In this age of longer working hours, flexible working arrangements and technology making work accessible 24/7, the contribution of families is vital in the success of a business.
That is why we are seeing a trend of more companies involving families in work functions to acknowledge their contribution.
It has never been more evident than now as companies plan their end-of-year Christmas parties.
One type of corporate event that we are seeing more of at Christmas is a family fun day.
It is a great way to acknowledge both staff and families in a fun, relaxed and social environment with something for all ages to enjoy.
A family fun day is very different from your standard cocktail party or dinner party for Christmas but many of the planning aspects are the same.
Here are five important considerations to help you plan a family fun day that will make it a corporate event for your staff and families to remember for a long time.
1. Catering that is family friendly
If you want to impress both adults and kids, then you need to think about tasty, delicious and nutritious food that is simple to eat standing up.
Food trucks are a trendy and good way to avoid commercial kitchens, comply with food safety standards and offer a variety of options from Asian street food through to fresh salad bars. For a family-friendly dessert, why not try a frozen yoghurt truck and fruits skewers as something different from the common soft serve option.
When choosing the food, it’s important to remember your audience and special diets. Do you need a food truck that offers halal, some nut-free alternatives and some gluten free options perhaps? It’s important to cater for everyone, not just the majority.
2. Entertainment for all ages
When deciding upon your entertainment, you need to consider toddlers, teens, and adults of all ages, and ideally you want to engage them together.
A team building activity for all ages can be a novel way for families to have fun and mix with each other, and for staff to learn more about each other in a relaxed environment.
A popular inclusion in family fun days are inflatable playgrounds and activities which can also add colour and wow factor especially for the young ones or young at heart.
Face painters, roving entertainers, balloon twisters and, of course, Santa Claus are budget-friendly options that can really add to the festive atmosphere.
3. Technology can save you time
Integrating technology into your next family fun day can save you valuable time and money in your planning.
An online portal to collect RSVPs, special dietary requirements and children’s ages can create efficiencies in finalising orders, selecting food and drinks, and working out appropriate entertainment.
Even a simple event website can be a great tool to communicate important event information like parking, onsite facilities, entertainment and what to bring – all helping families plan their visit and reducing the questions for the event organiser to answer.
4. An ideal location and contingency
Choosing a location that is accessible, has a wet weather option and existing amenities can save you time, money and stress.
Whilst a park is a great option on a fine day, it can bring the added expense of infrastructure, permits, fencing and parking issues.
You could consider a play centre, race course or indoor stadium where most of the infrastructure you would require already exists.
Make sure to choose a location that has plenty of onsite parking. A consideration may also be for a venue to be close to your workplace so employees don’t need to travel any further than they do to work.
5. A thorough risk assessment
The most important consideration in planning a family fun day is to host a safe event. Event organisers have a duty of care under legislation to provide a safe operational environment.
A good way to ensure this is to conduct a formal risk assessment. This is an important process of identifying and evaluating potential risks and how to deal with them.
Some general areas to look at in your risk assessment are catering, alcohol consumption, traffic management, amenities, signage, evacuation procedures, first aid availability, entertainment, infrastructure, security, accessibility, weather, electrical hazards and the environment. This list is a guide only as each event is unique.
Templates can be sourced from your local council or if you have engaged an event planner they will undertake this process for you.
Like any specialist, a professional event planner is another consideration. Their experience particularly in the five areas above will add quality control, ensure nothing is missed and save you considerable time and potential risks.
So if you’re considering a family fun day this Christmas, I hope you found this blog useful. Feel free to contact me directly to discuss any of my tips.
Rachael Ziccone is Conference & Events Manager for Corporate Challenge Events - a corporate events planning specialist in delivering family fun days in Auckland, Hamilton, Wellington and Christchurch.