How To Plan An Easy Affordable Corporate Event
Organizing corporate events is never an easy task. As in all event planning, it often takes significant time, and money, to throw a successful event. The optimism had at the beginning of the event planning process quickly fades when you realize how many things have to go right for the event to go well.
Running a unique and fun company event is an essential part of keeping a strong company culture. A strong culture builds bonds between employees and has been proven to increase work productivity, specifically innovative productivity.
Do not despair. There have been some amazing company events that have been thrown in the past. From extravagant to intensely creative, many companies have shown that company events can make great PR as well as attract new job seekers.
One of the most difficult parts of running an event is planning an affordable event on a budget, but also one that keeps employees talking for months. Anyone can throw a great event if they have money, but running a successful affordable event is a real accomplishment.
So how can you run an low cost company party? We have 3 quick tips that can help you plan and execute a business party that employees look forward to.
- Know why you want to throw the event
- Think outside the box
- Use public or cheap spaces
Organizing a company event keeping these 3 different areas in mind will make the process easier, affordable, and hopefully more successful as well.
Know why you want to throw the event
Knowing the why will help you direct your event so you can satisfy the group of employees that you really want to make happy. Maybe you want to celebrate the sales team on hitting a tough quota, or a design team that’s just finished a huge project. Either way, you’ll want to approach the event in a way that is more towards their tastes.
Although the biggest reason for running a corporate event is to build a stronger culture between employees, just saying this isn’t enough. A stronger culture is a reflection of people who work more collaboratively and enjoy their time at the office.
There are many different ways you can want your team to be more collaborative.
- You want your teams to be more collaborative
Over time if roles at a company are spread out and naturally don’t have a lot of interaction, making sure the people who need to be in a direct relationship with each other are comfortable and open is essential to building a high performing team.
Teams that don’t communicate their problems or don’t address challenges together are less likely to succeed over the long run.
Approaching an event knowing that you want to make your tams more collaborative means thinking of ways you can increase communication between members. This can involve team sports, or team games.
You should generally look towards more collaborative types of games where everyone on the team has to work together to achieve the goal. Put them in a setting where success depends on working together in short moments, and this collaboration will be useful in larger work projects.
- You want to increase cross team collaboration
Maybe you’re looking to change the structure of your company that will involve more collaboration between teams that are currently independent. If these teams have not been sued to communicating before the transition, it will take them a long time to ramp up to their peak level of efficiency.
Running a company event is a great way to understand if certain employees will actually be effective working together. It can actually be a way of testing a team, before you commit them to working together on projects related to the company.
If you have a feeling that they’re already a good match, then through your event you can prepare them for working together by giving them an opportunity to work together beforehand.
- You want to lighten the atmosphere at the office
All companies go through stressful moments of their journeys. A creative work social is a great way to celebrate that you’ve made it through together. It gives you a time where you can thank your employees for sticking with it, and celebrate their hard-work.
An example of a great time to throw an event is for companies who have seasonal sales. Throwing an event at the end of a busy season, and not just waiting till a normal holiday, shows that you care more about the work that your employees do.
Think outside the box
It may sound a little bit cliche to say ‘think outside the box’, but what I really mean is, “don’t take a lame shortcut”. An event with no theme, and just juice and time off work, will not really bring your employees together or help you successfully accomplish the goal you set out to accomplish with the event.
Once again, it’s easy to come up with creative ideas when you have a lot of money to spend, but sometimes finding an idea for a frugal event that also seems fun can be difficult.
With so many blogs dedicated to running creative network events and unique business party’s, there are tons of ideas out there online. I don’t want you to scavenge the internet to find the best ones, because there are way too many articles out there, but a few I’ve seen that I like are:
With the recent trend of companies and startups bringing in catered lunches weekly or daily, it’s not a new idea that eating together is both relaxing and produces higher caliber teams.
If you have a budget, a great way to throw a successful event is by bringing in a fancier caterer for the lunch. Take a poll of your office and see which restaurants people haven’t tried that have catering services. It will give people a chance to try something new, and will make sure you have a majority that are interested in the idea.
A great alternative to bringing in an expensive caterer is by hosting a cook-off in the office. Have your employees each bring in some ingredients, split them into teams, and have an internal iron chef “best-meal wins”. It’s important in these settings to consider different people’s dietary restrictions. Grocery stores like Sainsburys, Tesco have extensive gluten free, vegan, and organic options, to make it easy for you to accommodate everyone.
If you can, you can subsidize a small amount per team so they get creative before the actual meal and plan out the cheapest and best tasting option.
- Board Game Tournament
Board games are a great way to build friendships outside work, so why not use them inside your work as well. Many people have different ideas of what the best board game is, some games are more intense than others, and some can be very long.
A great way to make sure you bring people on board with this idea is setting up a ‘board game triathlon’. Ask your teams what their favorite games are and what games they can bring to the office, and have people vote on the 3-5 most popular games.
Make sure there’s a balance between games that are both challenging, but aren’t too complicated to learn. A great type of game for you to try is collaborative social games. These are games like pictionary or word up.
- Explore a New Place
A funny thing is that many people who live in landmark cities recognized across the world, actually haven’t visited their own cities landmarks. These key parts of cities are reflections of our own culture and our place in the world.
Sometimes the best thing to do for an event is bring your team out of the office. With everyone spending normally 40 hours a week at their job, most employees would love an opportunity to step outside of the office and see what their city is like during their normal work hours.
Take a quick survey around the office to find a city landmark that many people haven’t visited. Take an afternoon off and take the small fee of paying for public transport, and explore the city.
Use public or cheap spaces
The most expensive part of running any networking event or company social is usually the cost of renting a space. If you’re looking at bars or clubs during their peak hours, costs can quickly go from £1,000 to £10,000 just for a night. Plus, if you’re purchasing decor, you might end up doubling your bill.
The easiest way to cut down on the spending for your event is by cutting out renting space. Although there are times where throwing an event at the office can lead to a successful event, in general you want to have your event outside of the workplace.
There are a lot of different public places available that don’t actually cost anything, which can help you invest in things employees really care about, like food or prizes. If you don’t have a budget, then throwing an event in a public place is your only option!
Some free locations to throw your company event can be:
- At your local park
- At a city wide event
- At a partners or customers office
Sometimes it can be best to host the event at your own office, especially if there is no budget available. It all comes back to the reason why you’re running this event in the first place. If it’s to lighten the mood because people have spent too long at work recently, then hosting your event at one of these free places is a great way to bring people outside the office and relax the environment.
It all comes back to why
Company events can be used for many reasons. The ones that get remembered are ones that have been built up, relate to where the business is at, and are also unique. Some companies, like WeWork, have become experts at running events. WeWork hosts almost weekly events that have helped bring its team together, helping build a $10 billion company in less than 5 years.
Although you may not have WeWork’s current event budget, the company also started running events at a small size, and was able to run them successfully without a budget. With the 3 tips in this article, you’ll hopefully have the know how to run an affordable corporate event, that is also a fun company party.