How to make a company picnic fun for your employees
A company picnic is a great way to show your employees some appreciation. A little time away from the office with some fresh air, great food, and enjoyable activities can help you and your team relax and get to know each other. But how do you make a company picnic fun? In order to find out, we turned to our experts for some company picnic ideas and advice.
Ensure your company event is a success with our useful tips and ideas. From planning and decorating to picnic games and menu choices, we’ve got you covered. In fact, we even have some free, easy-to-customize templates you can use to make your picnic one to remember.
Why do companies have picnics?
Most companies have picnics because it’s a great way to show your employees some appreciation and get to know them better. And since the whole company is invited, it allows employees from all ranks and departments to interact and come together. However, there are also a variety of other advantages that can come from hosting company events like a picnic.
Even just heading outside and taking a break from work can be the boost your team needs. For example, sunlight itself has a lot of health benefits, so a sunny outdoor picnic may help your team be more productive. Additionally, sharing a beautiful day outdoors may even have an impact on creativity among professionals. A win-win for everyone.
Understanding the benefits of a company picnic
Work gatherings can lead to a lot of positives for everyone. To better understand the benefits of company picnics, we asked Kathy Castle, VP of Finance here at Avery and Head of our Event Planning Committee, “Why do companies have picnics?”
“Events such as company picnics promote a fun, engaging, and inviting atmosphere. Getting to know your peers, managers, etc. outside of the office enhances the communication inside the office.”Kathy Castle, Head of the Event Planning Committee at Avery
Office picnics provide the perfect opportunity to promote communication and strengthen work relationships. This type of team building helps motivate your employees, improves morale, and fosters collaboration. “It is through employee events that friendships and connections are fostered,” Kathy says. “With relationships that are not just centered on work, employees may feel a sense of belonging and contentment.”
That being said, an annual company picnic is not only a nice perk for your employees, but will benefit your company overall by keeping your workers satisfied and engaged. As Kathy advises, “Employee engagement is essential to attract and retain top talent. If employees feel they are valued and the company cares about them, they are less likely to leave.”
Start your company picnic planning ASAP
Any office event needs careful planning and coordination to ensure success, so give yourself plenty of time to get things done. However, before you get into all the little details, it’s important to have a set goal. What do you want to get from this event?
Do you want to build up company morale, encourage team bonding, celebrate some recent company success, or maybe just provide a fun and relaxing experience for your employees? Once you know what you want to accomplish, you can start working from there.
Our first set of company picnic ideas will help you get your company picnic planning started.
1. Keep your company picnic ideas organized.
Once you have a general idea of what you want to achieve with the picnic, identify some objectives to help you accomplish your goal. Consider creating a checklist of all the tasks you need to complete and keep it accessible so you can mark them off as you go.
2. Enlist some help.
When it comes to planning a company event, it’s good to have a dedicated team that can help get things done. Even if it’s just one or two other employees, it’ll be easier to tackle all the tasks on your list if there are others to support you.
3. Create a budget and stick to it.
If you don’t already have a budget and need to create one, start by calling around. Be honest and let vendors know what you need but that you don’t have a budget yet. Once you get a good idea of how much you’ll need to spend, set your budget and do all you can to not go over that number.
4. Pick a venue that’s convenient.
While there are a number of places to have a picnic, make sure you pick somewhere that works for your event. Look for a location with enough space to spread out and can accommodate areas for eating and activities. Some places to consider are your local park, the beach, an event center, an amusement park, or even your company’s parking lot.
5. Set an appropriate time frame.
How long should a company picnic last? According to Maureen Tarango, Sr. Sales Communication Specialist here at Avery and member of our Event Planning Committee, the duration of your event should be dependent on what you have on the agenda. Schedule enough time for everything you have planned, but be mindful not to take too much time out of everyone’s schedule, or they won’t attend.
“Build in enough time for everyone to get their food, eat, play games, and have raffle drawings,” she advises. “You don’t want to make it longer than that or there is too much dead time.”Maureen Tarango, Member of the Event Planning Committee at Avery
6. Send out fun picnic invitations.
Create your invitations once your date and location are set. Make sure to include who is invited (i.e., employee only, employee plus guest, or employee and family) and what can be expected. It’s also a good idea to ask for RSVPs so you have a better idea of how much food you’ll need.
7. Build excitement for the picnic with a raffle.
Raffles are a great way to drum up some excitement for the event, so consider including a raffle ticket with your invitation. Promote the item or items that are available to win through emails or social media posts to create more buzz and get everyone excited.
Get creative with your company picnic ideas
The last thing you want is to host a boring company event, so make sure your company picnic stands out by putting in a little extra effort and creativity. While planning, strive to create fun experiences all throughout your event.
One way to ensure everyone has an enjoyable time is to conduct a company-wide vote on one or two aspects of the picnic. For example, before booking a venue, caterer, or entertainment, narrow down your choices to two or three options and ask your employees what they prefer. The majority votes win.
Here are a few other company picnic ideas that will hopefully allow you to take your event to the next level:
8. Pick a theme for your picnic.
A theme for your event isn’t necessary, but it can make things fun and more cohesive. Having a theme helps guide your selection of food, decorations, entertainment, and more. Company picnic themes can be as simple as using your brand’s colors or the current season or holiday, like a spring celebration, fall festival, or 4th of July bash. You can also go all out with a Hawaiian or Western theme, complete with a luau or BBQ.
9. Decide on a dress code.
Your company picnic dress code should fit your event location, theme, and whatever activities you have planned. It’s always fun to dress up for the occasion, but you also want to make sure everyone is dressed comfortably throughout the event.
10. Create an exciting playlist.
Set the mood with some fun background music that matches your event’s vibe and theme. In fact, you can help build some excitement by asking your employees for song requests before the event and letting them dedicate songs to their family members, coworkers, and even managers.
11. Hire some entertainment.
Consider providing some form of act or entertainment for your attendees. Some great picnic entertainment options include a band, DJ, or comedian. If there are kids attending the picnic, a clown, balloon artist, or face painter are fantastic at keeping them entertained.
12. Make it festive.
Make an effort to create a fun and inviting atmosphere using balloons, signs, and other décor items that go with your theme. You can even set up an engaging backdrop or two to encourage people to take pictures.
Print this welcome sign design yourself on printable DIY Decal Sheets (61512).
13. Hand out a company picnic agenda.
Provide a handy outline of events that guests can carry around. This not only gives attendees an idea of what to expect from the day, but can also boost their excitement and participation.
Create a picnic menu for all to enjoy
You can’t have a picnic without food. And while food is great for bringing people together, good food is what creates unforgettable memories. That said, aim to serve food that will keep everyone content and excited for the rest of the event.
Remember, however, that everyone has different tastes and different dietary restrictions, so consider offering a variety of choices for each type of dish: appetizer, main course, side dish, and dessert. Most importantly, make sure you order plenty of food so everyone leaves the picnic satisfied.
Our next set of work picnic ideas focuses on crafting a delicious menu that will complement your event and hopefully create some lasting memories.
14. Throw a potluck.
Not only is an office potluck a wonder a wonderful way to share culture with coworkers, it’s also a great way to distribute the food cost of a company event. Plus, saving money on food means you can spend more on other things, like prizes and swag.
15. Fire up the grill.
Nothing says picnic like a good old-fashioned cookout. Whether you stick with the classic hamburgers and hotdogs or you want to take it up a notch with chicken, ribs, and brisket, make sure you have plenty of condiments and napkins ready to go.
16. Have some dishes catered.
Even if you’re having a potluck or have recruited someone to be grill master at your picnic, consider having at least a few dishes catered. This can help you save time, since you’ll have something done and ready to serve, and ensure a good meal for everyone.
17. Food trucks are a fun food option.
Food trucks always seem to get people excited, and most can be rented for parties and events. Look up the local food trucks in your area to see what’s available. For large companies, consider having two or three food trucks to accommodate everyone’s needs.
18. Provide pre-packed food.
Creating a company picnic menu that works for everyone can be tough when you need to take into account allergies and dietary restrictions. To help, label pre-packed food items with descriptions so attendees can choose food that works for them.
19. Ensure everyone knows what they’re eating.
Let your attendees know what they’re eating with food tent cards. Place the tent cards in front of each dish, so they can choose their food accordingly. If you’re having a potluck, make sure you have a list of what everyone is bringing so you can create your tent cards beforehand.
20. Don’t forget the snacks and treats.
Offer a few snacks and treats for everyone to munch on throughout the day or to bring home and enjoy after the picnic. Make them easily portable by placing them in a nice box or bag they can carry around. Tie on a tag for are a quick and easy way to add branding or a little thank you for coming.
Have fun with some games and activities
As mentioned, a company picnic is perfect for team building and company bonding, which can help build trust among your employees. That being said, make sure you plan a few picnic games and outdoor activities for everyone to participate in and enjoy.
These activities should be engaging and involve working together toward a shared goal, but in a way that doesn’t feel forced. Remember, the main objective is to have fun and bond, so encourage participation but don’t make anything mandatory.
Our next set of company picnic ideas focuses on different types of team building activities.
21. Get the conversation going with some icebreakers.
Start things off by creating custom icebreaker tags with fun questions. Fun questions are a useful activity because talking about things you like encourages team building and bonding.
22. Encourage mingling with a game of bingo.
Another way to get people talking is with a fun take on bingo. Create icebreaker bingo cards with each square containing words or phrases that can describe various guests in attendance.
Hand out the cards when the attendees arrive, along with a pencil, marker or little stickers. As they mingle and find someone that meets the criteria, they can mark off that square. The first person to get a line or whole card marked off wins a prize.
Pro tip: Save money and materials by printing your bingo cards on the back of your picnic agenda. This way, your attendees can have them both in hand and easily accessible throughout the picnic.
23. You can’t go wrong with classic outdoor games.
No picnic is complete without some beloved outdoor games. Some common classics include a three-legged race, relay race, tug of war, cornhole, and a water balloon toss. Other fun activities perfect for the outdoors are a scavenger hunt, an obstacle course, an eating contest, or even a few games of kickball, volleyball, or softball.
24. Play indoor games outside.
Expand your game options to ones that are usually played inside. For example, you can host a board game tournament, set up a puzzle contest, or play a few rounds of classic bingo. You can also conduct a trivia contest, whether it’s about the company, music, movies, or a mix of random categories.
25. Offer a mix of activities.
Not everyone has a competitive spirit, so make sure you have other activities planned for those who don’t want to join the games. Here are a few casual company picnic activities people of all ages can enjoy: karaoke, a painting or cooking class, an arts & crafts station, a photo booth, puzzles, or wine tasting (only for adults, of course).
Don’t forget the prizes, rewards and swag
Like raffles, the promise of fun prizes can help build excitement for your company picnic. After all, what employee doesn’t like free stuff? When it comes to rewards and prizes, make sure to give fun, yet useful items like, gift baskets, gift cards, electronics, event tickets, service subscriptions, memberships, etc. Swag items are also great for promoting team spirit and building company culture.
Here are a few more company picnic ideas for awesome giveaways your employees will love:
26. Give out work-related perks.
Work perks are excellent motivators for any employee and can help make their job easier and more enjoyable. These rewards can include things like office supply upgrades (i.e., a bigger monitor or new office chair), lunch on the company, a team activity day, or the use of an executive parking spot.
27. Create your own swag.
Create and print custom stickers with your company logo. Logo stickers make great swag items because everyone loves stickers. Plus, handing out logo stickers helps boost employee engagement. Displaying them allows employees to identify themselves as part of the team.
Get started by uploading your logo or design, then entering your sticker size. Next, choose between matte or glossy vinyl. Add the quantity you want to your cart and you’re done!
28. Promote your brand.
Save money by making your own branded items using your logo stickers. Stick them on things like water bottles, notebooks, office supplies, tech accessories, and more. Use our WePrint service to easily create custom die-cut vinyl stickers with your company logo.
Upload your logo to order die-cut logo stickers in minutes.
Don’t have a logo yet? Learn how to make a logo for your business.
29. Commemorate the picnic with a useful gift.
Ensure fond memories with a special item that celebrates the event. Tote bags and t-shirts are great giveaways for a company picnic, since they can be used during and after the event. Use fabric transfers to customize your item so your guests can recall all the fun they had every time they use it.
Print your company logo on light fabric transfer sheets (3271) for your company picnic tote bags.
Print your company logo on stretchable fabric transfers (3302) for your company picnic t-shirts.
Host a fun company picnic your employees will remember
Our expert ideas and free Avery templates make it easy to plan a successful picnic for your whole company. Putting time and effort into your event is important because of all the useful benefits it can have for your company and employees, from enhancing communication and improving morale to building teamwork and boosting productivity.
Remember to give yourself enough time to plan and prepare, and ask for help if needed. Make things fun by putting some creativity into your theme, picnic entertainment, and decorations. As far as food is concerned, offer a variety of food choices and provide plenty so everyone goes home satisfied.
Since it is a company event, focus on team building games to encourage employee bonding, but also offer a few more casual activities for everyone to enjoy. And make sure everyone remembers the event by giving out thoughtful prizes and and fun swag items.
And don’t forget you can use our free Avery Design and Print Online software to get started customizing your own invitations, raffle tickets, labels, tags, logo stickers and more.
Are you planning a company picnic? What are your favorite work picnic ideas? Share your thoughts in comments or join the conversation on LinkedIn and Facebook. And don’t forget to share your company picnic projects on Instagram using the hashtag #averyproducts.