The Do’s and Don’ts of Planning that Corporate Summer Picnic

A summer picnic is a great opportunity for businesses of any size to team-build while shaking the usual routine that can slowly dampen office morale. From relatively wild and adventurous to low-key gatherings, a summer picnic should be a highlight of the calendar that allows you to try new things, explore exciting local features, and ultimately bring your team closer than might be possible in an office setting. If you’re looking for halls for rent in San Diego that can maximize the potential of your summer picnic, consider some of these tips to pull off the perfect event.

What you should do: keep it seasonal.


Although it may seem somewhat obvious, it’s crucially important to take advantage of the season when it comes to your picnic’s set of activities. For starters, looking for meeting rooms in San Diego that have direct access to summer activities is an easy and effective way to get the ball rolling. Instead of having to arrange transportation to various activity points, many of the best San Diego event venues will allow you to charter a boat, have a paddleboarding session, hop on a jet ski, or play an inclusive game that brings together the team right on the sand. Add in the wealth of public parks throughout San Diego and you have endless opportunities to capitalize on the summer atmosphere.

Cultivate the ambience.                                                                               


Taking some time to think about the ambience for a summer picnic is absolutely critical, as it should be an opportunity to create some distance from all the other corporate events of the year. While you’re taking advantage of the summer elements (preferably outdoors), a simple speaker system playing your team’s favorite tunes can be all you need to give your picnic a pulse. For larger events, hiring the right band can also be a tremendous boost for the whole experience. Crafting the ambience is also a great chance to get some team input in advance of the picnic. Passing out a simple questionnaire about musical tastes and/or themes can be an easy way to improve your team’s engagement while also building excitement for the event. Even though setting up your own sound system outdoors could seem like a bridge too far, the best halls for rent in San Diego should have the expertise and equipment to help you fulfill your vision.

Enjoy local flavors and favorites.

The Coaster Saloon - New Menu with amazing BBQ options. A Mission Beach favorite!

The Coaster Saloon - New Menu with amazing BBQ options. A Mission Beach favorite!

Even if you are extremely aware of all the local features near your event venue, that doesn’t mean that everyone in your team has a similar knowledge base. Surprising your team with specialized nitrous ice cream, live-cooking demonstrations, takeout from a local hotspot, or another popular locally based activity can bolster team enthusiasm and send you on your way to a memorable summer picnic. Many catering companies will also offer group or introductory rates, which means that you might end up getting significant bang for your buck and paying a lot less than employees think you did.

 Check into local policies and events.                                                                                      


If you’re going to be utilizing a public space, its important to check into local rules and regulations to make sure that your event is pulled off without a hitch. For example, if you have the type of company that will want to enjoy a few adult beverages in a San Diego public park, knowing the park’s alcohol policy and seeing if you need a permit to consume alcohol is a simple step that can help you avoid a picnic-ruining problem. You might even want to print out a physical copy of any relevant policies and have them on hand, ensuring that everyone is on the same page. Considering that the San Diego Police Department limits the number of permits that are given out, applying for a permit as far in advance as possible can also ensure you avoid a headache down the road.

You also will want to look into the city’s events calendar to see if anything of note is going on. If it’s Comic-Con weekend and you’re going to be downtown, you’ll have to put together a completely different type of game plan than you would if it was a normal summer weekend. With benefit walks, races and all sorts of other events happening throughout the summer, checking to see what else is going in near your event venue is a crucial early step in the planning process. In short, do your homework and avoid unwanted surprises.

Things not to do: Groundhog Day syndrome.


One of the easiest mistakes to make with a summer corporate picnic is to simply keep doing the exact same thing every single year. No matter how immaculate your picnic plan happens to be, it won’t take long before the routine is stale and team engagement begins to dwindle. While having a favorite recurring activity within the picnic can be a great thing, keep it fresh by adding new features and – when possible – seek team input to ensure that your picnic is never the same as it was last year.

Don’t micromanage the event.                                                                                    


Striking a balance between coordination and letting your event breathe is a critical part of any corporate event. While you absolutely need to have a solid plan in place, planning every little piece of the event is a terrific way to turn-off employees who might not have the same exact vision for the picnic as you do. It’s also important to find a way to pull back from organizing mode and take the time to enjoy yourself. To assist here, the top meeting rooms in San Diego can handle the setup and breakdown of the event while you mingle with the rest of your team. If an event organizer is calm, relaxed and enjoying the picnic, it should have a trickle-down effect that lets the entire team kick back and enjoy the interruption of office routine.

Don’t forget the ground rules.

Medley cocktail co. stirs up a fun mix of high quality bartenders and beverages customizable for your summer party

Medley cocktail co. stirs up a fun mix of high quality bartenders and beverages customizable for your summer party

Every team needs to come up with its own basic set of ground rules, as it’s not typically a good idea to make the event a free-for-all. If your team can be a little on the wild side, for example, creating a drink limit policy can be an effective way to keep everything PG-13. While you definitely need to avoid being overly strict and heavy-handed, as that could defeat the positive ambience you’re attempting to create, some common-sense ground rules are not only reasonable but can keep the event on the tracks.



If you’re looking for more information about planning the perfect summer picnic for your business, our staff has the localized knowledge and experience to get you headed in the right direction.