1. Write an effective to do list. Decide on an idea for a general theme for the picnic.
2. Determine who will come to the picnic. Will it be employees only or will you invite key customers also. Is this an incentive picnic for your employees or a social for your customers?
3. Select a date. If this is employee incentive, avoid choosing days that are near the beginning or end of a company holiday period because many people may be out of town. also, choose a weekday so employees are not forced to give up their personal commintments to attend a work function.
4. Establish a budget. Cost for food beverages and entertainment for a companywide picnic are fully deductible. Take advantage of this as well as incentive program tax deductions.
5. Create committees for each major function. Food, Entertainment, Location and Direction, Safety, Feedback, etc.
6. Choose a location. Take into consideraton the travel time from employees homes or the office especially if you are doing an all day picnic while keeping the office open. This is usually done in two shifts.
7. Plan your menu. If you are going to have a smorgishboard make sure you create additional committee for setting up food, keeping things cold etc. Who will cook the hamburgers and hotdogs. If you are going to have it catered make an appt. with caterer and go over the details. Make sure the menu offers vegetarian options also. Get good quality food for your employees. Nobody likes stale cupcakes when they can have good quality ice cream. (Schwans is good and if arrangements are made they might park their truck at the picnic and serve your guests cold, clean, quality ice cream with a variety instead of just one or two choices. Just a thought.)
8. Entertainment - Make sure that the entertainment is appealing to all age groups.
9. Order party favors. If you want the favors to have your logo on them be sure to order well in advance.
10. Make your invitations. I suggest you make it feastive so that the employees and their families will get excited. Also an e-mail to make sure everyone sees the invitation. But make sure a feastive one is included for fun.
11. Set up an email for questions and answers to save time for yourself and the committees. Print out a schedule of the events, directions and map, and comments and idea section for employees who might have some additional good ideas or comments.
12. Print out a schedule of events or make a couple of posters with events listed to post at the picnic site. Also, make a poster with your company name on it so the caterers, entertainers, etc. will know they are at the right place
Just a note: Keep a detailed notebook containing contracts, menus, publicity material, favor choices, entertainment ideas and any other significant decisions and resources you come up with. This will give you an overview of planning. It will provide an immense aid to the person who handles this job next year also.
If you have managers, employees, etc. work in booths be sure to make a schedule of employees to relieve each other so they can enjoy the picnic also. Otherwise they will not get to enjoy their day. If you can get other people to do this task outside of the company it usually runs smoother because there are no problems that come to you. They go to the event planner.
When the day of the picnic comes try to enjoy yourself also. It is always nice to visit with your co workers and this day should be an event that everyone enjoys. Even the picnic coordinator.