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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.

Boost the Impact of Your Promotional Giveaways at Events

Are you planning to host, sponsor or exhibit at an upcoming event, conference or trade show? If you’re trying to figure out what types of promotional giveaways will have the best impact, you’re not alone. People often reach out to us asking for advice and tips on what types of swag to prepare for their event. Here are three tips for making sure your promotional gifts are both memorable and impactful long after your seminar, company retreat, or expo has wrapped up.

1. Give your event attendees swag that is valuable and helpful

While exciting, conferences can also be very stressful. After standing on your feet all day long and rushing from one breakout session to the next, many participants find themselves in need of a quick snack or even some aspirin to assuage a developing headache. Their smartphones or tablets may also be running low on battery power. You have an opportunity to make their lives a little easier by gifting them a care package complete with a snack, mobile device charger, and some aspirin.

Reusable water bottles are also very popular and they have the added benefit of being eco-friendly. Both the water bottles and mobile device charger, being re-usable, will deliver brand awareness for you long after the conference. The snack and aspirin, while consumable items that will only last for a short while, will still have a beneficial impact. Something appropriate to the location or season, like sunglasses for a summer event in California or a warm hat for a winter trade show in Boston, will also be appreciated. By being helpful to your event attendees, you will ensure that they associate your brand with quality service and thoughtful customer care.

2. Make sure your promotional giveaway is unique, special and memorable

It goes without saying that at a large event, your greatest challenge is to stand out from the crowd. In order to draw attention, you’ll want to be sure that your swag is fun, delightful, entertaining, and memorable. If your brand identity is lighthearted and has a sense of humor, you may choose to feature a funny pop culture reference on a tote bag or notebook. A tasty treat such as a goody bag with personalized chocolate buttons is another great option. Whatever you select, make sure that it is easy for the event attendees to transport (i.e. not heavy – those types of items often land in the trash) and, if it’s intended to be taken home after the event, that it can pass through airport security.

3. Create a demand by offering a desirable branded gift in limited quantities

Some companies choose to invest their budget in a small number of high quality gifts, such as branded Bluetooth speakers or tablet styluses in attractive colors, to be distributed at an event booth or conference table. You can even run a special giveaway to attract additional interest among people passing by. If your event has a strong social media presence, a contest with a desirable prize can get people excited and start talking about your brand on social media too, boosting your brand awareness among the attendees even further.

Curious to know more about how custom branded promotional products can help you stand out at an important event? Reach out to us via Twitter or Facebook or call us at 877-881-6845 and we’ll be happy to chat about how you can make your special event a success!