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Beyond Hot Dogs: Tips for a Successful Client Picnic

April 28, 2014

As the summer season approaches, it is time to make plans for your next company picnic. Most companies organize small events and picnics for their employees and their families, allowing them to interact and have fun outside the office. However, if you are keen on improving your relations with your clients, consider planning a special client picnic this summer to mingle with your clients and gain a better understanding of their lives outside the office. (Pro tip: building a more personal relationship with your clients will solidify your business relationship with them.)

 

Here are eleven tips that you can use to plan a successful client picnic for your corporate clients:

 

1. Consider Families

 

As you are planning a client picnic, will you choose to invite only your clients or will you invite their families along? How many of your employees will be invited to the event? Will your employees’ families be invited as well? Will you only be inviting couples to the event?

 

These are certain key considerations that you need to consider while planning a corporate event to develop your relationship with your valued clients. Our recommendation is to invite spouses and/or kids. The reason for this is that the picnic is usually on a Saturday or Sunday, and this is the time working families have to spend with one another.

 

2. Factor In Event Timing

 

Although it seems like an easy task, managing the timing of the event is a difficult job. You want to make sure not to plan it during a time with the majority of people are away on holiday, like Spring Break for example. If families are being invited, the selection of the day needs to be a weekend when they can easily join in the fun. Whereas, if you are only including your clients and your employees, you might consider holding your event after work. You will also have to decide whether you wish to hold a morning picnic or an afternoon one. If this is your first client picnic, you may want to use a free service like Doodle to schedule the optimal time.

 

3. Select the Best Venue

 

The most important part of planning a client picnic is the venue itself. Where are you planning to organize your corporate picnic? Make sure that you choose a local venue that is attractive and scenic. Considering the type of event you want to organize and your budget; you can choose any venue from an amusement park or a local park, to a fairground or a private outdoor space.

 

4. Plan Memorable Activities

 

This particular tip is especially important to consider if you are making your client picnic a family event. Organize your picnic carefully and provide some client entertainment for everyone. This means that all age groups and personality types should be able to find fun to do. For instance, if you decide to organize a fair, provide rides for children, sports activities for sports fans, food and music for some quiet entertainment, and so on.

 

5. Hire Entertainment

 

You can even choose to hire professionals to entertain your clients and their families. Musicians, jugglers, magicians, and clowns, are just some of the many entertainers you can use to bring a little extra spark to your picnic.

 

6. Organize a Raffle

 

Consider organizing games for prizes to be won or even a lucky draw. Add exciting prizes to the raffle, like, technological gadgets, gift cards, money, toys, etc. Your prizes should excite people so that they will actually try to win them.

 

7. Try a Theme

 

To bring a twist to your corporate event, you can add a unique theme to the festivities. Wild West, circus, Hawaiian, casino, and beach party themes are some of the most popular ones. Convey your theme to your guests when you invite them and plan your entertainment and menu of the event accordingly.

 

8. Decide on a Menu

 

Although classic picnic food will work on a budget, if you want to bring a change to the tradition, consider a slightly different menu. These days, the same old hot dogs and hamburgers won't please the picky eaters. Try to have something for the vegetarians and gluten-free eaters. Either way, make sure that you have ordered enough to feed all of your guests and even if you are keeping just a few classic items on your menu, they need to taste good. We always say that bad food is one thing people remember most about an event.

 

9. Prepare for the Unexpected

 

As the organizer of the client picnic, you need to have a plan that will not fail due to changes in weather or other uncertain situations. Plan in advance to have a tent or indoor backup ready in case you encounter rain, wind, hail, snow or other inclement weather. 

 

10. Make it Relaxing

 

If you are organizing your client picnic as a fair, you will need to provide adequate amount of seating areas that are properly shaded so that the people attending your event will have enough space to sit down and rest when they get tired. 

 

11. Mingle With Your Guests

 

Last but not the least, on the day of the event, stop worrying about the planning and have fun. Mingle with your clients and their families as they are the reason for which you have set up this event.

 

Use these tips to plan efficiently and get results in the form of a successful client event. Remember that you need to keep your goal in mind and interact with your clients on the day of the picnic or else the purpose of the event will be lost.

 

Photo: jamiehealy

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