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6 Tips for Hosting a Company Gathering That’s Actually Fun

Is your company or organization planning a retreat or a picnic this summer? We’ve got some good news and some bad news for you. When the staff finds out that there’s an organization-wide event planned that they have to attend, you’re going to see a couple of people rolling their eyes and muttering about “mandatory fun” while looking for the exit. And it’s understandable—such gatherings can often be pretty boring and feel contrived.

But here’s the good news: they don’t have to be! If you feel like you’re fresh out of ideas for ways to actually make your summer get-together enjoyable for all involved, don’t worry. We’ve got you covered. Here are 6 tips for hosting a company gathering that’s actually fun!

6 tips for hosting a fun company gathering:

  1. Let employees have input into the day’s programming. Company-wide events aren’t usually met with much enthusiasm when they’re planned in a top-down or hierarchical manner. You may want to create a planning group to organize the event. That way the responsibility won’t fall solely on one person and you’ll get more creative suggestions for fun things to do that a range of people will actually like.
  2. Allow people to enjoy the event in their own way. Chances are, your company or organization has a mix of personality types in it. Some folks love to be a part of large groups; others are more likely to enjoy themselves in one-to-one conversations with less noise and bustle. Consider these dynamics when planning your event and avoid making it a one size fits all affair.
  3. Offer games and contests with fun prizes. Everybody loves a good contest, especially when they win! If you’ve got a picnic planned, that might be a great opportunity for a softball game or a relay race. Not all contests have to be sports-related, though–you could host a trivia challenge or a game show! Events that are relevant to your company culture and brand values are especially likely to be a success. Whatever you choose, offer meaningful prizes and gifts that your staff will enjoy—a battery pack for gadgets like smartphones is a crowd pleaser, while Bluetooth speakers are also a hit (and may get some great music going later that day!).
  4. Provide branded gifts that the staff will enjoy. Contests are great, but there’s also another opportunity to increase the excitement at your retreat or picnic. Many companies and organizations give out special branded items at these events as a thank you to the staff. Such giveaways include temporary tattoos, caps, sunscreen, sunglasses, water bottles, picnic blankets, duffel bags, tote bags, or coolers—all items that come handy during the summer months. As with contest prizes, it’s a good idea to make sure that your branded giveaways are consistent with your brand image and values.
  5. Have entertainment or an educational component. If you’re hosting a picnic, your focus should be on providing a relaxing, fun experience for everyone. Consider providing some entertainment such as live music or a magician. If you’re hosting a retreat, then you might want to have an educational offering. This could be an excellent, inspiring speaker or a presentation on something truly innovative that is happening in your industry. You could also take a moment to recognize staff that have been with the company for many years or that have made remarkable contributions with an award certificate or an award plaque.
  6. Provide good food and beverages. If someone’s been working hard on an important project all week, the last thing they want is to have another task added to their plate. This includes cooking or preparing a dish for a mandatory company get-together. If you’re requiring that everyone at the company or organization attend your event, lighten the load and the atmosphere by providing good food and beverages that they can responsibly enjoy.

Planning a summer gathering? We have protective branded items for summer corporate outings, summer camps, company retreats and picnics. Looking for some ideas for promotional products that might be a good fit for your business this summer? Check out our Fun Promotional Summer Gifts board on Pinterest! Or get in touch with us on Twitter and Facebook or call us at 877-881-6845 and we’ll be glad to advise you on exceptional promotional products that can represent your brand with style and grace.

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