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5 Tips for Planning a Successful Summer Corporate Outing

Whether it’s a company picnic or a team building exercise, getting employees together outside the office is a big win for employees and employers.

For employees, the opportunity to “let their hair down” and engage with coworkers in a fun, non-work setting, fosters camaraderie, which is in high demand among overworked workers. Truth be told, you can learn more about a person in an hour of play than in a year of conversation.

For employers, creating opportunities for employees to bond, ideas to be exchanged, and issues to be resolved is a necessity. Particularly in today’s tight talent market, employees want more from their jobs’ than just a paycheck. Having close bonds with coworkers, feeling appreciated by their employer, and being a part of an enjoyable work environment are important to today’s workers.

From idea generation sessions, to team building exercises, to company parties, here are five tips for putting your corporate outing on the path to success:

1. Set a Clear Objective

While some company outings may be strictly celebratory or educational, most events, in particular team building exercises, should have specific objectives set beforehand. This starts with figuring out what challenges need to be addressed. Is the team fairly new andyou would like members to get to know each other? Do poor communication skills keep the group from being successful? Are there conflicts between certain people? Does the group lack the ability to work as a team? Once your objective is clear you can choose activities that will be most effective. For team building ideas, check out this list of 35 Team Building Games from the folks at When I Work.

2. Establish a Budget

Randomly establishing a budget without researching expenses beforehand can cause you to come up short in some areas and go over in others. Make a list of all your expected expenses, such as venue, entertainment, decor, food, and transportation, and get quotes to set a proper budget for each category. If your expenses are more than what has been approved, you can review each category to find ways to save.

3. Find a Venue

Choosing the right venue sets the tone for your entire event. As pictures can be deceiving, visit the venue in person so you get a sense of scale and overall atmosphere. It’s important to find a venue big enough to accommodate everyone comfortably during meetings, breakout sessions, dining, etc. Too small a space makes people uncomfortable and irritable. While too large a space can create feelings of detachment causing attendees to lose interest.

4. Create a Detailed Plan

Whether it’s a day-long event or a weekend retreat, preparation is key. What meals will be provided and when? What materials need to be on hand? What activities are planned? These are just some of the many elements of your plan that will help keep everyone on the same page and ensure nothing gets overlooked. For activities, you should set a reasonable timeline so objectives are met, time is used wisely, and attendees don’t get overloaded. If the event involves sitting, plan breaks and activities that get people out of their seats to keep them sharp and attentive.

5. Plan Transportation

How employees get to an outing is an often overlooked item on the event plan. If your employees have vehicles, does it makes sense to have them drive themselves? (Think of all the expense reports for mileage reimbursement that will need to be processed afterwards.) What if your venue has limited parking? Or, if your employees don’t drive, what options are available? Additionally, if alcohol will be served it may be wise to discourage employees from driving themselves.

Consider using GroundLink’s Meetings and Events Team. Our dedicated event managers understand the unique challenges of transportation planning and will work with you to determine the vehicle options that best meet your group size and budget. Our events team will prepare your event manifest, book your reservations, and confirm all details with you prior to your event. Best of all, our event management service is available free of charge. Learn more about our Event Ground Transportation Team


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