Seven Tips For Planning a Fantastic Corporate Family Party

In today’s tumultuous economy, many companies are finding it difficult to show their employees adequate appreciation. After all, everyone enjoys monetary compensation; however, because many businesses are still struggling financially, pay raises or bonuses are often not possible. Therefore, a good way to encourage employees and thank them for their hard work is to throw an outdoor corporate family party. Below are some steps to ensure a fun event for all involved:

Acquire entertainment:

As mentioned above, it is great if your location already has some built-in entertainment options. However, even in the best of circumstances, guests are likely to become bored if you do not provide some additional entertainment. One great entertainment option is renting a bouncy house or slide such as those found at jumper rentals. Kids love these contraptions and will happily play on them for hours. Other options to consider include hiring a local farmer to bring over a few farm animals such as pigs, goats, sheep or even a lama, having someone come and do face painting or hiring a magician for the kids.

Ensure a superb location:

Keep in mind when finding a location for your get together that children will be involved. This means you must provide bathroom facilities and a place to wash hands. Moreover, finding a location with built-in entertainment is ideal. For example, renting an outdoor area complete with stocked ponds for fishing, walking trails to enjoy or other similar amenities will ensure guests of all ages do not become bored.

Select great food:

If possible, have the event catered by a local company that has a good reputation for catering large gatherings. BBQ is a great food choice for an outdoor event. Of course, you could also grill burgers and hot dogs if you have access to a large enough grill. However, keep in mind, the food you are serving should be a treat. In addition, make sure to have plenty of cool drinks and desserts.

Ensure adequate seating:

No one enjoys standing around as they visit or eat. Therefore, it is important to have enough seating available for all your guests. It is best to select an area that has picnic tables, benches, swings or other types of seating already available. However, If you don’t have access to such a place, make sure to tell employees they should bring their own chairs. Most individuals who have children already own fold up chairs they use for watching soccer and other sports. However, buying several chairs yourself to provide for individuals who did not bring their own seating is wise.

Choose the right time of year:

Although you are more likely to achieve a rainless day, having a corporate family event in the summer will likely be uncomfortable. It is simply too hot in most regions of the nation to be outdoors for hours during this time of year. Fall and spring are both great seasons as they both tend to possess moderate temperatures. Be careful when planning an event in the fall as your event could interfere with the weekend's football games.

Do not make attendance mandatory:

There is something about being told you have to do something that makes most people not want to obey. Therefore, if you hope to have good attendance at your corporate family event, do not make attendance mandatory for employees or harass them if they do not attend the party. There are many reasons employees choose not to attend these types of events. Some employees are just busy with other activities and others simply do not enjoy these types of social events.

Give party gifts:

Just as most people give gift bags to party guests attending a birthday party, it is a great idea to give a small gift to all employees who attend the party. The chosen gift does not have to be huge. For example, gift cards to local stores or gas cards are good examples of applicable gifts.

Putting together a party for your employees to show them appreciation is admirable. However, it is important you follow the above tips to ensure your event will be enjoyable. For other ways to boost employee morale and show appreciation follow this link.

Mark O'shane is the director of economic development for the Whittier Chamber of Commerce in Southern, CA.

Originally published on Jul 17, 2013.


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