Fun in the Sun: How to Organize Memorable Company Picnics

Simply put, nice weather brings people together. There’s something about warm sunshine and celebrating that allows us to more seamlessly enjoy each other’s company and build connections. 

Bringing your team together for a company picnic can strengthen your workplace while creating plenty of memories for your employees.

Some 75% of employees called collaboration and teamwork an essential part of their work experience. A company picnic is an excellent time to unwind and recharge, celebrate accomplishments, and begin planning discussions for the fall months. 

Here’s what you should know about planning memorable company picnics. 

Choose the best date and venue

Appoint a planning committee for your company picnic so you can uncover blindspots and remember the small details. Even the smallest company should create a committee of at least three people and appoint a treasurer and secretary.

The treasurer should create the budget for the picnic and manage the bank account to make supply and equipment purchases. The secretary should take notes, manage the meeting and planning calendar, and track and distribute tasks. 

Put your heads together and brainstorm outdoor venues that give you both maximum sunshine and shade, along with amenities for activities. 

Plan out the date, time and even the geography of the venue to minimize inconvenience on the day of the event. Consider these points when choosing a venue:

  • Don’t choose a location too far away. Spare your employees the travel time and gas mileage.
  • It’s best to hold the employee picnic during working hours, such as a Friday afternoon. If the picnic is planned for a weekend, ensure employees have plenty of notice so that more employees can make arrangements to attend.
  • Decide whether it’s a family picnic or meant for adults ahead of time. If your employees can bring their kids, make sure the venue has access to entertainment and activities for them.
  • Research whether the venue provides grilling and kitchen equipment or if you need to bring your own. Also, be prepared to bring provisions for bathrooms or consider different portable restroom setups, if necessary.

Map out the details that you’ll want to solidify in broad strokes such as location, food, activities, and restroom access. Then, create line items under each category for everything you’ll need for a successful company picnic. 

Think of your team first

When it comes to a summer picnic, you want your employees to feel energized and excited about coming, rather than obligated. Know that everyone values their personal time, especially if your planned picnic happens to fall outside of working hours. This is why it’s so important to plan an event people will want to attend. 

Avoid the cliches that employees dislike about company picnics and consider handing out a survey to give your employees the chance to pitch ideas about what they’d like to see or do.

Here are some quick ways to put your team first when planning:

  • Always account for weather! Make a contingency plan in case of rain, high heat, or other extremes and give employees a checklist of supplies to bring and clothing to wear. Provide reminders to bring outdoor items like umbrellas, jackets with hoods, sunglasses, water bottles to stay hydrated, and sunscreen.
  • Keep dietary restrictions top of mind. Include food  or requirements in the survey that you send out to ensure that nobody falls ill or is unable to partake in the meal.
  • Set goals for the summer picnic that enrich everyone’s workplace experiences. Consider activities like personality tests and exercises that help employees get to know each other on more authentic levels.

Every team possesses its own unique blend of personalities and special accomodations.Taking the steps to put your team’s interests and comfort first while planning your gathering will result in a more meaningful and enjoyable experience for everyone.

Stock up on supplies

Your planning committee should take inventory of everything that you’ll need for the company picnic. Think in terms of everything that you’ll need for grilling, cooking, food preservation, serving, decorations, and other important items. 

The sort of items that belong on your supplies list include:

Have your treasurer account for each item, so that you can obtain everything you need while staying on track with the established budget.

Plan your games and activities

Take advantage of opportunities to build memorable bonds with your team by adding a twist to common ice-breaker games. Plan for fun, collaborative games so that your employees genuinely feel comfortable relaxing, de-stressing from the rigors of the work week, and being themselves. 

Activities like these can make for a memorable company picnic:

  • Scavenger hunts
  • Variations of hide and seek
  • Water gun and water balloon fights – make sure that non-participants are spared!
  • Golf putting, croquet, volleyball, badminton, and other classics
  • Bounce houses and/or water slides
  • Tables for Taboo, Scrabble, Chess, Checkers, Yahtzee, Backgammon, Spades, Monopoly, Poker, and other board or card games

Choose games and activities that are challenging while requiring teamwork. Stoking those collaborative fires can lead to healthy competition and cooperation that carries over into the workplace dynamic and the next outing.

Create a theme

The theme of the event solidifies your goal and gives you and your employees takeaways to build on. Put your heads together with your committee to figure out what lasting impression you’d like to leave on your employees after your picnic.

Then, encapsulate it in a sentence or phrase and make it the theme for the company picnic.

A company picnic theme is similar to a mission statement in that it needs to be clear, demonstrate inspiration and direction, and align with your company values.

You can immortalize this theme on a company cup or item handed out at the picnic for employees to take with them. If the event happens each year, different themes imprinted on takeaway items become annual collector’s items around the office. This can serve as a lasting memory of the good times that everyone enjoyed together, while providing a daily reminder of the picnic’s theme and focus. 

Put together winning company picnics

Company picnics give you a chance to solidify direction for your company while investing in and re-invigorating your employees. Investing in your employees by putting effort into events like these is the driving force behind your team’s growth and collaborative strength over time, so always take time out to create memories that can last for years.

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