By Holly Barry (@HJBarry)
An office summer social is a great way to bring the team together midway through the year.
fOrganised social events will help your team to build strong relationships, improve communication and inspire creativity. Ultimately, they will also be a huge amount of fun – leading to happier, more engaged and more productive team members.
Summer is also a traditionally sociable time of year with lots of events during the British Social Season that your company attend using the corporate hospitality and entertaining offers – Ascot, Wimbledon, Cowes, Cartier Polo, Henley Regatta, Glyndebourne and Goodwood to name a few.
Alternatively, you can organise an event exclusively for your team. Take a look at these ideas to inspire your summer event:
A dramatic quest
Whether you were enthralled by stories of swash buckling pirates finding a treasure map or Indiana Jones exploring the unexplored as a child, or you remember the exhilaration of a treasure hunt at a young age – going on a quest is something that you can also enjoy as an adult!
Taking on a challenge as a team is seriously fun and will also help to naturally boost teamwork and problem solving skills.
Organising your own team challenge would be a huge task and creating clues and complexity within the game can be intimidating.
Luckily, there are professionals who will do all the organisation for you. Things have also moved on since pirate times with GPS technology to track your movements and unlock questions.
You also don’t have to relocate your team to the Caribbean (although that would be nice…). There are central city locations available where you will be rushing around central London landmarks while clue finding.
If you have colleagues or offices in other locations around the world, there are also ways of engaging them. Don’t forget to take photos of all the fun!
It’s A Knockout
‘It’s a Knockout’ was a TV game show popular in the 1980s where contestants did a series of challenges while wearing large rubber suits. There are companies who will recreate the giant inflatable set up for your team’s summer social.
There’s nothing like water, foam and giant inflatables for getting people to relax, laugh and relieve any nerves or tension.
This activity is perfect for a summer activity due to the warmer weather as the games take place solely outside.
Raft building is another activity that will ensure participation and and lots of laughter.
Your team will be able to get into the competitive spirit while working together to create a raft that your team will be able to race using barrels, rope and wood.
Building a raft and boat building is a great outdoor activity event for building on a group’s strengths and individual skills and stamina.
The task of building the raft will bring your team together as they all work towards the same goal – bringing different skills to the mission.
Dragon boat racing
Dragon boat racing has become high profile in recent years with the image of the Duchess of Cambridge at the helm of a dragon boat is one of her defining images – she also raced her husband in a dragon boat race while in Canada. Other celebrities have also joined in the trend, including the Kardashians. Take a look at photos of people dragon boat racing and you will see the exertion along with lots of wide smiles!
Dragon boat racing is a wonderful way to celebrate summer with your team. Professional companies will provide instructors and helmsman for a safe experience, while the drummer creates a beat to keep up the team rhythm as you row. This an adrenaline pumping, refreshing and energising way to have some fun with colleagues.
There are numerous country pursuits to choose from and many of them aren’t actually located in the country. Take your pick from clay pigeon shooting, duck herding, axe throwing, high ropes, military style assault courses, quad biking, archery or 4X4 off-roading. These are all activities that are best done in summer months where you won’t get too cold while outside.
Fun outdoor activities will increase communication between the team and boost staff morale. You might find some of the team have some skills that they didn’t know they had!
There are a number of different boating days you can do with your team, depending on what you think they would enjoy best.
Alternatively your team can learn to row at the world-famous Leander Club, home to many Olympic medallists.
Boating is perfect for a summer social as it will provide a beautiful escape from the office and an experience that will always be remembered.
Tropical beach party
If you have people within your team who would perhaps struggle with a physical activity, then a party is sure to include everyone. For a summer social it is fun to choose a fitting theme such as a beach party.
A party can be as simple or as lavish as your budget allows. There is so much inspiration on the web from decorating a room, to activities, food and drink.
Alternatively if you would prefer to hand the organisation to the professionals, there are many party planners out there who would organise it all so all your team has to do is turn up and have fun.
Additional party touches such as a magician, limbo contest or photo booth will help your team to relax and have a good time.
Summer is the perfect time for a garden party for your team to enjoy.
You or your party planner could create an enchanted garden party theme with stilt walkers, fairy lights, magical creature actors and a harp player.
Alternatively, you could go for a traditional British garden party with croquet, badminton, lawn puzzles, strawberries and cream and plenty of Pimms.
BBQs go hand in hand with summer! If you want to keep things simple, a summer BBQ will always go down well, where colleagues can relax away from the office. As a BBQ is a casual affair, your team will automatically loosen up.
If you want to make it special you can hire an ice cream van and hire a band for some live music. Add some large plastic barrels filled with icy water and throw in a load of bottles of beer for people to help themselves.
Summer funfair party
Create a summer funfair theme for your company party by hiring funfair rides such as a carousel, bumper cars and slides. You can also hire candy floss machines and hot dog vendors and circus performers to create a carnival atmosphere. Add to this some games such as a coconut shy or hook a duck!
If you have a small team and a limited budget, check out the summer funfairs in your area and go as a group. Going around a fair as a small group is bound to give you some opportunities for a giggle.
A summer funfair can be an adult-only evening do or if your company has lots of families then you can involve team members children and lay on some children’s entertainment.
Finally, it wouldn’t be summer without a picnic. You can hire a garden for the day or you can meet up in a local park.
Most picnics are casual where colleagues can relax together over flasks of tea and sandwiches, or alternatively you could make it special by hiring an event stylist who could organise a more formal occasion with seating outside or a luxurious picnic area with cushion seating and candles.