How do you celebrate thousands of employees from different cultures, each deserving of a gold metal? How do you build team comradery for a diverse group of people with different interests? Why by hosting an Olympic themed picnic of course! That is just what one company did for their annual company summer gathering. Featuring sports, international food stations, and activities for adults and kids alike, this event ensured everyone won first place!
The Start of it All
It started with an invitational flyer in full Olympic style followed by a digital RSVP web page to keep track of the attending guest count. By getting an accurate count of the total guests, a properly sized venue along with plenty of food, beverages, prizes, and activities could be arranged for the day-of. Employees and their families arrived at Bonelli Park in San Dimas, CA, in the thousands. Multiple registration stations were set up just past the lines of flags. No one had to wait long thanks to the digital registration process fed by the RSVP data.
Games & Activities
Event Staff On-Site
Arrival Under Waving Flags
Wristbands and raffle tickets were passed out to guests and they were invited to stop at the step-n-repeat for a professional photo. Many families also stopped in front of the giant Olympic rings for a second photo before engaging in food, beverages, and activities.
Menus from Around the World
Picnic menus included stations from all over the world. The American menu included mouthwatering charbroiled hamburgers and cheeseburgers on brioche buns. Guests were welcomed to top off their burger in the true American way – that is, any way they wanted! With a topping bar that included all the fixings such as mustard, ketchup, pickles, mayo, relish, sauerkraut, deli mustard, lettuce, tomato, and red onions. Like the mix America is, a fresh fruit medley was also featured at this station.
Because Picnics are about Food
The Japanese menu included a rich boneless teriyaki chicken and an Asian salad topped with mandarin oranges, crunchy noodles, and a refreshing Asian salad dressing. The German menu featured all-beef hot dogs and German sausages with peppers and onions. A full condiment station included ketchup, mustard, relish, chopped onions, sauerkraut, and our own fabulous homemade chili. From Ireland, mouth-watering slow-cooked brisket and fresh potato salad. To feature Mexico (and to include the company’s personal favorite) fire-roasted street corn with a topping station to create elotes (Mexican street corn) including hot sauce, crumbled cheese, mayo, salt, pepper and more. Greece provided a vegetarian station with colorful and delicious veggie kabobs and black bean and butternut squash tacos. France provided the sweeter menu of assorted fresh baked cookies and deluxe brownies, and the Switzerland station provided the colder treat of sno-cones.
Novelty Add Ons
A couple of additional novelty add-ons included fresh popcorn station, where the corn was popped and right in front of the guest’s eyes. A kettle corn station was also included for those who enjoy a sweeter treat. Multiple staffed beverage stations included refreshments such as ice tea, strawberry lemonade, and ice water. These stations were strategically placed throughout the large park to ensure guests remained hydrated, no matter what activity they were enjoying!
Fun and Activities
Speaking of activities, there was plenty of fun to be had! A professional, bilingual MC announced timed events such as those featured in the deluxe field games and competition zone. The Dee Jay kept the high energy levels up with great music piped through speakers throughout the entire rented are of the park. Between games such as the water balloon toss, giant twister, big foot race, tug-of-war, hula hoop contest, three-legged race, and more were timed raffle drawings with prizes.
Something for Everyone
Some inflatable fun was included as well, with separate carnival-like prizes for Midway Sports Booths such as Soccer Kick, Quarterback Toss, and Strike Zone Speed Pitch for the sports lovers. For others, a Giant Inflatable Maze, Whack-a-Peg, Moonbouncers, Mega Zorb Derby, Obstacle Course, and Big Sumo Wrestling completed the inflatable fun, but there was still more to be had. A Zip Line, Rock Wall, and Big Kahuna Splash were provided for the thrill-seekers.
Something to Roar About
Animal lovers (and parents of little ones) had something to roar about as well with the petting zoo featuring an alpaca, potbelly pig, tortoise, goats, sheep, chickens, ducks, and bunnies. Kids (and the kids at heart) loved the air brushing station, craft station and caricature artists. Besides the roaming professional photographers, two photo booths were provided where guests could get a print of their families having fun.
Team Building Time
Team building Olympic games included Kickball, Cherry Bomb, Adult/Child Roller Relay, Team Ski Races, Bucket Brigade, Plug the Pipe, and Family Ring Elimination got the team spirit going. Scores were kept on a scoreboard and medals were handed out. At the end of the games, the top-performing teams were able to exchange their metals for some amazing prizes (and bragging rights for the rest of the year!).
Making it a Gold Metal Winner
It takes a lot to make an Olympic event this size successful. From professionally printed signs (giving direction to games, activities, stations, and restrooms) to party rentals such as tables, chairs, linens, speakers and generators to run the show. The highly skilled friendly staff worked hard as parking attendants, registration staff, food handlers, beverage staff, game attendants, coordinators, security guards, MCs, DJs, photographers, artists, managers, cooks, safety staff and even EMTs are what run the show behind the scenes. Thanks to these people and the generous managers of the hosting company, thousands of employees and their families left Bonelli Park feeling like winners – no matter what their metals were made of!