Different is good, especially when it comes to planning a company picnic.
Traditional picnic food, games and venues are boring and do little to encourage employee attendance. So why not take it up a notch? Check out these unique ideas to make your next company picnic a party to remember!
UNCONVENTIONAL COMPANY PICNIC IDEAS
Skip the typical event center or reception hall and find a place that’s a little offbeat. Try a beach or lakeside setting. State parks often have a variety of accommodations. You can set up tents or use public shelter houses.
If you have a small, adult-only group you might want to check out a local craft brewery or winery. Most have a laid-back, rustic atmosphere that can make guests feel at home. Venues like these often have package deals to accommodate large groups.
Other off-the-wall options include a golf course, bowling alley, farm field or barn, a historic site, a zoo, aquarium, museum, botanical garden or boat. Use your imagination!
Are you envisioning a theme such as the company picnic episode of “The Office”? I think you can do better. Choose a theme that is fitting and fun for all your guests. Here are a few ideas to consider:
Company picnic themes
- Zombie Apocalypse
- Fairy Tales
- 50s Sock Hop
- Orange You Glad (everything orange)
- Captain Marvel (from the newly released movie)
- Star Wars (Episode IX, the final installment of the sequel trilogy, to be released in December 2019)
- Spring Break
- What happens in Vegas … (casino games and the works!)
- Wizards (Harry Potter style)
- Gone Fishin’
- Gold Rush
- On Safari
- Down on the Farm
- Murder Mystery
Tip: Gather props for your theme and create a photo booth where guests can meet and socialize.
It’s easier to plan a company picnic menu if you have a theme. For example, a taco bar is a big hit for a Mexican fiesta theme. Corn dogs, funnel cakes and anything deep-fried is perfect for a festival theme.
A theme-less picnic meal doesn’t have to default to grilled burgers and hot dogs. I recommend serving finger foods for your main entrées such as mini sliders and kebabs. A “Wrap Buffet” is another fun and healthy alternative that allows guests to select their favorite meats, veggies and toppings.
Step it up with novelty snacks and desserts such as shaved Italian ice, gourmet cookies, kettle-style popcorn and an ice cream sundae bar. Check your local area for places to rent ice cream, popcorn and cotton candy machines.
Design a self-serve beverage station that includes basics such as bottled water, lemonade and soda. If you decide to offer alcoholic beverages, be sure to have bartenders on hand to serve the beer, cocktails, wine or mixed drinks.
To plan your food and drink menu, form a committee with your staff or hire a caterer several months in advance.
Activities and games
Face it. Some of your employers are physically fit and others are not. So it’s important to offer different types of activities that will work for everyone. Here are a few fun suggestions:
- Scavenger hunt
- Laser tag
- Bouncy houses
- Painting class
- Sports (volleyball, softball, etc.)
- Face painting
- Carnival-style games
- Bean bag toss
Be sure to have prizes on hand for the winners. High-quality, customized gifts with your logo are appropriate as prizes for a company-sponsored event. Suggestions include personalized lunch bags, can coolers, bottle openers, water bottles, cell phone chargers, flying discs and sunglasses.
Everyone loves a surprise and a genuine show of gratitude. Let your employees know how much you appreciate their hard work all year long by gifting them with something special before they leave the company picnic. Here are two suggestions that won’t bust your budget:
- A $10 gift card to a local car wash or coffee shop is something everyone can use and a great way to drive business to area retailers.
- Personalized umbrellas are a gift your staff will love and use for years. The cost is less than $11 each for 100 Golf Panel Umbrellas when buying in bulk. By placing your logo on each you will promote unity among employees while branding your company. It’s a definite win-win!
Benefits of company picnics
Hosting a unique company picnic does much more than just reward your employees. It builds teamwork and reduces stress. Workers will feel appreciated and are likely to say positive things about your company. This can help drive job candidates to your door.
The bottom line: Everyone wants to work for a company that promotes fun and goes that extra mile for its staff. If you want to be that business or that boss, start by creating a buzz with a few extraordinary company picnic ideas.