I'm responsible for spreading an entertaining culture in a multinational company to satisfy the employees. I need ideas of any kind; sports, social activities, anything. I thought of throwing a birthday party every month to celebrate the employees whose birthdays are in that month. Also I thought of starting a table tennis tournament. Please help me with more creative ideas. Thank you all for your time.
Tools available: plasma screens, open area, meeting rooms.
Hesham from Egypt
Birthdays and holidays are nice to celebrate. As a teacher, we used to have 1 day per month for all the birthdays that month. No gift for the birthday people, just cake with separate greeting cards and a sign that said, "Happy Birthday, Sue and Nancy," The greeting cards were signed by the other teachers as they came by to get cake. Possibly punch, maybe a bowl of candy or cookies. To get a cake with the actual names written on them would have been too expensive for our budget and require advance planning. Coffee was always available in the lounge so that didn't require planning. The additional food items depended on the teacher who was the birthday/party planner that year. If someone had a cute little table decoration for the holiday, then they'd display it on the table next to the cake.
Since none of us had breaks at the same time, the teachers would meander into the louge on and off all day for a piece of cake.
We didn't have activities. The teachers who had time on their hands and were more domestically inclined would make it into a fancier set up with a paper tablecloth, matching napkins and plastic cutlery... the ones who barely had time to do anything besides breathe would keep it simpler.
We'd have a collection at the beginning of the year to pay for the cakes... a lot of the incidentals would just be gifts from the teacher or teachers who were in charge of the event.
The school where I work has only about 15 employees, so some of what we do may not work for you. We have cards for birthdays, signed by all, and the birthday person brings cake for everyone. The previous poster has some good ideas for bigger groups. We also do a potluck lunch once a month. Would that work at all?
I think your idea of a ping pong tournament is a good one. I did hear of a group who played golf all through their building!!! Like indoor mini-golf. That seems rather zany, but they liked it!! We have had actual golf outings with a potluck supper afterwards.
Another nice thing that we did once with a big group was to arrange a riverboat ride. People paid their own way on this , and could bring families as well.
Perhaps you could organize some sort of activity to raise money for a charity -- walk-a-thon, work at a tell-a-thon or work at a foodbank or something like that; sometimes the employer will give paid time during the day for employees to do this, or will make a matching grant for all money raised.
Gatherings to celebrate a holiday (here we do Christmas and the end of the school year) are good. These can be as formal or informal as your people would like or as budget will allow. You could play sports -- we do curling or slow pitch (a type of baseball) here in Canada or play cards or board games at these gatherings. And there is always some sort of food -- barbeque or a catered meal.
Louise from Canada
I used to have to plan the birthdays for a company I worked for as well. I was lucky in that I found a great cake decorator who would take the design into whatever my imagination came up with - example one month we had three guys birthdays right together so we had a "three men in a tub" - complete with 3D bubbles (she was good!). Another one loved to party, thus we had a 3D budweiser can cake. And so on and so forth. They didn't care if they received anything else or not because everyone just looked forward to finding out what the cake was going to be for that person's birthday. Our biggest one was for the big boss who was having a monumental birthday. We planned a "funeral birthday" with all of the guests dressed in black, black flowers, you get the picture. It was done as a surprise and boy was he.
We also had to plan a large picnic for 365 employees (we didn't do that many birthdays, thankfully - only for management) but the thing that everyone loved was when we played Bingo. We got some small prizes from a discount store to award as prizes (sometimes they weren't but a dollar - good for a small budget and multiple games).
Another event we had was a Jeopardy game which we worked out electronically but it could be done with large index cards and a magnetic board? Would take a little imagination to work it out but it was a big hit too.
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