater company outings from Maine to Connecticut and Cape Cod to Narragansett. They are always a good time, with great food, happy people and lots of delicious food. We thought we would share some helpful tips for planning a successful company picnic.
Company picnic outings – checklist
Choose a Date –
You really need to make sure to choose a date and time that is the most convenient for everyone to show up. A 3-4 hour event is plenty of time to enjoy a meal, mix and mingle, and enjoy some fun activities. Here, in New England, the traditional picnic season is usually from June through September, but there are some who might plan an event in October to enjoy hayrides and bonfires. Take note: if you will be choosing a weekend date, you will want to make certain to book early in order to make sure your venue, caterer and entertainment are still available.
Determine Your Group Size-
Very often, picnics are priced per person. Having a handle on how many people will likely attend the event will save you time as it will eliminate the guesswork of choosing your venue and pricing. A common guideline for estimating your company picnic group size would be to start with the total number of employees and multiply that number by 1.5. Then, you can figure that approximately 15% of those would be children between the ages of 3-9.
When you consider the different venues and their sizes, make sure to find out what sort of accommodations they may provide for your specific group size. Remember to consider parking.
Figure Out Who Will Be There-
By that we mean, find out the ages and interests of the people who will be attending. For company picnics with lots of youngsters, it is a good idea to incorporate things to keep them engaged such as games, inflatables, hands-on activities, etc. And, be sure to consider the “tweens”. They may be better served by other activities such as karaoke, sports equipment or mechanical rides. Of course, the adults will need to be entertained, as well. Consider interactive activities, lawn games, traveling magician or other entertainment for adults. If you are holding your event in the heat of summer, you will want to make sure that your venue offers shade or air conditioning.
Choose Your Location-
What can you envision your employees enjoying? Would it be a shelter at a park? Is it tailgating at a sporting event and then watching the game together? Or maybe it’s an outdoor venue with volleyball, horseshoes, fishing, and maybe some canoes?
You may want to consider finding a location that becomes a yearly tradition. You will find that there are many benefits to renting the same space each year since you won’t have to recreate the wheel come picnic time. Each year you just have to pull out the file, review the package, and you’re done! Of course, you can easily change out or add in a few new surprises each year to keep the party feeling fresh.
Plan the Food-
Once your guests arrive, there is one thing that they will almost certainly want to do — EAT! After all, it wouldn’t be a picnic without good food. Don’t make your guests hold out for long either. Most will be counting on the picnic for their lunch or dinner, so serve the food towards the beginning of the event. Have a wide variety of options available. Don’t forget to include at least one vegetarian option and options for kids if your event is family-friendly.
There are endless food theme options. You might choose a Hawaiian luau menu with roasted pig and pineapple teriyaki chicken with sides of mandarin orange salad and Thai noodles. You could decide upon a South of the Border/Mexican theme and offer vegetarian or meat chili, a taco bar with sides of rice and cornbread. Of course, one of our own favorite food themes is the good old fashioned New England Clambake with its many variations, but which will most often include our ever popular New England clam chowder and cornbread, along with steamers, corn on the cob, watermelon and lots more. Visit our Full Service Catering pages for over 50 full menu ideas for your company picnic.
Plan the Activities-
Creating a fun atmosphere during a company picnic is key! Thankfully, it can be achieved by using a few key party planning elements. The first way to get the party going is with good music. This can range from light background music to a live performance such as a band or singer. Choose your tunes wisely to energize your audience. Better yet, hiring a DJ is always an excellent idea. Not only do they have every song imaginable available, but they are also trained to feel out a crowd. They will know just when to pump it up to get things moving and are great at keeping a picnic flowing.
Ask yourself what kinds of activities your employees would like to do. Does your company have a fun, competitive side? Maybe some tug-of-war or company trivia is in order! Will there be lots of kids and families attending? Games like balloon tosses, three-legged races, and dunk machines are perfect for them. Other sit-down games like Bingo are great as well since both young and old will be able to participate. And don’t forget about the prizes! Having door-prizes or a raffle is a great way to get guests excited about the event and leave them will a feeling of appreciation. Make sure that you hold out until the end of the party though to give away the big prizes so that people will stick around. We shared a bunch of great corporate outing activities online on our Pinterest page. Check them out.
If you decide to offer alcohol at your event, you must consider the liability associated with that decision. Consider hiring a bartending service to manage the event for you. You will be happy that you did so. You can trust your bartender to serve responsibly. Set up and clean up will be part of the bartender’s tasks. The bartender will always make sure that every guest feels they have received good service. Read Five Reasons to Hire a Bartending Service for Your Company Outing
Now you know the seven most important things to consider as you plan your company picnic. By knowing the best possible dates, your group size, who will be attending, your budget, the location and activities, as well as the best menu for your crowd, you will be able to get your company picnic plans off on the right foot.
Don’t worry – you don’t have to try to do this all on your own. Contact Tim in our office. He has worked on lots of these events with many different companies. He will be able to give you seasoned advice every step of the way.
Check out some of our favorite full service menus for your company outing: