10 Things You Must Know When Planning Your Company Picnic

10 Things You Must Know When Planning Your Company Picnic

Food, drinks and picnic tables are only the beginning...

Jud Yaski | Inspire Productions Event Planning

August 08, 2008

After producing literally hundreds of picnics for every size company, I have found that there are issues any savvy admin must address. Below are some of the most important and often overlooked issues in planning a summer picnic for your group:

1. Cost: If you do not have at least $50 per person to spend for a company picnic (of 75 people or greater) than I strongly suggest putting that money aside for your holiday party and creating something that much nicer. Keep in mind, the sole purpose of a company picnic, or for most other corporate events, is to make your guests walk away with a warm fuzzy about your organization, and hopefully connect having fun with your company. That won’t happen with a cheap barbecue and no entertainment. Our always successful picnics run from $50 to $300 per person, with most of them averaging in around $60 to $110 per person out the door.

2. Entertainment at your event: The first question is are you having kids? If you are, you need the staples: A balloon artist and face painter. A balloon artist is entertaining, gives the kids something to play with long after the performer is done with their creation, and adds color to the event. Face painters are, well, face painters. They are a time honored tradition, and as long as you are able to source a good one, your guests will be pleased you brought them. The next question is how many for how long. The rule of thumb is a balloon artist can make one creation every 2 to 5 minutes. That is about 12 to 30 kids an hour. 15 to 20 kids per hour is a safe bet. Face painters generally take 5 to 7 minutes per child, so figure 8 to 12 kids per hour, but not all kids want their face painted. Other performers that work well for kids and adults that you should consider are caricature artists, chair massage, magic shows, strolling jugglers, stilt walkers, airbrush tattoo artists ( good for groups with a few kids and lots of adults), and company games. See other ideas at Just download the PDF party packages and scroll down to the variety of performers available under “optional add ons.”

3. Other event elements to bring: Who are your employees? What is their education, ethnicity, age? What is the company culture? Most admins consider a company picnic a boring have to, that they must get out of the way. There is a huge world of amazing elements to bring into your picnic. Consider inflatables: Do you want combative ones such as Gladiator joust, bungie run, or Giant boxing? Or do you want more team oriented ones, such as Giant bowling or Giant twister, or a huge obstacle course? How are your people going to interact with each game? Are you going to offer prizes? Are you going to make sure the vendor staffs each game to avoid any liability issues? That will cost more, but is a good idea. Take a look at this site to glimpse into this wide and wacky world of interactive games: There are many choices from $650 to $1500, making them an affordable option for your company picnics

4. Teens: If you have young employees or older employees with teenagers, consider a package for them: foosball, basketball shoot out, air hockey, and /or interactive inflatables. Teens often get forgotten at picnics, and you will find the grownups often sneaking over to the teen area to get their game on.

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