A Guide to Planning Your Corporate Fun Day
Rewarding your employees can be rewarding for your organisation. We share our industry insider tips and advice to help you create an event that will be the talk of the office.
Perhaps you want to shake up or refresh your annual corporate employee or family fun day, or perhaps you are thinking about planning an exciting one-off event for your staff and their families. Either way, there is a lot to think about to ensure you create an enjoyable, entertaining and memorable day for your hard working employees.
The benefits of getting your workforce together outside of work time and away from the office, often inviting their family along, are obvious, but think first about the objectives of organising your corporate fun day; is it for development or reward? It could be both. Showing staff that you appreciate and recognise the work they do, and celebrating success can be fantastic for morale, and while your team members have fun making fools of themselves on the bucking bronco, they’ll be building communication and mixing with other departments.
Once you’ve completed a three-legged race with Paul from finance, you’ll feel you know him a lot better by Monday morning! These subliminal team-building activities, undertaken by choice and spurred on by family members, can be a lot more effective and genuine that predetermined ‘team building days’. Also a great opportunity to reinforce company messages, values and culture, an event may help during big changes to an organisation or as a thank you following difficult or challenging times. However, the most important reason to hold such an event is to have fun, providing an informal environment for employees to relax with their peers – and you shouldn’t lose sight of this despite corporate objectives.
Reasons to Celebrate
In case you need an excuse.
- Business success, expansion or project completion
- Employee awards ceremony
- End of year annual event
- Welcoming new members of staff
- A thank you for hard work and support
- Team building and development
- Boosting morale
- Reinforce company values
- Just for fun!
Piecing It All Together
Now that you have a feel for how the day should be, you’ll need to think about suppliers that can make it all happen.
Karla Brown is Arts and Entertainment Manager at Simply the Best Events who organise over 1,000 events every year and are part of the Add to Event supplier community. We chatted to Karla recently and she shared her top three priorities when planning a corporate fun day.
- Venue access - we always need drive on access with our events.
- Food and beverages - tends to be forgotten about, everyone needs this at events.
- Power access - if the client is providing power, we need to able to reach it from where we are setting up.
So keep these practical things in mind when dreaming up the more creative aspects of your event.
You’re a small business, possibly a start-up and you have less than 50 employees.
You could consider a sit down meal for a smaller group and get people sitting with those they may not otherwise talk to. However, for a family event a buffet is probably the best option. Informal finger food is a relaxed option and it’s not just pineapple and cheese sticks – how about sushi or a Mexican themed buffet?
You’re probably an SME with between 50 – 250 employees.
A buffet could be an option here, but why not opt for something a little different and go for a hog roast or giant paella pan. This kind of food is cooked on site, so smells fantastic but also looks great and works well as a feature and talking point.
You’re a big business with over 250 workers.
There are lots of mobile catering options out there, and for a large event, think about hiring a few. Burger vans, pizza vans, fish and chips vans as well as more specialist vegan, tapas or shellfish vans offer your guests options and allow them to grab some food whenever they want it.
Dietary requirements – it’s important to be able to cater for everyone so if your caterer doesn’t automatically offer vegetarian, vegan, gluten free and nut free offerings, you may need to establish how many people have these needs before you confirm arrangements. It’s very common these days to need alternative options, so don’t hesitate to speak to your caterer about this.
Payment – You don’t want people worrying about what they need to pay for on the day, so whatever you decide, make it clear what you’re providing for free and what, if anything, employees need to pay for themselves. An advance payment or ticketing system could be useful and efficient.
> Sweet treats – ice cream vans, crepes vans or candy carts will keep children (and big kids) happy!
> Don’t forget the drinks – hire a mobile bar or coffee station.
Marquees and Tents
Depending on your venue or location, you may need to think about a marquee or tent for at least some aspects of your event. There’s lots of choice so check out our marquee hire guide for advice and inspiration.
Fun and Games
An essential for a family fun day! A family event wouldn’t be the same with a bouncy castle bobbing about in the background. But there are lots of other options too – who hasn’t wanted to give it a go on It’s a Knockout? Or try a surf simulator or bungee run.
From traditional school sports day games, to table tennis, to kangaroo boxing! These kind of games get everyone mixing, including the kids, and competition is a great way to get people out of their office shell.
Unleash your colleague’s creativity and unknown skills by offering something like an archery or circus skills session. Consider those who are less able (or willing!) to get out on the pitch and offer a more creative option, such as pottery painting or cupcake decorating.
Magicians, clowns and face painters will all help to keep your employees and their families entertained during the day. If your event runs into the evening a band or a comedian could be an extra treat for the day. Consider your audience and make sure you choose something suitable for everyone. Think about when they will perform and where – do they need a stage or space to prepare?
The Rules of Having Fun
Put your employees first, they’re what keep your organisation going.
A change is as good as a rest, so if your organisation is stuck in the same old routines, trying something different could inspire your colleagues and employees to unleash that extra creativity and drive you never knew they had!
Establish a Theme
Even if you don’t go the whole hog and have a full-on themed party, it’s still a good idea to have a loose theme to help keep you focused and pull everything together. How about a nautical theme? Great for the kids to get dressed up, there’s plenty of fun and games that will work well with this theme and your décor will be a breeze. How about a festival or circus theme if you want lots of entertainment? For something a little more general, use the seasons as your inspiration, think Halloween, spring time, summer picnics or winter wonderland.
You don’t want your fun day to be like another boring old board meeting so keep any speeches to minimum and avoid agendas and instructions. Naturally, most games will get people involved and exercising their competitive streak. How about a giant ski race, inflatable twister or good old sack race? But for the more reserved, an arts and crafts or puzzle solving activity could be just as effective for getting colleagues interacting and supporting each other.
This is all about adding the X factor to your day! Whether it’s booking a band or entertainer that will delight your employees or whether it’s hiring in something bigger and better than you’ve ever done before – create a buzz in the build up to the event. You may choose to keep your head-turner under wraps until the day or you might want to shout about it as soon as possible. How about setting the scene with a big top tent, stirring up some pre-match banter by offering a bubble football tournament or rolling out the red carpet and hiring some ‘paparazzi’?
Enjoy a Relaxed Atmosphere
Especially if the day is a reward for your employees, you want to ensure they’re relaxed and enjoying the day. If it’s a family event, make sure there’s plenty to keep the kids entertained (and safe!) make sure there’s sufficient food and a well stocked bar, create a chill out area, and make sure there is enough of everything to see you through the day.
Engage in the Details
It goes without saying that the key to all of the above is in the planning and attention to detail. To help you find the right suppliers and make sure your corporate fun day runs smoothly we’ve set out our top tips and advice to get you started.
Top Tips For a Successful Family Fun Day
A few essential considerations for planning your day.
- Check out the site – do you have enough space, is the ground suitable, are there overhead wires that will get in the way, is there good access, is there power and water close by?
- Be safe – check your supplier’s insurance, make sure there are first aiders or supervisors on site for larger events.
- Check the forecast – have a plan in place in case the weather takes a turn for the worst.
- Remember equipment and essentials – don’t forget the lighting and sound equipment as well as any screens you may require. You may also need to hire loos.
- Plan transport – how will you employees arrive? Is there parking, do you need to supply transport?
Mix It Up and Be Bold!
Mix things up a bit - it’s too easy to get caught in the same routines, but as we’ve just seen there’s plenty of choice out there for your corporate event, so it doesn’t have to be boring!
It’s all in the planning, so get started early! If all of these seems a little overwhelming, you might want to consider hiring an event planner to help you get the details right and take off some of the pressure.
A few suppliers that will help make your corporate event extra special.