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3 Steps to Making Your Summer Company Events Shine

Footing the bill for company events is a great way to show your staff that you appreciate them. And the summer season offers a number of fun opportunities. Failing to follow a few basic guidelines when planning your event, however, might result in a lackluster affair. Follow these three essential steps to ensure a relaxing, community-building event.

1. Events Should Be Appropriate and Convenient

If you want your company event to shine, you need your employees to want to attend. Hosting an event two hours away from your office or city isn't going to encourage attendance — the purpose of the event should be to reward or recognize employees, not burden them with a road trip. Choose a convenient location and make sure the activities are appropriate for the entire group. A day of team building on a high-ropes course may sound fun to you, but will everyone on your staff be able — or willing — to participate? Instead, keep large-scale company events simple; consider outings like a picnic or a party, or going to a local ball game.

2. Create a Budget & Shopping List

It’s easy to get carried away without a budget. Determine how much you want to spend, and then take care of the larger essentials (like venue, entertainment, etc.) first. Be sure to make a list of all the incidentals you’ll need for the party. Your supply of hotdogs will be hard to distribute if you forget the paper plates and napkins. Once you decide what your company event will be, determine whether or not you will invite just your employees or employees plus guests. Send the invitations and ask for a reply so you can estimate how many people will attend. Buy party supplies for a slightly larger number than you expect; you don’t want to run out. Even if you are not supplying a meal, keep employees comfortable during the activity by providing optional snacks and drinks.

3. Communicate the Event Early

Your employees have lives outside the office, and many will be especially busy during the summer months. To ensure a successful event, get the word out early so staff can plan ahead to attend. Build buzz for the event by releasing occasional information. You can send internal emails, or put posters around the office to promote the event — you might even consider holding mini events in the office leading up to the big day. For example, if you're planning to have a company picnic with carnival-style games, you could set up one game in the breakroom each Friday as a preview for the event. Make sure you communicate essential event information to all staff members, including available door prizes, catering options and whether family members are welcome to attend.

Your employees will enjoy the chance to step away from the office and socialize with their coworkers at a summer company event. By taking the time to plan appropriate, convenient and fun events, you will be able to increase team morale and show appreciation for your staff.

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