10 Company Picnic Ideas for 2012   Leave a comment

By Steve DeAngelo

With companies all over the world cutting back on expenses, many are searching for unique ways to entertain staff, associates and families for less.  Here are a few ideas to consider:

  1. Invite your clients as well as employees to the picnic as an alternative to more expensive events that may be held in off premises locations. Turn the event towards family oriented foods & activities.
  2. Hold the event on your premise and show off your space to attendees. Offer plant or facility tours to families & guests. Use the parking lot, green space, entry lawn or a combination of your facilities. This option will assist in reducing expense and capture premium dates without sharing park space with other groups.
  3. Ask your vendors for raffle drawings or door prizes as a way to subsidize gift giving to attendees. Some of our clients have spent thousands of dollars on this portion of their event. Others go to their vendors whom they pay regularly and “ask” for contributions. Televisions, IPODS, notebook computers and Bar-be-que equipment and gift cards are popular items to request.
  4. Create a “green team”. Step up recycling efforts, compost food waste. Use sustainable giveaways as gifts to attendees. Sustainability is the wave of the future as well as “greening events”.  Let our staff show you how!  Popular sustainable products include tree seedlings, beverage containers made from recycled materials, seed paper and bamboo products.
  5. Tie a “cause” to your event. All nonprofit agencies need assistance in these trying economic times. Support local shelters, food banks. Keep support local whenever possible. Put the boss in the dunk tank; donate the money to play to charity.  Donating to charity may also be a good way to get your vendors to donate gifts (see #3).
  6. Have the Ice Cream truck visit! Everyone loves ice cream!
  7. Use a station format with “concession style foods”. Think burgers or sliders, hot dogs & sausages, pizza by the slice, yaki soba noodle stir fry w/ chicken skewers, with colorful linens and canopies with signage to “dress up” the event.
  8. Another low cost menu suggestion is to provide “slider stations”. Pulled Pork, teriyaki chicken, burgers, mini subs, sausages and meatball sandwiches are all popular “mini versions”. Scale down the portions and increase the quantity served!
  9. Theme the event. Try a Locavore menu, Italian bistro, Mexican Fiesta, or Tropical Theme to bring new concepts to your annual event. Add activities and color schemes that coincide.
  10. Offer child friendly services. Cookie decorating station, special seating, add fun menus with macaroni and cheese, mini corn dogs and healthy snacks as a starting point.
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