How to Plan a Company Event Your Employees Actually Want to Come To

Planning a company event can be a lot of pressure – you’re tasked with making sure the venue makes sense and looks great, you’re responsible for planning a fun time, you’re trying to keep everyone fed and happy and the list goes on and on.  Too often we read scary statistics on employees and how they feel in the workplace:

• More than 80% of workers are either actively looking for a new job or open to finding one.
• 70% of U.S. workers are not engaged at work.

See? We told you it was scary. One way to engage your employees and pass along some appreciation is to throw a company event.  Events range from fancy holiday parties to casual happy hours and well beyond.  Seems easy enough, right? Well, the truth is sometimes it is but far more other it’s not.  The average person spends 90,000 hours at work over the course of a lifetime, so the last thing some employees want do is participate in a work function on their own time.  So how do you make your work event something they wouldn’t want to miss? You get creative and think outside of the box.

Make it Memorable

Company Tailgate

If you want to engage employees and motivate them to attend your company events, you’re going to have to make it memorable.  Sure, happy hour is great, but if you’re going to throw an event, why not toss some creativity at it? Here are some of our favorites:

  • Take your team Axe Throwing (yes, this exists). Your employees will feel like real life lumberjacks.
  • Throw a “tailgate” outside of your office. Light up the grill, pull out the bean bag toss and crack a few cold ones.
  • Host trivia. Designate a trivia host and giveaway prizes for the top performing team.  An even cooler idea? Host a new themed trivia day once a month or once a quarter.
  • Visit an escape room. These physical adventure games make players solve a series of puzzles or riddles in order to escape their surroundings. These are great for team building activities.
  • Support your local sports teams. Gather the crew and head over to one of your local professional sports team games.

These out of the box, creative ideas are sure to spark interest in employees and boost the attendance at your next event.

Get Out of the Office

Remember how we said the average person spends 90,000 hours in a lifetime at work? Get your employees out and about for a day.  Not only can you change up the physical location of your event, but you can make sure you change your employee’s mindset by setting a different dress code for the outing.  If you’re throwing a tailgate, encourage your team to sport their favorite jersey.  If you decide on throwing some axes, make the dress code lumberjack casual.  It’s important to let your employees know that company events are places where they can spend time and socialize with their coworkers in a casual atmosphere.  If your event feels too uptight, you’ll likely not get the attendance you’re looking for.  A fun extra step is to create branded apparel for the outing with a themed logo and saying.

Survey Says

Eating Pizza at the office

The most important thing for you to do when planning a company event? Survey your audience.  Go straight to the source and see what employees actually want to do during their time out of cubicle land. Surveying the team has multiple benefits – first, you’ll get the brainstorming started and the ideas will start rolling in and second, your employees will feel valued because you care enough to solicit their opinions.

Keep it fun, keep it light, and listen to what the people want.  As long as you keep those tenants in mind your next company event will knock it out of the park.


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