A company picnic is a great team builder. It builds morale. It is a great way to say thank you to your employees and interact on a personal level.
Get to know them better. It’s a great way to hear possible innovative ideas from you employees and what are the challenges that employees face so you can develop an even better work environment. It show that you are committed to your employees.
The more time ahead for planning the better but the most important thing is to do it.
You may have a couple of people that would be happy to plan the picnic, do the research and periodically meet with you to give you updates as to their progress.
The number one reason to have a company picnic is to have fun!
First you will need to select a couple of dates and a venue. Dates may be contingent on venue availability. Once you have the date and venue let your staff know so they can keep the date open.
You need to determine what your budget is, is the company funding the whole part, are you giving gifts, including spouses and children.
Will there be games? Will you be renting chairs and tables, or asking people to bring their own. These are things you would discuss with your committee members.
Before the picnic gather your volunteers and determine the assignments. Keep a list of who will do what – including backups. Get their contact information. Make sure your volunteers know how the money works-who gets the receipts and how they’ll get reimbursed.
Plan the main dish accompaniment, including buns, condiments, veggies, etc.
Plan the side dishes. Remember a cooler, or several. A cooler will keep things reasonable hot, or perfectly chilled. Some side dishes include potato salad, chips, green salad, sliced fruit, and corn on the cob, baked beans, and giant pickles.
It can be interesting to have a side dish that you have to dare people to try.
Plan the beverages. Alcohol is fun but can cause a lot of trouble. Regardless of what you drink, don’t forget to assign a volunteer to handle the ice, both for chilling the beverages, and for adding to glasses.
Don’t forget the portable bar-ware and adult beverage sets and wine set if you decide to partake in a drink or two, and remember they make exciting prizes for everyone will compete for!
Plan the equipment. Keep track of who will provide the equipment, who will transport the equipment to the location, and who will set up. You will have enough to do so make sure you have volunteers.
- Cooking equipment, if necessary (portable grills, BBQ grilling tools, charcoal or other fuel, lighter fluid, matches, etc.
- Outdoor furniture, including tables and seating.
- Tents or other shelter (if using an existing shelter, get a volunteer to make sure it’s clean before it’s time to set up.
Make sure someone is responsible for getting the following supplies:
- Plates, cups, napkins personal utensils
- Serving containers and serving utensils
- Trash cans and bags (with extra cans and bags for recyclables)
- Bug control supplies if applicable
- Cleaning supplies
Make sure these tasks get done:
- Send out invitations. If possible, have someone create a colorful announcement for you and sent it out as well as adding it to the company newsletter.
- Ask for a volunteer to take pictures, write a short article for the company newsletter if you have one.
- Write down a schedule for the entertainment and send it to your entertainment volunteers.
- If your picnic is to chargeable on company time, make sure you have someone to fulfill whatever requirements need to be met (for example, someone to read off the yearly safely presentation).
- Consider having an MC for the picnic-someone in management who will stand up in from of the group, make announcements, make fun of your co-workers, and make sure that things happen reasonably on time.
One day before picnic
- Panic some more. Call your list of volunteers. Send out another reminder.
- Personally call the person in charge of the main dish to make sure that anything frozen is being defrosted.
The day of the picnic
- It’s too late to panic. Take a chill pill, get your list of volunteers and check them off as they arrive, supplies in hand. Keep your cell phone ready to call your backup volunteers if your main volunteers fall through. Keep things loose. Yes, you are the organizer, but you should havae fun too.
After the picnic
- Get everyone to help clean and pack up. Make sure the area is how you found it or better.
- Pass out leftover and collapse.
- When you recover, send out pictures (or a link to them on a shared drive). There should be some doozies.
These are just a few suggestions on planning a fun and successful company picnic. I’m sure you will think of other ideas to add to make it a special event for your employees, spouses and children.