Summer is here, and that means its barbeque season! Most companies enjoy treating their employees to a summer event like a company picnic or BBQ. A corporate BBQ is a great way to invite employees out for an afternoon full of good food, fun things to do, and socializing.
Like any party, a corporate BBQ takes effort and planning. But, don’t worry – we have 5 easy steps to how to organize a corporate BBQ. It’ll be a breeze!
- Decide on the style of the event
Before you get planning, consider what style of corporate party you’re looking to host. Is this going to be a staff only BBQ, or are you going to invite spouses and children as well? This decision will impact your budget, the entertainment, amount of food you need, and the venue. There’s no wrong answer for how you want to throw your BBQ, but deciding on a budget will guide this decision.
Inviting families and spouses will require a bigger budget, but it’s a really great way to reward employees by treating their families as well. If you have family corporate BBQ, the event will look much different than an employee only BBQ, so take some time to think this through before jumping into the planning stages.
- Pick a day & time
Now that you know what style of BBQ you’re having, it’s time to pick a day and time. It’s important to be mindful of long weekends and cottage goers who like to drive off on a Friday afternoon. If you’re inviting families, you also want to be mindful of school schedules and work schedules. If you’re inviting family, it may be better to save the date for a weekend.
For staff, feel free to use up a work day afternoon. Thursdays are always good days, since it’s not quite the weekend but will be fun for everyone gearing up for Friday.
- Pick a venue
A BBQ is best done outside, so try to aim for a venue that is an outdoor space common for these types of events. You may have to rent a tent and some other furniture, so ask the venue if they have anything on hand and if not, your caterer may be able to help you with rentals.
Some common places for corporate BBQs are onsite (if you are lucky enough to have green space or a big parking lot), city parks, amusement or water parks, or event venues and banquet halls that have an outdoor area to accommodate.
- Hire a BBQ caterer
A caterer takes care of all the menu planning, food prep and buying, and cooking and serving for all of your guests making your event stress-free. Your caterer will know how much food to provide based on your guest count and can ensure that all BBQ facilities meet food standards.
Ask your caterer about a fresh summer menu. Don’t be afraid to think outside of the hamburger and hotdog box and add in some fun, trendy foods. If you decide to have a theme for your party, have food to match the theme. If you’re having an Hawaiian Luau, create a menu with macaroni salad, island style chicken, roasted pig, salad bar, and grilled pineapple.
- Plan the entertainment
Music, lawn games, raffles, and prizes are a must for a fun BBQ! While good company and good food goes a long way, you do want to consider entertainment for your corporate BBQ to ensure everyone has something to do.
Outdoor games such as life sized Jenga, Boccee ball, Horseshoes, or Frisbee are easy go-tos. You can organize a small tournament with a prize or whip out a volleyball or soccer ball (depending on how much space you have). If there’s kids, think of any fun carnival game, such as potato sack races, beanbag tosses, or ring toss. If there’s going to be children, you may also want to hire a face painter or balloon animal maker.
Music is a definite must, and you can rent speakers and plug in an iPod for some tunes. Raffles and prizes are always a good time for adults, so source some giveaways and games. Have a penny auction, guess the candy game (a game where you put candy in a jar and ask people to guess how many are inside – the closest answer wins the jar), plan a Poker Walk, trivia, dance offs – the sky is the limit! If you’ve ever been to a stag and doe, you will know tons of ideas.
The perfect BBQ
Employees will love having the afternoon off to spend outside, so don’t stress too much about the specifics. As long as there is food and colleagues to chat with, your BBQ is going to be a hit. Remember to send out the invitations at least a month in advance and plan a rain backup plan. With that and our five tips, you should be ready to get planning!