drinks reception at a party in surrey

Five things to consider when planning your company’s summer party

You’ve been given the challenge of organising your corporate summer party, taking care that every one of your diverse range of colleagues leaves having had a good time.  Not sure where to start?  Here are some things to consider before you begin.

1. Formal vs casual

A formal party will normally take the format of a drinks reception, sit down dinner and a bit of dancing at the end of the evening, whereas a more relaxed affair could consist of an outside BBQ or finger buffet with a band playing discreetly in the background. Think about your staff demographic and base your decision on which option is more likely to appeal to the majority of your guests.

2. Venue

Picking the perfect venue will depend largely on the type of event you would like to hold and the budget you have been given.  A prerequisite for a summer party is an outside area, at least for some of the time, with the obvious necessity for an indoor contingency should the weather let you down.

If you are short on budget, a trip to the pub is generally popular, with many offering to waive any room hire charges provided a minimum spend is reached behind the bar.  Alternatively, a trip to the park with a picnic and some ball games can prove to be great fun at little or no cost.

If finances will allow you to stretch beyond the cheap and cheerful options, most venues will add a summer party package to their regular offering which can include BBQs, drinks’ receptions and entertainment, removing a significant amount of the hassle factor for you. For those of you looking for something a little bit quirky, it’s worth exploring art galleries, museums, boats and castles.

3. Guest list

Clearly your colleagues will all make it onto the guest list, but do you want to extend the invitation to include partners, or even families as well? Your budget may make this decision a no brainer, but if finances allow, a summer party can provide the perfect opportunity for your company to thank both staff and their families. If you decide to invite families, then it makes sense to hold the party during the day and at a weekend. You’ll also need to take care finding enough entertainment to appeal to children of all ages.

4. Food and drink

Make sure your chosen venue can offer a menu that is both seasonal and appropriate for warm weather – it’s probably not the right event at which to serve soup, curry or heavy casseroles. Sharing platters and canapés are always a good option with either a hog roast, fork buffet or BBQ.

5. Entertainment

A lot of budgets won’t stretch this far, but if you are one of the lucky ones, then you will need to consider how many people you are “entertaining” and the different age groups involved, particularly if you’ve decided to invite families. Music is always a great crowd pleaser, so if you can find a dynamic band that can get everyone on their feet, no matter what their age, then you are on to a winner.