Employee relations events have been around forever. The company holiday party and the company picnic are the most common examples. As with anything in business these days, getting excellent value is critical. Here are a few tips to help you enjoy great value when you plan your next company outing.
A successful event starts with being a well-attended event. The number one thing you can do to maximize your attendance is to send an invitation to the employee’s home. If you only communicate at the office or the plant, you’re only communicating to about ½ or ¼ of your potential audience. Spouses or kids may be the driving force that get the employee to attend the event, make sure they know about it.
You want as many people to come as possible, but you also don’t want to pay for people who aren’t there. Most events are over-planned and under-attended because the planner never wants to run out of food and drink. Use technology to get the word out and get an idea of how many people you can expect to attend. This data will help you plan and promote future events as well.
Know your Audience
More importantly, give them what they want. A company picnic can cater to toddlers and teens and grandparents and retirees. Make sure you provide a balance of activities, food and drink for all ages and make sure there is enough of it. Employee/guest events will have both passive and active folks. Think about what will be fun for each.
Home Is Where the Heart Is
If at all possible, do your event on site. You’ll avoid expensive site rental fees and having to use some of their contractually obligated, expensive vendors. On site, you’re in control and can shop caterers and other vendors to get the best pricing. In addition, employees are familiar with your location and you’ve removed one reason for them not to come.
Find Good Partners
Events are live entertainment. There is no “take two” – it has to go right the first time. Make sure you are using vendors with strong track records because even the best plan can be implemented poorly. You need both good planning and strong implementation.
Consider Party Favors
You’re spending company money to create goodwill. Having a keepsake from the event can resurrect that goodwill many times in the future. Whether it is a photo from the holiday party or a stuffed animal from the midway, its great residual value and your guests will appreciate them.
What did you think?
Survey your employees following every event and chat them up around the water cooler. Their feedback will help you dial in what they really enjoyed. Ultimately, that will give you the insight needed to plan future events.