Company picnics are great morale boosters. They strengthen teamwork and encourage interdepartmental integration. But to the uninitiated, company parties can seem like a lot of work. For the organizer, there are a few things to keep in mind. Get the festive energy started as soon as the invites go out, plan ahead, and your event should be talked about until next year!
Here they are — our guidelines for how to host a company picnic:
- Send an invite, not an email. An office-wide email thread can be a helpful follow-up, especially if it’s a potluck or themed picnic. But to get the word out, drop an invite on desks or leave them tucked into lockers. It’s a company event, after all, not a meeting!
- Fridays are best for office picnics. Employees can take off early and look forward to the weekend. If you schedule it mid-week, employees will spend the picnic worrying about tomorrow’s work load.
- Cater, Potluck or DIY? No one wants to get stuck taking hamburger orders all day. A company picnic should be a break from work. Instead of delegating tasks, opt for catering or, if on a budget, make each food station DIY. If the picnic budget is very slim, consider making it a potluck.
- Rent or buy. Supplies — like decorations, utensils and picnic blankets – can make or break a company picnic. If your picnic is an annual tradition, buying might be the better option. Call suppliers and do the math to find out which option suits your need.
- Prepare for the unexpected. Rain happens. Keep an eye on the forecast, rent a few tents and pick an alternate party day in case weather doesn’t permit.
Going the DIY route? Skewers are the easiest, quickest option for self-serve grilling and can be assembled a day in advance. Follow the Food Network’s cheat sheet for building great skewers: