Summer is finally upon us here in the northeast, and which means it’s summer outing season! As planners ourselves, we absolutely love this time of year, and the endless event opportunities that this season provides. Outdoor activities are prolific, and there are never too many barbecues. But planning a company outing isn’t all fun and games, it does require a good bit of research, planning, and work. Here are some of our best tips for getting started with planning your next company outing.

Start with Logistics
Before you can even consider the food, drinks, and activities, you have to deal with the logistical details. To start, it’s good to consider the overall event budget. You’ll also want to consider things like time of week, and time of day for your event, and whether to invite families to participate, or keep it just to employees. Here’s our checklist:

  • Set a budget, and what that budget will cover (like venue, food and beverage, entertainment, activities, etc.)
  • Determine weekday vs. weekend
  • Pick either daytime or evening hours
  • Consider your event audience – employees only, or families included?
  • Make a list of potential locations and venues, and potential pros and cons
  • Consider transportation, and make sure employees will be able to easily access potential venues
  • Decide whether to hire a party planner!

Plan Some Food and Fun
You can plan a more generic event like a barbecue, or you can plan a themed event like a carnival. Consider what your goals are for the event, as those may help to determine if there’s a theme or not. Then you’ll want to think about what guests will eat and drink, and how they’ll spend their time.

  • Will you have an event theme, company branding, or color theme?
  • Determine a goal for your event – team building, employee fun, etc.
  • Select food and beverage, and think about whether you’ll have a theme to your food, like southern BBQ or carnival street food
  • Decide on entertainment and activities – will you hire an entertainer, plan lawn games, or run a giveaway/raffle?

There are plenty of great summer party ideas out there, which can range from simple and laid back, to involved and elaborate. Only you will know what works best for your company, but if you plan your event with your employees top of mind, it’s sure to be a hit. If you don’t know where to start, sending a company-wide survey with a few event ideas, or open-ended questions asking what kind of event they’d like to experience, you’ll get loads of inspiration to start your planning off right!

What was the best corporate summer outing you ever attended?