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Company Picnic Planning Ideas


Ideas for Planning A Company Picnic

Summer is all about getting together and having some fun in the sun, and that goes for businesses, too. Often, as the summer heads into full swing, companies organize massive get-togethers for employees and sometimes employees’ families as well.

Company picnics are a wonderful time to put away the stressors of the workplace and spend time simply getting to know the people with whom you work.

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In these tough economic times, however, it’s likely you’ll see companies cutting back a bit as far as picnics and other company events are concerned. While it’s nice to provide a get-together, especially when the weather is pleasant, many company owners are searching for ways to trim costs a little. That said, you can still find ways to have fun and provide good food without breaking the bank.

Food Suggestions

Think about what you enjoy eating when you go to a picnic. Chances are that you like to sample a little bit of everything. Hence, it might be a good idea for companies to dispense with things like quarter-pound burgers and large franks and instead opt for small finger foods or slider-type sandwiches that help eliminate waste and save money while providing guests with a larger variety of food items to enjoy. It’s also fun to do a themed picnic. Perhaps if the company has an office in China, for example, it might be fun to serve Chinese food at the picnic. Remember, however, if kids are present you’ll want to keep the food child-friendly as well.

Set up “booths” like at a carnival and offer a different kind of food at each booth. Using this concession stand method cuts down on the long lines that form if there are only one or two central food tables.

The same goes for beverages. Often, picnickers don’t drink an entire 12-oz. can or 16-oz. bottle of their favorite soft drink and half of it winds up in the trash. Instead, purchase small 8-oz. bottles of soda pop or small boxes of juice. This is especially essential when children are present. Keep the drinks in large insulated coolers and put someone in charge of doling them out to guests. Again, that kind of control helps eliminate waste.

In some cases, when budgets are really tight, companies ask employees to pack a picnic basket and bring along sandwiches or other foods. In turn, they supply the beverages and dessert. A great idea for dessert is to invite the local ice cream truck to stop by and let employees pick their favorite popsicle or other frozen treat. Strike a deal with the ice cream company for a flat fee beforehand so that no one needs to keep track of what is being spent.

Keeping Everyone Entertained

While food is always an important part of any picnic, games and other activities are an integral part of a fun event as well. So, be sure to have some special activities planned for all the age groups in attendance.

Consider some old-fashioned picnic fun like three-legged or sack races. These are appropriate for all ages. Be sure to have some prizes available for the winners and be creative. Nobody wants a company pen or bumper sticker as a prize! Splurge a little and offer something nice, like a gift card to a local eatery.

Raffles are also a nice idea. Often, companies that have vendors who deal in different types of products can ask the vendors for a donation for the picnic. You might be surprised at what you’ll get! Or perhaps there’s a nearby restaurant that’s frequented by company employees. They may be willing to donate as well.

If there are lots of children present, set up activities for them at various stations. They can color pictures, decorate cookies, make party hats, and do all sorts of other things geared to their age groups. Ask some teenagers to help with the activities. Often, teens can amass community service hours for participating in such events.

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