Planning company outings is important to maintaining a fun, creative, active, and healthy culture in the office. While it’s easy to think that your company is too busy to take some time away from the office for team bonding, if you don’t take the time to do this, you’re actually causing more harm than you may think. Truth be told, if team mentality is always focused on work, it can lower office morale, which will in turn affects productivity.
Of course, I’m not suggesting that you plan a company outing every week or even every month. But having one every few months or even once a quarter will greatly help your employees bond and feel more comfortable with each other and at work, which is what every team leader, manager, and CEO wants.
So now that we have you convinced to plan a company outing, you’re probably wondering where to start. That’s easy! Having incorporated and planned several company outings before, I’m here to give you the inside scoop on how to plan and execute the perfect company outing (I promise that it’s not as intimidating as it sounds!) All you have to do is follow the below steps closely and everyone in your company will think that you’re an event planning pro.
Step #1: Decide on a theme
Whatever the reason may be for your company outing, there should be a theme that holds the entire event together. Choosing and deciding on a theme will help to guide all other aspects of the entire event. (Trust me, you’ll thank me later.)
And when I say theme, I’m not necessarily talking about a theme that you would choose for a child’s birthday party. The theme you’ll choose is centered around what kind of activity you want to do. Will you go to a local sporting event, do an adventurous activity, or volunteer together?
Step #2: Set a rough budget
Once you have a tentative game plan in mind, you’ll want to start to develop a budget. While you don’t have to line item every single point, it’s at this stage where you’ll want to at least have a rough idea of how much you’re willing to spend per person or collectively.
It’s also a good idea to have general pricing for different aspects of your company outing such as food, lodging, rentals, entertainment, etc.
Step #3: Look at venues and pick one
For most company outings, you’ll probably need a space for your event. Depending on where you go, there might be other items that you need to include such as food, furniture, entertainment, etc. I recommend shopping around to get a wide variety of quotes for all of the services you’ll need so you can make an informed decision based on price and reputation.
Step #4: Choose a date and send out invitations
Now that most of the grunt work is done, it’s time to select a date. For smaller companies, you can ask around to see if there is a particular date/time that works well for everyone. For larger organizations, this might be a bit more challenging but it’s still doable. I recommend using one of the following online meeting scheduler event tools to help choose a date that works best for the majority of your company.
Once the date and time are finalized, it’s time to send out invitations. You can do this by either via word of mouth,email, or simply a calendar invite. There doesn’t have to be anything formal about sending out invitations. Just make sure that your team knows that this is an off-site event where team bonding will occur.
Step #5: Create a massive to-do list with all key details
Whether it’s in a spreadsheet or handwritten, the next step is to create one long, huge list filled with everything that needs to be completed before the big day. The list should include due dates along with notes on who is responsible for what (make sure to follow up with anyone who takes responsibility for any tasks on your list). One week before and again one day before your company outing, you should read through the entire list to confirm that everything has been done (or will be done, as some details have to be completed the day of).
Step #6: Choose an event coordinator
The day of your team bonding activity will be extremely busy! Whether it’s you or someone you trust, someone from your company should be the event coordinator to make sure everything runs smoothly. While not necessarily the most glamorous of jobs, it’s the most important one to make sure that your event goes off without a hitch.
Step #8: Have fun
At the end of the end of the day, remember to have fun. All aspects of your company outing should be enjoyable - even the planning part!
Do you have any questions about an item that we did or didn’t address above? Have you successfully planned a company outing before? Talk to us in the comments below.