Hosting the Ultimate Parking Lot Summer Office Party

There’s no easier way to boost employee morale than sprinkling reminders of how much you appreciate your employees into the work week. From catered lunches to company parties, small efforts to reward a hardworking staff can have big effects when it comes to productivity and employee satisfaction. Throwing enjoyable office parties on a budget, however, is not always an easy task. That’s why we have planned the perfect summer office party idea for your business: the parking lot tailgate party. As a great opportunity for your employees to get outside, socialize, and enjoy delicious food from the Smokehouse Grill, everyone will enjoy the relaxing break from the monotony of the work week.

Thinking through the Logistics

Important things to consider before planning a corporate parking lot party

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Not only does the idea of a corporate parking lot party sound enticing, but it’s a relatively easy, affordable, and scalable option. Companies with 10 to 1,000 employees can plan the perfect parking lot bash for much cheaper than renting a location alone in many cases. However, there are a few very important considerations to make before getting started:

  1. Do you share the parking lot? If your business shares a building or parking lot with another business, be sure to work out an arrangement with your neighbors prior to the event.
  2. Where will your employees park during the party? For smaller functions, you can easily use the center aisles of your parking lot and work around cars that are parked as normal. However, if you are planning an event with more people and activities that take up a lot of space, consider hiring a valet service for the day to condense parking so you have more space to celebrate.
  3. Weather Preparation: In the summertime we know to expect the occasional rainy day or thunderstorm, but you shouldn’t let the weather destroy your opportunity for a fun and affordable corporate party. Make sure to plan a rain date for adverse weather conditions. Additionally, make sure your catering company supplies tent rentals in case of rain showers or employees looking for a little shade.
  4. Time of Day: If you’re planning your event right in the middle of the day, be sure to have lots of water and sunscreen available for employees to use.
  5. Access to Electricity: Consider the amount of energy your event will use, and arrange rental generators accordingly.

Food: The Star of the Show

Great Food is the Most Important Aspect of Any Office Party

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What gets employees more excited than anything else (well, except maybe a raise)? Free food, of course! A natural choice for an tailgate-style parking lot party is delicious barbeque and fast favorites, all of which can be brought to you with little to no effort from the party planners. For you, this means you can spend time enjoying yourself alongside your employees. Here’s a few great food options for your parking lot party:

  • Catering from Smokehouse Grill

We know what you’re thinking; catering is expensive and a little too fancy for the event you’re planning. However, Smokehouse Grill - Maryland’s premiere upscale and barbeque catering company - specializes in deliver you delicious  cookout-style food at a price you can afford. Able to cater to groups of 25 or more, Smokehouse Grill will cook their iconic barbeque fare on site, supply sides and condiments, and everything you’ll need for a great meal. Best of all, Smokehouse Grill not only manages the cooking and setup, but can supply tents, tables, and chairs to make sure your event goes smoothly while you enjoy the fun.

Games & Entertainment that Everyone Will Love

Activities to get involved in lead to all-day fun.

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  • Cornhole

What better way to enjoy a parking lot party than with the classic tailgate game of cornhole? Have employees team up for a tournament of sack-tossing fun in either a casual or competitive setting. Up the stakes by adding prizes into the mix for top 3 teams and watch the drama of the competition unfold.

  • Giveaways

Make the day even more fun with the possibility of walking away with some great prizes. With the money you save by throwing the bash in your parking lot, purchase gift cards to local restaurants, stores, activities, and more. Enter employees in a raffle to see who leaves the workday with more than a full stomach and boosted company morale.

  • Live Music

Every celebration needs a little music to liven up the party. Supplying your own music is a great option for smaller events, but larger office parties often require a louder performance. We recommend hiring a local band for your parking lot office party. Not only will your employees love the performance, but the local band of your choosing is sure to appreciate the exposure.

Making Your Venue Feel Festive

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With the money you save by throwing your office party in the company parking lot, you have room in your budget in other areas. A portion of your budget you definitely don’t want to push aside is decorations, which have the potential to turn your office party into a lively celebration. Explore different themes that feel right for your employees, including:

Once a theme is nailed down utilize your surroundings to execute festive decorations. Hang banners between light poles, decorate fences, and tie everything together with company-colored table cloths.

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For larger events, use sidewalk chalk to designate directions to eating areas and entertainment -- or to send sweet “thank you” messages to your employees throughout the day. Any attention to detail will be greatly appreciated and give your employees the much needed breath of fresh air in the middle of the workday.

As you sort through summer office party ideas, be sure to consider the potential that lies in a parking lot party. While you save money by hosting the party in your business’s backyard, you have the ability to bring the best food and entertainment to your employees. For the best barbeque catering prepared on-site, get in contact with Smokehouse Grill, who will bring your event to a whole new level.