4 Ways to Enhance Your Company’s Summer Social Event

Traditional corporate summer get-togethers are tons of fun, but when approached with a twist can also offer often untapped opportunities and outcomes


Traditional corporate summer get-togethers are tons of fun, but when approached with a twist can also offer often untapped opportunities and outcomes  

With summer right around the corner, it’s a safe bet that your company is planning to throw some sort of team summer social event. Whether it’s a BBQ, a company potluck, a staff trivia night, a summer field day, or any other number of fun ideas, taking advantage of the warm weather is a great reason to get colleagues together outside of work – and a great thing for your team. Gallup research has shown that close work friendships boost employee satisfaction by 50% and that employees with a best friend at work are seven times more likely to engage fully in their work. And as younger generations continue to monopolize the workforce, this will become even more important since 88% of millennials want coworkers to be their friends, according to MTV. In fact, Office Vibe data has shown that (believe it or not!) 70% of employees would like to spend more time with their manager.  

But while traditional corporate social gatherings are clearly a great thing for employee morale and engagement, they often leave something to be desired by organizations: business outcomes and learning opportunitiesIt’s not that summer socials aren’t a great idea. It’s just that they’re not always maximized. When executed strategically, they offer a wealth of often untapped opportunity for great, business-benefitting outcomes. Here are four ways to amplify your summer social gathering. 


Beef Up the Business Benefits for Team BBQs   


It’s no secret that backyard BBQs are a classic favorite when it comes to company summer socials – and for good reason! They make for a low-key, laid-back atmosphere for colleagues to get together, share in some delicious food, and maybe a cold beer in the afternoon sun. If you’re looking for a few ways to amplify your company BBQ to include some business-focused benefits, we’ve got a few activities we think you might like. 

  • Spuds of Thunder – Can you imagine telling your team that they’re going to kick-start their company BBQ by designing and building mini fortresses, then shooting real potato cannons at rival castles? Well, with this activity, they can. And the best part is that it benefits your business by teaching them to collaborate and think outside the box.  
  • Cardboard Boat Building Challenge – If your venue has a pool, then we’ve got an awesome, outside-the-box (well, technically, inside the box) activity to take your BBQ to the next level. Your team can get together to build cardboard boats using nothing but cardboard and tape – and then test if they work by tossing them in the pool and getting inside them. In addition to promoting collaboration, this activity also teaches valuable business lessons because teams will need to present their boats so they can be evaluated based on design and functionality.  
  • Mission Incredible – While your BBQ host tends to the grill, get your team out and about in the neighborhood with this awesome activity focused on tackling challenges and bonding as a group. Your team will work up an appetite by exploring the area and completing tasks. And best of all, this activity can be tweaked to meet your specific business goals.  
  • Outstanding Performance Through Art – You’ve probably heard of wine and art events. And with this activity, you can take that same principle, add food, and tack on team building and collaboration to top it offTransform a backyard BBQ into an art studio and encourages colleague to get creative and collaborative, get hands-on with art, and learn real-world business skills in the process.  



Add a Little Extra Flavor to Your Company Picnic  


Picnics are a great way to get everyone together to share in their favorite snack, appetizer, or entrée. Whether it’s at the office, at someone’s house, or out at a park, it’s a relaxed time together for your team. But with a little bit of planning, you can also use your company picnic to help your team get to know each other better – or even do some good for the community. Here’s how. 

  • End-Hunger Games – While your team gets ready to enjoy some delicious food, they can come together to do some good in the community by engaging in a fun event that ends with them donating food to those in need. With this activity, teams will compete in challenges to earn boxes and cans of non-perishable food which they will use to building the most impressive structure they can. Then, teams will donate all items to a local charity.  
  • Getting to Know You – Picnics are a great time for colleagues to learn more about each other in a relaxed environment. And if you want to help encourage them to do so, this activity is perfect for you! This social scavenger hunt is all about helping teammates break the ice and become better acquainted. Add this to your picnic agenda and watch the conversations flow even more easily for the rest of the event – and beyond!  
  • Picnic Party Games – Ready for a next-level picnic? Then check this out – the name here says it all! Picnic. Party. Games. What could be better? With this activity, your team will split into teams or pairs and compete to complete fun, high-energy challenges. It’s a great way to work up an appetite – and get colleagues working together as you do! 


Trade Your Trivia Night for a Reality TV Show Night 


There aren’t many things more fun than a trivia night – but if you ask us, we think a Reality TV Show Day takes this concept to a whole new level. After all, who doesn’t love testing their knowledge, tackling challenges, and getting into a little bit of a competitive spirit? At Outback Team Building and Training, we offer two awesome team building activities that are based on some of the best-known and most-loved TV game shows ever. Check them out! 

  • Amazing Chase – Your whole team can feel like they’re competing on TV with this interactive race based on the popular TV show. Take that traditional old trivia night and transform it into a high-energy and engaging event as your team gets outside and explores your city while tackling challenges to unlock new clues and destinations. They’ll need to work together to make it to the finish line! 
  • Minute to Win It – This game-show style competition based on the famous TV program of the same name will get your team together to communicate and cheer each other on as they work to tackle challenges that can be done in 60 seconds or less. 
  • Corporate Castaways – If you’ve ever wanted to be on the cast of the hit TV show where contestants battle for survival on a deserted island, then you’re going to love this activity! Your group will break out into teams where they will be tasked with coming up with tribe names and flags before strategizing and collaborating to complete physical and mental challenges. Whichever tribe completes the most challenges will win the title of Corporate Castaway Champions!

Make Your Corporate Field Day Unforgettable  


Are you planning to shut the office down and take your team out for a full-on field day? Great idea. Some of the best team bonding happens when you allow people to spend quality time together outside of the context of work. It allows them to find things they have in common, get to know things they never knew about each other, and build strong personal relationships that help them work even more closely and collaboratively in a professional setting. And while you could do traditional field day games, like a tug-of-war, a water balloon toss, a sack race, or golf ball bowling, you could also shake it up and do something completely new and exciting. Looking for awesome field day activity ideas for your corporate team? Look no farther. We’ve got you covered!  

  • Wild Goose Chase – Forego the same old field day idea and go for something a little more unique this summer! Race around the city with your team as they complete a series of photo and video challenges to see who can achieve the most before time runs out. Best of all, you’ll get access to your entire archive of team photos and videos so that you can share a laugh and reflect on all the fun later on 
  • Eagle Glider Construction Challenge – Take your field day to the skies with your very own, hand-made eagle glider planes! With this hands-on activity, your team will get together to design, build, and test cardboard gliders. Why settle for the ordinary when you can elevate your event, take the turbulence out of your company summer social, and take flight with your team? 

At Outback Team Building and Training, all of our events are totally customizable. So, if you’ve already got a company summer social idea in mind but are looking for ways to kick it up a notch, just get in touch. Our Employee Engagement Consultants can help you pick the perfect activity to fit with whatever summer social idea you had in mind. 



Learn More About Collaborative Team Building Activities    

For more information about collaborative team building activities that you can do with your work group, just reach out to our Employee Engagement Consultants.  

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