If you would ask your employees how they feel about outdoor corporate events, they would probably, if they are 100% honest, describe them as the same old mundane picnics they need to slog through before the real holiday season finally kicks in. They have every right to feel this way – after countless boring barbecues spiced up with bad puns and bad punch, all these parties tend to look the same.
Let’s see what we can do to shake up this status quo and restore company events to what they were supposed to be – valuable and exciting parties that motivate the employees to stay productive and promote brand values.
Hype the people up for the party
One of the main reasons why so many outdoor company events fail is because people expect them to be bad and cringey, so they come to the picnic with a very downbeat mindset. Cut this common problem in its root. For a start, show the workers some appreciation one week prior to the event and put some cool gifts under their desks. Ask them how they want the event to look and ask them to participate in the organization – they will be far more engaged if they have any say in the matter. Finally, invite them to a cool pre-event late-night party to get the gist. A few good cocktails will definitely soften up the mood.
Split employees in the teams
Team-based activities inherently create an atmosphere of loyalty and friendship. If they are competitive, they also give the employees an excellent opportunity to let off some steam and duke out old workplace grudges with their co-workers. So, split your staff into teams and give them some trivial pursuits or first to finish the line games to settle the score. Also, do your best to break up the established social circles and give people that don’t spend that much time together the opportunity to get to know all of their colleagues. Otherwise, you will only deepen the already dug up trenches.
Set up a killer backdrop
The people know what kind of party they can expect the moment they enter the event lot. One of the easiest ways to send the right signals is by setting up spectacular lighting. Fortunately, you can always opt for Media Powerhouse event lighting for rent solutions and create a truly energetic mood that will ensure everyone has a good time. Another important thing you need to address is music. Avoid stock background noise like the plague. Instead, try lifting the atmosphere with something that packs more punch and groove, but still feels casual enough. Think in the vein of The Rolling Stones’ Miss You and similar tunes.
Start with the objectives
Sure, most of the corporate outdoor parties should be conducted in a casual and unobtrusive manner. But, all of them are organized with some purpose. For instance, most of the events are there to promote brand loyalty or strengthen the bonds within your staff. Well, these goals should be the focal point of the event planning. Try to find as many of them as possible and establish the mechanisms for measuring just how successful you were in reaching them. Without these clear, measurable objectives to guide the activities forward, your efforts will be left to chance and ultimately amount to very little.
Use the event to announce the good news
The cumulative effect will be much stronger than doing these two things separately. Your announcements don’t even have to be about some life-altering events. You can simply tell the employees they are moving to an outdoor office space. A great perk on its own, but the news will be received with far more enthusiasm if they are announced during a memorable party. On the other hand, the participants will remember the event more fondly if they have something to bring home with them.
Be careful about who you call
Some people are simply not party animals. Forcing them to mingle and participate in team-building events will probably push them too far out of the comfort zone and create more harm than good. Also, some types of parties (e.g. casual barbecues) run far more smoothly when you invite the entire families. Late evening parties where the focus of the discussion is on the corporate themes? Not so much. So, be very careful about who you call, or you will undermine your efforts from the get-go.
We hope these couple of tips will help you to turn your following company event into something truly valuable and exciting for the employees. Company parties can be very powerful branding and team-building tools but only as long as they are organized properly. Now, you know where to start.