Summer parties are becoming increasingly popular for businesses seeking a mid-year celebration or team-building activity, and we’re seeing corporate summer parties become just as important as the Christmas ‘Do’ for many companies.
But to create a memorable summer party, it’s no longer enough to get all your colleagues into a big garden and just dish out the drinks like nobody’s business. Not only do corporates increasingly want to see return-on-investment for their events (and not that staff are just getting a bit jolly and filing the expenses for it), but also that being memorable in the world of events takes some ‘out-of-the-box’ thinking and a whole lot of planning and organisation to pull off.
eve’s top corporate summer party ideas
Hire a funfair and take your guests for a spin
Include a funfair at your summer party for simple yet effective summer entertainment. Those who’d rather not take part don’t have to, and have you ever been to a corporate event that’s theme is FUN? We’re guessing it’s pretty unlikely…
London summer party venue City Central at the HAC provides an optional funfair with venue hire. That’s our kind of party.
Get active in the Office Olympics
This is one of our favourite corporate summer party entertainment ideas and it’s fabulous for team building. Venues with large outdoor space work perfectly for this – plan some activities and challenges outside, provide branded medals, feel-good music and let your team work up an appetite before heading into your venue for a quick change and a delicious meal.
Guests will be full of conversation and bring a real buzz into the next part of your event, and the option to include team building activities or multiple options on-site is a definite positive. Plus, we’ve no doubt that your competition will provide some very entertaining social media content for some post-event promotion.
Bake-Off and bring out the competitiveness
If you’re looking to include a team building element to your corporate summer party, creating a Bake-Off style competition is a great way of getting people working together (and competitively, on the other hand) in an activity that still brings the fun.
Hire a venue with outdoor space and a marquee and have your colleagues work together in teams to produce the best bake. Or if it’s too hot and you’re not up for baking, try something more seasonal like watermelon carving, biscuit icing, summer drink or mocktail creation or even ice cream making – an excuse to eat it before it melts? Yes please.
Contribute to your guests’ positive wellbeing with yoga
Adding a wellness element to your event can work wonders for morale and it helps to keep your event unique. If you go for a venue with outdoor space, why not incorporate a yoga area where guests can take five in a calm and peaceful spot and then crack on with the party feeling refreshed?
Incorporate a murder mystery for an experiential event
Another great option for team building, opt for a large venue (old townhouses work well) with outdoor space and immerse your guests in an evening (or day) of mystery, working out ‘who dun it.’ Have your guests arrive as characters, in full costume and with a back-story for a truly experiential event – and this can work well alongside many corporate summer party themes if you choose to have one.
Carry on with your event as planned, perhaps dine al fresco, have a BBQ or enjoy some entertainment whilst trying to get information from other guests on their alibi, motive, personality and such. It’s a great way of introducing some fun into your event with an unusual activity, and there are some London venues like Dartmouth House that lend themselves brilliantly to this.
Creating memorable summer events
Tips from the team at eve on how to create events that won’t get forgotten
First things first
Getting the basics down will help you to ensure that your summer party is a success, and one that is memorable post-event – for the right reasons. After all, it’s all well and good having elaborate and exciting entertainment to wow your guests but if they’re queuing half an hour for a drink or to use the toilet, it’ll be this annoyance that they remember.
Making sense of it
Think about the five senses and how you can reach each one for a memorable event. Visually, it’s not all that difficult to incorporate a corporate summer party theme or introduce exciting entertainment to please the eyes and ears, but there’s a reason bakeries pump the smell of fresh bread into their stores, you know.
Smells and sounds can have a large impact on how we feel as human beings – the smell of bread, coffee, home, for instance, they make us feel things. It’s important to remember that different people may react in different ways, but consider incorporating lavender for a calming vibe, or try a rosemary scent to give guests a pick-me-up.
On that note, we all know how sounds can affect mood, too – loud typing; water dripping; the sound of chewing – pretty annoying, right? But you can encourage positive emotional responses with sounds, too. Music is an obvious one, but there are a number of sounds that *generally* help to make people feel good. A crackling fire, rainfall, birds. These are great additions to immersive events: imagine having a rainforest themed summer party this year with the sounds of animals and the smell of rain bringing everything together?
The guest journey
Once you’ve got a venue booked, make sure you spend some time there thinking about the journey that your guests will go on from arrival to exit, to iron out any potential challenges or annoyances that might crop up on the night.
Where do guests go when they first arrive? Do they need to queue, and if so, where will this be? Will it be in the way? Where can guests put their jackets? If guests are seated, how far away will they be from the facilities (e.g. restroom)?
Map out the journey that you’d like your guests to take and compare it with the one your venue and layout offer – and more importantly, how it can make people feel. Here you can help to avoid having your guests feeling any negative emotion towards your event by making their journey into it as smooth and easy as possible – and if you can make it creative, that’s even better.
“I attended an event years ago which had a red carpet up to a Central London venue and a group of ‘paparazzi’ at the entrance, each holding old-school cameras with the big, iconic flash units, with staff communicating the guest list to them via an earpiece. This meant that when I arrived, I heard “Laura! Laura! Over here!” alongside the sound of vintage-style camera equipment and I don’t think I’ll ever forget that event. They created a personalised experience that was well-organised so ran smoothly and it was truly unique. I went into the event feeling energised.” – Laura Toogood, Senior Venue Consultant, eve